Farewell weekend!

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The fountains are happy the sun’s out too!

Another weekend has come and gone, so sad it’s back to grey since the weather was beautiful with bright blue skies on Saturday! I think we should have three day weekends, two days go by too fast! This weekend was spent visiting my Grandparents-in-law, wandering the shops nearby, placing an order for a ring, visiting a castle and cafe.

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G-in-law’s roses

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Gladioli at G-in-law’s

I originally wanted to get a ring from Rust as they have some wonderful designs, however I thought I’d take a look at some local independent shops as it’s nice to support local businesses. Especially if they have good customer service like the one I decided to use. I’m also on a lookout for a pretty necklace, I’m thinking something delicate, something cute but if I cant find this cute necklace I’ll go classic and find single diamond or pearl necklace.

After the shops we headed towards a cafe we wanted to try which is based in a castle. It’s a sweet little cafe but we weren’t impressed with some aspects which I’ll do a separate post on. The location was fantastic though as afterwards we had a look around the castle and discovered the underground tunnels. This place would be great for a Halloween party!

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After a quick snap with the lighthouse we strolled over to my G-in-law’s place and was treated to a white magnum ice cream and later a cup of tea served in my favourite china cups. It’s really sweet that they get out my favourite cups just for us. I think they are from the national trust and one cup is covered in roosters and the other blue tits!

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Sunday in London

A few weeks ago we drove to London and parked on the street we used to live in, in West London. We were lucky the weather was great, memories of the summer and Berlin came flooding back.

We went around our usually shopping areas but for food I decided we should try something different as I’ve gone off our usual place due to a change in management. I wanted to try out Mexican food! This is an unusual request from me as I dislike Mexican flavours, which is unfair as I’m basing this on all the El Paso flavourings and packs you get at the supermarket! Ever since I’ve steered clear of Mexican food, actually I wouldn’t say I went out of my way to avoid it, I have just preferred to eat other cuisine.

The main reason for my unusual request for Mexican food is due to my addiction to watching Food Network. I caught Tomasina Miers’ cooking programme on it one day and the food looked appetising! So that is my story and reason that I picked Wahaca. If you didn’t know Tomasina won Master Chef in 2005 and opened the first Wahaca restaurant in Covent Garden in 2007. The main branches in central London are located in Soho, Canary Wharf and the newest one is in Charlotte Street. Take-away orders are available at this one, plus they have a breakfast menu, sell “hard to find” Mexican ingredients, as well as their own-brand sauces!

Top left: black bean tostadas.  Centre: broad bean quesadilla. Centre left: new potato taquito.

We arrived around 2pm and had to wait for a table. Before deciding to wait I did ask how long the waiting time would be. The waiter said 5 minutes, it was more like 15 minutes, not too bad I suppose. We were given a contraption that worked as a buzzer to inform you when you’re table is free, much like a pager but this lit up and vibrated. The waiting area was the bar and I guess it makes sense to them to get us to buy drinks while we wait. After being seated I found the noise of the bar too loud at times (blender noise I think), but I guess that’s what you get being in an open planned space.

Top-Bottom: pork pibil tacos, Wahaca slaw.chicken, tinga tacos.

We weren’t too sure what to order so we went with the Wahaca selection which is a set menu of their favourite dishes. It consisted of 3 pork pibil tacos, 1 large broad bean quesadilla, 3 chicken tinga tacos, 2 black bean tostadas, 2 new potato taquitos and Wahaca slaw. This cost £19.95 for the both of us (not per head).

The food was good, the flavours were fresh and spicy but the food we ordered can feel a bit samey in terms of ingredients (tomatoes, onion and sour cream). We both favoured the the pork pibil tacos as it was spicy, tender and sweet. The blandest was the broad bean quesadilla, the texture was like mashed potato with a bit of cheese, sandwiched together with a tortilla wrap and grilled, it was quite dry.

It was a nice experience and I can now say I don’t dislike Mexican food, it still wouldn’t be my first choice – I prefer Asian and South Asian flavours more.

I’ll end this with a few pictures of other things we got up to:

Beyond Retro

Yayoi Kusama at Selfridges

Scoop, my favourite Gelato place in London!

Re-fueling at the Garage

On Saturday after a wander around the usual shops and library we decided to take a rest and have a bite at the Garage Lounge coffee and cake shop (but it isn’t just that, they offer a range of cooked food too). I was more interested in the cakes as we had already eaten lunch, plus I had heard that the ambiance was better than the cooked food so that put me off eating a full meal there a little. I did however take a good look at what they offered on the menu but nothing really stood out. The only things that appealed were the cakes and their french toast that was on their breakfast menu (starts at 7am, it didn’t have an end time so I presume it’s served all day). The name is unusual but it’s named after the previous establishment, a garage. Not the most flattering word in my opinion but at least it doesn’t look like a dirty old garage!

I have driven past this place since it opened in March this year but never got the chance to try it out until this weekend. I love the decor and how it has been styled with vintage finds, they did a good job in making the place elegant but not too intimidating for the area and ordinary folk like me!

We arrived around 2pm and the place was rather full but still had a few tables inside (right at the back, quite squished in) and some outside down the side road, but the atmosphere was lacking, so as soon as one of the tables that was facing the main road was free we nabbed it. Although it’s a busy main road I was not put off by it too much.

After looking at the display Bf ordered at the counter while I sat outside. They display the actual food for customers to see what’s on offer, it’s interesting and eye-catching but after a few hours I imagine the food being less appetising. We ordered Moulin Rouge cake (which is essentially a fresh strawberry cream cake, probably a génoise butterless sponge as it was very light), an espresso and lemonade fruit juice. The food came fairly promptly and I got stuck in! I definitely enjoyed the cake, it was served on a plywood board with a sheet of parchment paper. It came with extra strawberries on the side with a dollop of fresh cream and what balanced if for me was the white chocolate that encased the cake, it gave the cake some sweetness which complimented the cream and sponge. The cream layers in the cake was coloured pink, by fresh strawberries I presume.  The size was adequate and because we had lunch just before I was able to let bf share it with me. If on the other hand I hadn’t eaten I would most definitely be able to finish this myself with satisfaction.

The juice was a little peculiar as it didn’t taste of lemonade at all, in fact I couldn’t taste any lemon, it had a little bit of a fizz and had flavours of apple?!? Maybe they served us the wrong drink? The espresso was good, nothing special, though we particularly liked that it was served on a mismatched ornate saucer.

The food came to just under £10 at £9. The cake was £4.50 which is quite pricey I thought, but I guess it did come with some cream and extra strawberries. The espresso was a single shot and was £2, the lemonade was £2.50.

The only thing I disliked was that they only had one toilet! Though seeing this vintage scale in the toilet made me smile, though the smile soon dropped when I stood on it!

I give this place 9/10 for style, 8/10 for the cake, 7/10 for the lunch menu.

The last few days

Things I’ve been up to:
1. Eating:
Bf treated me to this froyo.

Since Berlin I have been addicted to trying out froyo whenever I encounter them! This place is called Fuel and is found in West Quay shopping centre, Southampton. They are under staffed so there was a bit of a back log of orders so we had to wait around for our order. I ordered the froyo with two toppings for £3.45.

Price list.

The taste was different to the ones I had in Berlin, this one had no tang at all so I am guessing it’s loaded with sugar. It’s not bad in taste but if you want something healthy or if you are diabetic don’t bother (though maybe double check with them and ask how much sugar is in it first, I’m just guessing it has a lot in it due to the taste). The lady was generous with the toppings (mango and granola) and it does feel like you’re eating ice cream as it has the sweetness and creaminess.

Cute graphics.

2. Shopping:
Posing outside antique shop, need to get as skinny as her! I’m wearing a wooly dress that I got for my birthday from bf, Clarks jazz shoes, Topshop jersey cardi and Peacock leggings. Shopper is a sample from my fashion buying days.

At the weekend we had plans to have dinner with family in the evening so during the day we thought we’d drive there early and wander around our favourite shopping areas. We did a lot of walking that day so I hope I lost some calories since that evening we were going to stuff our faces with curry! I love curry, my favourite is lamb pathia with plain rice and peshwarini naan. The patita is really spicy and has a nice amount of heat to it. I don’t understand why people order curry that’s not hot and spicy.

Local second hand vinyl shop.

3. Baking:
Lately I’ve not been keen on baking as I’ve been trying to watch my weight, but because I have been watching a LOT of Food Network on Freeview, today I felt like eating some CAKE! I had some walnuts to use up so thought I would bake myself a coffee and walnut cake.

I love the colour of the sponge mixture. The toaster is a new Dualit one that we got from

The finished coffee and walnut cake posing with my aloe vera plant (gift from friend) and orchid. The orchid was given to me at Xmas from a student and it died in January because it got too cold. I’m glad I didn’t throw it away as this summer it started to bloom!