Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Sprinkle of Cupcakes...

Sprinkles the infamous west coast cupcakery opened its doors in New York in May to my delight, and as i was in New York shortly after it would have been rude of me not to pop in and sample a sprinkles cupcake!
Situated on Lexington Ave just up from Bloomingdales the Sprinkles site is Contemporary and Colourful.... sticking with its signature branding the store is uber stylish.
The team was amazingly friendly and let me browse before placing my order...There was a real variety of flavours to choose from and was very tempted with many but I opted for the Special flavour ~ Salted Caramel accompanied with a Sprinkles Latte.

The cupcake was scrummy, the salted caramel frosting was delicious, the perfect accompaniment to the caramel cupcake, which was light & moist. A real treat. Salted caramel is definitely becoming one of my fav flavours.
Loved the Sprinkles Table & stools, which were very cute, and the very vibrant wall decor. Couldn't leave without purchasing a few bits & pieces,cupcake kits & ribbons! If I had, had a dog I would have bought a Doggy cupcake too!... how cute were they.

Loved my experience at Sprinkles, very friendly team, great service and a fabulous cupcake!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wonderland in New York.....

Sited just round the corner from my hotel on West 73rd and Columbus Avenue was Alice's Tea Cup... I had heard about this place sometime ago, but had never managed to get there on previous visits. As you are all aware I do like afternoon tea, so some of my last afternoon was spent here.
After frantic packing, last minute shopping and eviction from hotel room, this place was ideal to sit and relax ...
The shop and tea room are incredibly quaint, and on a par with Serendipity for quirkiness. The tables are fashioned from old sewing tables, complete with moving foot rests and machine wheels on the side. The boxed tables are real "through the looking glass" moments filled with Alice's treasures.
With a treasure trove of teas to tempt you and a varied afternoon tea menu; The Nibble, The Mad Hater and The Jaberwocky are a few to choose from, I opted for The Nibble, Tea, Scone with Cream & Jam, Sandwich & Assorted Cookies.... just the thing to keep me going before my flight home!..There was so many choices of Scone and Sandwich but I settled on a Blueberry & White Chocolate Scone and
Black Forest Ham & Gruyere with homemade mayo on semolina, raisin & fennel bread.

Both were absolutely delicious... which of course tempted me to purchase the cook book!.. Don't expect to come here and have something traditional,as we all know Alice was anything but!
Earlier in the day my walk across the park led me to the beautiful bronze statue of Alice in Wonderland. Commissioned by philanthropist George Delacore and constructed by Jose de Creeft in 1959.

Alice stands eleven feet tall. The Mad Hatter is a caricature of George Delacore and Alice is modelled on de Creeft's daughter... more information here.

If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland, then these are a must on a visit to New York!

Park Life....

As the weather has been so lovely in London and I took an evening stroll in St James Park last night I thought I would share my other favourite park!...Central Park, my rambles in the park are usually mid winter, and often with snow on the ground! so this time around it was lovely to stroll amongst the greenery.
Central Park is half a mile wide and four miles long filled with many hidden gems. Due to a fabulously located hotel, ( I was half a block walk from the park on the west side, entering at 72nd street) the park was easy
access. 72nd Street entrance leads you into the Strawberry Fields area, a memorial to John Lennon, ( its across the street from the Dakota Buildings,where JL resided and was killed) This is a quiet zone of the park and the Imagine mosaic is often covered with flowers left by fans.

Most mornings I would sit and eat my breakfast overlooking the lake near Bow Bridge. This is the prettiest of the bridges and was blooming with blue hydrangeas whilst I was there. Across the bridge and around the lake by "The Ramble" leads you to Belvedere Castle which sits on a rock overlooking Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn. This was built in 1869 as a lookout but know houses the NY Meteorological Society.

This is a lovely building and captures a real fairytale essence of the park.The short hike to the top is worth it as the view is lovely. Early morning in the park you see the regular dog walkers, joggers, cyclists gathering together for a coffee & chat, a real sense of community... later in the day it becomes a great meeting place after work,
an evening stroll across Sheep Meadow saw lots of flying frisbees and softballs!

Sheep Meadow is a large field, with the Midtown Skyline as its backdrop....I took great delight in picnicking under a tree one evening, people watching... whilst reading a book..... often distracted by shirtless fit
joggers!....

The park has also had many a starring role in films.. here are some of my favourites, and contrary to most NY police/csi dramas is very safe!... I hope that you have enjoyed my slice of the park... a calming oasis amongst a city that never sleeps....

Friday, 24 June 2011

Sweet Revenge

Whilst in New York I sought out Sweet Revenge for a spot of late lunch/early dinner. For those not familiar with Sweet Revenge it's a Bar that serves Very big cupcakes accompanied with wine or Beer!...the menu even recommends drinks to complement the cupcake. The concept & bar is the brainchild of Marlo Scott.

The bar is small but incredibly inviting and I happily sat and consumed lunch, beer, cupcake & wine over a couple of hours looking out on the street. The team are really friendly and even sitting on my own,  I didn't feel awkward or rushed. For lunch I had Bacho & verde ~ bacon, avocado, granny smith apple, & mesclum greens in  a wrap (mesclum greens - green salad, cranberries, chipotle pumpkin seeds with a balsamic dressing - absolutely delicious) followed by a crimson & cream cupcake.

This was by far the best red velvet cupcake I have ever tasted, with cream cheese and raspberry frosting. The savoury cupcakes looked equally as tasty, croque Monsieur &
This is a fabulous place and is on my MUST RETURN list for New York.  Found on Carmine street nearest subway Houston street.....If only they would franchise in London!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Manic Monday....

Apologies for being absent for a week, have been a little distracted with this!...

Monday saw a 6.30am start as Doors opened for Sale at 8am....
not the mad rush similar to Boxing day, but still busy, with the handbag & shoe halls being the first rush for bargains....
I did bag a few myself, including a much coveted Mulberry bag.
I will share with you over the next few months some of my other bargains as some are for birthdays and I got lots of things for Christmas presents!

After a very busy day, I headed over to Hammersmith to meet up with my friend Lucy for an evening with Matthew Morrison (aka Mr Schuester from Glee)
He is due to support the Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block in their American tour soon, but this was his first Gig on his own.
What an entertaining evening, the guy can certainly sing & dance.... he's now been added to my guilty pleasures list!

The evening had an impromptu proposal from one of Matthews friends to his girlfriend, a duet with JC Chesnez from Nsync and a floorfilling "Don't stop Believing" from JC.
Here are a few clips: Enjoy
Elton John's Mona Lisa/Rocket Man
A tribute to Patrick Swayze ~ She's like the Wind
The Infamous Glee Golddigger!
The evening ended with Somewhere over the Rainbow
Evening started with Sway:


Fab time had by both, .... long time since we had a girls night out....next one is Take That!!
.(highlighted clips take you to You Tube clips)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Afternoon with Fiona Cairns...

Last week I spent an afternoon with the Cake designer of the moment, Fiona Cairns...I've already waxed lyrically about the cake here Fiona was guesting a demonstration afternoon and meet & greet at Waitrose Cookery School in London. This venue is fantastic and having previously attended the macaron masterclass here earlier this year, I've picked up there class dates for the rest of the year as I am tempted to do another.
Fiona started the afternoon in the theatre where she treated us to talking through how she began the business on the kitchen table to what it is now and then the whole story of the Royal wedding cake.
It was very evident from the way that she speaks, that she is still very amazed about the whole thing, and is very humble and quite shy. She gives complete credit to her team and made us laugh with the whole cloak & dagger stuff of keeping the cake a secret, to the transportation of the cake to Buckingham Palace.
She then talked us through her portfolio of how the design was put together, the involvement that William & Catherine had with it. Cornices and picture frames from Buckingham Palace, the language of flowers and their meanings along with the colour scheme and a swatch of lace (now known to be from the wedding dress) used to ice embroider onto the bottom tiers.

She then demoed icing and decorating a fruit cake, complete with surplus flowers from the royal wedding cake. This was then raffled latter in the afternoon and one lucky lady left with it in a gift box (alas not me!)
After a question and answer session, we then moved into the reception area for afternoon cake & champagne! and book signing of Fiona's recently released Bake & Decorate... another for my collection!

Also on show were Fiona's new additions to her cake collection for waitrose; Cake Pops & Whoopie cakes..... check out a waitrose near you.
Fiona also announced that some of the cake complete with the spare tiers made will be assembled alongside Kates dress at Buckingham Palace this summer to view.... I've booked my ticket already!
A lovely afternoon ... thanks Fiona & Waitrose...

Mcqueen at the Met...

As previously blogged my recent trip to New York could not go past without a trip to the Metropolitan Museum to view the Mcqueen exhibition. After an early morning walk across the park I arrived at the Met for opening, as had been warned previously of the long Q's to view. This exhibit has already broken viewing figures for any previous exhibition at the Met
Sited through 6 rooms this exhibition is a pure work of art. I'm fortunate to see Mcqueen designs daily, but nothing prepared me for this collection. It is quite simply stunning. The detail on each item was breathtaking, that no photo can do justice. Sited in collections and eras each room tells a story, with Mcqueen quotes engraved into masonry around the rooms.

The staging of this collection is an amazing tribute to Mcqueen, one feature is the video staged in a prism of the Kate Moss hologram from his AW06 collection.

and a pure work of art in the legacy that he has left.
If you are unable to get to the collection but would love a view of the collection, check out the accompanying book.. complete with holographic cover. Some of this exhibition will be available to view late this year at Harvey Nichols in London.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Here Come the Boys!......

day 4 in New York just got better and better as the day progressed, weather was glorious the Fleet had sailed in! and the Boys in uniform were allowed to disembark!!!..... Hello Sailor!
After an evening stroll in Central Park, I headed up towards Times Square, where the boys were out to play!... So many were being stopped and asked for pictures to be taken... how could I not join in!.


over the next couple of days numerous events took place in Times Square and throughout New York, sand building sculptures, marine bands, tug-of war as well as the opportunity to board the naval ships docked at Pier 88 and Staten Island .


Loved the Sailor offering Free Hugs.... how cute!
Fleetweek was an unexpected surprise for my trip... next time will be sure to stay a little longer when the sailors are in town!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

It's a Mulberry party...

tonight I went to Mulberry's 40th birthday party in the big yellow store!.... As most of you know, I'm not adverse to a little bit of Mulberry, and with Sale looming the collection may just be added to! BUT tonight Mulberry hosted a little soiree showcasing it's A/W collection and the launch of their 40th Birthday book.

Mulberry + Book = Teresa's favourites!...
so with book purchased, (beautifully wrapped in kraft paper with ribbon) this was put in a 40th birthday tote bag complete with badges, stickers & postcards (a real treat for a crafter!!) If I could have smuggled out a gold bayswater balloon I would have!... Birthday cake supplied by the Queen of cakes Peggy Porschen (complete with a range of sprinkles for you to personalise your slice!) complemented by elderflower cocktails... both very delicious
A nice way to end an evening of work and the wish list has grown a little!...... Happy Birthday Mulberry... we can now be 40 together!

When the Ships come in....

Day 4 of my week in New York was always going to be a chore!... why I hear you ask?..... because it was the start of "Fleetweek"!!!!
Fleetweek as previously blogged is when the City honours its Army & Navy service personnel. New York suddenly becomes awash with uniform!
Wednesday dawned bright, sunny & warm, so with a breakfast picnic packed, I headed downtown to Battery Park to watch the Fleet sail into New York harbour... The fleet was due in between 8.30am & 11.30 so I had lots of time to explore. Battery Park has had substantial development in the last couple of years and a calming, peaceful garden has been cultivated overlooking the river to honour those lost in the 9/11 attacks. Here I sat and ate my breakfast watching the world sail by.
The first of the fleet to arrive was the USS New York, a modern war ship The 684-foot ship contains 7.5 tons of steel in its bow stem, salvaged from the wreckage of the Twin Towers and is dedicated to the 3,000 Americans who lost their lives at the world trade centre.

As each ship sailed in past the Statue of Liberty the Fire boats canon sprayed to welcome them into the harbour.

Several ships followed including the USS Coastguard fleet and then finally the USS Iwo Jima which is one of the biggest ships I have ever seen.
as the final part of the fleet came in, I headed up towards the newly developed World Trade Centre area for a spot of lunch & further exploration...... blog post to follow...
check back tomorrow for more Men in Uniform!

A sense of pride...

Day 4 continued....
As the fleet sailed in I walked along the river to the newly developed World Trade Centre pier. The regeneration that has taken place around this area over the last few years is considerable. It was lovely to see the number of people that have moved into and are living and working around the site. You get a real sense of community as you walk around.

The pier area is stunning, situated behind the pier is a small walled area complete with waterfall and fountain. This area is a memorial space dedicated to the NYPD who have lost their life in service...

 all around this area which is slowly coming back to life are little areas tucked away with memorial plaques and flowers. Even though there is a continual hustle & bustle you get a real sense of peace and calm. This will be magnified considerably when the two memorial gardens open this year on the 10th anniversary of the attack.
During the course of Fleetweek the Army held a memorial service at the site of the WTC. I had a real sense of pride as I walked around. I dined at the Windows of the World the Thanksgiving prior to 9/11 and all the times that I've returned to New York I've always felt a real sense of loss here, but this trip I could really see the recovery this area and people have made. Tower One being built will be magnificent and be a tributary icon to the 2 towers that once stood and the lives lost.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Billy's bakery.....

Prior to hitting the Highline,I stopped for an iced coffee in Billy's Bakery,
This little bakery was an absolute delight. Billy (a former employee of Magnolia Bakery) opened Billy's Bakery's in the Chelsea Village, Tribeca & Nolita neighbourhoods of New York.
 The Chelsea Village bakery has a real 1940's family kitchen feel about it, enhanced by pistachio & lemon colour scheme. A fantastic retro little piece of 1950's New York....

On my visit it was a beautiful sunny day and light streamed through the windows... sitting on the vintage bench sipping coffee and eating a Carrot cupcake was joyful.

I loved this little bakery, and if you can only stop for one cupcake in New York this would be the one I choose over all the others... (and I've tried lots!!) the team were really friendly and helpful, and the young girl icing cupcakes in the window was great to watch... will definitely return on my next trip to New York x

Walking the Line.......

The Highline... (not an homage to Johnny Cash!)... New York day 3 continued....
After completing my S&TC tour I chose to head back down towards the Chelsea Village / Meatpacking district... I stopped for a coffee in Billy's Bakery (separate post) before picking up the Highline on 20th street. The highline is an old disused train line, which is above street level, which used to take the freight trains in and out of the meat packing district delivering the meat.

A couple of years ago regeneration work began on the line to convert it to a natural park space, and as the line bent to accommodate buildings etc each space had its own styling. The main feel is for natural planting to
complement the skyline and surroundings. The first time I walked this it was bleak mid winter and although I loved it could only visualize what a warm sunny evening could look like..... what a difference a couple of years make. The second phase is due to open soon and will take the highline further uptown. A lovely ramble with some stunning views.

With the Highline coming to an end in the meat-packing district I decided to explore this neighborhood a little and have a spot of supper. Restaurant of choice was Pastis ( as seen in Sex & the City where Carrie has brunch with "the Russian") and with the Abercrombie & Fitch view it made for a pleasant interlude sitting on the terrace watching the world go by! A light supper was called for and Homemade Fresh Pea ravioli with Mint,Pea Shoots & Pancetta was ordered..... delicious

A subway ride back uptown  for an evening of Glee to look forward to!
More informationa and how to get involved with The Highline project is here>

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cupcakes & Champagne with Cake Boy!

I'm having a brief hiatus from blogging New York to bring you my weekend adventure!.....Saturday afternoon, (which was glorious,) saw me by the Thames in Battersea spending an afternoon icing cupcakes & drinking champagne with the very lovely Eric Lanlard. As previously blogged, been a bit of a fan for some time, and wasn't disappointed when meeting Eric. A fabulous host and made you feel like you had been invited to his home, instead of a very light & bright cafe. The team working alongside Eric were equally as friendly and nothing was a problem for them. For a Cafe which is tucked out of the way, the steady stream of customers (lots that are regulars) was really refreshing to see.
The class was great, Eric showed us how to make decorations for the tops of our cupcakes (no sprinkles here, but LOTS of Glitter!)... shoes & handbags were my chosen theme, with the odd cupcake thrown in!... Ideally you would make these the day before so that they dried fully, but it gave you a great feel for the method and the confidence to do at home.

We then had 12 cupcakes to decorate and take home, as you can see multiple flavours.. which were delicious. Eric showed us many piping techniques etc.
With Cupcakes complete, Eric then served us Champagne tea, with patisseries to die for! (wouldn't expect anything less from a French patisserie master!) They were amazing, (all suitable for vegetarians too).

Throughout the day I was amazed on how 'hands on' Eric was, constantly cleaning up after us, answering our questions and making the 12 of us feel very special.
Of all the cupcake workshops that I've done, this has been by far my favourite and a trip back to the Cafe is on the agenda. I loved it.

So afternoon over I headed back home with my Cake boy apron, box of cupcakes and a little goodie box of treats left over from the tea.... fabulous day had by all... and new friends made ( Hello Mandy (thankyou for lift) & Ellie)... look forward to blogging/seeing you soon.
And finally Thankyou Eric & team for a great afternoon..... Eric can be currently seen on C4 Baking mad on Monday afternoons... check it out!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sex & The City day in New York..

Day 3 continued....
Prior to picking up the coach for my Sex & the City tour I perused the windows at Bergdorff Goodman & took a little trip to Tiffany's ( well it would be rude not to!)completely fell in love with the blue typewriter.... do you think Carrie would have typed on one of these before her Mac?
Bergdorff &Goodman windows were stunning ,worshipping at the altar of Chanel. Bergdorff's is the store that the girls meet at in the 2nd movie for gift purchasing for Stanford & Antony's wedding.

So onto the Tour!..... picked up outside the Plaza by the fountain... the spot where Carrie see's Big's wife Natasha for the first time!...
after the 'rule's' from Amy (tour guide) (lots of fun required and not for the faint hearted!) the tour took us down 5th ave towards our first stop ... New York City Library (one of my favourite places in NY) where the wedding that didn't happen was set... & past the road where Big is hit with the wedding bouquet.

Moving on more sites are pointed out from several episodes with accompanying clips shown on Tv sets in the bus.The next stop was at the famous "Pleasure Chest" shop, where Charlotte met and fell in love with "The Rabbit"... much fun and frivolity was had in here.....once we were led away from the "toys"our coach then took us through the meat-packing district home of Samantha Jones to Buddakan...the site for Carrie & Bigs rehearsal dinner and Carries "Last Single Girl" kiss....(stunning room and would go back for dinner on the next trip)
Our next stop saw us in Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village home of the cupcake and just round the corner from Carries brownstone. Half hour to explore this neighbourhood and taste a complimentary cupcake. (Carries lived on the Upper East Side, but those familiar with NY will know that there are no brownstones on the Upper East Side, so exterior shots were filmed in Perry Street which also just happens
to be around the corner from the real home of Sarah Jessica Parker)...
after much exploration we headed across to the Little Italy area to Aiden's bar "Scout" (O'Neills in real life) on Mulberry Street where we were met with a bar of Cosmopolitans....

much effort was now required to get us all back on the bus before heading uptown to our final stop at Bryant Park (Home of NY fashion week and Carries mini melt down in those Dolce pants) and the HBO store.
This was a great girlie tour ..... Amy the tour guide was fab (very much a jobbing actress & probably beats waiting tables) and interacted with the party with much fun & knowledgment....
The company offers several tours, including NY Movies, & Gossip Girl, but this was probably my fav!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Sprinkle of Cupcakes...

Sprinkles the infamous west coast cupcakery opened its doors in New York in May to my delight, and as i was in New York shortly after it would have been rude of me not to pop in and sample a sprinkles cupcake!
Situated on Lexington Ave just up from Bloomingdales the Sprinkles site is Contemporary and Colourful.... sticking with its signature branding the store is uber stylish.
The team was amazingly friendly and let me browse before placing my order...There was a real variety of flavours to choose from and was very tempted with many but I opted for the Special flavour ~ Salted Caramel accompanied with a Sprinkles Latte.

The cupcake was scrummy, the salted caramel frosting was delicious, the perfect accompaniment to the caramel cupcake, which was light & moist. A real treat. Salted caramel is definitely becoming one of my fav flavours.
Loved the Sprinkles Table & stools, which were very cute, and the very vibrant wall decor. Couldn't leave without purchasing a few bits & pieces,cupcake kits & ribbons! If I had, had a dog I would have bought a Doggy cupcake too!... how cute were they.

Loved my experience at Sprinkles, very friendly team, great service and a fabulous cupcake!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wonderland in New York.....

Sited just round the corner from my hotel on West 73rd and Columbus Avenue was Alice's Tea Cup... I had heard about this place sometime ago, but had never managed to get there on previous visits. As you are all aware I do like afternoon tea, so some of my last afternoon was spent here.
After frantic packing, last minute shopping and eviction from hotel room, this place was ideal to sit and relax ...
The shop and tea room are incredibly quaint, and on a par with Serendipity for quirkiness. The tables are fashioned from old sewing tables, complete with moving foot rests and machine wheels on the side. The boxed tables are real "through the looking glass" moments filled with Alice's treasures.
With a treasure trove of teas to tempt you and a varied afternoon tea menu; The Nibble, The Mad Hater and The Jaberwocky are a few to choose from, I opted for The Nibble, Tea, Scone with Cream & Jam, Sandwich & Assorted Cookies.... just the thing to keep me going before my flight home!..There was so many choices of Scone and Sandwich but I settled on a Blueberry & White Chocolate Scone and
Black Forest Ham & Gruyere with homemade mayo on semolina, raisin & fennel bread.

Both were absolutely delicious... which of course tempted me to purchase the cook book!.. Don't expect to come here and have something traditional,as we all know Alice was anything but!
Earlier in the day my walk across the park led me to the beautiful bronze statue of Alice in Wonderland. Commissioned by philanthropist George Delacore and constructed by Jose de Creeft in 1959.

Alice stands eleven feet tall. The Mad Hatter is a caricature of George Delacore and Alice is modelled on de Creeft's daughter... more information here.

If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland, then these are a must on a visit to New York!

Park Life....

As the weather has been so lovely in London and I took an evening stroll in St James Park last night I thought I would share my other favourite park!...Central Park, my rambles in the park are usually mid winter, and often with snow on the ground! so this time around it was lovely to stroll amongst the greenery.
Central Park is half a mile wide and four miles long filled with many hidden gems. Due to a fabulously located hotel, ( I was half a block walk from the park on the west side, entering at 72nd street) the park was easy
access. 72nd Street entrance leads you into the Strawberry Fields area, a memorial to John Lennon, ( its across the street from the Dakota Buildings,where JL resided and was killed) This is a quiet zone of the park and the Imagine mosaic is often covered with flowers left by fans.

Most mornings I would sit and eat my breakfast overlooking the lake near Bow Bridge. This is the prettiest of the bridges and was blooming with blue hydrangeas whilst I was there. Across the bridge and around the lake by "The Ramble" leads you to Belvedere Castle which sits on a rock overlooking Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn. This was built in 1869 as a lookout but know houses the NY Meteorological Society.

This is a lovely building and captures a real fairytale essence of the park.The short hike to the top is worth it as the view is lovely. Early morning in the park you see the regular dog walkers, joggers, cyclists gathering together for a coffee & chat, a real sense of community... later in the day it becomes a great meeting place after work,
an evening stroll across Sheep Meadow saw lots of flying frisbees and softballs!

Sheep Meadow is a large field, with the Midtown Skyline as its backdrop....I took great delight in picnicking under a tree one evening, people watching... whilst reading a book..... often distracted by shirtless fit
joggers!....

The park has also had many a starring role in films.. here are some of my favourites, and contrary to most NY police/csi dramas is very safe!... I hope that you have enjoyed my slice of the park... a calming oasis amongst a city that never sleeps....

Friday, 24 June 2011

Sweet Revenge

Whilst in New York I sought out Sweet Revenge for a spot of late lunch/early dinner. For those not familiar with Sweet Revenge it's a Bar that serves Very big cupcakes accompanied with wine or Beer!...the menu even recommends drinks to complement the cupcake. The concept & bar is the brainchild of Marlo Scott.

The bar is small but incredibly inviting and I happily sat and consumed lunch, beer, cupcake & wine over a couple of hours looking out on the street. The team are really friendly and even sitting on my own,  I didn't feel awkward or rushed. For lunch I had Bacho & verde ~ bacon, avocado, granny smith apple, & mesclum greens in  a wrap (mesclum greens - green salad, cranberries, chipotle pumpkin seeds with a balsamic dressing - absolutely delicious) followed by a crimson & cream cupcake.

This was by far the best red velvet cupcake I have ever tasted, with cream cheese and raspberry frosting. The savoury cupcakes looked equally as tasty, croque Monsieur &
This is a fabulous place and is on my MUST RETURN list for New York.  Found on Carmine street nearest subway Houston street.....If only they would franchise in London!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Manic Monday....

Apologies for being absent for a week, have been a little distracted with this!...

Monday saw a 6.30am start as Doors opened for Sale at 8am....
not the mad rush similar to Boxing day, but still busy, with the handbag & shoe halls being the first rush for bargains....
I did bag a few myself, including a much coveted Mulberry bag.
I will share with you over the next few months some of my other bargains as some are for birthdays and I got lots of things for Christmas presents!

After a very busy day, I headed over to Hammersmith to meet up with my friend Lucy for an evening with Matthew Morrison (aka Mr Schuester from Glee)
He is due to support the Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block in their American tour soon, but this was his first Gig on his own.
What an entertaining evening, the guy can certainly sing & dance.... he's now been added to my guilty pleasures list!

The evening had an impromptu proposal from one of Matthews friends to his girlfriend, a duet with JC Chesnez from Nsync and a floorfilling "Don't stop Believing" from JC.
Here are a few clips: Enjoy
Elton John's Mona Lisa/Rocket Man
A tribute to Patrick Swayze ~ She's like the Wind
The Infamous Glee Golddigger!
The evening ended with Somewhere over the Rainbow
Evening started with Sway:


Fab time had by both, .... long time since we had a girls night out....next one is Take That!!
.(highlighted clips take you to You Tube clips)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Afternoon with Fiona Cairns...

Last week I spent an afternoon with the Cake designer of the moment, Fiona Cairns...I've already waxed lyrically about the cake here Fiona was guesting a demonstration afternoon and meet & greet at Waitrose Cookery School in London. This venue is fantastic and having previously attended the macaron masterclass here earlier this year, I've picked up there class dates for the rest of the year as I am tempted to do another.
Fiona started the afternoon in the theatre where she treated us to talking through how she began the business on the kitchen table to what it is now and then the whole story of the Royal wedding cake.
It was very evident from the way that she speaks, that she is still very amazed about the whole thing, and is very humble and quite shy. She gives complete credit to her team and made us laugh with the whole cloak & dagger stuff of keeping the cake a secret, to the transportation of the cake to Buckingham Palace.
She then talked us through her portfolio of how the design was put together, the involvement that William & Catherine had with it. Cornices and picture frames from Buckingham Palace, the language of flowers and their meanings along with the colour scheme and a swatch of lace (now known to be from the wedding dress) used to ice embroider onto the bottom tiers.

She then demoed icing and decorating a fruit cake, complete with surplus flowers from the royal wedding cake. This was then raffled latter in the afternoon and one lucky lady left with it in a gift box (alas not me!)
After a question and answer session, we then moved into the reception area for afternoon cake & champagne! and book signing of Fiona's recently released Bake & Decorate... another for my collection!

Also on show were Fiona's new additions to her cake collection for waitrose; Cake Pops & Whoopie cakes..... check out a waitrose near you.
Fiona also announced that some of the cake complete with the spare tiers made will be assembled alongside Kates dress at Buckingham Palace this summer to view.... I've booked my ticket already!
A lovely afternoon ... thanks Fiona & Waitrose...

Mcqueen at the Met...

As previously blogged my recent trip to New York could not go past without a trip to the Metropolitan Museum to view the Mcqueen exhibition. After an early morning walk across the park I arrived at the Met for opening, as had been warned previously of the long Q's to view. This exhibit has already broken viewing figures for any previous exhibition at the Met
Sited through 6 rooms this exhibition is a pure work of art. I'm fortunate to see Mcqueen designs daily, but nothing prepared me for this collection. It is quite simply stunning. The detail on each item was breathtaking, that no photo can do justice. Sited in collections and eras each room tells a story, with Mcqueen quotes engraved into masonry around the rooms.

The staging of this collection is an amazing tribute to Mcqueen, one feature is the video staged in a prism of the Kate Moss hologram from his AW06 collection.

and a pure work of art in the legacy that he has left.
If you are unable to get to the collection but would love a view of the collection, check out the accompanying book.. complete with holographic cover. Some of this exhibition will be available to view late this year at Harvey Nichols in London.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Here Come the Boys!......

day 4 in New York just got better and better as the day progressed, weather was glorious the Fleet had sailed in! and the Boys in uniform were allowed to disembark!!!..... Hello Sailor!
After an evening stroll in Central Park, I headed up towards Times Square, where the boys were out to play!... So many were being stopped and asked for pictures to be taken... how could I not join in!.


over the next couple of days numerous events took place in Times Square and throughout New York, sand building sculptures, marine bands, tug-of war as well as the opportunity to board the naval ships docked at Pier 88 and Staten Island .


Loved the Sailor offering Free Hugs.... how cute!
Fleetweek was an unexpected surprise for my trip... next time will be sure to stay a little longer when the sailors are in town!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

It's a Mulberry party...

tonight I went to Mulberry's 40th birthday party in the big yellow store!.... As most of you know, I'm not adverse to a little bit of Mulberry, and with Sale looming the collection may just be added to! BUT tonight Mulberry hosted a little soiree showcasing it's A/W collection and the launch of their 40th Birthday book.

Mulberry + Book = Teresa's favourites!...
so with book purchased, (beautifully wrapped in kraft paper with ribbon) this was put in a 40th birthday tote bag complete with badges, stickers & postcards (a real treat for a crafter!!) If I could have smuggled out a gold bayswater balloon I would have!... Birthday cake supplied by the Queen of cakes Peggy Porschen (complete with a range of sprinkles for you to personalise your slice!) complemented by elderflower cocktails... both very delicious
A nice way to end an evening of work and the wish list has grown a little!...... Happy Birthday Mulberry... we can now be 40 together!

When the Ships come in....

Day 4 of my week in New York was always going to be a chore!... why I hear you ask?..... because it was the start of "Fleetweek"!!!!
Fleetweek as previously blogged is when the City honours its Army & Navy service personnel. New York suddenly becomes awash with uniform!
Wednesday dawned bright, sunny & warm, so with a breakfast picnic packed, I headed downtown to Battery Park to watch the Fleet sail into New York harbour... The fleet was due in between 8.30am & 11.30 so I had lots of time to explore. Battery Park has had substantial development in the last couple of years and a calming, peaceful garden has been cultivated overlooking the river to honour those lost in the 9/11 attacks. Here I sat and ate my breakfast watching the world sail by.
The first of the fleet to arrive was the USS New York, a modern war ship The 684-foot ship contains 7.5 tons of steel in its bow stem, salvaged from the wreckage of the Twin Towers and is dedicated to the 3,000 Americans who lost their lives at the world trade centre.

As each ship sailed in past the Statue of Liberty the Fire boats canon sprayed to welcome them into the harbour.

Several ships followed including the USS Coastguard fleet and then finally the USS Iwo Jima which is one of the biggest ships I have ever seen.
as the final part of the fleet came in, I headed up towards the newly developed World Trade Centre area for a spot of lunch & further exploration...... blog post to follow...
check back tomorrow for more Men in Uniform!

A sense of pride...

Day 4 continued....
As the fleet sailed in I walked along the river to the newly developed World Trade Centre pier. The regeneration that has taken place around this area over the last few years is considerable. It was lovely to see the number of people that have moved into and are living and working around the site. You get a real sense of community as you walk around.

The pier area is stunning, situated behind the pier is a small walled area complete with waterfall and fountain. This area is a memorial space dedicated to the NYPD who have lost their life in service...

 all around this area which is slowly coming back to life are little areas tucked away with memorial plaques and flowers. Even though there is a continual hustle & bustle you get a real sense of peace and calm. This will be magnified considerably when the two memorial gardens open this year on the 10th anniversary of the attack.
During the course of Fleetweek the Army held a memorial service at the site of the WTC. I had a real sense of pride as I walked around. I dined at the Windows of the World the Thanksgiving prior to 9/11 and all the times that I've returned to New York I've always felt a real sense of loss here, but this trip I could really see the recovery this area and people have made. Tower One being built will be magnificent and be a tributary icon to the 2 towers that once stood and the lives lost.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Billy's bakery.....

Prior to hitting the Highline,I stopped for an iced coffee in Billy's Bakery,
This little bakery was an absolute delight. Billy (a former employee of Magnolia Bakery) opened Billy's Bakery's in the Chelsea Village, Tribeca & Nolita neighbourhoods of New York.
 The Chelsea Village bakery has a real 1940's family kitchen feel about it, enhanced by pistachio & lemon colour scheme. A fantastic retro little piece of 1950's New York....

On my visit it was a beautiful sunny day and light streamed through the windows... sitting on the vintage bench sipping coffee and eating a Carrot cupcake was joyful.

I loved this little bakery, and if you can only stop for one cupcake in New York this would be the one I choose over all the others... (and I've tried lots!!) the team were really friendly and helpful, and the young girl icing cupcakes in the window was great to watch... will definitely return on my next trip to New York x

Walking the Line.......

The Highline... (not an homage to Johnny Cash!)... New York day 3 continued....
After completing my S&TC tour I chose to head back down towards the Chelsea Village / Meatpacking district... I stopped for a coffee in Billy's Bakery (separate post) before picking up the Highline on 20th street. The highline is an old disused train line, which is above street level, which used to take the freight trains in and out of the meat packing district delivering the meat.

A couple of years ago regeneration work began on the line to convert it to a natural park space, and as the line bent to accommodate buildings etc each space had its own styling. The main feel is for natural planting to
complement the skyline and surroundings. The first time I walked this it was bleak mid winter and although I loved it could only visualize what a warm sunny evening could look like..... what a difference a couple of years make. The second phase is due to open soon and will take the highline further uptown. A lovely ramble with some stunning views.

With the Highline coming to an end in the meat-packing district I decided to explore this neighborhood a little and have a spot of supper. Restaurant of choice was Pastis ( as seen in Sex & the City where Carrie has brunch with "the Russian") and with the Abercrombie & Fitch view it made for a pleasant interlude sitting on the terrace watching the world go by! A light supper was called for and Homemade Fresh Pea ravioli with Mint,Pea Shoots & Pancetta was ordered..... delicious

A subway ride back uptown  for an evening of Glee to look forward to!
More informationa and how to get involved with The Highline project is here>

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cupcakes & Champagne with Cake Boy!

I'm having a brief hiatus from blogging New York to bring you my weekend adventure!.....Saturday afternoon, (which was glorious,) saw me by the Thames in Battersea spending an afternoon icing cupcakes & drinking champagne with the very lovely Eric Lanlard. As previously blogged, been a bit of a fan for some time, and wasn't disappointed when meeting Eric. A fabulous host and made you feel like you had been invited to his home, instead of a very light & bright cafe. The team working alongside Eric were equally as friendly and nothing was a problem for them. For a Cafe which is tucked out of the way, the steady stream of customers (lots that are regulars) was really refreshing to see.
The class was great, Eric showed us how to make decorations for the tops of our cupcakes (no sprinkles here, but LOTS of Glitter!)... shoes & handbags were my chosen theme, with the odd cupcake thrown in!... Ideally you would make these the day before so that they dried fully, but it gave you a great feel for the method and the confidence to do at home.

We then had 12 cupcakes to decorate and take home, as you can see multiple flavours.. which were delicious. Eric showed us many piping techniques etc.
With Cupcakes complete, Eric then served us Champagne tea, with patisseries to die for! (wouldn't expect anything less from a French patisserie master!) They were amazing, (all suitable for vegetarians too).

Throughout the day I was amazed on how 'hands on' Eric was, constantly cleaning up after us, answering our questions and making the 12 of us feel very special.
Of all the cupcake workshops that I've done, this has been by far my favourite and a trip back to the Cafe is on the agenda. I loved it.

So afternoon over I headed back home with my Cake boy apron, box of cupcakes and a little goodie box of treats left over from the tea.... fabulous day had by all... and new friends made ( Hello Mandy (thankyou for lift) & Ellie)... look forward to blogging/seeing you soon.
And finally Thankyou Eric & team for a great afternoon..... Eric can be currently seen on C4 Baking mad on Monday afternoons... check it out!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sex & The City day in New York..

Day 3 continued....
Prior to picking up the coach for my Sex & the City tour I perused the windows at Bergdorff Goodman & took a little trip to Tiffany's ( well it would be rude not to!)completely fell in love with the blue typewriter.... do you think Carrie would have typed on one of these before her Mac?
Bergdorff &Goodman windows were stunning ,worshipping at the altar of Chanel. Bergdorff's is the store that the girls meet at in the 2nd movie for gift purchasing for Stanford & Antony's wedding.

So onto the Tour!..... picked up outside the Plaza by the fountain... the spot where Carrie see's Big's wife Natasha for the first time!...
after the 'rule's' from Amy (tour guide) (lots of fun required and not for the faint hearted!) the tour took us down 5th ave towards our first stop ... New York City Library (one of my favourite places in NY) where the wedding that didn't happen was set... & past the road where Big is hit with the wedding bouquet.

Moving on more sites are pointed out from several episodes with accompanying clips shown on Tv sets in the bus.The next stop was at the famous "Pleasure Chest" shop, where Charlotte met and fell in love with "The Rabbit"... much fun and frivolity was had in here.....once we were led away from the "toys"our coach then took us through the meat-packing district home of Samantha Jones to Buddakan...the site for Carrie & Bigs rehearsal dinner and Carries "Last Single Girl" kiss....(stunning room and would go back for dinner on the next trip)
Our next stop saw us in Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village home of the cupcake and just round the corner from Carries brownstone. Half hour to explore this neighbourhood and taste a complimentary cupcake. (Carries lived on the Upper East Side, but those familiar with NY will know that there are no brownstones on the Upper East Side, so exterior shots were filmed in Perry Street which also just happens
to be around the corner from the real home of Sarah Jessica Parker)...
after much exploration we headed across to the Little Italy area to Aiden's bar "Scout" (O'Neills in real life) on Mulberry Street where we were met with a bar of Cosmopolitans....

much effort was now required to get us all back on the bus before heading uptown to our final stop at Bryant Park (Home of NY fashion week and Carries mini melt down in those Dolce pants) and the HBO store.
This was a great girlie tour ..... Amy the tour guide was fab (very much a jobbing actress & probably beats waiting tables) and interacted with the party with much fun & knowledgment....
The company offers several tours, including NY Movies, & Gossip Girl, but this was probably my fav!