16.03

Cider-with-Rosie-countryside

Our weekend began late Friday afternoon, with a mad dash for a train to London we were almost certain we’d miss. Jason and I were heading over to Shoreditch for Tania’s birthday, and between Jason getting stuck in close-of-day Guildford traffic, my trying-on of a thousand different outfits, and our collective inability to get out of the house without 20 minutes of needless faffing, we were running decidedly late. {That sentence there could honestly be the precursor to every single blog post I write, since the running-late routine happens so very frequently. Maybe I should copy and paste?}

We met with up Freya and Adam, Tania (of course!), and some friends, and after a glass or two of champagne at Tania’s flat, the rest of the night was spent at the pretty fabulous Beach Blanket Babylon on Shoreditch High St. It was the most fun evening- cocktails were drunk (a lychee and grape on in particular was my absolute favourite!), french fries were eaten, and dates were put in each of our diaries for a cheese & wine extravaganza at our house in a few weeks time! We chit chatted about road trips we could take this summer, about getting Teddy and Molly together for a dog-date, and about the merits of different burger joints in London {The Lucky Chip is next on our list to try!}. It was exactly the sort of evening that makes my heart happy- great friends, great conversation, all rounded off with a packet of Percy Pigs picked up from the station on our way back home. It’s basically mandatory that every night out in London be finished off with a stop in at M&S for journey-home sweets, don’t you think?

CiderwithRosie-cocker-spaniel Cider-with-Rosie-weekend-dogwalk

Saturday began with a trip to the gym for Jason and a lie-in for me, and panned out to be easily one of the most enjoyably laid-back weekend days we’ve had in a long time. Think Lush baths, chocolate-eating, an 80-20 split of time spent in pyjamas vs. regular clothes, and a US Office marathon. We took Teddy out mid-morning into the woods, and the spent most of the walk trying to keep him from charging after the myriad of pheasants hiding out in the tall grasses at the moment. It’s a job, I can tell you! He spends most of our walks these days with his nose either glued to the floor or twitching in the wind, and goes into a total trance when he catches scent of a pheasant. He went haring off into the undergrowth on a walk last week and with the noise and commotion that followed, I honestly thought he’d managed to catch a live one. The relief I felt when he came charging back out towards me carrying nothing more than a few sprigs of dried fern leaves stuck in his ears was pretty great!

As silly as it seems, it’s not that often that Jason and I actually get out and walk Teddy together these days. I’m up and down from London like a yo-yo at the moment, and Jason often takes Ted to training classes on a Saturday which means we don’t get to go walking together, so getting out all three of us on Saturday was the biggest treat. It’s these quiet moments that make me the absolute happiest, routine though they are. Only downside was that I’d forgotten to make up a flask of hot chocolate to bring out on our walk with us, a la this happy scene here. Next time…
 Anthropologie-teacup-ciderwithrosieMothersday-tulips

And finally, to Sunday! It was, of course, Mother’s Day, so I spent the day at my Mum’s house enjoying a few happy hours of girl time with my Ma and sister. Mum was adamant she didn’t want gifts from us this year, but instead for us to spend the whole day together just hanging out and doing mini at-home spa treatments. And so, apart from a couple of bunches of flowers we couldn’t *not* buy, we obliged! I painted Mum’s nails (and mine too, both in Essie’s Master Plan), we did Sanctuary facemask treatments that made my skin feel like it was being stripped raw but ended up looking totally amazing, and then settled down to watch The Imitation Game whilst working our way through a box of Malteasers.

The day was particularly poignant for us since this year, since Mother’s Day fell on the anniversary of my Grandma’s passing. I kept marvelling to myself all day long about how in that very same house four years previously we’d experienced some of the saddest and hardest moments of our lives, and yet there we were, on a day that could’ve been so very sad for my Mum especially, smiling and laughing and reminiscing about my Grandma without feeling that soul-crushing sadness that stops everything else in its tracks. I know I’ve written before about how the ability of time to heal astounds me, but it’s so very true it bears mentioning once again.

Spending a day with my Mum and Francesca was totally therapeutic. We talked about silly things and the Big Stuff too, we compared our similarities and differences, challenged one another and got into heated debates and sang our new favourite song (Gypsies Tramps + Thieves by Cher) a hundred times, before rounding off the day by cooking a roast dinner that Jason came round and joined us for. It was total heaven.

Cider-with-Rosie-mothers-dayCider-with-Rosie-weekend

 

How did you spend your weekend? I hope it was a lovely one! And here’s to a beautiful, cherry blossom-filled week!

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Posted in FAMILY, WEEKEND

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13.03

Cider-with-Rosie-Friday-happy-list

I’ve managed to work myself into a right old pickle this week, and I’m not too sure how. Wedding plans are coming along just fine, life is good, and yet still I’ve felt this weird low level niggling stress and worry for the past few days. I’ve been waking up worrying, without really knowing what I’m worrying about! It’s been the stupidest week, in that sense, but I’m sure a relaxed weekend will be all that’s needed to feel right as rain again. And maybe some chocolate, because of course. Aside from silly worrying about absolutely nothing, the week has been a pretty beautiful one! I mean, with sunsets like that one above, how could it not be? Here’s what’s made me most happy this week…

1. Finally getting my wedding hair style sorted! I had a second trial this week with a different hair dresser, and she was completely amazing. Now I can finally stop having those stupid anxiety dreams about ending up doing my own hair on the morning of the wedding, and walking down the aisle with Shirley Temple curls!

2. Making my first iced vanilla latte of the year!

3. A sneaky midweek Chinese takeaway. Satay sauce + crispy seaweed forevah.

4. A vinyasa flow class at TriYoga yesterday afternoon. I left feeling so mellow, it was completely dreamy.

5. A lilac manicure that magically lasted the whole week (including several dog walks, four fitness classes, hours of typing away on my laptop, and twenty minutes spent trying to wrestle an anti-worm tablet into the dog’s mouth) with only one tiny chip! A miracle!

6. Jason, for putting up with me being such a grouch all this week. And also my Mum, and my Godmother who I whinged down the phone to one lunchtime, and basically everyone I’ve even made eye contact with during the past few days. It’s just been one of those weeks, you know?

7. Whiling away time looking at houses on Rightmove. Ideally I’d like a period house with enough land for a menagerie of dogs/chickens/any animals that wander my way set down a little country lane somewhere, but that also has great access to local shops and is on a main line to London. Not too much to ask, right? ;)

8. Seeing my wedding dress again on Wednesday evening. I’ve got my final fitting booked now, which is completely terrifying!

9. A post-workout peanut butter protein smoothie! It was so delicious, I’m desperate to recreate it at home.

10. Watching Fortitude! It’s so intense and gripping, we’ve loved the series so far! Though I did have to watch parts of last week’s episode with my hands over my eyes- seriously the most gruesome thing I’ve seen in a long time!

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Sarah’s collection of happy things || Anh’s timelessly classic outfit || + Carrie’s photos from a cosy log cabin in Finland.

What’s made it onto your happy list, for this week? :)

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Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

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12.03

Book-review-Cider-with-Rosie March-reading-list-Cider-with-Rosie

February is a month made for reading, if you ask me. March, less so. With the turn of the season, I’m finding the urge to stay home with a book less and less strong. I want to be out and about, in the fresh air! Looking out for lambs, and blossom, and being followed down country lanes by chirping robins! It’s all very Famous Five, I know.

February’s short, dreary days, weekend days especially, lend themselves to hours and hours of page-turning. Which is probably good, since The Goldfinch has plenty of pages to turn! I finished off Rivers of London not long after mentioning it in my last ‘What I’m reading/Book of the month’ type post, and picked up a couple of new books to read straight away afterwards. The Bee was a recommendation from my lovely friend Kathryn (I’m yet to get started on that one, though Jason’s making headway with it and has pronounced it ‘odd but good!’, and The Goldfinch came up over and over again in the comments of last month’s post!

I’m almost halfway through The Goldfinch now (we’ve not long arrived in Las Vegas, for those who’ve read and understand!) and am finding it such an interesting one to read. Plot-wise, it is pretty slow to progress. It’s full of the most incredibly detailed and vivid sensory descriptions, and at times it almost feels like Donna Tartt is writing merely for the love of her art form. There’s a section near the beginning of the novel that seemed to last an eternity, in which the main character is experiencing a major concussion. I was torn between desperately wanting the story to move forward, and also enjoying how skilfully Tartt has her writing become as fragmented and woozy as the character’s train of thought. Strangely, even though I’m not finding the plot particularly gripping, there’s something compelling about the novel. It’s impossible not to feel pangs of sadness and affection for the lonely figure of Theo, and even an urge to dive in and protect him as he deals with the death of his mother. I’ve found it heart-wrenching at times, even though it’s not written in a particularly emotion-provoking way.

Interestingly though, my Mum and her (fellow English Lit teacher) bookclub friends all absolutely loathed it! I think maybe it’s one of those Marmite books! I can’t say I’m surprised though, since my Mum and I so rarely see eye to eye on books- I think she almost disowned me when I expressed a total dislike of every Jane Austen novel I’ve ever read! ;)

Tell me, what’re you reading at the moment? Are you enjoying it? As with last month’s post, I’d love to pass on my most recently finished read, Rivers of London! I’ll pop it in the post to the first person who shouts in the comments :) It’s a great read, kind of silly and ridiculous but totally enjoyable! (I can only post within the UK, I’m afraid!)

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Posted in READING

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10.03

Cider-with-Rosie-London-

What better way to punctuate an errand-filled day, and to wrap up a rather beautiful, sunshine-filled week, than by having a burger date with friends?

I’m telling you, it felt like spring had well and truly arrived in London on Friday. We woke up to blue skies, and bright light streaming through the bedroom curtains. The sun had the merest hint of warmth to it, for the first time in so many months! I had a little wait for my train on my way into town so spent 10 minutes sat at on the station platform basking in a patch of sunlight, and found myself hoping that my train might be a couple of minutes delayed, just so I could enjoy the warmth on my face a little longer. It was total heaven.

Tania, Freya and I made plans to meet at Byron on The Cut (off the back of Waterloo station) at midday, to catch Freya on her lunch break. That branch of Byron has become something of a staple hangout for us, and I’m not too sure how. I think it’s been a case of ‘right place, right time’ as it’s just happened to be on our path back to the station during one or two evenings out in town over the past couple of years- I’m think especially of the time we drank cocktails in Topolski’s so potent we found ourselves on a mad hunt for carbs at gone 10.30, and everywhere else we tried was shut. It was a carb-crisis, okay? ;)

The burgers at Byron aren’t by any means the best you can find in London (tasty, but missing the je ne sais quoi that the likes of Patty & Bun burgers have by the bucketload)…but the Oreo milkshakes? Now those really are something else. As far as I can see, they’re made basically by just blending Oreos with vanilla ice-cream and milk. As dreamy as you’d imagine. We ordered one for Tania before she’d even arrived, because true friends know each other’s milkshakes orders ;)

Byron-burger-date-Cider-with-Rosie Oreo-milkshake-Byron-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-burger-review

^^ Uhh…I over-ordered. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. Though does that saying still count if you eat it all? I did leave *some* of the bun though, so whatever…^^

I went for the B-Rex- a towering monstrosity of a burger made up of a beef patty (so steak-y and tasty!), melted cheese, BBQ sauce and mayo, bacon, an onion ring, pickles, and jalapeño chilis. For the sake of dignity-when-consuming I had to take out the onion ring before eating, but yep. Ate the lot. For LUNCH. And since it’s now a few days later, I can tell you I didn’t feel hungry again for about 48 hours afterwards…a job well done, I’d say! ;)

Cider-with-Rosie-London-lifestyle-photography

^^ A token portion of fries for the table, plus blue cheese dip of course! ^^

Byron-burger-Cider-with-RosieCider-with-Rosie

What I wore :: Trench coat {on sale right now!} || Shirt || Jeans || Trainers || Handbag || Watch || Bracelet. { and a big shout out to that oversized shirt for hiding my burger baby belly.}

Once we’d finished our meal, and chit chatted about everything from the best beauty salons in London to where we should head for Tan’s birthday this week, we kissed Miss Freya goodbye (she was heading back to the office), and Tania and I moseyed over to the South Bank for a coffee and a wander. I’m going to omit the part where we stopped by Konditor & Cook to buy a brownie each, alright? It’s struck from the record. Never happened…

The South Bank had this amazing feel to it on Friday afternoon, full of people out making the most of the sunshine and taking photographs of the Houses of Parliament and the light on the river and all those other things that make for great Instagram snaps in London. The below photo, of two red balloons tied to a child’s pushchair, was my favourite from the day. And actually, maybe my favourite photo from this year so far!

Balloon-shadows Tania-Cider-with-Rosie

^^ Having shutterbug friends is the greatest, especially ones who not only don’t mind, but actively encourage you to not feel embarrassed about talking to your camera whilst recording video snippets for vlogs! Those kind of friends are the best of the best :) ^^

Beany-Green-SouthBank-Cider-with-Rosie Beany-Green-coffee

Our last pitstop was to Beany Green, a freestanding coffee shop that sits just beneath the Golden Jubilee bridges (outside the SouthBank centre). It serves the most dreamy Australian coffee, so we ordered a couple of flat whites and drank them sitting right underneath the steps of the bridge at a little makeshift bar made out of crates. The coffee was exactly what we needed after such a heavy lunch- strong and not too milky- and helped fix the mid-afternoon slump that hits me every day without fail.

We walked back to Waterloo once we’d finished our coffees, and then spent ten minutes buying bath bombs from Lush in the corner of the station before jumping on to our respective trains home.

It was a totally heavenly way to end the week, and if spring continues on the way it’s begun? Well, I’d be pretty happy with that.

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Posted in BURGERS, FRIENDS, LONDON, RESTAURANT, REVIEW

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