I was scrolling through Buzzfeed just before dropping off to sleep sometime around the beginning of last week, and came across this article that supposedly rounds up the best places in the world to grab a hot chocolate. According to the piece, Konditor & Cook’s hot chocolate is up there amongst the best, and I immediately was obsessed with the idea of trying it out. My darling Freya and I had made plans to meet each other for an hour or so sometime near Waterloo on Tuesday lunchtime, and since when I mentioned it (on our billion-messages long WhatsApp thread) Freya was all ‘Oh my GOD I love that place!’, our date was set. Chocolate-lunchtime-winter-park-picnic a-go! {The title needs refining, sure, but that’ll do the job for now…}

I’d spent the morning in London over New Bond Street-way, at French Sole’s Spring Summer 15 press preview. The collection, by the way, is completely amazing- I could easily have snapped up at least twenty different pairs of shoes there and then! A few of my favourites are on my Instagram just here. Once I was finished oohing and aahing at the press preview, I headed back in the direction of Waterloo and met up with Miss Freya on the corner of one road that look like Coronation Street, and another that looked like real old school Victoria London. Just with a few orange traffic cones and temporary barriers added for good measure.


^^ Obsessed with the purple shop-front! Doesn’t it look like something out of Harry Potter? ^^

Nishaantishu-Cider-with-Rosie Konditor-and-Cook-cakes

We met up right inside the bakery, loaded up with sweet stuff (a brownie topped with fudge, salted caramel, and stuffed with chocolate chunks, a slice of Victoria sponge, and a hot chocolate a-piece), and then headed out to a nearby park to eat our chocolate-y picnic. The hot chocolates were good (dark and rich, just sweet enough, and not at all bitter), but maybe not good enough to be rated amongst some of the best in the world if you ask me. The brownie though? That was *totally* amazing.

The sea salt caramel on top is what makes it, of course. Of course! In what instance has salted caramel ever been added to *anything* and not made it more amazing than it was before? It was so insanely rich though that I had to save half and bring it home with me for a home-from-London treat. I know. I’ve become a ‘save the other half for later’ kind of person. Disgusted with myself. 


When Freya and I first sat down to our picnic, a crowd of hopeful pigeons came a-begging. We didn’t want to share, so shooed them away. But since Freya’s cake wasn’t as fresh and tasty as she’d hoped, it turned out that the pigeons were in luck and got to share with us after all! What started out as a bit of regular feeding, turned into Freya getting pretty up close and personal with her pigeon friends. I’ll let the photos do the talking….

^^ This little guy ventured over, but wasn’t a big fan of Victoria Sponge. Or the pigeons, for that matter… ^^


^^ Love the old vs. new street signs. ^^


We spent the remainder of our hour together playing photography (Freya had a new lens with her, which has done nothing to help my craving for a new piece of camera kit!), and also talking about everything from weddings, coats, and hair dye, to whether or not you can catch bird flu from pigeons and how stealthily strong the cocktails were that we’d drunk the previous Saturday. And then, just like that, our hour was up and we parted ways. Freya headed back to her office, I meandered back to Waterloo to catch the next train home, and snacked on little broken-off chunks of brownie the whole way back.

If you’re ever in the Waterloo area, promise me you’ll swing by Konditor & Cook for a brownie and a hot chocolate, okay? And hey, K&C- if you ever fancy opening a Surrey branch…I’ll be first in line on opening day!

What I wore :: Tweed jacket {past season Toast, similar here} || Scarf || Shirt || Trousers {past season Zara, similar here} || Ballet flats || Satchel bag


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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hanging out for this Friday. Like full on counting down the days until I can crash out on the sofa with the biggest mug of hot chocolate I can lay hands on, wearing all my comfiest clothes and eating from a very large bowl of homemade salted butter popcorn. Candles will be burning, and Netflix will be on. I’m envisaging it to be the very essence of winter indulgence ;) This weekend we’re planning to spend a whole lot of time relaxing at home (and also cleaning and tidying, because everything domestic’s fallen distinctly by the wayside this week and the house is looking pretty sorry for itself) and might pop out for a bite to eat on Sunday morning. I hope you’ve got a lovely weekend ahead of you, however you’re planning to spend it! Here’s a little round up of made me most happy this week…

1. A certain caramel topped brownie and amazingly rich hot chocolate.

2. Having Jason as my own personal pharmacist whenever I’m ill. He calls me during the day to remind me it’s time to have a lemsip, because he knows I’ll forget or try and go without. That man missed his calling in life, I swear!

3. Duvet-on-the-sofa time. And the little dog who slept down by my side next to the sofa all day long.

4. Listening to ‘Feel’ by Bombay Bicycle Club on repeat. It’s just SO good!

5. Making plans for Christmas! Though I still have done absolutely zero shopping, and the panic is setting in. This weekend I promise I’ll get cracking! (maybe).

6. Trips to London! I walked past Tiffany’s on New Bond Street on Tuesday, and it looked so beautiful all done up with twinkly lights and Christmas wreaths, it did my heart good. Even though I’m 100% certain it was Underground germs that got me ill and being up and down from London lately has been pretty exhausting, I still can’t do without frequent trips into town.

7. Watching the last of the leaves turn colours and fall.

8. Finding unexpected credit on my Über account. Fist bump for that.

9. Planning our Boxing Day Christmas jumper party! I’ve officially put myself in charge of getting all the ugly jumpers…;)

10. Dinner with the sweet folks at The White Company on Thursday evening! It’s always so fascinating learning what goes on behind the scenes of a brand, and to talk lots about the blogging industry with fellow bloggers. Also, pear and apple crumble!

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Helen’s sweet post about the comfiest looking slippers || Soph’s beautifully honest post about her fears and worries (I related to this SO much!) || & Joanna’s fun fact about cheese!

What’s on your ‘happy list’, for this week?

p.s. Photo taken from a visit to French Sole’s press day on Tuesday. Aren’t those woven leather nude flats on the far right to die for?


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Cider-with-Rosie-tartan-scarf Sunday-country-walk-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Guildford Cider-with-Rosie-country-walk Teddy-working-cocker-spaniel Bronze-ferns Black-long-sleeved-jumper-Cider-with-Rosie Working-cocker-spaniel

Apologies for the radio silence here yesterday! I was in London most of Tuesday morning and early afternoon, and came home that day feeling weirdly exhausted. Turns out though that it wasn’t just a case of the city-blues, but actually a case of that blasted common cold! I am kind of miffed that I had the flu jab for the first time ever a couple of months ago and have so far been sick twice this season, whereas last year I didn’t get ill once! Oh, the irony! So yesterday was spent taking an actual, full-on sick day to knock this thing on the head, though I did have to head out into the chill a couple of times to take Teddy out for a run around. But I did so with a hot water bottle strapped under my coat, so all was well ;)

These photos aren’t from an under-the-duvet sick day, but from last Sunday. It was one of those happy Sundays where we wake up at least an hour later than intended, and head out with the dog  for a walk before making visits to both our family homes. And since we managed to time the day so beautifully, we wound up having lunch at my Mum’s, and dinner at Jason’s Mum’s! If that’s not a great Sunday, I don’t know what is.

p.s. That final shot of Jason and Teddy? My new favourite <3

What I wore :: Jumper || Jeans || Scarf {‘borrowed’ from my Mum last year, similar here} || Boots


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Today, we’re talking steak!

Steak used to be pretty hit and miss, for me. I just couldn’t for the life of me find a way to get it consistent when cooking it at home! I’d take this dark-red, finely marbled dreamboat of a steak, and either make it so rare and bloody inside it was practically still mooing, or totally overcook it and wind up with a shrivelled little hockey puck of a steak. A crime against good beef, I tell you! But since Jason and I take our steak pretty seriously (along with all other food ever), we decided that enough was enough. Time to get on my steak-cooking A-game!

I’ve spent pretty much a year tinkering around with different ways of cooking steak, and now, I think I’ve cracked it! This recipe here is totally foolproof, and never fails to make delicious (and I think pretty darn perfect!) steak!

Let’s get to it…


Let’s get to the nitty-gritty for a second. The steak I like best is Waitrose Hereford beef rump steak, and I always go for the ones with a nice edge of fat on them. Call me gross, but I sort of think it’s the best part ;) Sirloin doesn’t do it for me, rib eye is great but the bone gets in the way, and fillet is lovely but not so flavoursome. Rump is where it’s at! The one photographed here cost about £4, and serving it ‘strip steak’ style makes it magically stretch and serve two people generously. Hello there midweek steak dinners! ;)

So, let’s start with the marinade! In a wide, shallow dish, pour in one part balsamic vinegar to four parts olive oil, and then mix it all together using a sprig of fresh rosemary. Add in a pinch of flaky sea salt and another (smaller) pinch of dried thyme. Crush two large garlic cloves (or more, if you’re a real garlic fiend!) using the back of a knife, and then add them in to the marinade to infuse.

Garlic-and-rosemary-steak-marinade Crushing-garlic Marinading-rump-steak

Put the steak into the marinade, turning it over a couple of times so it gets well coated. I usually leave mine to marinade for about an hour, covered over on the kitchen worktop. That way the steak can come to room temperature whilst the marinade works its flavour-infusing, tenderising magic! If you’re marinading further in advance, cover over and store it in the fridge before bringing it to room temperature ready to cook.

Now, here comes the important stuff. The packet will tell you to cook the steak for 8-12 minutes. This is nonsense, if you ask me! For lovely pink (medium-rare/rare) steak, all it needs is 2 minutes each side, 4 minutes total. Here’s how I like to do it:

- Heat up a large frying pan and add in a knob of butter. Throw in the garlic cloves from the steak marinade to flavour the butter, and then when the butter’s totally melted and begins to sizzle, place the steak carefully into the pan.

- Set a a timer for exactly 4 minutes, and start it the moment the steak goes into the hot pan. Keep the heat under the pan medium, and turn the steak every 30 seconds or so to make sure that the heat distributes evenly.

-  When the timer pings and the 4 minutes is up, immediately transfer the steak to a large sheet of tin foil, and fold the tin foil around it so that it creates a loose but airtight parcel. The steak can now rest and relax and continue to warm through, but won’t overcook. {n.b. If your steak is a particularly skinny one, I’d maybe go 3 minutes total cooking time instead of 4 to keep it pink.}

- Whilst the steak rests (I usually leave mine to rest in the foil parcel for 5, but sometimes up to 10 minutes), finish off assembling any extras. The tastiest spinach ever can by made by pouring the leftover steak marinade into the still-warm pan, then adding in a couple of big handfuls of spinach and a pinch of sea salt and cooking gently until the spinach is totally wilted.


After the steak’s rested for at least 3 or 4 minutes, take it out of the foil and transfer to a chopping board. Cut into 1/2 centimetre slices, drizzle with the juices left in the bottom of the foil, and season with a big pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve with sticky rice, or homemade chips, or green beans, or in a sandwich, and definitely with some of that delicious wilted spinach.


Easy as pie! Do tag me in your photos if you have a go yourself, I’d love to see how you get on! Find me on Twitter: @ciderwithrosieb & on Instagram at ‘ciderwithrosieblog’, but then you knew that already, right? ;)

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