03.12

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 B A B Y   I T ‘ S   C O L D   O U T S I D E .

Oh look! It’s that cape again!

I’ll tell you, I’ve been wearing that thing pretty much non-stop lately. And I figured that, since it’s the sort of item that I once would’ve looked at and thought ‘I would have NO idea how to wear that!’, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt for me to break that rules of blogging and feature an item more than once ;)

Totally kidding. You know me and my penchant for wearing the same things over and over! Those leopard flats being a case in point…

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Tania snapped these photos for me partway through last week, right after we’d finished brunch and were having a potter around Parson’s Green.

We stepped out of the cafe and were hit immediately by a gust of wind 100 times brisker than the day’s forecast had predicted, and as our noses turned pinker and pinker in a matter of minutes as we walked along the New King’s Road.

Cold we might have been, yet still, there’s something undeniably lovely and happy-making about London during the winter months.

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Each year I forget how beautiful London looks in the cold, crisp, blue-ish light of winter, and how much I love to visit the city during the festive season.

Though the hustle and bustle of the shopping hotspots never fails to me feel ever so slightly anxious about the state of my own Christmas shopping efforts (this year, non-existant so far…), there’s a sort of hurried energy to the place that’s undeniably infectious.

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I love the lights that criss-cross back and forth between the tall buildings on Regent Street, and the blue and white snowflakes that usually sit high in the trees around Sloane Square.

I love the festive displays in shop windows, and seeing people walking along the streets bundled up in coats carrying a dozen shopping bags, and the sparkly silhouettes of Christmas trees that shine through the front room curtains of the homes that line the streets.

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Cape || Jeans || Flats || Hat

 

I remember being in London just a couple of days before Christmas last year, catching up with the girls just after Tania came back from Australia.

As I travelled across town, it seemed as though every other person making their way through the city was carrying armfuls of wrapped gifts, and dragging heavy suitcases behind them.

It felt like a scene from one of those gloriously cheesy Christmas films that we can’t help but watch each December, and I remember thinking ‘This is it, right here. *This* is Christmas.’

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I’ve always had this strange love for travelling over Christmas season, no doubt born from that most famous of Christmas songs (is Chris Rea singing in your head right now, too?), and I think that’s why that little scene caught my heart in the way it did.

In fact, I’m already starting to get fluttery with excitement about the travelling we’re doing around Christmas time this year!

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How will you be spending your Christmas day, this year? :) My Mum’s hosting this one, and I just can’t wait!

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29.11

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A   L I T T L E   A V O C A D O   N E V E R   H U R T   A N Y B O D Y

There’s no doubting the fact that brunch is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.

By its very nature, it’s all about slowing down. It’s the meal that comes to the rescue when you couldn’t quite make it out of the door early enough to make breakfast, but are far too peckish to wait for lunch.

It’s for lingering over, and savouring, and ordering more dishes than is strictly necessary because hey! It’s two meals in one so why on earth not!

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I stayed up in London with Tania a few nights ago, and together made plans to head out to brunch at Hally’s early the following morning.

But as is the way with these things, we stayed up so late into the night doing yoga in our pyjamas (I can’t quite remember how that came about, but it was fun!), drinking endless cups of tea, and talking about everything and nothing (97% of it in English, 2% in French, and 1% in my own made-up version of French that Tania kept having to remind me wasn’t quite correct…), and so neither of us was feeling especially bright eyed or bushy tailed when alarms went off at 8am…

It seemed that the Gods of Brunch were on our side though, because we hopped in a cab at quarter past eleven, sped over to the New King’s Road, and made it to Hally’s with five minutes to spare before sittings for brunch ended!
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First came a round of juices and coffees- the former made from fresh blends of carrot, apple, cucumber, celery, and ginger juices, and the latter from Monmouth coffee beans.

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Next, to the good stuff.

Was is to be a ‘full English’ or pancakes? Eggs benedict, or florentine?

We decided to share a couple of the menu’s greenest dishes between us- a wedge of avocado toast, and a plate of buttery eggs florentine. We both were toying between the same two dishes, you see, and sharing is caring don’t you know!

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The toast came spread with a layer of tangy tomato chutney, and piled high with chunks of ripe avocado and rocket dressed with chilli and lemon juice.

The chutney was a new twist on avo toast to me, and such a great one! Definitely something I’ll be recreating at home…

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The eggs florentine were pretty fantastic, too!

Buttery hollandaise, perfectly cooked eggs, and lovely irony spinach. In short- heaven on a slice of toast!

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Tania and I lingered over our brunch, chit chatting and Instagramming to our hearts content.

We’d just begun to start eyeing up the baked goods on the counter at the front of the shop (our bellies were rumbling again, you see) when the manager suggested we might like to pop over to Little H, Hally’s little sister cafe across the road!

And seeing as I’m never one to turn down something sweet, and we were promised that Little H serve an array of baked treats, off we went!

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Little H turned out to be just as cute as its older sister, and is well worth a visit.

We came away with a couple of ‘cookies and cream’ smoothies (delicious, and made from all natural ingredients!, and a raspberry and white chocolate brownie that, I promise hand on heart, turned out to be the very best brownie I’ve ever eaten.

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All that, and we were done by half past one.

Three cheers for brunch! And now that it’s Sunday, is it time to do it all over again?

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Posted in BRUNCH, LONDON, RESTAURANT, REVIEW

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10.11

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A U T U M N   F L O W E R S .

What was it I said in my post about wearing how much I love to wear classic cut, slightly masculine pieces- ‘I’ve never been too fond of the whole dress and tights and boots thing on me’?

Well, that still stands as true, but my goodness, there was just something about this particular dress that stole my heart the second I spotted it in store!

I love that the ditsy floral print (usually synonymous with spring and summer) has been made seasonal in a colour palette of rich blues with splashes of red and orange, as well as those beautiful balloon sleeves and the long, drapey neck tie.

It’s the kind of dress that always makes me want to dance around to the tune of something folksy…but isn’t that what getting ready in the morning is designed for? Time for little at-home dance party?

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Being able to chop and change between styles and trends is my favourite thing about fashion…if my own simple tastes could even be labelled as ‘fashion’! Ha!

One minute I’m at my happiest in cuffed skinny jeans and oversized knitwear, the next I’m dreaming of tweed twinsets and elegant shift dresses. (Can you tell I’m still hung up on Alicia Florrick’s wardrobe?)

I love the playfulness of choosing what to wear each day, and how the only rules, really, are the ones we set for ourselves.

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I wore this little 70s-inspired get up during a day in Marylebone last week with Natasha and Kathryn, attending those press events I told you all about yesterday, and just generally eating and chit-chatting our way round town.

I came home tired, but unlike a day spent in jeans or trousers, the dress was so very comfortable to wear I didn’t feel the need to start changing into pyjamas the very second I shut the front door behind me.

And if that’s not the marker of a truly outstanding dress, then I don’t know what is!

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I’ve linked to a few of my favourite floral dresses in the widget below- don’t forget to disable any ad blockers you might have running, if it’s not displaying correctly!

Dress || Brogues

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17.09

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E A S T   M E E T S   W E S T .

If there’s one thing I’m learning, it’s never to question my friends’ taste in restaurants.

Tania and Freya have been raving endlessly to me about Dishoom, and telling tales of its ‘bonkers’ egg naan rolls (Freya’s exact description, I’ll have you know), the famous bottomless Chai, and the restaurant’s beautiful decor.

We’d been trying to make plans to go for months, and so when this past weekend we all were free, in the same country (novel in itself!), *and* had the added bonus of Maja being over from Amsterdam- to Dishoom we finally went!

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We’d spent Friday evening eating macaroni and cheese, drinking wine, and cuddling Molly at Freya’s over in London Fields, then separated off for sleepovers (me at Tania’s, Maja with Freya), before coming back together at Dishoom mid-morning on the Saturday.

The first order of the morning was a round of drinks, including, but not limited to, Chai, coffee, juices, water, and…I’m forgetting something. Oh right- more Chai!

The girls had been horrified when I said I didn’t like Chai, and insisted that I’d like Dishoom’s offering more than the sickly sweet stuff Starbucks pretend is Chai. I was sceptical…

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…but, of course, they were right! It’s creamy without being heavy, and the spices are fragrant and warming.

It was the most perfect thing to drink on a September morning that couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be blustery and grey, or bright and warm.

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^^ The photographer brigade! ^^

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It was almost impossible to choose from the menu, and so in the end, we sort of went for a little of everything and shared between us.

There was ‘Kejriwal’- chilli cheese toast topped with fried eggs- a couple of rounds of the famous egg naan rolls, yoghurt with fruit and homemade granola, and a bowl of the banana and date ‘house porridge’.

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The egg naan was even more delicious as I’d hoped it might be. The runny-yolked eggs sat sandwiched alongside sweet chilli tomato jam and fresh coriander (usually my least favourite herb, but in this it just…worked), and were wrapped up inside a soft, chewy naan.

Even better though was the nutty house-special granola, served alongside vanilla-flecked yoghurt and with a handful of fresh berries and melon on top. I’m not sure if it was the honey on top of the yoghurt or the vanilla seeds within it that made it so special, but it truly was the best I’ve ever had.

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Once we’d finished eating, we lingered over yet another round of Chai, talking about everything from the merits of different areas of London and the housing market in Amsterdam, to our dream travel locations and the eternal struggle of how to store the hundreds of gigantic photo files we all take on a weekly basis!

The sun kept bursting through the clouds overhead, and by the end of the morning, we’d shed our layers and lay back in our armchairs with faces turned skywards.

{What I wore :: That dress, again. It’s on sale now, too…}

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Dishoom? You were worth the wait.

~
Dishoom Shoreditch
7 Boundary Street
London E2 7JE

{The wait for a table can be long, so consider booking!}

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Posted in FRIENDS, LONDON, RESTAURANT

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