Monday 26 December 2011

Pretty little things

With Christmas just gone by ,this year I treated myself to a little box of these crisp, beautiful baked concoctions known to us as macaroons. Macaroons aren't your usual sweet treat, they are almost impossible to make yourself without years of practise, they were the favoured treat of the likes of Marie Antoinette and maybe most importantly they are incredibly pretty as well as delicately tasty. Laduree has been making them since 1862, arguably at least in England the best place to sample real macaroons, and the experience of going into one of their shops and picking out your own little selection makes it a special occasion even before devouring them. The Laduree shop I went to, located in the old fashioned and charming Burlington Arcade, fits in perfectly with the whole concept of the macaroon being a little luxury, the entire shop gold, with fancily clad staff waiting in their white gloves to fill your very own mint green Laduree box with your desired flavours. Of course the whole point with these macaroons is that you should only have them very occasionally, they are for one pretty pricey but they also need to be savoured and appreciated, they wouldn't quite be as special if they would be equivalent to your favourite chocolate bar, hence why they are perfect for Christmas and birthdays (here's hoping someone will be getting me 20 for my 20th in February). My absolute favourites are vanilla, with its rich butter cream filling, and salted caramel but all of them manage to encapsulate their flavour perfectly and make having each individual macaroon a real experience.
From left: 2x Vanilla, 2x Salted Caramel, Coconut, Pear & Chestnut, Chocolate, Raisin Cinnamon

Candyfloss colours

Thursday 22 December 2011

The Corner Room

No phoneline. No bookings. The Corner room is a well kept secret on London's restaurant scene, a discretely hidden dinning room within the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel that is worth discovering. Thats because at the Corner Room you not only get to enjoy the quirky interior including a staircase that leads to nowhere and a carpet deer head but you also get served Michelin star food for incredibly low prices. No main costs more than £15 and starters as well as desserts hover at the £5 mark yet for this you get to try carefully executed and presented dishes that will challenge your taste buds and will leave you absolutely gopsmacked with the kind of food you are experiencing for these kind of prices. My favourite was the dessert, a japanese spice flavoured granita served with goats curd that had toffee at it's centre and blueberries sprinkled around it, combining sweet, salty, creamy and cold flavours, not your typical kind of dessert but awe inspiringly good! I will definitely return very soon to the Corner room, a gem of a restaurant where every dish leaves you excited and aching to experience more of the menu.
  Green beans with tapernade, almonds and sardines
Beetroot carpachio, sunflower seeds and goats curd
Duck with Black Pudding reduction and spinach
Cured salmon with red cabbage and walnuts (best salmon i have ever had)
After the PJB sandwich at Spuntino my favourite dessert of the year. Amazing.

Monday 19 December 2011

Monday 12 December 2011

Mother of Pearl

I got this beautiful skirt and top (which I have worn back to front here to show off the intricate print and padding at the shoulders) from the Mother of Pearl sample sale that had been on a couple of weekends ago. Each season they collaborate with a different artist which i think is a great way to create unusual prints combined with high quality materials and cuts. This was also the first chance for me to wear my ridiculously fluffy and white coat from Topshop which I have coined my 'Russian princess' coat and it makes wearing extra layers a lot less boring than your run of the mill winter outerwear!

Thursday 8 December 2011

Sunday afternoon wanderings east

Last Sunday I ventured into a part of London that I usually avoid. Shoreditch and Brick Lane have become synonymous with hipsters, warehouse parties and vintage shops and I to be honest have never fully understood the hype behind it all, everyone tries to emulate a particular look and lifestyle, attempting to be unique yet ultimately wearing an almost uniform. However on this visit there I was pleasantly surprised to find a  little street tucked away from Brick lane that isn't clocked up with tourists, brothel creepers and girls with top knots. Redchurch street has quirky little shops, street art  and really nice places to have a good cup of coffee. Me and my friend ended up at Allpress espresso, a kinda coffee shop with a slight 80's vibe (for some reason it reminds a bit of my current film obsession Drive) that not only serves a very good flatwhite,the coffee roast machine in the back showing that these guys really know their stuff, but also what possibly can be described as the most amazing looking scones ever though after having had a big brunch we were way too full to sample one! Allpress espresso and the street as a whole has a laid back and creative vibe that made me glad that I gave this part of town another shot and will definitely see me return in the future even if just to try one of those scones!
Amazing looking scones