24.08

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‘Has everything gone back to normal now?’…

is the question I’m being asked most often these days. ‘How does it feel being a wife?’ is probably the next most frequently asked, with ‘has coming down from all the excitement been tricky?’  following in closely behind. And the answers to all three? Yes, yes, and oh my GOODNESS yes!

The return to normality has been a strange one, if I’m honest. I told you before that it feels as though everything and nothing has changed, and over a month in it remains true. I look at Jason and still see the same constant, steady source of happiness and love and inspiration and joy that he’s been to me for the last six years. We still stay in and watch television or read books and cook dinner together most weekday evenings, and have friends and family over for wine and dinners cooked outside on the grill at the weekends. We still say hasty ‘hi and goodbyes!’ as he arrives home just as I’m heading out of the door to exercise classes, trade off who gets the dog most during one week or the next, and still bicker about really super important issues like ‘you forgot to hang out your towel to dry again’, and ‘for the love of God please put that damn electric drill up into the loft where it belongs’.

But normality has this new resonance now. It feels…deeper, maybe? More profound, more secure? I’m not sure there’s even a word capable of expressing it. I keep glancing over at Jason and catching sight of his wedding band, and the mental picture of placing that band on his finger in front of the people we love most in the world last month comes dancing into my mind, and then I’m beaming like a fool in the middle of Waitrose or sat in the meeting room at his offices or wherever we both happen to be at the time. It’s magic.

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True normality is coming back slowly, and though at first I was reluctant to say goodbye to the few weeks of fizzy excitement that surrounded the wedding, coming back to our regular routines now feels lovely in its own way.

Being back in London last week felt like the final step in returning to regular life. Running for trains, spotting mice in the Underground, lugging round bags full of cameras and spare batteries and memory cards and chargers, getting blisters on my feet from walking walking walking all day long- it felt cathartic, in its own funny, tiresome sort of way.

I’d headed over to Shoreditch for a day of working and brainstorming and taking photos, and just generally having a long awaited catch up with my love Tania. We’d not seen each other since the wedding, and had so very much to tell one another that the afternoon ended up being not quite as productive as we’d envisaged…

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What did get done though, in our characteristically diligent style, was the eating of some outstandingly good food. I’d picked up some bread and coffee on my way through to Tania’s, and was met by the sight of cookies being placed into a hot oven to bake, and the promise of courgette and potato rostis with poached eggs for lunch. What can I say- my friends are just the greatest! ;)

We sat about chatting whilst eating cookie batter off wooden spoons, then faffed about taking so many photos of our poached eggs and their runny yolks that they’d turned stone cold by the time we actually picked up our knives and forks.

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Since cookies and tea weren’t quite sweet enough for our sweet teeth, we decided to go for a  wander through Borough market in search of gelato. Despite not having the first idea where to find good gelato around Borough market, we happily stumbled upon 3BIS Gelateria, just next to Neal’s Yard Dairy. It was a little overpriced, as is to be expected of all food and drink at Borough market, but absolutely delicious and with plenty of special diet options, too. I chose the soy pistachio gelato (not because it was soy especially, but because you can never go wrong with pistachio), and it was so creamy you’d never for a second guess it was made from something other than cow’s milk.

Worth a visit, if you ever happen to be in the Borough market area and find yourself in need of a second lunchtime dessert…

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What I wore ::
Cardigan
Blouse
Jeans
Handbag
Shoes
Necklace

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Posted in DAY TRIPS, LONDON, WORN

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23.07

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On grey July days, when the weather just won’t play ball and you’re on the most exciting countdown of your life, there’s nothing else to do but have a ‘favourites’ day. Don your favourite top and your comfiest jeans and your old faithful Birkenstocks, leave your hair scruffy, and head into London armed with a camera and an appetite for sweet stuff.

Violet cafe is always a safe bet on favourite days. The cake is unfailingly fantastic, and the iced coffee’s pretty great too. Through a very arduous process of testing and trialling, we’ve found that the  spelt cake with cherries and the salted caramel rum cake (I can’t remember the full name, but you’ll know it when you see it), are without doubt outstanding. Oh, and the buttermilk banana loaf hits the spot too. As you an imagine, testing was hard work! ;)

Once cake’s been consumed (and a few other admin-stops have been made along the way), Liberty’s is the next and best place to visit on ‘favourite’ days. Fragrance testing in Diptyque, photo-snapping outside the flower department (don’t they always have the most incredible blooms?), colour-swatching in the cosmetics hall- it’s a total haven! And a bank balance-damaging haven it is too…

What does a ‘favourite’ day look like for you?

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Posted in CAKE, FLOWERS, LONDON

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27.06

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^^ Stripes forever, even on my feet. ^^

I stumbled across a beautiful corner of London I’d never even heard of before, on my way to Pimlico Road last week- Orange Square. It sits tucked away just behind its big sister Sloane Square, and is a haven of elegant boutiques and abundant flower shops and the sort of townhouses that have you swooning right there on the pavements.

It’s these sort of moments- coming across beautiful spots in London I’ve never knew existed before, that make me love the city so very much. I’ve been in London at least once a week for the best part of a year now, and it makes me happier than I’ll ever be able to express. The bustle, the noise, the tangle of streets that I’m getting more familiar with on each and every visit, the juxtaposing of old and new buildings- it’s as soothing to me as I know trips to the countryside are to city-dwellers.

And you know what I’m learning is the fundamental key to a good day in London? A great pair of shoes. Not hitting the shops post-payday, or a cup of the best hot chocolate, or the sun shining non-stop all day (though all these are pretty fundamental too, if you ask me), but a pair of shoes that won’t rub even after hours and hours of walking. Because aren’t days in London always surprisingly taxing, and don’t they always involve so much more trekking than you’d expect?

I paced almost 8 kilometres during this particular visit, and came away without even a hint of a blister. I like to think of how demanding London is on our legs as the Universe’s way of saying ‘Go on Rosie, have that afternoon slice of cake as well as the burger you ate for lunch. You’ve earnt it.’

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What I wore ::
Shirt – GAP
Skirt – Topshop
Scarf – Ted Baker (similar)
Shoes – c/o French Sole
Bag – Mulberry

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Posted in LONDON, WORN

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21.06

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There’s been a lot of buzz around No .11 Pimlico Road recently, and I can see why…

My sister and I had had this past Thursday booked in as a ‘post-exams, almost-wedding, any-old-excuse-will-do’ London day for easily six weeks. We each had a shopping list of odds and ends to pick up (mine all wedding themed, naturally, and Cesca’s prom-centric), and, aside from a fun event with Bailey Nelson & Astrid and Miyu in the evening, had cleared the decks for a day of quality sister time. So naturally, you can imagine how quickly I jumped at the opportunity, when it landed in my inbox, for us to head to No . 11 for lunch and see what’s been causing all this buzz!

Here’s the full story…

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The restaurant is only a minute’s walk from Sloane Square, and is a total dreamboat. Even my little sister, never normally one to note these things (I’ve told you before how totally different we are on pretty much everything!), commented on how beautifully styled the restaurant is. I’ve never been more proud of her, truly ;) The space is airy and bright- high ceilings, big windows, and so much space between the (marble-topped, be still my heart…) tables you’ll almost forget you’re in London!

We kicked off lunch with a couple of cocktails- peach bellini with champagne for Francesca, and an elderflower and earl grey gin fizz for me. I’ve got to give it to her, Cesca out-ordered me here. The gin fizz was delicious, but I always forget how fantastic a really well made bellini is. And, speaking of which, watching the barman whip up our drinks was mesmerising. I think in my next life, I’d like to train as one of those bar(wo)men who do all the juggling and spinning and throwing whilst they make cocktails. Can you even imagine how popular you’d be at parties? And can you even imagine how dreadful I’d be at it now, given that I drop my phone so frequently I have to have the world’s ugliest case on it, and have yet to master the art of not screaming whilst attempting to catch things?

Anyway, I digress…

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^^ Isn’t the bar itself just beautiful? Forget #IHaveThisThingWithFloors, for me it’s #IHaveThisThingWithBars. I never fail to take dozens of photos every time I’m in one. Anyone would think I was a big drinker, judging by my camera roll! ^^

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The struggle came when deciding what to opt for for our mains. Should we go ricotta and sage gnudi, or lamb shank? Burgers, or burrata? In the end, we settled on the chicken and chorizo schnitzel, the cod with lentils and toasted almonds, plus a couple of sides to boot (one saintly, one sinful).

Now, the schnitzel and remoulade (and fries!) all were nice, but I can’t speak too much for them because I was too busy diving face first into the miniature tub-full of truffle macaroni cheese pictured just below. I mean, would you just look at it? I’d forgotten what a total dream macaroni cheese is, and combined with truffle? Killer.

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The real star of the meal though was this cod. I kind of want to direct everyone I know to No . 11, and force them to order the cod just so they can taste how great it is for themselves! The fish was so incredibly tender, topped off with a salty pesto, toasted flaked almonds, and then set on a bed of simple, softly cooked vegetable-y lentils. It tasted like it’d come straight from some sun-soaked Mediterranean kitchen, and I absolutely adored it. You absolutely must order it, if you go!

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Finally, came dessert. It was pretty hard to choose between all the options (Pannacotta! Crumble! Raspberry possett!) but eventually, we opted for rhubarb and passionfruit roulade, and the chocolate and salted caramel mousse. And I’ll tell you, that mousse? Mindblowing. And I don’t even like chocolate mousse! It’s light as air, set on a rich brownie base, and topped off with caramel sauce, crushed hazelnuts, and a pinch of flaky sea salt.

The kind of dessert you order to share, and then immediately regret the sharing part of the deal. The kind that has you wishing it was served on a Harry Potter-esque magically refilling plate, and regret the fact that you’ve got wedding and prom dresses to fit into in a few week’s time or else you’d most definitely order a second portion of without even an ounce of shame. That kind.

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So No . 11 Pimlico Road, we loved you!

The food’s excellent, the menu is reasonably priced, service is warm and friendly, and the restaurant itself is just beautiful. I’m itching to go back and sample more of the cocktail menu especially. I think there’s an espresso martini with my name on it…

* Thanks to the No . 11 for our lunch, which was complimentary. As ever (does it go without saying, by now?), the rule I stick to is that if I don’t truly love something, I won’t share it here!

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Posted in FAMILY, LONDON, RESTAURANT, REVIEW

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