Vienna: Drinks

Whilst we were preparing for our trip to Vienna last year, it quickly became apparent that one thing we could greatly look forward to was some exceptionally good coffee. Adam and I are constantly frustrated by our country’s rubbish attempts at cafe culture (you know, the over-crowded chain cafes, noisy with crying babies and fake coffee-making noises, and the over-frothy burnt milk that is supposed to pass as a coffee) and although we’ve found a few exceptional places in London and in Hitchin, we were excited by the prospect of being able to get a great coffee in lots of places.

Our guide book also offered us temptations in the form of cocktail bars, Gluwein (the yummy mulled wine you can buy at the Christmas markets) and of course, lots of cakes and things to go with them. And we certainly weren’t disappointed either! We spent many an hour just relxing in one of Vienna’s lovely cafes, and were so pleased with the bar we first found that we didn’t bother going anywhere else!

So, here’s my round up of Vienna’s cafes and bars….

The first place anyone usually tells you to go in Vienna is Cafe Sacher. The famous hotel is located right behind the Staatsoper (opera house) and is a mecca for those wanting to try the iconic Sacher Torte. The dense chocolate cake was first created by the hotel’s chef Sacher in 1832, and the original recipe remains a hotel secret (as you’d expect for what they claim is the most famous cake in all the world!). And whilst the cafe is delightfully traditional and ever so proper (mind you choose the smoking or non smoking room as you prefer….not something we are used to any more!) and the cake is nice enough, it’s certainly more about the experience of going rather than the cake being any kind of special. There, I said it. Don’t hate me.

Purists may dislike me for it, but I actually much preferred our visit to Cafe Sperl, another Vienese favourite although a little more hidden away behind the Museum Quarter. The speciality here is Sperlschnitte, a sort of crispy-topped, dense chocolate torte-style brownie….and BOY is it special! The coffee here was perfect too, and I could have happily whiled away the entire day in the decadent surroundings (even if the service there is a little more brusque!).

I’m usually the sort of person who stays glued to their guide book and only ventures into places recommended by it….but that just makes it even more of a pleasure when I find somewhere by myself! Orlando di Castello didn’t need a Trip Advisor rating to draw me in….the huge shiny glass windows fronting onto one of the squares we visited for its Christkindlmarkt, revealed a stunning interior, and we all know I’m driven by appearances! This place is beautiful though…fresh white walls and furniture are accented with pretty red flower bud motifs, and the attractive looking menu was the sort I just like to stare at and then point at random to order. Despite that though, the coffees here were nothing short of amazing….we visited twice and tried several of their specialities (usually involving booze or ice cream…or sometimes both!) and we were wowed by every one.

Cafe Pruckel isn’t too far behind Cafe Sacher in terms of reputation. Right next to the Stadt Park within a gorgeously deco building, this is the sort of cafe that people sit in for hours reading the papers and slowly drinking their way through their long coffees. Despite the informality though, this is a buzzing cafe and the offerings are just delicious. We tried the Schoko Weicher and Topfelstrudel, both of which were deliciously rich and totally dreamy. And whilst I stuck with a (admittedly yummy) standard coffee, Adam went to town with one of their super-boozy, super-naughty coffee specials, which happily set him up for the cold outside!

As I mentioned, we didn’t venture bar-wards too much after finding our favourite place…..we loved the tiny and charming Loos American Bar near the cathedral, but it was far too smokey for us and crammed from early on….and we had great cocktails (and burgers!) on our first night at the late opening bar in the Museum Quarter….but the only place we really settled in was Kruger Bar. You’re asked to leave your coat with the lovely lady at the little foyer kiosk, then if you prefer to sit in the smoking or non smoking room (nicely separated by glass so non-smokers aren’t bother at all!). We were presented with a very comprehensive leather bound cocktail menu and brought yummy nibbles as we settled into our gentlemans’ club style leather arm chairs….and what’s more is that our order even satisfied my cocktail-snob of a fiance! We tried a good few of our favourite classics as well as some of the house specialities, and all were great quality and good value to boot. I’d definitely recommend nesting-in here for a few pre-dinner martinis, or for your post-opera night caps.

Prost!

Ems x

Something from the weekend….guests, burgers and even a bit of sun

Well it was short lived, but I’m glad the sun hung around at least for the weekend. We had a lovely couple of days….

20130409-191250.jpg

On Saturday, and after a walk with the hound, we set off to nearby Letchworth for the little craft fair there and to snoop around the antiques shops. I managed to pick up another bell cloche for my collection, as well as a few more pairs of pretty pastel metal knitting pins and some gorgeous retro glasses, then we made our way home for lunch.

20130409-191319.jpg

After that we had a quick trip into town then had our friend Hannah over for a cuppa and chat, before our overnight guests arrived…..great friends of ours Claire and Matthew came up from London in the afternoon, and got to meet Cooper for the first time as he came to pick them up from the station. He loves having guests and immediately fell in love with them….especially when he was presented with lovely gifts from them! Adam and I also got some gorgeous gifts too….yummy fruit cake and fudge from their trip to Cornwall (the latter of which we have scoffed already!).

20130409-191434.jpg

After a pot of tea and yumming up a victoria sponge, we drove to the nearby Plume of Feathers where we had a delicious meal and lovely ales (rare burgers with bacon and cheese for Adam and I, and rump steaks for the others!). We made  a pledge to go there more often as the food is amazing, and Cooper is welcome there too!

Back at home, Adam mixed us up some great cocktails and we just chatted the evening away….Cooper very much enjoyed cuddling up with our guests for his evening sofa time and it was nice to relax and catch up for a few hours.

20130409-191410.jpg

We were rather naughty again for breakfast on Sunday, scoffing Belgian waffles, pancakes, strawberries, bananas and maple syrup! We walked it off though by snooping around the Sunday car boot sale and having a brief walk through town. Then after a last pot of tea our guests headed back to London….much to Cooper’s disappointment!

The rest of the afternoon was spent loafing about and on a nice walk out with all the dogs….Coops certainly loves being out with his Auntie Piper and Uncle Newton! It was even nice enough to need our sunglasses and for me to leave my gloves off!

20130409-191452.jpg

20130409-191510.jpg

Did you get out and about? I hope you had a great weekend too!

Ems x

Made with love: Lemon Drizzle Cake

Pretty rose pattern, Fine Bone China Trio by Regency of England

Yummy lemon drizzle cake
(served on pretty rose patterned Fine Bone China Trio by Regency of England, for sale on my Etsy shop, £12)

When it came to planning  a surprise Birthday tea party for my Mother-in-Law to be earlier this month, I knew that there just had to be a lemon drizzle cake. Liz often makes an amazing lemon cake, and likes it to be super zingy and full of fresh lemon juice!

So, I set about making the perfect lemon drizzle cake for her…and the results were delicious! Everyone commented on how tasty the cake was, and the texture was pretty perfect. This cake is really moist, and is finished off with a lovely crunch topping. It’s really quick and easy to make, and freezes well too…. which is just as well, as this recipe makes one pretty big cake!

Pretty rose pattern, Fine Bone China Trio by Regency of England

Yummy lemon drizzle cake
(served on pretty rose patterned Fine Bone China Trio by Regency of England, for sale on my Etsy shop, £12)

Ingredients:

  • 200g margarine
  • 350g Organic Golden caster sugar
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp milk
  •  3 lemons
  • 150g granulated sugar

How to make it:

1. Grease and line a deep 9″ diameter round tin, and pre-heat your oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Pop the margarine, caster sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and milk into a large bowl and beat well until it’s all nicely blended.

3. Add the zest of all three lemons, plus the juice from one, and stir in.

4. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, and a skewer comes out of the cake clean.

5. Leave the cake to cool a little whilst you make the topping, by simply mixing the juice of one lemon with the granulated sugar.

6. Now carefully remove the still-warm cake from the tin, and prick little holes in the top with a cocktail stick or fork.

7. Pour over the juice from the third lemon, drizzling as much of the juice into the little holes as you can.

8. Finally, before the cake really cools, pour over the lemon and sugar mix, and allow that to harden into a crunchy topping.

We very much enjoyed a slice with a nice cup of tea! Hope you enjoy it too!

Ems x

Planning the weekend…. London has festival fever!

As London gears up for this forthcoming big games event thing, there seems more than ever going on….. Although I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the prospect of a jam packed London this summer, I am loving the fact that more even than ever, every corner I turn there’s something going on!

Here’s my pick of what’s going on this weekend…..

The London Festival of Architecture is a celebration of the capital’s architecture and architectural talent. Bringing architects and communities together, this year’s theme is ‘The Playful City’,  in response to the impending London 2012 Games. Focussing in different ‘hubs’ all over the city, the festival is this weekend hosting stacks of events in its Fitzrovia hub, with workshops for families, open studios, exhibitions, walking tours and games.

The festival runs until 8th July and you can find a list of events here.

Masterpiece London is one of London’s leading art and antiques fairs, and it’s new home at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, saw 28,000 visitors last year. Dubbed a forum for distinctive design, the fair carefully curates its contributors, offering a huge variety of excellent exhibits including wine, cars, jewellery and decorative arts.

Runs until 4th July, tickets from £20 available here.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is considered London’s leading festival of free outdoor performing arts, and features ground breaking new performances in theatre, dance, and street arts. One production that has caught my attention is ‘Crow’ by Ted Hughes, presented by Handspring Puppet Company (the talent behind the incredible puppetry central to the War Horse stage show).

The show runs until 7th July and tickets are available here from £10. You can see the other events in the festival here.

The London International Festival of Theatre is a biennial event which takes place in theatres, arts venues and sites all over London. Working in often unconventional sites with artists from across the world, the festival seeks to find new ways of seeing the city, and produce theatre which is surprising and stimulating as well as simply entertaining. Amongst this year’s offerings is the ‘Adventure Map’, a limited edition map which promises to take you on adventures across the city, and to reinvent your relationship with it. You’ll need to book a ticket for your ‘Departure’ on dates from 5th July to 22nd August here.

This weekend, London’s new Pleasure Gardens opens with a spectacular ‘grand opening’ featuring pyrotechincs, live music, street art, sideshows, a Ballroom, vintage funfair and stacks of other stuff. Harking back to 200 years ago, when London hosted numerous common spaces known as Pleasure Gardens, this event is set to emulate those meeting places where Londoners could immerse themselves in culture and experience the joys of open air entertainments. This opening event is free to get into and promises to set the benchmark for future events at the venue and start things off with a bang! The opening event is open from 1pm to 11pm on Saturday and 1pm to 10pm on Sunday….just turn up at the Pontoon Docks venue…no need for a ticket!

One of my favourite places in London is closing for refurbishment after this weekend, but Wilton’s Music Hall is not one to go quietly….. This weekend the stunning music hall is preparing for a big overhaul by inviting us to visit and take a tour, as well as enjoying their new bar and lots of cake! It’s your last chance to see this incredible venue until it’s due to re-open again next year once essential repairs are made to the auditorium. Visitors are also being asked to donate cakes to sell, contributing to their ongoing fund raising, as well as writing letters which they will stow away under the floor when it’s lifted up and laid again as part of the work…. what to write?!?!
Come along on Saturday from 5pm – 11pm (7pm talk) or Sunday from 3pm – 6pm (3:30pm talk). It’s free to sit in on one of the talks but you need to book a place here.
Well I know that’ll be enough to keep me busy…. hope you have a wonderful weekend too!
Ems x

Things to see and do this Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend…..

So…. it’s here! The much anticipated Diamond Jubilee weekend…. with two days off to boot! A couple of my cunning plans have been thwarted though….. I thought The Monument would be the best place to get a good view of the river pageant and some awesome photos, but I found out yesterday that it’s closed to the public on Sunday….. and all the tickets have gone for the Jubilee Festival at Battersea….. but there is still lots and lots to do, and I am very much looking forward to getting involved!

Epsom Derby

The Queen will begin her official Diamond Jubilee celebrations by attending the Epsom Derby Day on Saturday. The famous race meeting is one of the oldest and most famous horse races in the world and is one of the most glamorous events in the international racing calendar. The Queen will arrive by carriage, followed by thousands of well dressed spectators.

The Newburgh Quarter Street Party

Back in London, head to the Newburgh Quarter in Carnaby on Saturday for their street party. There will be live music from rockabilly band Carmen Ghia and her Hotrods performing on the bandstand on Ganton Street, with jive dancing from noon. There will also be complimentary strawberries and cream from outdoor tricycles, and a stunning Diamond Jubilee cake by world famous cake specialists Choccywoccydoodah will be cut for everyone to share at 3pm outside their new emporium! The Lomography shop will be hosting a Jubilee themed Lomowalk taking in St James Park and Buckingham Palace, there will be zumba dancing with Marshall Street Leisure Centre, and Peekaboo Vintage will be offering a 20% discount and goodie bags for customers.



Jubilee Jam

To celebrate the Jubilee weekend, Proud Camden are hosting a 4 day festival starting on Saturday, featuring the best of British live music, vintage swap shops, and a retro tea room! The very British knees up offers a jam-packed schedule of live bands and DJs, and is free to get in until 11pm via their guest list.

Big Jubilee Lunch

The Big Lunch is a very simple, but ever so clever idea from the people behind the Eden Project. Their aim is to encourage as many people as possible all over the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in ‘a simple act of community, friendship and fun’. Last year almost two million people took part in The Big Lunch and this year it rather aptly falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations! So on Sunday, as announced by Buckingham Palace, The Big Jubilee Lunch will be a part of the main programme of events to celebrate the Jubilee and it’s not too late to join in! Your Big Lunch can be anything from gathering a few neighbours together in the garden, to a full blown street party with food, music and decorations. I just hope the weather holds!

And speaking of lunch…..

Kettners are celebrating the Jubilee by launching a British Afternoon Tea ‘Fit For a Queen’ in their Pudding Bar. The Afternoon Tea will run for a special launch weekend from the 2nd to the 5th June in honour of the Jubilee, and will continue on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 8th June, 1.30-4.30pm. There is a cream tea at £8, Afternoon Tea at £18.67 and a Champagne Afternoon Tea at £27….. here’s a taster of the menu….. Traditional Finger Sandwiches with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Cucumber, Ham and English Mustard , Egg and Cress…. Homemade Scones with Clotted Cream and Preserves….. Treacle Tart, Chelsea Buns, Trifle and Chocolate Digestive Cake. Yummy!

The Jubilee Floatilla 

This is the big whammy as far as I’m concerned….. I’ve never seen anything like this and I have high hopes (although I am rather gutted to see it’s due to rain on Sunday!). As part of the Jubilee Pageant, The Queen will travel in a flotilla of a thousand boats from all over the UK, the Commonwealth and across the World, measuring an anticipated seven and a half miles from end to end. The event will see the largest fleet of ships to be assembled on the River Thames in 350 years, as part of a royal tradition which dates back to 1533 when Anne Boleyn travelled by boat for her coronation.

Millions of people are expected to gather around the river to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty, as well as the wonderful assortment of sailing ships, steamers, rowing boats, canoes and kayaks….. At the head of the floatilla will be the Port of London Authority boat, Ravensbourne II, followed by my favourite, the Belfry Barge which holds the eight Royal Jubilee Bells forged at the local Whitechapel Bell Foundry (which reminds me, I must get onto a tour there soon…. it’s only around the corner from me!). The last boat will be the Symphony, which will carry the London Philharmonic Orchestra, although there will be several other musical barges along the length of the floatilla, including once which will play James Bond themes as it passes the MI6 building!

Lots of the Thames bridges will be closed to traffic, and some to pedestrians too. In fact, the only bridges one is allow to view from are ticketed, so whilst you can use the rest to cross the river it will be best to view from the river banks where there will be about 40 big screens. Here is the schedule so you can best plan where you want to be…..

  • From Noon – Vessel mustering at Hammersmith, Putney and Wandsworth Bridges
  • 1.30pm – Kayaks launch from Lots Road, Fulham
  • 2.40pm – The official start at Battersea Bridge…. Royal Jubilee Bells start ringing and the floating belfry departs
  • 2.50pm – The Royal boat The Spirit of Chartwell departs Cadogan Pier….. The Queen will board near Albert Bridge
  • 3.00pm – Bells in churches along the riverside ring
  • 3.00pm – The floatilla passes Chelsea Bridge
  • 3.10pm – Vauxhall Bridge
  • 3.25pm – Westminster Bridge
  • 3.30pm – Waterloo Bridge
  • 3.40pm – Blackfriars Bridge
  • 3.45pm – Southwark Bridge
  • 3.50pm – London Bridge
  • 3.55pm – The Honourable Artillery Company fire a 41-gun salute from Tower Hill as the royal barge crosses into the City of London
  • 4.00pm – Tower Bridge
  • 4.30pm – The Queen arrives at President Quay near the entrance of St Katherine’s Dock, to watch the passing pageant
  • 5.30pm – The last vessel in the flotilla passes under Tower Bridge
  • 5.30pm onwards – Boats begin to disperse along the river, with some continuing as far as Greenwich

There’s a great map here to help you plan your day and there is also an iPhone App which will follow the route.

Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace

On Monday, there will be a concert held at Buckingham Palace, featuring a star-studded line-up of performers including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Jessie J, JLS, Kylie Minogue, and Robbie Williams, who will all perform on a spectacular stage built around the Queen Victoria Memorial, right in front of the Palace. The ticket ballot is now closed but you can see it broadcast live on the BBC from 7:30pm  ….. the event concludes with The Queen lighting the National Beacon…..

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons

Also on Monday, over 4000 Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories. You can see lighting times and a map of where they’ll be taking place here.

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning Her Majesty, His Royal Highness, and many Members of The Royal Family, will attend the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee at St Paul’s Cathedral at 10:30am. Afterwards, at 11:30am The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will drive from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Mansion House via St Paul’s Churchyard and Queen Victoria Street, for a reception hosted by The Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Court of Alderman and the Court of Common Council. Other Members of the Royal Family will attend a reception at the Guildhall, given by the City of London along with the full congregation of the St Paul’s Cathedral Service.

After that, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will drive from Mansion House at 12.30pm to Westminster Hall, via Queen Victoria Street, St Paul’s Churchyard, Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, the Strand, Whitehall and Parliament Square. There, a Fanfare will be sounded by the State Trumpeters and a Jubilee Lunch is to be hosted for The Queen by the Livery. And at 2:20pm The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales will depart the Palace of Westminster for Buckingham Palace, in a Carriage Procession. The Queen and Prince Philip will be using the 1902 State Landau, whilst The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Henry, will be travelling in another State Landau.

The procession will depart from New Palace Yard, up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch, along the Mall, and into Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gates at around 2:40pm. There will be personnel from the military services lining the streets, along with military bands and the Sovereign’s Escort, and The King’s Troop will fire a 60 gun salute before the procession arrives to a Guard of Honour in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Then at about 3:30pm, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other Members of The Royal Family will appear on the Balcony for the RAF Flypast and a Feu de Joie from the Forecourt…… a celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by The Queen’s Guard, interspersed with the National Anthem played by the Band of the Irish Guards.

A rather fitting end I think to a wonderful weekend of pomp, bunting and very British fun!

I hope everyone gets to enjoy some of the celebrations wherever they are!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…. An Easter Egg Hunt, lots of yums and plenty of relaxing

What glorious weather for the weekend! I trust you all managed to enjoy it? I certainly did! Here’s how……

It was a quiet night in for us on Friday, with a big fry up supper (the rather shoddy home-made tofu Laksa I’d made the night before had us hankering for something simpler and less healthy!). Apart from cooking and eating, the evening was mainly spent slobbing in front of the TV.  I started the first season on True Blood, which I’m really quite liking other than for Anna Paquin, whom I’ve never liked watching. Still, she seems to be in it a lot so I will have to get over that!

We were up and out at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast of some yummy new coconut yoghurt Adam bought for me. We’d decided we really must go out on The Big Egg Hunt, and it was the perfect day for wandering about town in the warm, snapping photos with the gorgeous blue sky as a backdrop. We took the bus into Covent Garden, and there began our hunt…..

20120326-093619.jpg

Before we’d found any eggs at all, we popped into the London Transport Museum’s shop for a quick browse. It really does have some brilliant gift ideas and some lovely things for the home. After that, we walked through the covered market where we began to find our first few eggs….. a lovely white one covered in sculpted flowers….. a bug furry one covered in brown muppet-like hair….. and this fun and bright one covered in cutesy characters were some of my favourites.

20120326-093644.jpg

Having found all the eggs we could in Covent Garden, we decided to walk towards Soho for some lunch before moving on up to Carnaby Street where there were more eggs to find. On the way, we found that the London Graphic Centre were having a yard sale, from which I picked up some bargainous brushes and great bits for model making…. and back up at Seven Dials we came across this wonderful bead stall where I bought some treasures for my jewellery making.

20120326-093710.jpg

From there we walked down Shaftesbury Avenue to Old Compton Street and stopped off at the wonderful Maoz for their amazing falafel…. for £5.80 you get a yummy pitta filled with falafel, hummus and fried aubergine, plus Belgian fries, a drink, and as much salad as you can manage. Stuffed, we walked through Soho to Carnaby Street for more egg hunting, and then back down to Piccadilly where we failed to find any at all. Still, that part of our adventure wasn’t completely fruitless, as Adam found an amazing Gelateria called Scoop, where we sampled what is probably the best gelato we’ve had in this country…. He chose the Cioccolato Bianco (with cocoa butter and farm fresh raw milk), the Pistacchio (with superior pistachios from Bronte, Sicily) and the Cioccolato Extra Fondente (actually a sorbet, with a blend of Gran Cru extra bitter cocoa). All were incredible, especially considering the latter is dairy free! Next time I think I will try the  Tiramisu’ (with genuine Italian mascarpone cheese, espresso made from single origin coffee beans, acacia honey and Marsala wine from Sicily) and Green Tea (with Matcha from Kyoto).

And speaking of Matcha, I chose bubble tea over gelato for my pudding…. Bubbleology is a must-visit for me when in Soho, and so it was a large Matcha tea with tapioca pearls for me which I guzzled as we walked down Piccadilly on our way to Green Park. I never can pass that way without a quick peak into the Burlington Arcade, and there we happened across another three eggs too (as well as a chance to snoop the windows of the lovely jewellery shops)!

20120326-093719.jpg

By the time we got to Green Park, we were ready for a sit in the sun, rubbing our very full tummies! By then it was warm enough that I could sit without my cardi, exposing my milk white shoulders for the first time this year! The park was full of picnickers and sun bathers, and we also saw our first shirtless man of the season (what is it with that?! it wasn’t THAT warm!).

20120326-093744.jpg

From there we wandered across into St James’s park, where dozens of blossom trees were in bloom, and where all the birds and squirrels were busying about, full of the joys of Spring. We found a few more eggs there as we walked around the pretty lake, before we headed to the end of the Mall and found there the National Police Memorial. Stunningly lit in the afternoon sun, the impressive glass wall is set within a shallow pond which makes it a very peaceful and elegant memorial.

20120326-093859.jpg

20120326-093916.jpg

Having found what were to be our last to eggs of the day, we crossed over to Trafalgar Square to see the new fourth plinth sculpture. ‘Powerless Structures Fig. 101’ by Elmgreen and Dragset is a sculpture of a boy astride a rocking horse…… “We wanted to create a public sculpture which, rather than dealing with topics of victory or defeat, honours the everyday battles of growing up.”

20120326-093947.jpg

And then it was time to head home as we snagged the front seats on the Routemaster! Rather weary from our long day’s wandering, we stopped in at the pub for a half (mine was the lovely Hightgate Bee-Zone honey beer) and at the shop to pick up a light supper. Of chocolate.

The rest of the evening was spent on more lounging, whilst we uploaded our photos from the day. I’ve counted about 31 eggs we found….not bad for one day, but there are still about 170 we’ve not found!

20120326-094006.jpg

We’d decided that Sunday would be a restful day, and so we only ventured out to Waitrose for the week’s supplies. A lot of this ended up being cake as we couldn’t resist the many cheesecakes, gateaux and muffins at the patisserie counter, as well as some more of the wonderful Heston’s Earl Grey and Mandarin hot cross buns! We rewarded ourselves for our shopping trip with a pot of Earl Grey alongside some of our cakes, whilst settling down to the cross word and Sudoku.

20120326-094031.jpg

20120326-094037.jpg

20120326-094043.jpg

It was only a light supper we fancied after our cakes and slouching about, so I made up some fresh salsa to go with some buttered red-skin potatoes and flash fried tuna. It was certainly one of the most delicious suppers I’ve made of late…. the super fresh line-caught tuna was gorgeous cooked very rare and with a little soy sauce.

After that, we settled down to watch Super8, which Adam has just bought on Blur-ay. We’d not seen it since the cinema and so were really excited to watch it again. I absolutely love the retro setting, the awesome music, and the touching story. You must see it if you haven’t already.

And by the time the film had finished we were very much ready for bed….. and so it was a lovely early night to finish up our wonderfully relaxing weekend!

20120326-094050.jpg

It’s nearly here!….. Ideas for your weekend…..

In London this weekend? Here are my recommendations for passing the time in the capital……

A film:

Martha Marcy May Marlene is an eye-opening, thought provoking phycological thriller and well worth a look. You can still see it this weekend at The Everyman Cinemas.

Some shopping:

Shoe hero Manolo Blahnik is back at Liberty this week with a new shop on the second floor of the store. Manolo has collaborated with Richard Nicoll for his spring summer collection, and to mark this year’s Olympic Games he has designed shoes that echo Greek architecture and include metallic medals colours.

An exhibition:

Catch the wonderfully intriguing Miracles and Charms exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, before it ends next week. Actually two exhibitions, ‘Infinitas Gracias: Mexican Miracle Paintings’ and ‘Felicity Powell: A Charmed Life’, it’s free to get in, and you can enjoy a well earned coffee and cake in their Peyton and Burne cafe, or a stroll around their brilliant book shop.

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful weekend…..it’s not far now!

Ems x