Sunday, 30 April 2017

Goodbye April ......Hello May


So April has passed and I hope it has taken the cold weather with it. It feels like we had a glimmer of Spring and Summer during the month, but winter is still clinging on with some cold snaps. Weather aside, April was lovely and I did get out and about and enjoy some sights in London and spend some time away from my desk. I have shared a few moments recently including Date Night at the Opera,   Wisteria walk in Notting Hill. and a Sunday Stroll in the East End of London.

April also saw me take M to his first Rugby Derby game at Wembley, which was on one of those days when we were blessed with glorious sunshine. We had a fantastic time and I am thrilled to see that saracens are on course to appear at both UK and European cup final's for the 2nd consecutive season. Alas won't make either as I will be away (more of that to share in May!)
April also housed Easter this year and it allowed me some down time at home, a little time for some crafting and also to cook and bake for a big family dinner.
As you can see April was pretty busy, my instagram feed moved away from the blossom's and daffodils of March and full Spring hues of Tulips, Wisteria and bunches of blousey spring blooms.
Farewell April, you have been gorgeous, here's to an amazing adventure in May.

East London Life...

Last Sunday was spent exploring the markets and lanes of East London - Columbia and Brick Lane are a favourite of mine, especially on a Sunday and having worked around that area 12 years ago I always like to go back occasionally and see what has changed. Having been in Notting Hill the previous week we loved comparing the contrasts between the markets and avenues of West London to the lanes and streets of East.
The side street to Spitalfields and Brick Lane transport you back to an era and age of bygone years and I love the houses with shutters, feels like you are stepping back into an old Victorian jack the ripper novel. Its no surprise that this area is constantly being used for film sets and model shoots.
Columbia Road can be a bit of a squeeze and it always amazes me the number of people that bring buggies and pushchairs into the environment, fortunately even thou it was busy it wasn't horrendous.
There was so many of my favourite flowers there it was hard to choose what to come home with: tulips, peonies, hyacinths, sweet williams or ranunculus. It was a glorious treat of colours and smells and I loved ambling along the market.
A trip to the market and Brick lane is not complete without a stop for cake and a bagel - the legendary Brick lane bagel shop is my favourite; selling hot salt beef bagel's 24hrs a day.
We also sopped at Cake-hole which is a cute cafe selling cake and Monmouth coffee in the back of a vintage china shop which is heaven for me. Blueberry and Apple was my choice and Coffee & Walnut was M's.
We had a fabulous morning walking around Bethnal Green before walking down to Tower Hill and St Katherines dock to cheer on the marathon runners and enjoy a beer in the sunshine.
As you can see I came home with two of my favourite flowers Sweet Peas and Roses, both evoking so many wonderful memories of my Gramps's garden 💜

Saturday, 29 April 2017

From Notting Hill with love....

Notting Hill is one of my favourite places, whether is the eccentricity of the Portebello Road and all its characters to the side streets and squares festooned with pretty colourful houses. The fact that it has featured in some of my favourite books and movies also makes it a huge draw for me and I try to visit every season to explore the side streets and market.
With a day off for both of us last week M and I made an impromptu decision to go to Portebello Road, where I showed him some of my movie favourites.

We spent a couple of hours shopping, drinking coffee and loving the colourful houses.
Instagram is awash with wisteria at the moment and we stumbled on some absolute beauties whilst we were out and about and ended up on a very impromptu wisteria walk between Notting Hill and Holland Park which was an unexpected treat.
By the end of the morning M was beginning to 'get' my obsession and was even pointing out doorways that I might like to photograph.😂
How glorious is all this wisteria?......The pink door & house was my favourite.
After a couple of hours walking and a very patient M I decided to take him to my favourite pub in Kensington road - The Churchill Arms, which is a real old British pub,famed for its love of war memorabilia which festoons the ceiling, rugby and housing one of the best Thai restaurants in London.
We had a mixture of Pad Thai and curry which was delicious and finished off a pretty good day in Notting Hill.




Friday, 28 April 2017

Easter...

As we head into another bank holiday weekend, I thought I would share a few eats, and treats from my Easter. As most of you know I have been following Slimming World for the last 18 months and having achieved my 5 and half stone award the week before Easter, I decided to relax a little over the Easter weekend and enjoy the time with family and friends.

I was lucky enough to have Good Friday off which as I was house sitting for a friend gave me time to catch up on some crafting , series link on TV and baking. I worked the Easter Saturday which allowed me to grab an early coffee in Claridges enjoying the Easter blooms. This is without a doubt my favourite hotel in London and I pop in the Lobby every week to look at the flowers, they are just beautiful.
I then spent Easter Sunday with friends and family, the Easter Bunny did a short hop to my brothers, where chocolate & cupcakes were distributed to my niece and nephew.
I love Easter, its my next favourite to Christmas and usually spend it a friends cooking a huge roast lamb dinner with full on decorations and a big egg hunt.
This year however my friend was away so I volunteered to cook for M and his family. I think he was a little surprised on how big I go with Easter. The boys (21 & 25) seemed to enjoy it and are already talking about what we are doing next year! 😲
I hope that everyone enjoyed their Easter and that you got time to relax with family & loved ones.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Date Night at the Opera

Catching up on blog posts from Easter and April before May arrives and I disappear for 16 days on an epic adventure (more to follow on that!) - I have over the last few months alluded to being back out on the 'dating' scene and although not quite ready to tempt fate and completely spill the beans, I am happy to report that I have met someone and it looks promising!
One such date night on Maundy Thursday involved a lovely pre-theatre dinner at Balthazar in Covent Garden followed by an evening at The Royal Opera House watching Madame Butterfly.
M & I have known each other a little while now and have shared Bucket Lists's of things we would like to do, see and travel. We started working through the lists as friends and things have kind of evolved - the opera was on M's list and I was thrilled that I managed to book tickets for Madame Butterfly at its sell out performance at the ROH - we were in the nose bleed seats but still able to see and hear everything which was lovely. 
I wanted to go somewhere nice for dinner, we had already been to The Ivy Grill at Christmas when we went to the Ballet and as much as we loved it, I wanted to take him somewhere else, with Balthazar in close proximity this was perfect for a dinner. We both opted for the Pea and mint Risotto, followed by the Pork which was delicious. The pork was served with new potatoes, spinach and a medley of mushrooms.With the restaurant offering a pre-theatre 2/3 course menu this is a great way to eat in a nice restaurant without paying huge prices. The service, food and ambience was fantastic with no pressure to hurry you up.
Going straight out after work is always a balance and I am lucky to work somewhere that I can get my hair blow-dried, my nails paited and my make-up done. As you can imagine I took full advantage of this and felt fabulous i my gorgeous winter white DKNY trousers and black top. 
Not a huge Selfie fan but it was a must in the fabulous New York feel bathroom in Balthazar.💖
Date night continued at The Opera which was delightful. I loved that the 'words' were highlighted overhead to your seating areas so it was like watching a real live film with subtitles. On previous opera visits I haven't had this and have had to struggle along a little.
The performances were heartrendingly beautiful by the lead Butterfly and the Captain was a complete Cad. We loved it and started our Easter off perfectly.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

April plans ...

April is upon us and I have a few things planned during the month that I am really looking forward to along with spending some time with family and friends over the Easter period.With the lighter nights and hopefully warmers days I am slowly coming out of hibernation and getting out and about.
I really enjoy Easter and always see it as a kick start to spring and 'newness' so much more than New Year and star writing lists and planning things for the rest of the year.
I am house-sitting for a friend over the Easter period and hope to catch up on some crafting, blogging and a little 'me' time as well as cooking and baking for Easter.
April dates include a local derby day with Saracens at Wembley for the rugby, and an evening in Covent Garden which includes dinner at Balthazar and then Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House.
Covent Garden is already beautifully festooned with flowers and colourful eggs along with a giant bunny.
My local surroundings to work have taken on a colourful spring bloom with the tulips in Hanover square looking particularly pretty amongst the building works of Crossrail and Claridges lobby looking delightful with yellow daffodils and forsythia.
I still have my makelight walk to catch-up on the blogging posts along with some TV treats and a huge adventure that is planned in May.
Hope everyone has a delightful Easter and I look forward to reading and viewing all on blogs & instagram.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Goodbye April ......Hello May


So April has passed and I hope it has taken the cold weather with it. It feels like we had a glimmer of Spring and Summer during the month, but winter is still clinging on with some cold snaps. Weather aside, April was lovely and I did get out and about and enjoy some sights in London and spend some time away from my desk. I have shared a few moments recently including Date Night at the Opera,   Wisteria walk in Notting Hill. and a Sunday Stroll in the East End of London.

April also saw me take M to his first Rugby Derby game at Wembley, which was on one of those days when we were blessed with glorious sunshine. We had a fantastic time and I am thrilled to see that saracens are on course to appear at both UK and European cup final's for the 2nd consecutive season. Alas won't make either as I will be away (more of that to share in May!)
April also housed Easter this year and it allowed me some down time at home, a little time for some crafting and also to cook and bake for a big family dinner.
As you can see April was pretty busy, my instagram feed moved away from the blossom's and daffodils of March and full Spring hues of Tulips, Wisteria and bunches of blousey spring blooms.
Farewell April, you have been gorgeous, here's to an amazing adventure in May.

East London Life...

Last Sunday was spent exploring the markets and lanes of East London - Columbia and Brick Lane are a favourite of mine, especially on a Sunday and having worked around that area 12 years ago I always like to go back occasionally and see what has changed. Having been in Notting Hill the previous week we loved comparing the contrasts between the markets and avenues of West London to the lanes and streets of East.
The side street to Spitalfields and Brick Lane transport you back to an era and age of bygone years and I love the houses with shutters, feels like you are stepping back into an old Victorian jack the ripper novel. Its no surprise that this area is constantly being used for film sets and model shoots.
Columbia Road can be a bit of a squeeze and it always amazes me the number of people that bring buggies and pushchairs into the environment, fortunately even thou it was busy it wasn't horrendous.
There was so many of my favourite flowers there it was hard to choose what to come home with: tulips, peonies, hyacinths, sweet williams or ranunculus. It was a glorious treat of colours and smells and I loved ambling along the market.
A trip to the market and Brick lane is not complete without a stop for cake and a bagel - the legendary Brick lane bagel shop is my favourite; selling hot salt beef bagel's 24hrs a day.
We also sopped at Cake-hole which is a cute cafe selling cake and Monmouth coffee in the back of a vintage china shop which is heaven for me. Blueberry and Apple was my choice and Coffee & Walnut was M's.
We had a fabulous morning walking around Bethnal Green before walking down to Tower Hill and St Katherines dock to cheer on the marathon runners and enjoy a beer in the sunshine.
As you can see I came home with two of my favourite flowers Sweet Peas and Roses, both evoking so many wonderful memories of my Gramps's garden 💜

Saturday, 29 April 2017

From Notting Hill with love....

Notting Hill is one of my favourite places, whether is the eccentricity of the Portebello Road and all its characters to the side streets and squares festooned with pretty colourful houses. The fact that it has featured in some of my favourite books and movies also makes it a huge draw for me and I try to visit every season to explore the side streets and market.
With a day off for both of us last week M and I made an impromptu decision to go to Portebello Road, where I showed him some of my movie favourites.

We spent a couple of hours shopping, drinking coffee and loving the colourful houses.
Instagram is awash with wisteria at the moment and we stumbled on some absolute beauties whilst we were out and about and ended up on a very impromptu wisteria walk between Notting Hill and Holland Park which was an unexpected treat.
By the end of the morning M was beginning to 'get' my obsession and was even pointing out doorways that I might like to photograph.😂
How glorious is all this wisteria?......The pink door & house was my favourite.
After a couple of hours walking and a very patient M I decided to take him to my favourite pub in Kensington road - The Churchill Arms, which is a real old British pub,famed for its love of war memorabilia which festoons the ceiling, rugby and housing one of the best Thai restaurants in London.
We had a mixture of Pad Thai and curry which was delicious and finished off a pretty good day in Notting Hill.




Friday, 28 April 2017

Easter...

As we head into another bank holiday weekend, I thought I would share a few eats, and treats from my Easter. As most of you know I have been following Slimming World for the last 18 months and having achieved my 5 and half stone award the week before Easter, I decided to relax a little over the Easter weekend and enjoy the time with family and friends.

I was lucky enough to have Good Friday off which as I was house sitting for a friend gave me time to catch up on some crafting , series link on TV and baking. I worked the Easter Saturday which allowed me to grab an early coffee in Claridges enjoying the Easter blooms. This is without a doubt my favourite hotel in London and I pop in the Lobby every week to look at the flowers, they are just beautiful.
I then spent Easter Sunday with friends and family, the Easter Bunny did a short hop to my brothers, where chocolate & cupcakes were distributed to my niece and nephew.
I love Easter, its my next favourite to Christmas and usually spend it a friends cooking a huge roast lamb dinner with full on decorations and a big egg hunt.
This year however my friend was away so I volunteered to cook for M and his family. I think he was a little surprised on how big I go with Easter. The boys (21 & 25) seemed to enjoy it and are already talking about what we are doing next year! 😲
I hope that everyone enjoyed their Easter and that you got time to relax with family & loved ones.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Date Night at the Opera

Catching up on blog posts from Easter and April before May arrives and I disappear for 16 days on an epic adventure (more to follow on that!) - I have over the last few months alluded to being back out on the 'dating' scene and although not quite ready to tempt fate and completely spill the beans, I am happy to report that I have met someone and it looks promising!
One such date night on Maundy Thursday involved a lovely pre-theatre dinner at Balthazar in Covent Garden followed by an evening at The Royal Opera House watching Madame Butterfly.
M & I have known each other a little while now and have shared Bucket Lists's of things we would like to do, see and travel. We started working through the lists as friends and things have kind of evolved - the opera was on M's list and I was thrilled that I managed to book tickets for Madame Butterfly at its sell out performance at the ROH - we were in the nose bleed seats but still able to see and hear everything which was lovely. 
I wanted to go somewhere nice for dinner, we had already been to The Ivy Grill at Christmas when we went to the Ballet and as much as we loved it, I wanted to take him somewhere else, with Balthazar in close proximity this was perfect for a dinner. We both opted for the Pea and mint Risotto, followed by the Pork which was delicious. The pork was served with new potatoes, spinach and a medley of mushrooms.With the restaurant offering a pre-theatre 2/3 course menu this is a great way to eat in a nice restaurant without paying huge prices. The service, food and ambience was fantastic with no pressure to hurry you up.
Going straight out after work is always a balance and I am lucky to work somewhere that I can get my hair blow-dried, my nails paited and my make-up done. As you can imagine I took full advantage of this and felt fabulous i my gorgeous winter white DKNY trousers and black top. 
Not a huge Selfie fan but it was a must in the fabulous New York feel bathroom in Balthazar.💖
Date night continued at The Opera which was delightful. I loved that the 'words' were highlighted overhead to your seating areas so it was like watching a real live film with subtitles. On previous opera visits I haven't had this and have had to struggle along a little.
The performances were heartrendingly beautiful by the lead Butterfly and the Captain was a complete Cad. We loved it and started our Easter off perfectly.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

April plans ...

April is upon us and I have a few things planned during the month that I am really looking forward to along with spending some time with family and friends over the Easter period.With the lighter nights and hopefully warmers days I am slowly coming out of hibernation and getting out and about.
I really enjoy Easter and always see it as a kick start to spring and 'newness' so much more than New Year and star writing lists and planning things for the rest of the year.
I am house-sitting for a friend over the Easter period and hope to catch up on some crafting, blogging and a little 'me' time as well as cooking and baking for Easter.
April dates include a local derby day with Saracens at Wembley for the rugby, and an evening in Covent Garden which includes dinner at Balthazar and then Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House.
Covent Garden is already beautifully festooned with flowers and colourful eggs along with a giant bunny.
My local surroundings to work have taken on a colourful spring bloom with the tulips in Hanover square looking particularly pretty amongst the building works of Crossrail and Claridges lobby looking delightful with yellow daffodils and forsythia.
I still have my makelight walk to catch-up on the blogging posts along with some TV treats and a huge adventure that is planned in May.
Hope everyone has a delightful Easter and I look forward to reading and viewing all on blogs & instagram.