Category Archives: Visit

Looking Back: 2015

Happy new year to all! As we head into 2016 we thought we would have a little look back at all the Make, Do and spend activities over the last year…..

sharpen pencils

January 

Getting Organised

blood orange and pistachio cakes

February

Blood orange, almond and Pistachio Cakes and Rhubarb Rum

b outfit 2

March

The Big Clothes swap  & an exclusive interview with Richard III on the day of his burial

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April

A guest Post from our Friend Holly Loves Cake & Those Doughnuts 

bluebells

May

Bluebell Woods

elderflower sugar 1

June

Elderflower Sugar & Mango Frozen Yoghurt 

Positano

July

B & E do Italy, plus Jam Tarts  & Macarons

watermelon cake 5

August 

Watermelon Cake

Nyhavn

September 

B Visited Copenhagen, E made Elderberry Vodka

rolling

October

Pumpkin & Spice Sugar Buns

November

What November?!

grown up hot chocolate

December

Amaretto Hot Chocolate

All best wishes for 2016!

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VISIT: Copenhagen – Part One

Last September I spent an amazing couple of weeks in South Africa with my mum – and we had so much fun (and earned so many flight points) that we figured this holidaying together thing was worth making an annual tradition

So a few weeks ago we headed to the Danish capital of Copenhagen, arriving late Tuesday afternoon and leaving early Friday afternoon

We rented a beautiful apartment in the upmarket town of Hellerup, just a short train/bus journey outside the city centre and close to the beach

I love finding travel recommentations from other bloggers, so always aim to pass on my own experiences in the hope I can in some way return the favour

Here’s a taster of our holiday, in brief…

TUESDAY – evening

Pizza and pasta Park in Hellerup

I love that my mum is the kind of person who is more than happy to shun a posh restaurant to eat pizza on a park bench

And what a pizza – and dish of stuffed pasta – it was!

It was Tripadvisor reviews which led us to Franco Delicatezze – and a mixture of indecision and hunger which led us to order so much food

Eaten in a nearby park, where this couple lying by the pond (photo above) seemed to have moved their duvet from their bed to the grass

WEDNESDAY – morning

Danish pastries and coffee Nyhavn Nyhavn

Our full first day started with a breakfast of muesli and fruit at the apartment, before making our way into the city

After buying open top bus tickets for the day, we found ourselves with 20 minutes to kill and decided this was best spent sampling our first Danish pastries in the sunshine – who knew the coffee would also come with biscuits!

We then hopped across to Nyhavn – a colourful harbourside which was once home to Hans Christian Andersen, but now is a great place to eat, shop and stroll

Kastellet Kastellet The Little Mermaid

Next we took a short bus trip to the edge of what we thought was just a public park, but turned out to be the Kastellet – a fortress in a star shape

It now contains military barracks and offices but is open to the public – I loved the symmetry in some of the buildings

And then we wandered on to Copenhagen’s most famous landmark, The Little Mermaid

She was easy to find – we just followed the trail of other tourists!

WEDNESDAY – afternoon

Lunch at SMK SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark

Another quick hop on/off the tourist bus and we arrived outside the National Gallery of Denmark (aka SMK)

Before taking in just a small proportion of the country’s largest art gallery, we were in need of nourishment so sat down for a smoked ham, fennel and chutney sandwich in the cafe

I was far too excited about pouring my mineral water from a carton rather than a bottle – it’s the little things that please

View from SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark IMG_1463

It really was a stunning day and I loved how relaxed people outside the museum seemed – sipping juices and dangling their feet in the pool outside

We were tempted to join in, but instead headed to the beautiful gardens across the road, which surround Rosenborg Castle

The castle is open to visitors and we took a tour of the wonderfully preserved rooms – our favourite being one full of mirrors, which created an unusual optical illusion – and saw some of the crown jewels

WEDNESDAY – evening

Panto at Tivoli Tivoli by night

Our final destination for the day was somewhere we’d probably been looking forward to visiting the most – Tivoli Gardens

The second oldest amusement park in the world, it’s said to have inspired Disneyland

Arriving while it was still light, we wandered round watching (rather than riding!) the varied mix of rollercoasters and spinning contraptions, before settling down to watch a panto-ballet show on the beautiful peacock stage

After a tasty al fresco dinner at Restaurant Groften, we sought out a home-made icecream cafe and wandered round the park once again, now transformed by thousands of colourful lights

Charming and magical – it’s a must visit

Standby for part two of our Copenhagen adventures… but until then, I’d love to know about your experiences of the city

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Visit: Positano

Positano

On the 25th day of the 5th month of 2015, five friends flew out of rainy London to spend five days enjoying the beautiful town of Positano, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast

I’m starting this post in fairytale style, because that’s sort of how it felt – full of stunning scenery, lovely sunshine and completely stress free

I’d say the holiday could pretty much be divided into – eating, climbing steps, messing about on/in the sea, reading, playing cards, absorbing sunrays

We stayed in a large AirBnB apartment with a seaview veranda, which was pretty close to everything we needed and was owned by an Italian guy who sounded more British than us!

I wanted to share a few photos with you, as well as a few recommendations for things to do an eat – my only regret of the whole holiday was not thinking ahead and hiring a vintage Fiat 500

PositanoPositanoFlowers in PositanoFiat 500 in PositanoWalking in Positano

DO…

  • Hire a pedalo: When we looked back over the holiday, all agreed a big highlight was the hour we spent on the pedalo we hired from an old guy on Spiaggia del Fornillo – it was equal mix sunbathing, taking the slide into the sea, and (perhaps a little cruelly) pedalling away at speed from whoever had just entered the water!
  • Take a boat to Bagni d’Arienzo: For just 8 euros a small boat will take you to and from this private beach, just 5 minutes along the coast, and you’ll secure a sun bed for the day. That’s if the boat doesn’t break down! We ended up taking a water taxi – and pretty much had the beach to ourselves as a result. Sunshine + a good book + cocktails delivered to your sunbed + dips in the sea = bliss. When the skies turned grey, we decided to walk back – and earn our afternoon pizza!
  • Use your legs: Part of Positano’s beauty, is the way the buildings all stack up on each other over the beaches – but this also means lots of steps wherever you go. The locals must all have the most incredibly toned legs. Putting in a little effort to walk to places was definitely worth it though – for example Spiaggia del Fornillo had a much prettier and less crowded beach than the main Spaggia Grande – and the walk to it was a visual joy
  • Meet the locals: On our last night, walking back from dinner, we were attracted by loud music and followed our ears to what seemed to be a party in a hotel car park. A party which seemed to be almost exclusively made up of Italians, who were handing out endless trays of food which seemingly appeared from nowhere. Feeling intrigued but a little like gatecrashers, it was great when the woman manning the drinks table called me over and offered us all a beer, for free – explaining that this was the town’s mayoral election party but of course we were welcome to join in. So we did – even having a dance to the upbeat band (who played our favourite song – see below!) and applauding the candidate, even though we had no idea what he was saying!

Casa e Bottega, Positano Casa e Bottega, Positano

EAT…

Food probably took up 90% of our time – when we weren’t actually eating it, we were thinking about it

And we were so enthusiastic about getting tucked into piles of silky pasta and scoops of creamy gelato… that I barely took any photos of our culinary adventures!

So, in text, here’s our foodie highlights…

  • Casa e Bottega: (pictured above) a homeware store and organic cafe in one, we had breakfast here on our first morning (my fruit, granola and yoghurt was so light and fresh, and I heard satisfied grumbles from those who opted for poached eggs and spinach) I went back for lunch one afternoon when the others were off elsewhere and had the most amazing salad – smoked mozerella, courgetti, sundried tomatoes, yum
  • Da Vincenzo: recommended by the owner of the apartment we stayed in, we ate here on our first evening and were in no way disappointed. The complimentary mini, deep-fried goats cheese calzone we were given was described by more than one of the party as ‘the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth’.
  • Ristorante Saraceno d’Oro: we ate here twice, not only for the incredible food (a place to get great pizza) but for the brilliant atmosphere. We sat outside both evenings and were treated to super friendly service plus the bonus of being entertained by the lively Balkanic Jazz band – we perhaps got a little overexcited when they sang our song of the holiday Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano (you might know it from the film version of The Talented Mr Ripley!)

PS. The catalyst for us taking the holiday was built around my friend Matt being booked to shoot a wedding there – you can see his stunning photos HERE!

PPS. Keep a look out in the next couple of weeks – E has just returned from a different part of Italy and is sure to report back!

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Visit: bluebell Woods

enchanted forestbluebellshidden path

bluebells

bluebells

bluebells

violets

bluebells

enchanted forest

bluebells

It’s been a crazy busy week, one in a long line of a few actually. So one evening after work my friend H and I headed out into the countryside in search of a little magic. We had talked of bluebells for some weeks and H new exactly where to find them. There was a moment when we were both about to duck out, it was blowing a gale and a 99% chance of a downpour at any second but we persevered, and we were lucky to catch the sun for a few minutes on what was otherwise a miserable afternoon. So, here is our visit to the enchanted forest, a 20 minute walk helped lend a lot of perspective. Also on the way home, when it started to rain again I spied a whole and complete double rainbow, the best i’ve ever seen. (No photo sadly, as I was driving on the motorway!) Sometimes we just need to slow the pace, catch our breath and be reminded of the simple beauty life holds.

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Visit: Borough Market

served here

Last weekend C and I headed down for an overnight stay in London. The whole day and a half basically consisted of eating, drinking and hunting down some foodie havens both old and new. Notably we visited La Fromagerie for a cheese based lunch and a nose around their cheese cave, then on to Nopi for dinner. Nopi is one of my favourite restaurants ever but I did get a little over excited with the cocktails on this particular visit, hence no photos. Our last stop on our adventure was breakfast at Borough Market. I called on the help of fellow foodie and regular London market frequenter Holly for a few tips as to where we should visit. With so many amazing things to see and taste I wanted to make sure I didn’t fill up on the first sausage roll I clapped eyes on and Holly pointed us in the right direction for the best coffee in London and, most importantly, life changing doughnuts.

So here’s a little taste of what we saw, and of course, what we ate

somewhere on the northern linelady with flowerswindow sceneflower potspatisseriepatisserievietnamese chicken curryjuicevegmushroomsvegetablesDSC0440flowerscactiflowers

Ok, let’s get down to business. Here’s what we ate:

sausage roll from the ginger pig

A sausage roll from the Ginger pig for C who declared this “a meaty bastard” I was allowed a little bite and can confirm this was the case

salt beef sandwich

A salt beef sandwich on rye from Northfield Kitchen, complete with pickles and nose ticklingly hot mustard. This is a mere half of the sandwich, I could not physically hold and photograph the sandwich in it’s entirety. 1 word, fab-u-lous.

monmouth coffee

Early starts require coffee and at 9.30am on a Saturday morning there was quite a queue forming out of the doors of Monmouth coffee

bread ahead doughnuts

Last but by no means least, I simply had to try a doughnut from Bread Ahead. Holly described them as life changing and I’ve pretty much been dreaming about them ever since. With an array of flavours on offer I had a tough time deciding what to have, eventually opting for Crème Caramel with salted honeycomb. Amazing, though I’m dying to go back and try the cassia and bay offering. Perhaps I’ll have a crack at some of my own.

So here ends out Borough Market adventure, shortly afterwards we were back on our way home to Leicester, Truffle and the sofa for an afternoon nap/food coma.  Perhaps a diet is in order now.

Where’s your favourite spot to eat in London?

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