Monday, 31 October 2011

October's Tricks & Treats

well happy halloween.... i'm not sure where October has gone, so I have decided to fill you in on my tricks & treats from October all in one glorious post!
Let me start with wishing you all a happy halloween, very low key for me this year, but here are my favs from this season, no cupcakes but still a few treats... Philosophy's Trick or Treat (very excited when I saw this at work, 1st year that it has been available in the UK, always on my wish list in New York)... Jelly Belly's halloween mix.. loving the liquorice jelly beans... and the cute little smartie pumpkins, filled with mini smarties. mmmm, and finally the orange & white chocolate hot chocolate from artisan du chocolat... scrummy...
So October started with a treat of a new little car...not 'new' but new to me (she's vintage ).. a little red micra called Florence ( i bought her on my nans birthday), but alas Florence has been playing tricks on me for a couple of weeks, and has been back to the garage, but it seems the hiccups are over and all is ok now.
I then was invited to the christening of the beautiful Sophie which was lovely surprise... Sophie is the daughter of Kelly & James, and behaved perfectly throughout the service which was held at the stunning abbey in Waltham Abbey. As well as getting dressed up on a sunday, in a dress & heels (so not my normal sunday attire!) it was lovely to catch up with Victoria, Michaela (who had flown in from Venice) and Kellys family who always make me feel very welcome when I see them... lovely people all met through blogging.
Kelly & co also met me later in the week for a Lolas & coffee in Selfridges, complete with Mr G (Kelly's dad)

October also saw me, catch up with some friends I haven't seen for a while... I spent an evening of Broadway with C & JP which was much fun & very entertaining, (coinciding with Strictly's Braodway weekend which is proving to me one of my guilty pleasures this month) I then spent an evening in Brentwood Essex with Mr Barrowman and my friend K... he is her guilty pleasure and with seats 6 rows back from the stage she was very happy!... the show is as camp as a row of tents but hugely entertaining... here he is with Abba's Winner takes it all! and then finally I was due to see George at the Albert Hall, but alas the tricksters were in force and the show was postponed due to George being unwell...  a treat to look forward to.
So as October draws to a close... here are a few of my favourite halloween images for 2011 from across the pond and here.... Halloween certainly played tricks on the east coast of the US this year, with pumpkin patches covered in snow, cookies & treats from dean & deluca & peggy porschen....
and the fabulous starbucks pumpkin!.....

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Baking book rehab....

is where I am heading this month. To celebrate national baking week I seem to have overdosed on baking books this month, some old, some new!!



The first to fall into the basket was Primrose Bakery's book, which is delicious. For those that haven't had the chance to visit the bakery in Primrose hill, the interior shots are Lush! I'm really looking forward to trying the maple & pecan cupcakes...especially in my new cupcake cases from Baking Pretty.
The 2nd book to fall in my basket was a £3.99 bargain from Homesense which is Melissa Kings "All Cakes Considered" which is a great informative read, with a real vintage/retro feel.



My next two, are from recent TV treats, Ed Kimber's ,Boy who Bakes, winner of last years great british bake off and Lorraine Pascals "cookery made easy" following on from her successful baking made easy series. Recipes to try are Ed's bourbon pecan pie and Lorraine's raspberry brown sugar muffins. Mmmm can't wait.
and finally Outsider Tarts Baked, which is luscious, NY crumb cake is on my "must make" list!
What's been your recent baking buy?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 10 October 2011

Italian feast...

Food is a big part of the Italian way of life, Italians take pleasure in creating feasts for the senses from simple ingredients. Eating in Italy is never rushed & is a huge social occasion. I love Italian food!
The choice of Trattorias near my hotel was considerable. 2 became favourites during my stay. The food was delicious, service exceptional, and was made to feel very welcome, ( not always the case when dining singularly) no pressure to hurry. From pizza to pasta nothing was a disappointment. The tiramisu was divine!... well you have to try these things !!1

Italians aren't big on cakes, but they do love a meringue and gellato (ice cream)... absolutely delicious...



Around the corner from hotel was a supermarket, as you all know I do love a local supermarket! Great for stocking up fridge in hotel room!.. and bringing home local goodies.
Treats bought home were these:

for the sweet cupboard!;Tiramisu chocolate, mini amaretto meringues, sprinkles, limone sorbet, limoncello,
for the savoury cupboard; lemon linguine, risotto packets, truffle oil, pink sea salt, rainbow ribbon pasta,... check back soon for experimental dishes!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Venetian adventure...

Venice is an hour on eurostar from Verona, so during my stay I couldn't resist a trip to the beautiful city. The train crosses the causeway from mainland Italy into Venice stopping at station. On embarking the station I boarded a waterbus and started my tour of the Venetian canals.


The morning started quite overcast but as the day wore on the sun shone which was wonderful as I portrays around the canals on the water bus and explored on foot the alleyways.

St Marks square was as busy as ever with both tourists and pigeons!

Venice fascinates me, the architecture is stunning, it oozes glamour in an understated way. I loved exploring and thoroughly enjoyed my day.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A Friday Floor-filler..

Of an evening ... A couple of Fridays myself & a couple of girlfriends headed to theatre land for a fab, fulfilled night out at Respect La Diva.


Supporting the charity Refuge this show, showcases the musical divas of yesteryear thru to today. An amazingly talented cast; headlined by Sheila Ferguson (3 degrees) Denise Pearson (5 Star) & Zoe Burkett (pop idol). My highlights were Denise's version of Beyonce's Listen & Zoes rendition of Etta James At Last, ...stunning
Show now on tour, check out if at a theatre near you

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Day on the Lake

was how I spent a beautiful Sunday in Italy. Half hour outside Verona on the train is Lake Garda. Disembarking at Desenzano, one of the more built up resorts on the Lake, I boarded a boat and set off for a day's sailing up and around the lake.Stopping at many ports on the way.

The morning on the lake was a little misty but as the day progressed the sun shone and made for a lovely relaxing day. Ports that I docked at, were;Sirmione,Manerba, Portese, Salo, Gardone, Fasone,Maderno,Bogliaco,Gargnano, Campione, Malcesine and Limone.

I disembarked at Limone, 1) to get my sea legs back and 2) to have a spot of lunch overlooking the lake. Limone is home of the Lemon & Limoncello...and is extremely pretty.

After an amble around the town and a late lunch I boarded the catamaran back down to Desenzano for the train ride back to Verona.
An extremely restful day, and a fabulous way to see the variety that lake Garda offers.

Monday, 31 October 2011

October's Tricks & Treats

well happy halloween.... i'm not sure where October has gone, so I have decided to fill you in on my tricks & treats from October all in one glorious post!
Let me start with wishing you all a happy halloween, very low key for me this year, but here are my favs from this season, no cupcakes but still a few treats... Philosophy's Trick or Treat (very excited when I saw this at work, 1st year that it has been available in the UK, always on my wish list in New York)... Jelly Belly's halloween mix.. loving the liquorice jelly beans... and the cute little smartie pumpkins, filled with mini smarties. mmmm, and finally the orange & white chocolate hot chocolate from artisan du chocolat... scrummy...
So October started with a treat of a new little car...not 'new' but new to me (she's vintage ).. a little red micra called Florence ( i bought her on my nans birthday), but alas Florence has been playing tricks on me for a couple of weeks, and has been back to the garage, but it seems the hiccups are over and all is ok now.
I then was invited to the christening of the beautiful Sophie which was lovely surprise... Sophie is the daughter of Kelly & James, and behaved perfectly throughout the service which was held at the stunning abbey in Waltham Abbey. As well as getting dressed up on a sunday, in a dress & heels (so not my normal sunday attire!) it was lovely to catch up with Victoria, Michaela (who had flown in from Venice) and Kellys family who always make me feel very welcome when I see them... lovely people all met through blogging.
Kelly & co also met me later in the week for a Lolas & coffee in Selfridges, complete with Mr G (Kelly's dad)

October also saw me, catch up with some friends I haven't seen for a while... I spent an evening of Broadway with C & JP which was much fun & very entertaining, (coinciding with Strictly's Braodway weekend which is proving to me one of my guilty pleasures this month) I then spent an evening in Brentwood Essex with Mr Barrowman and my friend K... he is her guilty pleasure and with seats 6 rows back from the stage she was very happy!... the show is as camp as a row of tents but hugely entertaining... here he is with Abba's Winner takes it all! and then finally I was due to see George at the Albert Hall, but alas the tricksters were in force and the show was postponed due to George being unwell...  a treat to look forward to.
So as October draws to a close... here are a few of my favourite halloween images for 2011 from across the pond and here.... Halloween certainly played tricks on the east coast of the US this year, with pumpkin patches covered in snow, cookies & treats from dean & deluca & peggy porschen....
and the fabulous starbucks pumpkin!.....

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Baking book rehab....

is where I am heading this month. To celebrate national baking week I seem to have overdosed on baking books this month, some old, some new!!



The first to fall into the basket was Primrose Bakery's book, which is delicious. For those that haven't had the chance to visit the bakery in Primrose hill, the interior shots are Lush! I'm really looking forward to trying the maple & pecan cupcakes...especially in my new cupcake cases from Baking Pretty.
The 2nd book to fall in my basket was a £3.99 bargain from Homesense which is Melissa Kings "All Cakes Considered" which is a great informative read, with a real vintage/retro feel.



My next two, are from recent TV treats, Ed Kimber's ,Boy who Bakes, winner of last years great british bake off and Lorraine Pascals "cookery made easy" following on from her successful baking made easy series. Recipes to try are Ed's bourbon pecan pie and Lorraine's raspberry brown sugar muffins. Mmmm can't wait.
and finally Outsider Tarts Baked, which is luscious, NY crumb cake is on my "must make" list!
What's been your recent baking buy?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 10 October 2011

Italian feast...

Food is a big part of the Italian way of life, Italians take pleasure in creating feasts for the senses from simple ingredients. Eating in Italy is never rushed & is a huge social occasion. I love Italian food!
The choice of Trattorias near my hotel was considerable. 2 became favourites during my stay. The food was delicious, service exceptional, and was made to feel very welcome, ( not always the case when dining singularly) no pressure to hurry. From pizza to pasta nothing was a disappointment. The tiramisu was divine!... well you have to try these things !!1

Italians aren't big on cakes, but they do love a meringue and gellato (ice cream)... absolutely delicious...



Around the corner from hotel was a supermarket, as you all know I do love a local supermarket! Great for stocking up fridge in hotel room!.. and bringing home local goodies.
Treats bought home were these:

for the sweet cupboard!;Tiramisu chocolate, mini amaretto meringues, sprinkles, limone sorbet, limoncello,
for the savoury cupboard; lemon linguine, risotto packets, truffle oil, pink sea salt, rainbow ribbon pasta,... check back soon for experimental dishes!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Venetian adventure...

Venice is an hour on eurostar from Verona, so during my stay I couldn't resist a trip to the beautiful city. The train crosses the causeway from mainland Italy into Venice stopping at station. On embarking the station I boarded a waterbus and started my tour of the Venetian canals.


The morning started quite overcast but as the day wore on the sun shone which was wonderful as I portrays around the canals on the water bus and explored on foot the alleyways.

St Marks square was as busy as ever with both tourists and pigeons!

Venice fascinates me, the architecture is stunning, it oozes glamour in an understated way. I loved exploring and thoroughly enjoyed my day.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A Friday Floor-filler..

Of an evening ... A couple of Fridays myself & a couple of girlfriends headed to theatre land for a fab, fulfilled night out at Respect La Diva.


Supporting the charity Refuge this show, showcases the musical divas of yesteryear thru to today. An amazingly talented cast; headlined by Sheila Ferguson (3 degrees) Denise Pearson (5 Star) & Zoe Burkett (pop idol). My highlights were Denise's version of Beyonce's Listen & Zoes rendition of Etta James At Last, ...stunning
Show now on tour, check out if at a theatre near you

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Day on the Lake

was how I spent a beautiful Sunday in Italy. Half hour outside Verona on the train is Lake Garda. Disembarking at Desenzano, one of the more built up resorts on the Lake, I boarded a boat and set off for a day's sailing up and around the lake.Stopping at many ports on the way.

The morning on the lake was a little misty but as the day progressed the sun shone and made for a lovely relaxing day. Ports that I docked at, were;Sirmione,Manerba, Portese, Salo, Gardone, Fasone,Maderno,Bogliaco,Gargnano, Campione, Malcesine and Limone.

I disembarked at Limone, 1) to get my sea legs back and 2) to have a spot of lunch overlooking the lake. Limone is home of the Lemon & Limoncello...and is extremely pretty.

After an amble around the town and a late lunch I boarded the catamaran back down to Desenzano for the train ride back to Verona.
An extremely restful day, and a fabulous way to see the variety that lake Garda offers.