26.4.13

FRANCO MANCA, BRIXTON

Franco Manca
Franco Manca is certainly no secret in London, we've been meaning to try it for ages and only got round to doing so recently and now I feel like I have a lot of Franco Manca visits to catch up on. After our visit to the Brixton one I certainly couldn't resist writing about it, the reviews tell no lies when they say its the best pizza in London, seriously. I had the chroizo one - with two kinds of chorizo and creamy mozzarella, the sourdough base is so soft and perfect for tearing apart with your hands, I ate every last bit. I also ordered the organic lemonade, which I really recommend but only if you like ginger! I haven't stopped thinking about this pizza since we visited and my mouth waters every time I do think about it.
Franco Manca
Happy pizza faces!

24.4.13

ETSY OPENING

Cue the trumpets and streamers....I've only gone and opened my Etsy shop!
I feel like I've been dwelling on this idea for far too long now so on Sunday I decided that enough is enough and to just open it (with the idea that I'll analyse it for a week and make tweaks to everything...) but then someone went and bought a card!! My first Esty sale, within one day of opening, without even telling anyone! Chuffed doesn't even cover it (thank you if you are reading).
I'll be selling hand stitched goods, all designed by me and all made with my own fair hands.  I've currently only got a few cards in my shop but the plan is to add new bits as and when I make them to keep it fresh and (supposedly) stress free. I'll do little updates on here to let you know when I've been feeling pretty productive.
Here's a little grab of my shop where you can pop over and have a look at the pictures in better detail, I'll happy take custom orders too so if you have anything in mind then please send me an email.
I know I won't be making my millions from this but I love making cards when I get home from work so I figure why not give selling them a go. If I could just ask for you to bear me in mind when you are looking for a card for that upcoming wedding or your mums/friends/aunts birthday I would very much appreciate it.

22.4.13

STAYING LOCAL

Weekend breakfast
I just wanted to share a few pictures from this weekend, which started off with my new favourite breakfast and a walk to the Camberwell Food and Drink Festival in Camberwell Green. I got a super tasty sausage sandwich which I ate whilst soaking up the sun and then we headed to The Tiger pub for refreshments (Steven got a tasty looking ploughmans!).
The other day I bought a new lens (35mm) so I spent the time at the festival trying it out and getting used to it, fair to say I love it! You can have a look at some more pics over on my Flickr page if you would like to.
CamberwellCamberwellThe Tiger, CamberwellCamberwell
Camberwell
Camberwell
Hope you had a good weekend! 

19.4.13

HEALTHIER EATING

Now that the sun has decided to make an appearance its time that I think about losing this winter jelly around my stomach, I just eat and eat and eat when the weather is cold and the most exercise I get is that weird walk/run thing to the train station in the morning. I've been looking around some of my favourite blogs for inspiration so thought I would share some tasty looking and healthy (ish) recipes I've come across.

One website that I always check for food inspiration is Spoon Fork Bacon. Their recipes look so bloody good, like, all of them, all the time and I always end up reading it just before my lunch which makes my leftovers look pretty miserable. I know that when I'm trying to eat a bit healthier I hate eating foods that are overly healthy and end up making me think of pizza because I will get bored and eat the biggest pizza I've ever seen (with fries). I think it works best for me when I eat foods that are potentially bad for me but made healthy.
I found this Spicy Black Bean Burger on Spoon Fork Bacon's website when routing through their recipe index and although it is one of the standard veggie dishes wherever we seem to go, its that bit nicer making burgers at home. I would love to come home to a spicy black bean burger with some homemade sweet potato fries, I mean salad.


As I was thinking about recipes I had seen floating around on the internet the other day, I found that lovely Christina had linked this beautiful blog on Twitter and low and behold I discovered my new favourite blog. The First Mess is really really inspiring, the photographs, the words, her. I love the sound of the salad Laura posted on Monday, chickpea, spring onion + tuscan kale salad, roasted veggies in salads are my fave and make me feel like its a bit heartier.


This lovely looking frittata from Love and Lemons is definitely a 'working late, can't be bothered to cook' kind of dish. Just add loads of veggies in and have a nice salad on the side, easy peasy!


About a month or so ago, Elsie and Emma posted a simple snack on A Beautiful Mess which I can't get out of my head, these tasty looking parmesan and wasabi edamame beans. Although having parmesan in a recipe isn't exactly healthy, I'm sure it could be substituted for something that is, or you could even just reduce the amount that you put on. I think these would make the perfect snack whilst watching a film on Saturday night, like a healthyish treat snack? Better then that massive bag of crisps I would usually have anyway...!


This chipotle bean chilli with baked eggs from BBC Good Food is definitely one I'd like to make when we have people over, such a simple crowd pleaser and I love bean chilli, actually I love beans full stop, in everything! They are so good for you too, we don't eat meat in our house because Steven is veggie so beans come in handy for all kinds of meals. I'd definitely have to serve this with some home made guacamole and tortilla chips on the side.


Finally, I wanted to share these 'energy balls' from Amanda's blog. They would definitely come in handy in the afternoon at work- when you nearly start nodding off and they're better then reaching for a chocolate digestive! Will definitely have to give these ago, they are packed with some much needed good nutrients.


Hope this was helpful, would love to hear if you have any favourite healthy recipes that will keep me away from pizza!

17.4.13

WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY

William Morris Gallery
At the weekend we travelled to the far end of the Victoria line to visit the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. We made the trip specially to see the David Bailey East End Faces exhibition but didn't quite realise what was in store for us when we arrived.
William Morris Prints
The gallery is situated right on a busy main road but my god is the building a beauty, I can just imagine how beautiful it was when it was first built - with no traffic disturbing the peace. Inside, the rooms are broken up in to different stages of Morris' life with his prints almost subtly everywhere you look- including the carpet! The house is so old and quaint and really well looked after, its currently a finalist for the Art Fund museum of the year award and I can definitely see why. Prior to my visit I knew a tiny bit about William Morris and definitely knew his prints but after visiting I have learnt he is one crafty man to truly admire. I love that he was so good at every craft he turned his hand to, and as I was mooching around I learnt that because he didn't like the way the Victorians printed books, he created his own printing press, of course!
The David Bailey exhibition was pretty small, in a room situated next to the cafe but after being so engrossed in learning about William Morris I nearly forgot to visit it all together! I loved the portrait of Jean Shrimpton casually posing in Bailey's mum and dads hallway, such a beauty.
William Morris Gallery
The grounds at the back of the house are a lovely place to walk around (probably nicer when the sun is shining) and are joined on to a sports hub with a cafe, it would be a great place to take a picnic in summer.

Even if there isn't a special exhibition that takes your fancy, I can't recommend this gallery enough. It is such an inspiring space to learn about Morris and how dedicated to his crafts he really was and unbelievably, its all free. London, I love you!

15.4.13

WEDDING WEARS

Like most people I know, I have a wedding coming up soon and every time I think about what I'm going to wear it makes me panic like crazy so then I try to forget about it, then this happens again in a couple of days and again and again...its a vicious cycle! The wedding I'm attending is in Spain, so don't want to be too hot or too over dressed so I thought I'd try and deal with this by getting a few ideas together of things I could potentially wear. Unfortunately I dont really have the budget for any of the below but it was fun putting together and has made me see that a maxi dress is probably best for a super hot Spanish wedding..maybe. Any tips for what to wear to keep cool for a wedding abroad would be greatly appreciated!


Wedding outfit 1

10.4.13

EXMOUTH ARMS

Exmouth Arms
We're always on the look out for new places to have a tipple in so when I came across a recommendation for the Exmouth Arms somewhere on the internet we had to give it a go.
Exmouth Arms
The pub isn't overly huge but plenty of tables available late afternoon (it started filling up quite rapidly after 5 though). There's plenty of bottled beers to try and a few on tap, I gave the Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier a try and loved the banana flavour it has.
Exmouth Arms
The food menu looked pretty irresistible, so we gave the sliders a go, 3 for £6.50 which were filling and tasty, weren't so keen on the skin on chips though...they tasted a bit too potatoey? But that's certainly not a reason not to go! Its definitely a great pub to have an afternoon drink in, I'd recommend a visit if you're in the area (you can also stop by Gail's bakery which is just next door!)
Easter drink Exmouth Arms

8.4.13

HEBDEN BRIDGE

Hebden Bridge
This weekend I went on a hen do in the beautiful town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. We hired a canal boat for a few hours where we had cocktails in tea cups, played games, had a picnic with scones and proper clotted cream and then all this followed by a night out in Halifax (to a club that had a cobbled road and street lights inside?!).
Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge
The weather was certainly on our side for the weekend and I think I may have even caught a bit of a tan, hopefully this is just the start of the nice weather for this year! We stayed in a house up in the hills of Hebden Bridge where the view was unbelievable, the phone signal - not so much but actually I have to say that I quite enjoyed being disconnected for a couple of days!
Hebden Bridge
Hiring a canal boat is such a fun thing to do, I would highly recommend it if your thinking of things to do for a birthday or hen do. I was quite surprised they let us go off on our own but we only 'bumped' in to the banks a few times so I think we managed ok.
I hope you had a lovely weekend and managed to get out and enjoy the sunshine!

5.4.13

EXHIBITION ROUND UP



After my failed attempt of trying to get in to the London Transport Museum on a Saturday afternoon, I thought it was time that I found some new exhibitions to visit and after doing plenty of research, I have found some corkers! Let's just hope the queues aren't so big for these...

The National Theatre are currently displaying a beaut of an exhibition: Norman Parkinson's Century of Style. I remember seeing some of his fashion work at the ICP in New York and was completely taken in by his style, he was one of the first British photographers to take fashion photography out of the studio and experiment with the opportunities outdoor settings could create. This exhibition covers all aspects of his career, including his portraits and is completely free! It's on until the 12th of May so plenty of time to visit.

Somerset House is fast becoming one of my favourite exhibition spots in London, not only is it a beautiful setting but the exhibitions and events they hold are always top notch.
From the 18th to the 28th of April they are holding Pick Me Up, a graphic arts festival which has loads of good things going on including a talk on how to turn raw data in to striking visual stories and a letterpress workshop! How can you complain at an £8 entry fee or £15 for a festival pass!?
Also, I have to mention that for this weekend and this weekend only Somerset House is holding an exhibition called Crafted, Makers of the Exceptional showing just how dedicated some people are to their craft, lovely.

Dorothy Bohm is one serious lady in the world of photography, not only is she a hugely talented photographer whose skills I've admired for years but she also co-founded The Photographer's Gallery and worked as the Associate Director for 15 years. Proud Chelsea are currently holding an exhibition (co-curated by her daughter) of Bohm's images from sixties London. I haven't visited any of the Proud locations yet so will definitely have to make a visit for this exhibition. It's on until the 28th April and is completely free!

If you haven't been lucky enough to get tickets for the David Bowie exhibition at the V+A then Snap Galleries are currently displaying Masayoshi Sukita: Photographs of David Bowie 1972 to 2002. On display will be images that have been previously unseen alongside classic shots we all know, and if you have got tickets for the show at the V+A, what could be more perfect then having a Bowie filled day?!

A beautiful place to visit in my neck of the woods is the Horniman Museum (blogged briefly here) the views are stunning and the gardens are a lovely place to walk around in the summer (sorry). They are currently holding an exhibition called Rainforest of the Sea until September containing photographs of life in South East Asia's coral triangle. I highly recommend you visit the Horniman Museum, even if you don't come for the exhibitions, its a London gem.

Isn't London an amazing place? All these things right on my door step, how lucky!

3.4.13

NUNHEAD CEMETERY

Nunhead Cemetery
Having lived in Peckham for just over two years I'm a bit embarrassed to say that we only just visited Nunhead Cemetery for the first time on Sunday. Formerly called All Saints Cemetery, it was open in 1840 and is one of the seven great Victorian cemeteries in London. I was quite surprised at how big it is, its huge! Plenty of people use it to walk their dogs and after a good wander around, we found that there is a mix of very old and some relatively new graves.
Nunhead CemeteryNunhead Cemetery
It seems that most of the old head stones are collapsing and have vines growing out of them, after doing some further research, it turns out that the cemetery was nearly full by the turn of the 20th century and therefore neglected by the United Cemetery Company. It is now classed as a woodland and a local nature reserve.
Nunhead Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery
Friends of Nunhead Cemetery formed in the 1980s and have since restored a few graves and look after the grounds. If you are in the area or even local to London, it is well worth a visit, the grounds look so Victorian and beautiful, especially on a cloudy day like when we visited! I'm looking forward to seeing how different it looks in the summer, I bet it has a completely different feel to it.
Nunhead Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery
If you're interested, on the last Sunday of the month at 2.15pm they hold a guided tour of the cemetery which is definitely on my 'to do list'.

There are a few more pictures on my Flickr if you want to have a look.

1.4.13

LONDON

Crikey, I can't believe we are now into April, where does the time go? Seriously though...where does it go?!
March brought plenty of fun and a little bit of change, I got a new job (if you didn't know after the tenth time of mentioning it on here...) and we visited Paris in a day (take me back!). We had family come to visit which brought touristy fun in my favourite city and we ate plenty of delicious food but now I think I must have put about a stone of weight on especially after the amount of Easter chocolate we ate this weekend!
It feels good starting April with a bank holiday, it means I can get organised and get planning for the rest of the month (which will include the opening of my Etsy shop) and hopefully April will bring some much needed warmer weather because the gale blowing outside is really not welcome here, take the hint!
Covent garden, LondonCovent Garden

I spent the long weekend catching up on sleep, TV programmes I had missed, reading, sewing, stuffing my face and occasionally changing out of my pyjamas and venturing outside if I really had to. On Saturday, I had arranged to meet Steven after he finished work so we could go for some drinks so I thought I would make the most of the day in central London by going to the Transport Museum to see the 150 years of the tube exhibition. Hmm...now I read that back I realise what a fool I must sound...attempting to visit a museum in the afternoon, on Easter weekend, in London... Foolishly I turned up to find a queue of about 100 mums and dads all with about 5 kids each waiting in line just to get through the door to the museum. Safe to say I didn't hang around and put Plan B in to action...errmm...wander around until I find fun things to do.
Comic book galleryComic book gallery
I came across Orbital Comics who have a (very) small gallery towards the back of the shop, it was a nice save haven to get away from the masses of tourists and I always love seeing sketches of work before the final pieces, there are so many comics in here too, it was nice to have a wander round somewhere I wouldn't usually go in to.
Nordic Bakery cinnamon bun
I wandered up past Leicester Square and came across the Nordic Bakery, after seeing the delicious looking cakes and pastries in the window I couldn't resist going in to try one of their hot cinnamon buns, which was so bloody good I can't stop thinking about it. I whiled away a fair bit of time in here, its a very peaceful place to sit and gather your thoughts on a Saturday afternoon. After this I ventured up to Liberty to swoon over their fabrics and ended up in John Lewis allowing myself to buy a new embroidery floss (Anchor 257 if you're interested, my favourite for leaves!). I finished the wandering off with a visit to Gelupo (as recommended by Michelle from My Creative) with a blood orange and bitter chocolate cone, which was so creamy and indulgent, I can't wait to go back!
GelupoGelupo
Thankfully the day turned out to be pretty good in the end, still need to face that queue to get in the Transport Museum though!!
Hope you all had a lovely Easter break and ate plenty of chocolate :)
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