Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Breakfast at the Boathouse

Day 3 in the City dawned bright and warm.... my itinerary for the day was "Sex in the City"! Day started with a walk through the park and breakfast at the Boathouse...today's walk took me past the Bow bridge which is one of the most romantic bridges and a favourite in lots of films.
The boathouse overlooks the Lake in the centre of the park and has been used for several films but most famous for where Carrie & Big meet for lunch and end up in the lake!. The boathouse is only open between April & November and is sited in the centre of the park near to 72nd street.
Breakfast was scrummy, I opted for french toast & blueberries, with coffee & juice. The boathouse is obviously a great meeting place for the ladies as several ladies & their dogs were meeting for coffee.

Refreshed and energised I headed back up the park past the Hans Christian Anderson statue which is delightful.... and dedicated to all the children who lost their parents in 9/11. As you can see the attention to detail on the statue is amazing.

Moving up in the park I came across the Wollman rink ( which is usually an ice rink) which was being set up with a children's fair. I then headed out of the park by 59th street across from the Plaza passing my favourite bridge, and the ducks and turtles sunbathing!.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Park, Shopping & Village....

Day 2 in New York...
as the day was a little overcast I decided that it was best spent shopping!... prior to my arrival I had found out that a Target store had opened up on East 117th street in East Harlem, sited near to a subway stop it was very easy to visit. (Prior to this the nearest was Brooklyn or out near Woodbury Common)... why Target because its fantastic for everyday bargains!....(Victoria & Kelly will know exactly what I'm talking about!). In order for me to get to the subway I had to walk across the park from the west 72nd to the east 72nd side... This walk took in Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain and the Boathouse... as it was 7.30am the park was very quiet, serious joggers and lots of dog walkers!...

A short subway ride and I arrived at Target, which is also sited with an Old Navy & a Costco. Trolley was required ( basket was never going to be big enough!) I picked up some Converse's for my niece and myself, $14 for Libs size and $20 for me.. bargain!...I then got waylaid down the candy aisle... M&M's, Hersheys and Reece's were all on the list... 2 packs for $5... m&m pretzel flavour required! The homebake aisle was equally as distracting.... Betty Crocker, Pilsbury & Oreo mixes all very tempting, Peppermint chocolate pancake mix was added to basket!... after a few other bits and pieces i thought it was safer to head to checkout!.... I picked up a bus outside Target which tool me through Harlem across the top of the park and back towards my hotel... bags dropped off i headed out again, this time up Columbus to Michaels & TJMaxx.
Further bargains purchased here for nephew... and Martha Stewart goodies for me!.... After a leisurely lunch in Shake Shack (separate post required!) bags were deposited back at hotel and I headed back out down to the village...
my walk took in the Kate Spade,(loving the bicycle in the window) Crate & Barrel and Washington Square before stopping for coffee in Bleeker street... I also sought out a vintage book store specifically for Cook books! (separate post required !)... headed back to hotel for a foot massage and supper.

Shake Shack....

is probably the best hamburger I have ever eaten..... and therefore warranted its own blog post!.
Prior to this trip I was aware of Shake Shake in Madison Square park which has Q's forming round the block for its shakes, but sited on Columbus Avenue just behind the American museum of history sits another of its restaurants..
I opted for the Cheeseburger with tomato & onion with a side order of cheesy fries... (I had walked lots today so justified the calories!!!).. with an Iced Tea and a Strawberry Blonde custard....
Everything was amazing, the hamburger is served on a brioche type bun which is gorgeous, the cheesy fries were comfort food in its finest and the strawberry blonde custard was delicious.... a must for anyone visiting New York..

Books & Cooks...

Tucked away in West 10th Street in Greenwich Village sits a treasure trove for anyone who loves Vintage books or Cooking... I am of course referring to Bonnie Slotnicks Cookbook shop. It is a tiny shop, and nestled into a brownstone apartment block you could easily walk past it, BUT its a must for any cook book lover... I've tried twice on recent visits to get here (always best to call ahead as Bonnie shuts one afternoon a week which varies week from week)... On entering you are overcome with floor to ceiling lined book shelves and the smell of old books... Bonnie couldn't be more helpful and obviously has a undeniable passion for old cook books and an ability to find whatever you are looking for!... Left to browse I was amazed by the variant themes on offer...
I restrained myself and only chose two books A Good Housekeeping Cook Book First Edition from 1933 and a Macy's Cook Book - and Kitchen Guide for the Busy Women 1932. both for $28..
I cant recommend this little shop enough and real New York find....

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cupcakes in the City ~ Magnolia part 1

Day 1 and I've started on my Cupcakes in the City adventure.. I can't believe that Magnolia Bakery on Columbus is just around the corner from my hotel!.... significantly bigger than Bleeker street and the two newbies at the Rockafeller & Grand Central Station... this one has a dedicated seating area and is a real meeting place. With opening times from 7.30am - 10pm its a constant hive of activity.
After my walk I opted for a Coffee and my first try of their Banana Pudding... OMG its delicious, I can't even describe what its like, banana cream with bananas and wafer (chunk monkey minus the chocolate & walnuts) soooo yummy.
Hummingbird Cupcakes were the flavour of the month... one was purchased for a midnight snack!... very delcious and just what was required to placate the jet-lag!
Of all the Magnolia Bakeries I think this one is my favourite... a fab place for a Sunday treat..

Goodbye London... Hello New York!

1 week ago I was on route to New York!... what with one thing and another I hadn't had time to plan much for this trip, but as this trip took me into double figures of visits I decided to be a little less controlled and wing it a little!... Having never visited outside of Fall/Winter this also was a new adventure. With the Spring sunshine in mind I had booked a little hotel on the Upper West Side near to Central Park.
With an early morning dash across the city and the sunshine of London behind me, it was a little disarming to land to gloomy skies and rain threatening....
After the red tape of immigration and the shuttle trip into the city, the first site of the New York skyline made my heart beat a little faster and the bubble of excitement grow!... Checking in was a breeze and with bags unpacked it was time to explore.
I've never stayed on the West Side and couldn't have picked a better location, a stones throw from the park (Strawberry Fields entrance) and Columbus Avenue which has a great cosmopolitan feel.
My walk down Columbus passed several great restaurants and 2 streets from my hotel a Magnolia Bakery!... deciding that this would be a stop on the way back I carried on down the avenue, passing the Lincoln Centre (home of the ballet & arts) to Columbus Circle...I explored the Time Warner building before crossing onto Broadway towards Times Square....
Sundays in the summer see a street market set up down the Broadway to the Square. Times square is the hub of New York, you could people watch here for hours... most excited when I saw the Glee advert for the Season Finale!...

can it get any better?.....

First day back in UK from a fantastic few days in New York (multiple blog posts to follow!) and I head to Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final ~ Leicester Tigers 'v' Saracens.... much hype to this game and Saracens the 'under-dogs' to all press / rugby vets & commentators!... This was very much seen by all Saracens fans as a game of retribution, having lost to Leicester in the closing seconds of the final last year.
I travelled over to Twickenham via train, atmosphere was great and although the weather was chilly and overcast it didn't damper the spirits of all..
I found myself seated amongst a legion of Leicester fans. Game kicked off and Saracens played with a passion and team spirit which couldn't be overcome by the Tigers!... Toby Flood being off form for Leicester assisted considerably with the score line.... Owen Farrel kicking for Sarries was outstanding, (no pressure when your 19 and its your twickenham debut and your dads the coach standing 2 feet behind when kicking for goal!) along with man of the match Schalk Britts.
With 0.00 left on the clock and score line Saracens 22, Leicester 18,  Tigers were in possession 2ft from the try line.. game commenced for a further 7 minutes with Saracens defence holding their own determined that Leicester were not going over the line!.. with a penalty finally being awarded to sarries the final whistle blew to much jubilation.... fantastic game and a much deserved win....
champagne & nibbles in car park afterwards when I met up with friends.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chick Flicks in the City....

Its very difficult not to walk anywhere in New York and not think that you are in the movies!.... I love a Chick Flick and nowhere does it better than New York (although Richard Curtis comes a close 2nd in his use of London in his Brit Flick classics!)...
I have compiled some of my favourites HERE ( advised to peruse if you have longer than 5 minutes!.... coffee & cupcake are optional!)
Some of my favourite places featured in films are the following:
Bryant Park you will recognise the Carousel from Sex & the City, but the park ( usually home to NY fashion week) is also seen in Letters to Juliet.
Brooklyn Bridge so many films feature this bridge... but who can forget the Miranda/Steve meeting in Sex & the City.
Roosevelt Island Tramway fantastic backdrop for good overcoming evil .. Spiderman at his best!
Magnolia Bakery - mecca of Cupcakes in NY!
Henri Bendel a beautiful place of worship for any shopaholic.
Pepsi Cola Sign featured in Julie & Julia.
Statue of Liberty - oh so many films... but everything new york stands for in Working Girl.
New York Library.. oh  my fav... the ill-fated wedding venue for Carrie & Big and the stunningly stylish Thomas Crown Affair.
Empire State Building where would Sleepless in Seattle be without it?
these are just a few of my favs... more to follow as I prepare for my next NY adventure...
Here are the Top 40 film locations in New York!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I heart New York!

London may be my home, but New York holds my heart..... and 1 week from now I will be back in this fabulous city!.... I am beyond excited that I'm going back and apologies in advance of a week of NY blogs!... I've never been in the springtime so looking forward to exploring in the sunshine (hopefully)...
I didn't realise until last week that my trip co-insides with the start of Fleetweek..... for those not familiar with this terminology.. it when the city honours its Armed Forces and the Navy ships dock for a few days!.... New York, Navy Marines & Army.... can it get any better?... don't think I will want to come back!

maybe I'll get my An Officer & a Gentleman moment!!!...
Fleetweek was also featured in a Sex & the City Episode Anchors away.... and this is in my top 5 S&TC moments....


Carrie just about sums up how I feel about NY......
as this is my first fleetweek, any tips would be gratefully received!!... i promise to return with lots of pictures especially for my BF and GBF!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Girls about Town....

Sunday saw Sister-in-law and Niece have a girly afternoon in the City with me.
We were waved off by brother with a "don't hurry home" as an afternoon of the grand prix, arsenal and chelsea game were planned!... 
Our afternoon would involve a matinee of Shrek the musical which had opened on friday.
I drove into London and parked by Somerset House, love Sunday parking in the city! As like most children the need for the toilet was required immediately on parking!... not much near there, so blagged way into the Waldorf to use amenities!... very lovely and set the expectations of Niece for remaining day. This was her first musical, and girly trip to London so she was very excited.
As we had time to spare we strolled to Covent Garden for a coffee and cupcake in Ellas's.. they do make great cupcakes and fantastic coffee... Libs had a mini vanilla with pink frosting, Nic had chocolate & coffee and I had lemon & raspberry.... all were delicious. The staff member was delightful and Libs loved it. A trip to Hope & Greenwood followed for a selection of sweets for the theatre... cough candy, cola bottles, jelly teddies and flying saucers were the chosen 4!!... with the lady allowing Libs to try each one to ensure that they were liked!...

Into the theatre for the show... full house (lots of children!).... I can't recommend this enough its absolutely fabulous!..It sticks to the theme of the 1st film, adapted to suit the stage. It appeals to both children and adults with the double layered humour, very funny!... all cast were great, but Nigel Harmon absolutely steals the show as Lord Farquaad.He is brilliant, spending the show on his knees, singing, dancing, he's hilarious.....
we had a fabulous afternoon, ... another trip to the Waldorf was required on route to the car... my niece knows how to wee in style!.... day was rounded off by a Sunday roast (cooked by brother) waiting for us when we arrived home!....

Pretties from Primrose...

apologies for lack of blogging, (but work has kept me busy, been at desk by 6.30am most mornings in the last couple of weeks so evenings have been a bit of a non starter) and I've been a bit of a social butterfly at weekends!
Bank Holiday weekend saw me working, to escape the desk for a while a walk through the park and up Primrose Hill in the sunshine was a welcome break! Obviously a trip to Primrose Hill could not be complete without popping into the Primrose Bakery.
A coffee and a cupcake or two to takeaway was purchased.... chosen cupcakes were Rose and Lemon... two of my favs from the Primrose Cupcake book...

 both were lovely, cakes were moist and the frosting was full of flavour..... was very tempted by the Lavender Cupcakes in the window, but will save those for another visit! However couldn't resist the Cupcake lolly!
If you can't get to this Primrose, check out the little cafe near Covent Garden...

Monday, 2 May 2011

McQueen at the Met...

McQueen is all over the press at the moment on the back of that Dress!
So how excited was i to see that the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York McQueen exhibition opens this week until the end of July..... with over 200 exhibits its sure to be a feast for the senses!
So as I'm off in a couple of weeks ..... Oooops have I not mentioned that!... I am off to New York at end of May. I am excited as its the first time I've been in the spring.... so busy planning... ideas please?
Ticket is booked...more information here

Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Grandmother's Legacy....

growing up with my grandparents holds many special memories, and time spent swung like a pendulum between Nannies kitchen and Gramps's shed. Even though they are both gone now, I'm lucky to hold many special memories of them both. My nan was the matriarch of our family and Saturday was always bake day... savoury in the morning and sweet in the afternoon... as soon as our key was in the door the smell of baking wafted down the stairs ( no not cooking in the bedroom, they lived in a maisonette!).. and Nan's dress was always adorned with an apron!...
When she passed, her baking legacy was left to me complete with Good Housekeeping Compendium 1952 (complete with food stains and handwritten notes in the margins!), Stoneware Mixing Bowl and Cake spoons, Glass cake stands... and a be-loved apron.
With the Royal Wedding looming, out came the trusted book and Cupcakes made from the Sponge cake recipe... much tried and tested... adapted for the day with blueberries and raspberries....when complete the table looked like a family special occasion tea party..... bringing back many memories of celebrations past.

I had just arrived in New York 6 years ago when I heard the news that she had taken a turn for the worse, she passed as I was waiting to board a return flight home to London.....so although London is my home, New York will always hold my heart.... I am returning to New York in May for a few days, so how excited was I to see that it co-insided with an opportunity to lunch and explore Greenwich Village with the author Adriana Trigiani.  (thanks to book club girl)
Lucia Lucia still remains one of my top 5 reads... written before the uber stylish 1950's Mad men hit our screens, this book evokes the great and the glamorous of that era!.... Adriana's recent Valentine series is set between Greenwhich village at a bespoke Wedding Shoe designers in Perry Street ( home of the famous brownstone of Carrie Bradshaw - the other queen of shoes!)....  in the UK if only the store was real, I would be flying back to the UK with excess baggage of Angelini Shoes!... Bravo Valentine is the 2nd Valentine book ( published as Encore Valentine in the UK) this takes Valentine to Buenos Aires which uncovers family mysteries and romance.. note of advice please have tissues handy when reading as i've cried at every one!... not a good look when you are commuting to work on the tube! The Valentine series contains Shoes, Baking and New York...three of my favourite things!... but most of all the love of a family x

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Breakfast at the Boathouse

Day 3 in the City dawned bright and warm.... my itinerary for the day was "Sex in the City"! Day started with a walk through the park and breakfast at the Boathouse...today's walk took me past the Bow bridge which is one of the most romantic bridges and a favourite in lots of films.
The boathouse overlooks the Lake in the centre of the park and has been used for several films but most famous for where Carrie & Big meet for lunch and end up in the lake!. The boathouse is only open between April & November and is sited in the centre of the park near to 72nd street.
Breakfast was scrummy, I opted for french toast & blueberries, with coffee & juice. The boathouse is obviously a great meeting place for the ladies as several ladies & their dogs were meeting for coffee.

Refreshed and energised I headed back up the park past the Hans Christian Anderson statue which is delightful.... and dedicated to all the children who lost their parents in 9/11. As you can see the attention to detail on the statue is amazing.

Moving up in the park I came across the Wollman rink ( which is usually an ice rink) which was being set up with a children's fair. I then headed out of the park by 59th street across from the Plaza passing my favourite bridge, and the ducks and turtles sunbathing!.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Park, Shopping & Village....

Day 2 in New York...
as the day was a little overcast I decided that it was best spent shopping!... prior to my arrival I had found out that a Target store had opened up on East 117th street in East Harlem, sited near to a subway stop it was very easy to visit. (Prior to this the nearest was Brooklyn or out near Woodbury Common)... why Target because its fantastic for everyday bargains!....(Victoria & Kelly will know exactly what I'm talking about!). In order for me to get to the subway I had to walk across the park from the west 72nd to the east 72nd side... This walk took in Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain and the Boathouse... as it was 7.30am the park was very quiet, serious joggers and lots of dog walkers!...

A short subway ride and I arrived at Target, which is also sited with an Old Navy & a Costco. Trolley was required ( basket was never going to be big enough!) I picked up some Converse's for my niece and myself, $14 for Libs size and $20 for me.. bargain!...I then got waylaid down the candy aisle... M&M's, Hersheys and Reece's were all on the list... 2 packs for $5... m&m pretzel flavour required! The homebake aisle was equally as distracting.... Betty Crocker, Pilsbury & Oreo mixes all very tempting, Peppermint chocolate pancake mix was added to basket!... after a few other bits and pieces i thought it was safer to head to checkout!.... I picked up a bus outside Target which tool me through Harlem across the top of the park and back towards my hotel... bags dropped off i headed out again, this time up Columbus to Michaels & TJMaxx.
Further bargains purchased here for nephew... and Martha Stewart goodies for me!.... After a leisurely lunch in Shake Shack (separate post required!) bags were deposited back at hotel and I headed back out down to the village...
my walk took in the Kate Spade,(loving the bicycle in the window) Crate & Barrel and Washington Square before stopping for coffee in Bleeker street... I also sought out a vintage book store specifically for Cook books! (separate post required !)... headed back to hotel for a foot massage and supper.

Shake Shack....

is probably the best hamburger I have ever eaten..... and therefore warranted its own blog post!.
Prior to this trip I was aware of Shake Shake in Madison Square park which has Q's forming round the block for its shakes, but sited on Columbus Avenue just behind the American museum of history sits another of its restaurants..
I opted for the Cheeseburger with tomato & onion with a side order of cheesy fries... (I had walked lots today so justified the calories!!!).. with an Iced Tea and a Strawberry Blonde custard....
Everything was amazing, the hamburger is served on a brioche type bun which is gorgeous, the cheesy fries were comfort food in its finest and the strawberry blonde custard was delicious.... a must for anyone visiting New York..

Books & Cooks...

Tucked away in West 10th Street in Greenwich Village sits a treasure trove for anyone who loves Vintage books or Cooking... I am of course referring to Bonnie Slotnicks Cookbook shop. It is a tiny shop, and nestled into a brownstone apartment block you could easily walk past it, BUT its a must for any cook book lover... I've tried twice on recent visits to get here (always best to call ahead as Bonnie shuts one afternoon a week which varies week from week)... On entering you are overcome with floor to ceiling lined book shelves and the smell of old books... Bonnie couldn't be more helpful and obviously has a undeniable passion for old cook books and an ability to find whatever you are looking for!... Left to browse I was amazed by the variant themes on offer...
I restrained myself and only chose two books A Good Housekeeping Cook Book First Edition from 1933 and a Macy's Cook Book - and Kitchen Guide for the Busy Women 1932. both for $28..
I cant recommend this little shop enough and real New York find....

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cupcakes in the City ~ Magnolia part 1

Day 1 and I've started on my Cupcakes in the City adventure.. I can't believe that Magnolia Bakery on Columbus is just around the corner from my hotel!.... significantly bigger than Bleeker street and the two newbies at the Rockafeller & Grand Central Station... this one has a dedicated seating area and is a real meeting place. With opening times from 7.30am - 10pm its a constant hive of activity.
After my walk I opted for a Coffee and my first try of their Banana Pudding... OMG its delicious, I can't even describe what its like, banana cream with bananas and wafer (chunk monkey minus the chocolate & walnuts) soooo yummy.
Hummingbird Cupcakes were the flavour of the month... one was purchased for a midnight snack!... very delcious and just what was required to placate the jet-lag!
Of all the Magnolia Bakeries I think this one is my favourite... a fab place for a Sunday treat..

Goodbye London... Hello New York!

1 week ago I was on route to New York!... what with one thing and another I hadn't had time to plan much for this trip, but as this trip took me into double figures of visits I decided to be a little less controlled and wing it a little!... Having never visited outside of Fall/Winter this also was a new adventure. With the Spring sunshine in mind I had booked a little hotel on the Upper West Side near to Central Park.
With an early morning dash across the city and the sunshine of London behind me, it was a little disarming to land to gloomy skies and rain threatening....
After the red tape of immigration and the shuttle trip into the city, the first site of the New York skyline made my heart beat a little faster and the bubble of excitement grow!... Checking in was a breeze and with bags unpacked it was time to explore.
I've never stayed on the West Side and couldn't have picked a better location, a stones throw from the park (Strawberry Fields entrance) and Columbus Avenue which has a great cosmopolitan feel.
My walk down Columbus passed several great restaurants and 2 streets from my hotel a Magnolia Bakery!... deciding that this would be a stop on the way back I carried on down the avenue, passing the Lincoln Centre (home of the ballet & arts) to Columbus Circle...I explored the Time Warner building before crossing onto Broadway towards Times Square....
Sundays in the summer see a street market set up down the Broadway to the Square. Times square is the hub of New York, you could people watch here for hours... most excited when I saw the Glee advert for the Season Finale!...

can it get any better?.....

First day back in UK from a fantastic few days in New York (multiple blog posts to follow!) and I head to Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final ~ Leicester Tigers 'v' Saracens.... much hype to this game and Saracens the 'under-dogs' to all press / rugby vets & commentators!... This was very much seen by all Saracens fans as a game of retribution, having lost to Leicester in the closing seconds of the final last year.
I travelled over to Twickenham via train, atmosphere was great and although the weather was chilly and overcast it didn't damper the spirits of all..
I found myself seated amongst a legion of Leicester fans. Game kicked off and Saracens played with a passion and team spirit which couldn't be overcome by the Tigers!... Toby Flood being off form for Leicester assisted considerably with the score line.... Owen Farrel kicking for Sarries was outstanding, (no pressure when your 19 and its your twickenham debut and your dads the coach standing 2 feet behind when kicking for goal!) along with man of the match Schalk Britts.
With 0.00 left on the clock and score line Saracens 22, Leicester 18,  Tigers were in possession 2ft from the try line.. game commenced for a further 7 minutes with Saracens defence holding their own determined that Leicester were not going over the line!.. with a penalty finally being awarded to sarries the final whistle blew to much jubilation.... fantastic game and a much deserved win....
champagne & nibbles in car park afterwards when I met up with friends.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chick Flicks in the City....

Its very difficult not to walk anywhere in New York and not think that you are in the movies!.... I love a Chick Flick and nowhere does it better than New York (although Richard Curtis comes a close 2nd in his use of London in his Brit Flick classics!)...
I have compiled some of my favourites HERE ( advised to peruse if you have longer than 5 minutes!.... coffee & cupcake are optional!)
Some of my favourite places featured in films are the following:
Bryant Park you will recognise the Carousel from Sex & the City, but the park ( usually home to NY fashion week) is also seen in Letters to Juliet.
Brooklyn Bridge so many films feature this bridge... but who can forget the Miranda/Steve meeting in Sex & the City.
Roosevelt Island Tramway fantastic backdrop for good overcoming evil .. Spiderman at his best!
Magnolia Bakery - mecca of Cupcakes in NY!
Henri Bendel a beautiful place of worship for any shopaholic.
Pepsi Cola Sign featured in Julie & Julia.
Statue of Liberty - oh so many films... but everything new york stands for in Working Girl.
New York Library.. oh  my fav... the ill-fated wedding venue for Carrie & Big and the stunningly stylish Thomas Crown Affair.
Empire State Building where would Sleepless in Seattle be without it?
these are just a few of my favs... more to follow as I prepare for my next NY adventure...
Here are the Top 40 film locations in New York!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I heart New York!

London may be my home, but New York holds my heart..... and 1 week from now I will be back in this fabulous city!.... I am beyond excited that I'm going back and apologies in advance of a week of NY blogs!... I've never been in the springtime so looking forward to exploring in the sunshine (hopefully)...
I didn't realise until last week that my trip co-insides with the start of Fleetweek..... for those not familiar with this terminology.. it when the city honours its Armed Forces and the Navy ships dock for a few days!.... New York, Navy Marines & Army.... can it get any better?... don't think I will want to come back!

maybe I'll get my An Officer & a Gentleman moment!!!...
Fleetweek was also featured in a Sex & the City Episode Anchors away.... and this is in my top 5 S&TC moments....


Carrie just about sums up how I feel about NY......
as this is my first fleetweek, any tips would be gratefully received!!... i promise to return with lots of pictures especially for my BF and GBF!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Girls about Town....

Sunday saw Sister-in-law and Niece have a girly afternoon in the City with me.
We were waved off by brother with a "don't hurry home" as an afternoon of the grand prix, arsenal and chelsea game were planned!... 
Our afternoon would involve a matinee of Shrek the musical which had opened on friday.
I drove into London and parked by Somerset House, love Sunday parking in the city! As like most children the need for the toilet was required immediately on parking!... not much near there, so blagged way into the Waldorf to use amenities!... very lovely and set the expectations of Niece for remaining day. This was her first musical, and girly trip to London so she was very excited.
As we had time to spare we strolled to Covent Garden for a coffee and cupcake in Ellas's.. they do make great cupcakes and fantastic coffee... Libs had a mini vanilla with pink frosting, Nic had chocolate & coffee and I had lemon & raspberry.... all were delicious. The staff member was delightful and Libs loved it. A trip to Hope & Greenwood followed for a selection of sweets for the theatre... cough candy, cola bottles, jelly teddies and flying saucers were the chosen 4!!... with the lady allowing Libs to try each one to ensure that they were liked!...

Into the theatre for the show... full house (lots of children!).... I can't recommend this enough its absolutely fabulous!..It sticks to the theme of the 1st film, adapted to suit the stage. It appeals to both children and adults with the double layered humour, very funny!... all cast were great, but Nigel Harmon absolutely steals the show as Lord Farquaad.He is brilliant, spending the show on his knees, singing, dancing, he's hilarious.....
we had a fabulous afternoon, ... another trip to the Waldorf was required on route to the car... my niece knows how to wee in style!.... day was rounded off by a Sunday roast (cooked by brother) waiting for us when we arrived home!....

Pretties from Primrose...

apologies for lack of blogging, (but work has kept me busy, been at desk by 6.30am most mornings in the last couple of weeks so evenings have been a bit of a non starter) and I've been a bit of a social butterfly at weekends!
Bank Holiday weekend saw me working, to escape the desk for a while a walk through the park and up Primrose Hill in the sunshine was a welcome break! Obviously a trip to Primrose Hill could not be complete without popping into the Primrose Bakery.
A coffee and a cupcake or two to takeaway was purchased.... chosen cupcakes were Rose and Lemon... two of my favs from the Primrose Cupcake book...

 both were lovely, cakes were moist and the frosting was full of flavour..... was very tempted by the Lavender Cupcakes in the window, but will save those for another visit! However couldn't resist the Cupcake lolly!
If you can't get to this Primrose, check out the little cafe near Covent Garden...

Monday, 2 May 2011

McQueen at the Met...

McQueen is all over the press at the moment on the back of that Dress!
So how excited was i to see that the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York McQueen exhibition opens this week until the end of July..... with over 200 exhibits its sure to be a feast for the senses!
So as I'm off in a couple of weeks ..... Oooops have I not mentioned that!... I am off to New York at end of May. I am excited as its the first time I've been in the spring.... so busy planning... ideas please?
Ticket is booked...more information here

Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Grandmother's Legacy....

growing up with my grandparents holds many special memories, and time spent swung like a pendulum between Nannies kitchen and Gramps's shed. Even though they are both gone now, I'm lucky to hold many special memories of them both. My nan was the matriarch of our family and Saturday was always bake day... savoury in the morning and sweet in the afternoon... as soon as our key was in the door the smell of baking wafted down the stairs ( no not cooking in the bedroom, they lived in a maisonette!).. and Nan's dress was always adorned with an apron!...
When she passed, her baking legacy was left to me complete with Good Housekeeping Compendium 1952 (complete with food stains and handwritten notes in the margins!), Stoneware Mixing Bowl and Cake spoons, Glass cake stands... and a be-loved apron.
With the Royal Wedding looming, out came the trusted book and Cupcakes made from the Sponge cake recipe... much tried and tested... adapted for the day with blueberries and raspberries....when complete the table looked like a family special occasion tea party..... bringing back many memories of celebrations past.

I had just arrived in New York 6 years ago when I heard the news that she had taken a turn for the worse, she passed as I was waiting to board a return flight home to London.....so although London is my home, New York will always hold my heart.... I am returning to New York in May for a few days, so how excited was I to see that it co-insided with an opportunity to lunch and explore Greenwich Village with the author Adriana Trigiani.  (thanks to book club girl)
Lucia Lucia still remains one of my top 5 reads... written before the uber stylish 1950's Mad men hit our screens, this book evokes the great and the glamorous of that era!.... Adriana's recent Valentine series is set between Greenwhich village at a bespoke Wedding Shoe designers in Perry Street ( home of the famous brownstone of Carrie Bradshaw - the other queen of shoes!)....  in the UK if only the store was real, I would be flying back to the UK with excess baggage of Angelini Shoes!... Bravo Valentine is the 2nd Valentine book ( published as Encore Valentine in the UK) this takes Valentine to Buenos Aires which uncovers family mysteries and romance.. note of advice please have tissues handy when reading as i've cried at every one!... not a good look when you are commuting to work on the tube! The Valentine series contains Shoes, Baking and New York...three of my favourite things!... but most of all the love of a family x