Tuesday, 31 August 2010

bill's, brighton

i love this place. you drink, eat or have coffee surrounded by produce available to buy.

visually stunning, delicious food and all very reasonably priced.

the annotated weekender

i've been meaning to post this for ages. a fun take on the guardian weekend magazine. for more see (http://theannotatedweekender.blogspot.com/) or follow on twitter @mokuroku

Monday, 30 August 2010

sharland & lewis

speaking of antiques, this is my favourite shop. it is full of the most wonderful english and french antiques.

granted, most of it is stonkingly expensive but it's a lovely space to browse. the staff are really friendly and there is always something little and lovely you can take away for less than £30. they have a really high turnover of stock and, if you're looking for a particular piece of furniture, they will contact you when relevant things come in. definitely the best reason to visit tetbury. that and the amazing pub, trouble house.

you can also shop online - http://www.sharlandandlewis.com/

birthday antiques

P and i were in topsham on my birthday and so a visit to the quay antiques centre was obligatory - four huge floors of wonderful goodies and so reasonably priced compared to bristol, bath and tetbury (other places i tend to trawl for antiques).

i was thrilled with my finds. i've needed more cutlery for ages and am always amazed by the price of stuff that just isn't very nice. so, when i stumbled upon these forks and dessert forks (£11 per bundle), i was delighted. i'll match the large forks with bone-handled knives but couldn't find ones i liked that day.

i've wanted to start a collection of vintage tea cups and saucers for a while but hadn't considered coffee or espresso cups but i *love* this ( a snip at £4). the charles & diana mug was £5 and i just thought it was fun. plus i love the colour.

i've started being much tougher on myself when shopping for antiques otherwise i just want to buy it all. (charity shops, however, hold no limit). but this little lot brought me so much pleasure and to hunt for them on my birthday made it even sweeter.

belated birthday tea

my birthday treats have been wonderfully drawn out. a very dear friend took me to the rainbow cafe in clifton village for coffee and cake a few days before i turned 33, then we ate at cafe maitreya in easton for an early birthday dinner and then, once she was back from her holiday in italy, she came round for a belated birthday tea laden with fabulous presents. i had made lemon & lavender cupcakes with two kinds of icing and a chocolate guinness cake. we talked and talked, drank lots of tea and nibbled a few cakes (remains to go in the freezer).

we followed the sun down to the bottom of the garden and talked some more. a perfect way to spend a sunday afternoon.

(recipes for the cakes to be posted on here soon)


i've always been a keen reader (seen here with roald dahl's the magic finger). i haven't read a novel for such a long time as i have so much academic reading to process at the moment that reading fiction requires too much brain power to be relaxing. lately i'm much more likely to be found with my head in a knitting pattern book, a newspaper or a recipe book - bite-sizes pieces of informative and often inspirational material.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

tortilla for two

this tortilla is really simple and oh so tasty.

just fry 1/2 an onion, cube and steam or boil 2 large potatoes until slightly undercooked. then fry the potato until lightly browned. add the onion and pour 4 whisked eggs (mixed with dried oregano & salt). shake slightly to keep it from sticking and cook until underside is lightly brown. then place an upturned plate on the frying pan and turn the pan over. slide the tortilla gently back into the pan so the other side can cook.

best served at room temperature.

banana breads

boozey banana & almond on the left and dark chocolate & banana on the right:

i had a large bunch of very ripe bananas so the obvious thing to do was make banana bread, right? or cake. whatever you call it, it tastes the same - delicious.

for the first, i made a standard banana bread using a nigella recipe (found here http://www.nigella.com/recipe/recipe_detail.aspx?rid=222). i didn't have any rum or bourbon so used cider brandy instead which tasted very nice indeed.

i also substituted almonds (hand crushed with skins not the roasted flaked kind). i thought it would taste more boozey than it did so i might use more alcohol next time.

the batter resembled mashed banana more than cake mix so i added a bit more flour and it turned out just right.

for the dark chocolate banana bread i used this recipe (http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/ChocolateBananaBread.html). i used cocoa (i love the old caddy) and chopped up green & black's organic dark chocolate instead of chips. i also didn't use any nuts.


this resembled much more traditional cake mixture since it uses more flour.

i then left them to cool in the tins after they'd baked, sampled a piece (or two) of each cake and wrapped the rest in cling film and foil for the freezer.

(excuse the quality of the pictures - though not at all bad for an iPhone and fairly dim lighting - don't have my DSLR with me here. but i still love the hipstamatic polaroid photos...)



continuing the theme of food art, i love these sequin creations (but can't remember where i spotted them)



kate jenkins

when thinking about crocheted food, this artist immediately springs to mind. she creates framed pieces that sell for ridiculous prices. so i prefer to view them in galleries (as i did in brighton) or just be inspired to try and replicate something vaguely resembling this at some point in the future.

if you like what you see and you're in brighton, get yourself down to the cardigan pop up shop where there's 'extra woolen filth from modern toss' (http://www.cardigan.ltd.uk/index.php?s1=1)

(images from the rebecca hossack gallery where kate's pieces were also shown http://www.r-h-g.co.uk/artists/view/available_works/76,186,0.html)

Friday, 27 August 2010

patricia waller

as much as i love knitting, i sometimes think crocheting is better for food. it just looks more accurate and is more robust. i came across chilean artist patricia waller's work the other day and wanted to share some of her talented (and humorous) pieces. 

as you can see from the accident images, crocheted food is just a part of her range. see her website for many more creations (http://www.patriciawaller.com/en/index.html)