Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Best of British...

Unless you have been hiding under a very big rock for the past month and the Queens Jubilee has passed you by,then you wouldn't have failed to notice that the country has gone a little British!...
I for one have loved seeing all the bunting and flags everywhere, because of such an occasion and not because of some political affiliation of for the football!.. As you can imagine London has rolled out the bunting, flags and regalier to its full splendour, and the big yellow shop has got behind everything Britsh!... From its saucy seaside'esque postcard windows, to it's bunting filled atrium and it's Big Britsh Bang shop... Here are just a few pictures from the Big Yellow store, which has gone red,white & blue for the occasion.


A corgi driving union jacked robin reliant!... Big British shop, complete with Coronation glove display.


Complete with a flash mob of corgis....



And finally a few fans from the windows.....







More jubilation posts to come!....

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A walk in the park!...

This morning I met my brother & family on the tube at 8.30 and headed into London and St James Park, where Bruv & Sis in law were running the Bupa 10k run.
This year the route was running the Olympic marathon loop and over 10,000 runners were due to don their trainers to pound the streets of London. With the sun shining it showcased London at its glorious best, however not the most ideal weather for running 10k!.



Kids in tow and leaving mum & dad at the start line we positioned ourselves by the 200m point. As the start and finish were from the same point, this enabled to see them coming through the start and to cheer them on at the finish.
The elite men went through first, with everyone shouting for Mo Farah who has one this event 4 out of the 5 times it has been staged. The challenge then for the organisers was to get the 10,000 runners through the start before the elite runners were heading back to the finish!...



Mo & Arata turned the corner from St James park neck and neck, just as Mo passed us, He kicked into his world famous sprint finish to win the race in 29 minutes & 21 seconds!
31 minutes later Mark & Nicki headed down the Mall to complete their run in 61minutes....



A much needed rest & watering was required, which was perfect in the shade of the parks beautiful chestnut trees.



After a brief rest we walked through the park towards horseguards, just as we were crossing into the square, Mo Farah jogged back past us, which was fantastic for us to see.



A stroll through trafalgar square, a spot of lunch and some fun and laughter in Covent garden followed by an amble along the river finished off a perfect day in the London sunshine.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 20 May 2012

A day of Shoes & Thighs ..part 2

Friday afternoon saw me leaving London and the shoe part of my day behind and heading out to the picturesque hamlet of Hampton Court. Here I met up with friends for an early supper before heading over to The Stoop, home of Harlequins rugby club, and for that evening the hosts of the Amlin Cup Final.
This years final was between two French favourites, Toulon and Biarritz. On reading that Toulon had made the final and it would be on British soil then a ticket was much sought after.... Why?...any chance of seeing the Rugby god that is Jonny Wilkinson on home grown turf is a treat for any rugby fan.
I have been lucky to see JW in a Newcastle shirt, an England shirt and a Toulon shirt and he never fails to disappoint and obviously would encompass my Thigh part of my day!..



Sitting in LV stand ( no not short for Louis Vuitton ) just on the 22yd line I was surrounded by a mix of fans, lots of French, but equally lots of fans of Jonny's just there to see him play.
Having been to a couple of French games, I was prepared for a very different stand experience, lots of noise, some hostility and the inevitable pitch invasion at the end by the winning team. ( a frequent friday night experience in the French league)



As with many cup games, it wasn't filled with flair or try's, both teams utilising their kicking strengths instead, taking no chances or running with the ball!...



Two sin bins from Toulon ramped on the pressure. 18 points from the boot of Jonny, one of which was his infamous 45yd drop kick goal couldn't win Toulon the game as the impressive boot of Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvilli scoring 21pts to take the game.
It was great to see JW back on British soil and even though Toulon lost, he is still a hero to me!....


My friends were sitting in a different part of the stand and whilst I hurried to my seat and I collided with a French man and dropped my bag. The gentleman who helped me pick up my dropped bag was only the gorgeous


David Ginola... And I need to say Ladies ... Infamous for the L'oreal ads.."he's worth it!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A day of shoes & thighs!!!...part 1

As previously blogged Friday saw me head into London for a day of shoes and thighs.... Part 1 of my day was at the Design Museum for the exhibition to celebrate 20 years of the red-soled shoe! of course a retrospective of the works of Christian Louboutin. The exhibition showcases his work from design through to the iconic finished article.



Loubi grew up in the theatres and nightclubs of Paris surrounded by beautiful glamarous women. This inspired some of his iconic designs the cabaret and glamour of the moulin rouge... The red sole inspired by a notice once seen in a beautiful building of a stiletto with a red cross through it, warning ladies not to walk across the flooring with heeled shoes.
Loubi's explanation for the towering heights and design of his shoes is that " he has never met a women who wants shorter legs! "



The exhibition is an homage to CL, featuring a shoe carousel, and a shoe garden (CL trained as a garden designer before reverting back to shoe design). along with his design table & influences ... A hologram movie featuring the burlesque muse Ditta Von Tesse appearing from a sparkly stiletto.



....thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition and is a must for anyone interested in either design or shoes!...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A day in the City....

Just recently I have upgraded my camera and Friday was my first chance to try it out on an indulgent day off in London....
I had two places to be during the day, an afternoon at the Design Museum for the 20 year celebration of Christian Louboutin and then the evening at The Stoop in Twickenham for the Rugby Amlin cup final featuring Toulon and Biarritz. The rest of the day was up to me!
Heading into London I disembarked at Tower Hill, for a stroll past the tower and across my favourite bridge towards Butlers Wharf... I snapped some shots of the beautiful roses just beginning to bloom at the tower, the fragrance was delightful and instantly transported me back to me Gramps's rose garden.



Regardless of how many times I visit the area, I love the way that the landscape is constantly evolving, framed perfectly with the Tower, the Gherkin and now the Shard.... Mixing old with new.



As I crossed the bridge a Hercules helicopter flew over, something we are seeing more frequently on the run up to the Jubilee & Olympics.
The design museum is located along the river at Butlers wharf and nestles amongst the converted warehouses.
This place is great for foodies as it houses two great restaurants. Chop House
and Le pont de la tour
Alongside the river it was great to try different features on my camera...



After visiting the exhibition I headed towards London bridge for a brief visit to Borough market. It was great to wander around and the sights and smells are delicious.



I loved the mushroom stall from Turnips and the macaron & meringues... After all the walking a much needed caffeine fix was required, and where else is there to have coffee in Borough market than at Monmouth, which as usual was q'ing out the door, but so worth the wait!



After a brief rest, I headed to Waterloo to get my train out to Hampton Court where I was meeting friends for dinner before an evening at the rugby...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Afternoon tea with Waitrose...

Wednesday I spent the day at Waitrose Cookery School learning how to make afternoon tea.
I am a little partial to afternoon tea, and what with this being jubilee year, I hope to put my new found knowledge to practise!
This is my fourth visit to this cookery school, and every visit has never disappointed.



Previous visits are detailed here:
Mastering Macaron's
Afternoon with Fiona Cairns
Love to Cook book launch
The day started with coffee & pastries, whilst Eleni (our chef for the day) talked us through what our day would look like.
Pear & spice jam, Scones (plain & fruit), Plum bakewell tart, Apple crumble eclairs, and Coconut & Passionfruit Macaron's were all on the menu for the day!



As well as cooking with the best ingredients you also get to play with the best cooking toys there are!... Eleni demonstrated all the recipes in the chefs theatre before letting us loose at the workstations. With the pear jam bubbling on the hob, and the scones proving, we made the sweet pastry and lined the mini cases to bake blind after resting time in the fridge. The frangipani was made for the bakewells. Constantly throughout the day as well as great demos in the theatre, Eleni & supported by James consistently helped us and talked through the recipes and methods whilst we worked.



After a brief coffee break and homemade peanut butter biscuits (which were delicious) and a chance to browse the multi stacked waitrose book shelves, it was back to baking and Macaron time!..
Coconut Macaron's the Italian meringue method and Passionfruit ganache filling!..delicious..


With the meringues cooling it was time to bake the scones, and bakewells, fill & dip the eclairs and start to assemble the macarons.
The waitrose chefs produced some delicious savouries to accompany our sweets, with a little fizz to finish it off!



The day is full on and by the end of it we were all a little weary but the tea & fizz fortified us.
The team are professional & patient consistently throughout the day and the tips & knowledge shared by the whole team is fantastic. I will definitely be booking another day! It was great to see the team again.
Details of the cookery school can be found here
The box of macarons scored a big hit at work the following day, and the remaining afternoon treats were much enjoyed at home with a cup of tea and my feet up!...



Thanks waitrose for a great day

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Best of British...

Unless you have been hiding under a very big rock for the past month and the Queens Jubilee has passed you by,then you wouldn't have failed to notice that the country has gone a little British!...
I for one have loved seeing all the bunting and flags everywhere, because of such an occasion and not because of some political affiliation of for the football!.. As you can imagine London has rolled out the bunting, flags and regalier to its full splendour, and the big yellow shop has got behind everything Britsh!... From its saucy seaside'esque postcard windows, to it's bunting filled atrium and it's Big Britsh Bang shop... Here are just a few pictures from the Big Yellow store, which has gone red,white & blue for the occasion.


A corgi driving union jacked robin reliant!... Big British shop, complete with Coronation glove display.


Complete with a flash mob of corgis....



And finally a few fans from the windows.....







More jubilation posts to come!....

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A walk in the park!...

This morning I met my brother & family on the tube at 8.30 and headed into London and St James Park, where Bruv & Sis in law were running the Bupa 10k run.
This year the route was running the Olympic marathon loop and over 10,000 runners were due to don their trainers to pound the streets of London. With the sun shining it showcased London at its glorious best, however not the most ideal weather for running 10k!.



Kids in tow and leaving mum & dad at the start line we positioned ourselves by the 200m point. As the start and finish were from the same point, this enabled to see them coming through the start and to cheer them on at the finish.
The elite men went through first, with everyone shouting for Mo Farah who has one this event 4 out of the 5 times it has been staged. The challenge then for the organisers was to get the 10,000 runners through the start before the elite runners were heading back to the finish!...



Mo & Arata turned the corner from St James park neck and neck, just as Mo passed us, He kicked into his world famous sprint finish to win the race in 29 minutes & 21 seconds!
31 minutes later Mark & Nicki headed down the Mall to complete their run in 61minutes....



A much needed rest & watering was required, which was perfect in the shade of the parks beautiful chestnut trees.



After a brief rest we walked through the park towards horseguards, just as we were crossing into the square, Mo Farah jogged back past us, which was fantastic for us to see.



A stroll through trafalgar square, a spot of lunch and some fun and laughter in Covent garden followed by an amble along the river finished off a perfect day in the London sunshine.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 20 May 2012

A day of Shoes & Thighs ..part 2

Friday afternoon saw me leaving London and the shoe part of my day behind and heading out to the picturesque hamlet of Hampton Court. Here I met up with friends for an early supper before heading over to The Stoop, home of Harlequins rugby club, and for that evening the hosts of the Amlin Cup Final.
This years final was between two French favourites, Toulon and Biarritz. On reading that Toulon had made the final and it would be on British soil then a ticket was much sought after.... Why?...any chance of seeing the Rugby god that is Jonny Wilkinson on home grown turf is a treat for any rugby fan.
I have been lucky to see JW in a Newcastle shirt, an England shirt and a Toulon shirt and he never fails to disappoint and obviously would encompass my Thigh part of my day!..



Sitting in LV stand ( no not short for Louis Vuitton ) just on the 22yd line I was surrounded by a mix of fans, lots of French, but equally lots of fans of Jonny's just there to see him play.
Having been to a couple of French games, I was prepared for a very different stand experience, lots of noise, some hostility and the inevitable pitch invasion at the end by the winning team. ( a frequent friday night experience in the French league)



As with many cup games, it wasn't filled with flair or try's, both teams utilising their kicking strengths instead, taking no chances or running with the ball!...



Two sin bins from Toulon ramped on the pressure. 18 points from the boot of Jonny, one of which was his infamous 45yd drop kick goal couldn't win Toulon the game as the impressive boot of Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvilli scoring 21pts to take the game.
It was great to see JW back on British soil and even though Toulon lost, he is still a hero to me!....


My friends were sitting in a different part of the stand and whilst I hurried to my seat and I collided with a French man and dropped my bag. The gentleman who helped me pick up my dropped bag was only the gorgeous


David Ginola... And I need to say Ladies ... Infamous for the L'oreal ads.."he's worth it!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A day of shoes & thighs!!!...part 1

As previously blogged Friday saw me head into London for a day of shoes and thighs.... Part 1 of my day was at the Design Museum for the exhibition to celebrate 20 years of the red-soled shoe! of course a retrospective of the works of Christian Louboutin. The exhibition showcases his work from design through to the iconic finished article.



Loubi grew up in the theatres and nightclubs of Paris surrounded by beautiful glamarous women. This inspired some of his iconic designs the cabaret and glamour of the moulin rouge... The red sole inspired by a notice once seen in a beautiful building of a stiletto with a red cross through it, warning ladies not to walk across the flooring with heeled shoes.
Loubi's explanation for the towering heights and design of his shoes is that " he has never met a women who wants shorter legs! "



The exhibition is an homage to CL, featuring a shoe carousel, and a shoe garden (CL trained as a garden designer before reverting back to shoe design). along with his design table & influences ... A hologram movie featuring the burlesque muse Ditta Von Tesse appearing from a sparkly stiletto.



....thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition and is a must for anyone interested in either design or shoes!...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A day in the City....

Just recently I have upgraded my camera and Friday was my first chance to try it out on an indulgent day off in London....
I had two places to be during the day, an afternoon at the Design Museum for the 20 year celebration of Christian Louboutin and then the evening at The Stoop in Twickenham for the Rugby Amlin cup final featuring Toulon and Biarritz. The rest of the day was up to me!
Heading into London I disembarked at Tower Hill, for a stroll past the tower and across my favourite bridge towards Butlers Wharf... I snapped some shots of the beautiful roses just beginning to bloom at the tower, the fragrance was delightful and instantly transported me back to me Gramps's rose garden.



Regardless of how many times I visit the area, I love the way that the landscape is constantly evolving, framed perfectly with the Tower, the Gherkin and now the Shard.... Mixing old with new.



As I crossed the bridge a Hercules helicopter flew over, something we are seeing more frequently on the run up to the Jubilee & Olympics.
The design museum is located along the river at Butlers wharf and nestles amongst the converted warehouses.
This place is great for foodies as it houses two great restaurants. Chop House
and Le pont de la tour
Alongside the river it was great to try different features on my camera...



After visiting the exhibition I headed towards London bridge for a brief visit to Borough market. It was great to wander around and the sights and smells are delicious.



I loved the mushroom stall from Turnips and the macaron & meringues... After all the walking a much needed caffeine fix was required, and where else is there to have coffee in Borough market than at Monmouth, which as usual was q'ing out the door, but so worth the wait!



After a brief rest, I headed to Waterloo to get my train out to Hampton Court where I was meeting friends for dinner before an evening at the rugby...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Afternoon tea with Waitrose...

Wednesday I spent the day at Waitrose Cookery School learning how to make afternoon tea.
I am a little partial to afternoon tea, and what with this being jubilee year, I hope to put my new found knowledge to practise!
This is my fourth visit to this cookery school, and every visit has never disappointed.



Previous visits are detailed here:
Mastering Macaron's
Afternoon with Fiona Cairns
Love to Cook book launch
The day started with coffee & pastries, whilst Eleni (our chef for the day) talked us through what our day would look like.
Pear & spice jam, Scones (plain & fruit), Plum bakewell tart, Apple crumble eclairs, and Coconut & Passionfruit Macaron's were all on the menu for the day!



As well as cooking with the best ingredients you also get to play with the best cooking toys there are!... Eleni demonstrated all the recipes in the chefs theatre before letting us loose at the workstations. With the pear jam bubbling on the hob, and the scones proving, we made the sweet pastry and lined the mini cases to bake blind after resting time in the fridge. The frangipani was made for the bakewells. Constantly throughout the day as well as great demos in the theatre, Eleni & supported by James consistently helped us and talked through the recipes and methods whilst we worked.



After a brief coffee break and homemade peanut butter biscuits (which were delicious) and a chance to browse the multi stacked waitrose book shelves, it was back to baking and Macaron time!..
Coconut Macaron's the Italian meringue method and Passionfruit ganache filling!..delicious..


With the meringues cooling it was time to bake the scones, and bakewells, fill & dip the eclairs and start to assemble the macarons.
The waitrose chefs produced some delicious savouries to accompany our sweets, with a little fizz to finish it off!



The day is full on and by the end of it we were all a little weary but the tea & fizz fortified us.
The team are professional & patient consistently throughout the day and the tips & knowledge shared by the whole team is fantastic. I will definitely be booking another day! It was great to see the team again.
Details of the cookery school can be found here
The box of macarons scored a big hit at work the following day, and the remaining afternoon treats were much enjoyed at home with a cup of tea and my feet up!...



Thanks waitrose for a great day

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad