food

5 Ways to improve your morning routine

  1. Bye Bye Broken Sleep 

IMG_6374

This may be unpopular among those of you that love a good lie in, and I do admit I am rather partial, but many health experts suggest that as soon as you wake up in the morning you should actually get up rather than turning over for another snooze. You telling your body to go back to sleep after you’ve woken up in the morning, is no different to waking up in the middle of the night. That broken sleep pattern will only make you feel overtired during the day, so as soon as you wake up give yourself a little time in bed, but then get up – go watch some TV or check your emails and see how much more wide awake you’ll feel.

2. Get Your Lemon On 

IMG_0194

Forget grabbing sugary fruit juice or a coffee on your way out the door – water with lemon is the way to go. Hollistic websites suggest that it can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help clear your skin and can aid in weight loss. Plus – if you don’t leave the lemon in for too long – it tastes pretty nice too. Millie Mackitosh has been quoted saying that she drinks this every morning, so why not give it a go?

3. Pick Yourself a nice 8 Tracks Playlist

IMG_0189

I am an 8 tracks obsessive, ever since my flatmate introduced it to me last year I have probably played over 50 playlists. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the Tumblr of music websites, instead of sharing photos members share playlists with hash tags. So you could search: #folk #indie #nightout #gettingready – whatever you wanted really. My favourite is #morning because it’s full of playlists with exactly the right songs to get me out of bed and in a good mood for the rest of the day. My favourite morning tunes are: On My Way – Rusted Root; Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson; Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds; Put Your Record On – Corrine Bailey Rae; Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 – among many others!

4. Shovel down a half decent breakfast 

img_0077

As I believe I have said before in this post. I LOVE breakfast. It’s easily my favourite meal: toast, cereal, eggs, pancakes, teacakes, yoghurt, porridge – the opportunities are endless and I honestly love nothing more than a long weekend breakfast. Sorry for the cliche, but I’m a big believer that it is indeed “the most important meal of the day”. If I don’t have a good breakfast in the morning, I’m basically a zombie before I have anything to eat that day, and then I crave coffee and bad food. Start your day with egg, they’re a great source of protein and will help keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

5. Splash your face 

IMG_0198

Since I bought my beloved Arbonne Cleanser I have been washing my face a lot more in the mornings, I find there’s nothing like a splash of cold water in the face to really wake me up for a 9am lecture. Washing your face with cold water in the morning helps to reduce any swelling under your eyes from the night before, and it naturally brightens your face by increasing blood circulation. Pick cold water over warm if you can bare the shock in the morning, it might be just what you need to start the day on the right foot.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any tips for getting out of bed, particularly on these chilly mornings? 

Harriette

Advertisements

Lazy Sunday | Things I’m Loving At the Moment

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and as such I have decided to write a Things I’m Loving post. Here’s a list of the little things I am obsessing over at the moment….

ACCESSORIES | Olivia Burton Winter Garden Leather Watch

IMG_0115

I have been absolutely head over heels in love with Olivia Burton watches ever since I wrote my Top High Street Watches post, back in god knows when. Her designs are simple and delicate, and I always planned one day to invest in a really beautiful watch. I’ve had some really horrible news this week, which I’ve really been struggling with, and my mum and my boyfriend have been really amazing supports on the phone in reassuring me that things are actually ‘going to be ok’. Anyway, I came home on Friday to a parcel from John Lewis and my wonderful mum had sent me this lovely surprise with the note “Just a little something to cheer you up, Love Mum”. I nearly started crying right there, because it was so sweet and thoughtful and the watch itself is so chic and elegant. I am absolutely in love, I can’t stop looking at it. I would definitely recommend having a look at her collection on John Lewis or ASOS, as she does a really great range of watches, some at pretty reasonable prices.

EATS | Hot-Cross Buns

7c68e3aa802b297210593eadc9420a2b

Pinterest Image

It’s that time of year again where there are hot cross buns all over the supermarkets, and although I have never liked them before, I am becoming a bit obsessed. Get me a hot cross bun, a cup of tea and a book at the weekend and I will be happy. They’re so yummy and so cheap to buy! I’m very excited to do a little Waitrose shop soon and see if I can pick up a few different flavours – cinnamon and raisin here I come!

FACE:  No7 Makeup Goodies

IMG_0127I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with lots of Uni work to do, and as a result my makeup situation has gotten pretty dire. I ran out of foundation completely on the day I planned to go into town to restock my makeup bag, and ended up covering my face in the last smidgen of concealer I could find – not a good look. It was rather embarrassing, when the lady at the makeup counter asked me what base I had used that morning: “Ermm…”.  On the search for both foundation and concealer, I was hoping there might be a good deal in Boots. It was the Buy One Get One Half Price deal at No7, which caught my attention, and of course the added luxury of finding a lady to help me find my perfect shade without too much effort, was too good to pass up.  I ended up walking away with the Beautifully Matte Foundation and the Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer, both of which match together beautifully. And it only came to £20, a little bit more than I might usually spend, but so far I’m really happy with both products so that’s good news, and of course having proper makeup doing its actual job is always nice.

HAIR: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

IMG_0146

On this journey to get myself back to some kind of normality (just trying to make myself feel more like myself really) I have also had my hair done – as the roots of my blonde highlighted hair where almost covering the whole top of my head, making it look more like I’d just dip-dyed the ends blonde, as opposed not having enough time/money to sort my barnet out. I did, however, read a comforting snippet in Fabulous Magazine, which was talking about how roots are in, so that was nice for a week or so. But I am happily blonde again, the split ends have been trimmed away and my mother (again the wonder that she is) has found me the best shampoo and conditioner set. I’ve actually had this set since Christmas, but I sadly forgot to take it back with me to Uni and as a result we have only just been reunited. It’s the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner developed with Claudia Schiffer and it is absolutely divine. The scent is a bit hard to put my finger on, it smells quite like coconut and vanilla, and completely like you’ve just had your hair professionally washed in the salon. And it feels like that too, really sleek and soft and light – I am completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner set themselves, do come in at about £10 together, fully priced (fingers crossed for some deals soon), which is expensive when I consider that I usually try and stick to more around the £3-£5 mark, but for a little treat or if you’re got a bit of cash to spare I was totally recommend these products – they literally make me feel like Claudia Schiffer after I’ve blow dried my hair, hair swishing adverts here I come!

WEAR: BDG Mom Jeans 

IMG_0118

I’ve been on the search for a pair of light denim Mom Jeans for a while now, so with Urban Outfitter’s tempting me with £10 off offer, I had to try a pair on. Then of course I had to buy them, just to see if they would potentially go with any of my tops at home – I can always take them back after all…. Although not quite as soft as my faithful black Topshop pair, these jeans are super comfy, and not too tough around the tummy area, which is nice. They’re a great colour for spring and are currently making me feel summery already, even if they do still have the labels in…

That’s my list of things I’m loving at the moment, what are you loving right now? 

Harriette

Strong Not Skinny

The word “role model” is often banded together with the idea of fame or celebrity in modern media, as the majority of big bloggers might be only too aware. Writing a blog that becomes very popular, or appearing in a reality TV programme can mean that an individual comes to be regarded as a role model, and that of course comes with the heavy burden of responsibility. A role model’s lifestyle, dress code and eating habits can easily be picked up by an eager fan, and this is where debates about good and bad role models arise.

millie mackintosh

Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh was criticised at the beginning of last month after sharing a photo of herself on Instagram and Twitter at a photoshoot. The uncaptioned photograph, showed Millie wearing a silver bikini, highlighting her slim, muscular frame. This Instagram picture quickly sparked outrage as Mackintosh’s husband, Professor Green retweeted the photo onto his own Twitter account, adding “#thinspiration”. Experts (according to The Daily Mail) criticised the couple for encouraging young girls to starve themselves. Despite Mackintosh’s prompt reply to her husband’s joke, highlighting that her message was actually one of “fitspiration”, the media soon caught hold, with the uploading of the photo and Millie’s “role model” status even being debated on popular ITV programme Loose Women.

As a young (just about still teenage) girl, who has followed Millie’s Twitter for a good year now, I would have to respectfully disagree that she is in anyway a bad influence to young girls. There are a plethora of horrendous and harmful images available to young people on the internet with the label “thinspiration” – often used by pro-anorexia groups – but this isn’t one of them. Mackintosh’s “strongnotskinny” message, which she promotes heavily both on her Twitter and Instagram pages, encourage healthy, clean, eating and plenty of exercise. Despite her slim frame, it is her strong body which she is promoting, a body far away from the skin and bones look incorporated in most “thinspiration” images.

mills

 

It is a sad and indisputable fact that the majority of women and increasingly, younger and younger girls, will at some point, or maybe several points in their lives think about losing weight. However, adding tone to you body, can give the illusion of lost weight without getting to an unhealthy stage. By acting as a role model for young girls, celebrities like Millie Mackintosh – who children should be made aware, are generally slim as part of their job description – are at least sending out a message that strong is the way to be, not skinny, whilst at the same time promoting the empowering idea of improving your body for yourself.

I have never been a girl who’s been desperate to lose weight. Of course I’ve had my moments of “Oh my God, my jeans don’t fit!”, but generally I’m quite lucky that I’m mostly happy with myself. Recently however, I have felt inspired to exercise at least 3/4 times a week, trying to add a bit of tone to my tummy, but also, in the hope it might have other health benefits, such as giving me more energy. Since going to Uni and being able to pick my own food, I’ve always tried to eat well. I’d rather make all of my meals at home from scratch and go for the occasional meal out than eat a ready meal [mostly because they taste vile]. If I can swap a potato for a sweet potato, I will and if I can have slightly more veg and meat on my plate than carbs I will.

Personally I don’t believe in dieting, as I really don’t think it’s sustainable. But making little lifestyle choices, like cutting out bad food and trying to eat more eggs and apples and low-fat yoghurts makes me feel like I’m doing my body a favour. And ofcourse, I’m not good all of the time. I absolutely LOVE bad food. Yesterday I had lunch out, came home and ate 6 profiteroles…. I’m not denying my body food in the slightest, I’m just trying to think more and more about what I’m putting into it.

IMG_5289

In the way of exercise, I am working on strengthening my body through cardio and strength exercises. I’ve been enjoying using Davina McCall’s Body Buff Workout Video, which provides a range of warm ups, workouts and strength exercises allowing you to focus on key parts of the body, as I’m going on holiday soon I’ve been focusing on my “abs”.

IMG_5297

We also at the moment have in our house a spinning bike, which my Dad borrowed from my Uncle in order to train for a cycling race. I was slightly reluctant to give it a go, as  I had previously read a tweet from a female comedian (I’ve forgotten who) that spinning is very much like being punched in the v***** – nice. I have to say the seat is not incredibly comfortable on our old model, but I’ve found once I’ve got all my gear on and found a great workout/pop/r&b playlist on 8tracks I’m pretty good to go AND it helps me mix up my workout if I need a change from Davina.

Personally, I think I’ve been really inspired by Millie’s #strongnotskinny mantra. To me it’s a really important and empowering message to send out to young girls, that if for what ever reason you want to slim down [although I do not believe in doing so if it’s unnecessary] then at least go about it in the right way, with a healthy diet and exercise, to strengthen your body rather than weaken it. Celebrities like this, should be encouraged to spread such a positive message about looking after your body. Hopefully when girls who watch Millie strutting her stuff in her Louis Vitton, look up to her as a role model, and admire her body they will be inspired by the her happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle.

millieMackintosh3_glamour_24jun14_pr_1080x720

 

I hope you liked this post, to read Millie’s reaction to the media attention surrounding her Instagram photo click here.

Harriette

Birthday Celebrations in London

For my birthday last week, Lewis took me to London for a surprise meal out. I’d just got back from University so it was really lovely to get a spend a bit of time just the two of us and it was easy enough to hop on the train and stay over at Lewis’ student accommodation for the night. It was a nice day so we went to Covent Garden for a wander round. I love Covent Garden because there’s always something going on, whether it’s the decorations in shop windows or street entertainment.

IMG_4734 IMG_4707 IMG_4735 IMG_4736

IMG_4737

IMG_4740

IMG_4709

Here’s Lewis proving that he’s a 6ft 5″ big kid….

He wouldn’t tell me where we were going for dinner so I found it a bit difficult to decide what to wear. He just told me it was a sort of casual, cool place as opposed to a posh restaurant. In the end I decided to wear my new skirt (that he bought me as a birthday present) from Topshop and an Urban Outfitters top.

IMG_4739

IMG_4752

IMG_4751

Top – Urban Outfitters

Skirt – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

Bag – River Island

Necklace – Republic

Shoes – Topshop

IMG_4741 IMG_4742

IMG_4749

I was so excited when I turned round a corner and saw Jamie’s Italien and Lewis told me that that was where we were going. I’ve been going out with this boy for two years now and he definitely knows how to impress. I was tempted to ask to sit outside as the little chairs and tables and lovely flower beds looked really inviting, however it was a little bit chilly so we decided to stay inside. The interior had a really cool warehouse feel – a bit like an old wine cellar – and cosy lighting. They had really cool copper taps in the bathrooms swell, which probably impressed me more than it should have.

IMG_4746

IMG_4712

Of course I was very excited to get my hands on the menu. I’d purposely skipped lunch so I could enjoy every mouthful – knowing that Lewis would pick a good place to visit. There was certainly a lot of choice available, so I was pleased that I didn’t have to decide right away. Lewis went for a “Jamie’s Own” Liberta Beer, which he said was very nice. I was tempted to go for a cocktail but settled for an non-alcoholic Refresher, [fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade] which tasted amazing.

IMG_4744

IMG_4713 IMG_4745 IMG_4715

After scouring the menu for a while, we both went for The Jamie’s Italian Burger [prime British chuck & flank steak with smoked mozzarella, mortadella, balsamic onions] and Funky Chips with fresh garlic and parsley. When the food turned up it was huge – of course Jamie Oliver isn’t know for making delicate little dishes and so I should have expected a good healthy plate of food. It tasted SO GOOD. The chips in particular were my favourite.

I said to Lewis if I could go back in time like the guy in About Time I’d go back and eat that meal a couple more times. I didn’t understand why in the film, he didn’t use his power to re-eat anything. We all have those moments where we eat something amazing and then feel sad when it’s all gone don’t we?

IMG_4718

IMG_4720

IMG_4747

IMG_4722

I have no idea how I had room for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up trying this Raspberry & Chocolate Rippled Pavlova. My nan makes the BEST pavlova in the world, but sadly I haven’t had one in ages so I thought I’d give Jamie’s version a try. It was pretty nice and I especially liked the raspberry sauce, however I think my nan’s is still my favourite. Lewis opted for the Epic Homemade Brownie which was really rich and yummy.

After dinner we were both pretty full so went for a wander around The Strand to stretch our legs. Then we walked back across the Waterloo Bridge. I have been jealous all year of the fact that Lewis has this amazing view that he gets to see everyday on his walk to University.

IMG_4753

IMG_4727

IMG_4754

We were both quite tired after dinner so we ended the evening watching the last couple of episodes of Breaking Bad together in bed, a great end to the night as far as I was concerned.

The next morning I was eager to get up and out as we had to get the train back home at two, so Lewis and I decided we’d go back to Chelsea.

IMG_4732

IMG_4772

IMG_4760

IMG_4762

IMG_4764

We’d been to Chelsea previously and really enjoyed it. There’s a great range of shops and cafes on the Kings Road, and loads of pretty parks and fountains. Sloane Square in particular is wonderful to explore, and it was lovely to just sit and relax in the sunshine and people watch – there’s certainly a lot of people to be watching in Chelsea.

IMG_4765

Dress – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

 Floppy Hat + Shoes – Topshop

After we’d wandered around the shops for a bit, we took a walk slightly off the main road and had a look at all of the beautiful rows of houses. I was particularly impressed with all of the well kept flower boxes.

IMG_4769 IMG_4770 IMG_4771

We stopped for a bite to eat at My Old Dutch, a really cool pancake place that I’d been to once before with my best friend and her family when I was 11 and really wanted to take Lewis too. The pancakes are pretty big (although admittedly they looked considerably bigger aged 11) and you can pick from the menu or customise your own. Lewis went for the simple, sweet ice cream and maple syrup choice and I chose a savoury pancake.

IMG_4756

It was sad to get the train home as I love London and I’d had such a wonderful couple of days with Lewis, but I felt like we’d managed to fit quite a bit into our day and a half and I was grateful to him for organising it all. Now I’ve just got to get my plans together for his birthday….

Harriette

Photo Credits: Lewis Foster 

For the Love of Breakfast

I would definitely say, since coming to Uni that I have become a breakfast person. I love everything to do with breakfast, I am obsessed with tea, and toast with Nutella, granola and yoghurt, chopped apple, eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast etc etc. I try quite hard to make breakfast one of my biggest meals of the day, as usually I forget/ am to busy/ have nothing for lunch, so I don’t eat properly again until dinner. Recently, I’ve also started going swimming in the morning, as the outdoor pool near my student accommodation has opened up, and so by the time I’ve done an hour in the pool I’m usually starving for a good breakfast.

The best thing about self-catered student living is definitely that you can have breakfast at anytime of day. The thought of having to get up before 9.30 to have breakfast in catered halls, especially after a heavy night out, is certainly not an appealing one. And ofcourse, the most satisfying breakfasts that you’ll eat all term will be those after a drunken night out in town. In Exeter, there a few really great breakfast places, but the best one to trudge to with you hangover, is definitely Brody’s Breakfast Bistro.

Image

 

Brody’s is basically this American-style breakfast buffet place, where customers can buy certain packages like the pancake breakfast for unlimited pancakes with a variety of toppings, or the ultimate breakfast, which is a fry-up buffet complete with all different types of eggs,breakfast meats and breads. Eachpackage comes with unlimited bread and cereal too, so there’s plenty to fill your boots with, and the long tables mean that you can take your all your hungover flatmates to gorge on the most wonderful breakfast in the world. I have visited Brody’s a good many times and I really like it, although you have to be pretty hungry to get your money’s worth of bacon.

boston-tea-party-exeter

Another great breakfast place that I have yet to visit in Exeter is Boston Tea Party, which I have heard a lot of great things about. They do a lot of posh, quirky breakfasts such as “Baked Eggs and Chorizo Sausage” and “The Boss”: Smoked bacon, traditional pork sausage, Hogs (white) pudding, garlic and thyme baked filed mushroom, rosemary and smoked paprika roasted new potatoes, roasted vine cherry tomatoes, scrabbled egg with tomato and basil, and baked beans. With two rounds of Sherston white or granary toast. If that’s not enough to make you hungry I don’t know what is! I’ve heard they also do great pancakes, delicious cream teas and cakes, and an assortment of yummy smoothies and teas. I’m certainly looking forward to giving this place a try.

This week,  however, all of my breakfast joys have been realised. I’ve been staying with Lewis in London for the past week and yesterday morning we went to The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields. I have wanted to go to The Breakfast Club for ages, as the likes of Lily Pebbles and Lipgloss and Lashes have very much convinced me via their blogs and photos that it is the ultimate place to go for a breakfast foodie like me.

IMG_1244

The restaurant itself is a little tricky to find in Spitalfields, as it’s slightly off the main road. Going inside you do feel a little bit like your in a ‘clubhouse’ with all the random decorations and bits of furniture everywhere. On the way in there was a wire mesh fence on one side where customers had clipped up passport photos,  old train tickets and scribbled notes on napkins. Lewis and I were seated next to an old TV connected up to a Sega Mega Drive  [according to Lewis ] with all the old games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot around it. We were also near a fluorescent sign, which read “Sex, Drugs and Bacon Rolls.”

IMG_1280

 

IMG_1254

We were so busy looking around and taking everything in, that we didn’t actually pick up the menu, so when the waitress came over I panicked and asked for a chocolate milkshake, which of course wasn’t on the menu. I felt really bad, but the waitress said she thought they could probably make one anyway, so I said ok. Feeling guilty I watched her go a chat to the guy making milkshakes, and then walk over to us with a metal cup – hands down one of the best milkshakes I have ever tasted, needless to say I didn’t feel bad for too long. Lewis just ordered a Coke and he was very envious.

IMG_1270

Our breakfast was basically brunch, as we had been to the New London Theatre at 10 that morning to see if we could get any day tickets to see WarHorse, which turned out to be really worth the gamble as we got two tickets for £30 for that evening, reduced from £120 – and we had great seats too. As a result we got to the Breakfast Club at about 12.30, and so a lot of people were having lunch, but we’d come for the all day breakfast.

Lewis ordered The All American, which was basically a fried breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, fried potatoes and pancakes with maple syrup. I had the Pancakes with Berries, which was a stack of 4 pretty big pancakes with gorgeous fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and this really sweet vanilla cream which tasted like American frosting/ British buttercream. Although, I did sneak a bite of Lewis’ maple syrup pancakes with bacon.

IMG_1247

IMG_1246

We were both absolutely stuffed when we’d finished, and went for a long walk around Spitalfields Market before getting back on the tube. The Breakfast Club is certainly up there on my list of great breakfast places to visit – I think another time I might have gone for the full fry up with pancakes too!

What is your favourite breakfast to have? Do you ever go out for breakfasts? Are there any places near your that you would recommend for a top breakfast?

Harriette

 

Grabbing a Burger at Hub box

Everybody loves a good burger. Lewis and I are very much burger and chips people, we’d rather go out and have a nice pizza or a really good burger [more like gastro pub food ], than go to a really posh restaurant. We’ve tried out a few places in Exeter and not really been disappointed with anywhere, but I’ve been hearing a lot about a few nice and actually pretty cheap burger places in town, so I wanted to take Lewis when he visited.

To be honest, I must have walked past Hubbox a million times and not really noticed it was there, although from the outside it’s got a bit of a retro feel about it, I think I previously dismissed it as a takeaway restaurant, and didn’t really associate it with the burger restaurant that I kept hearing about.

IMG_1166.JPG

IMG_1165.JPG

IMG_1164.JPG

IMG_1163.JPG

IMG_1159.JPG

IMG_1160.JPG

IMG_1158.JPG

IMG_1154.JPG

I really loved the retro – American feel of this restaurant, it was really cool and there was lots to look at all over the walls and at other people’s food.We both said it was the type of place that would do really well in somewhere like Camden, because it was pretty edgy and different. Even the guys that worked there looked like hipsters in their green T-Shirts, Lewis was particularly impressed by our waiter’s Foo Fighter’s tattoo on the back of his neck.

And then the food came…. Oh wow. The burgers were good, but not anything too amazing to be honest – I think I still prefer a good Byron’s burger but the chips were SO good. Really salty, American skin-on fries that I could literally have eaten all day – and there were plenty to eat. Lewis and I both only went for regular fries but we seemed to get loads.

IMG_1162.JPG

 

It was actually a fairly cheap lunch, as it only came to £19.00 for the both of us, which I thought was pretty decent, particularly for the amount of food you got. I think they did have a dessert menu, but we where way to full from lunch. It was a really lovely break from a long morning of revision, and I managed to cross another restaurant of my list of places I want to visit over my years here at Uni – I will definitely have to try out rival Urban Burger next time I am looking for somewhere to eat, and Exeter is getting a Byron’s soon, which I’m pretty excited about. Seems that Lewis and I will get our burger and chips after all.

You can check out the Hubbox website here if you’re interested. There’s only two in the country at the moment, one in Exeter and one in Truro but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more crop up around the West Country.

Harriette

Throwback Thursday: A Trip to Cambridge

One of the places that I love to visit when I’m at home for a bit is Cambridge, and so in the Easter holidays, my mum and sister came with me on a shopping trip. Cambridge is a really beautiful city, like Exeter it mixes the old and the new, the city and the country,combining huge brands with cute little trinket shops.

Driving in Cambridge I imagine is a bit of a nightmare, as there are bikes everywhere, and actually this is one of the things I love. In a weird way it’s so nice to see everyone cycling around in the sunshine on their old-fashioned bikes, and it really feels a lot a University town, which I like.

IMG_6633

IMG_0239

 

 

I particularly liked the look of this Burberry print bicycle….

IMG_5222

We got to Cambridge at about 11.15 once we’d driven to the park and ride and got the bus into the city centre (the best way to do it in my view, as car parks are very pricey). We were all starving so we went into Giraffe, for some lunch. Admittedly, I’d never actually eaten at Giraffe before, mainly because I thought it was a vegan/ vegetarian restaurant – not sure what gave me that idea (!) – but my Mum assured me she’d been and really enjoyed the food. We sat down before they had started serving for lunch, but the staff where really friendly and they got us our drinks and menus whilst we waited. I went for a Mango Mama smoothie, which was absolutely delicious and I loved the little giraffe I got in my glass. My sister had the Fresh Lemonade with Mint, which she really liked aswell and it came in a cute little jam jar mug glass.

 

IMG_1824

IMG_5529

The menu was really good, there was such a wide selection of foods I found it tricky to pick something – I really love trying new vegetarian foods, which Giraffe caters really well for, but I also love a standard burger when I’m hungry. Eventually I went for the Hot “Thai” Duck Stirfry, this was really yummy with a sweet chilli jam which tasted so good. As usual I did away with the chopsticks and went straight in with a fork.

IMG_3099

I did however manage to spill the chilli jam, on the white shirt I was wearing – major fail just before a shopping trip. Consequently I wore my shirt inside-out, underneath my leather jacket for the rest of the day, hoping no-one would notice. Apologies for the breast pic – but you get the idea.

IMG_3078

Apart from this mini-dilemma I really enjoyed Giraffe, I think I’ll definately have to try out the one in Exeter and sample a few different dishes, the burgers and mexican food looked amazing. We were all too full for dessert, so after our meal we started our shopping trip, me trying to cover my chest as much as possible.

Shopping for me was very successful. At Uni I barely let myself in clothes shops – Urban Outfitters, Topshop, River Island, H&M and Zara are all strictly off limits, as I just know as soon as I walk in I’ll want everything in the shop, and then walk sadly out thinking about that top or dress for the rest of the week. Nope, student living and clothes shopping don’t mix. So when let loose in Topshop with the promise of money to spend I went a little crazy, picking up way too much stuff, and having to politely ask my poor sister to take some bits in with her to the changing room so that I could try everything on.

It was a little while ago now, but I can remember accurately that basically everything I brought was black ( great for a ‘summer wardrobe’….) I got a really lovely floral playsuit from Topshop and new leather jacket from H&M, which I wore on mine and Lewis’s trip to Dedham, a simple black vest top from Topshop, a pair of black shorts from H&M for going out with, a sweet little white striped mesh t-shirt from Primark and a big black floppy hat  and a new laptop bag from Topshop.

As well as getting some new clothes for me, we were also on the hunt for a dress for my sister which meant a visit to Jack Wills.

IMG_3251

Personally I really love Jack Wills dresses, I got two in the sale a while back and wore one to the English Masquerade Ball and got a load of compliments about how flattering it was, so Eloise and I thought we’d have a look in there for her.

 

IMG_8639

I really liked this dress on Eloise, it’s really pretty and summery and the short length shows off the fact that she’s the sibling with the legs in the family.

It was really nice to spend a day out with my mum and my sister shopping, as it’s one of the things I miss doing with them when I’m at Uni. There’s nothing like trying on a dress, walking to the end of the changing room, to have your sister and mum tell you it’s horrible in front of all the people waiting to get in. But in all seriousness it was a lovely day, I loved being able to visit Cambridge, especially on such a sunny day and I liked helping my sister pick a dress. I was very happy with all of my purchases (despite the lack of summery gear) and pleased that I finally had some new clothes.

Hope you enjoyed this throwback post. It’s something a bit different. Where are your favourite places to shop and who do you like shopping with?

Harriette

 

Cycling to Dedham…

Yesterday, because the weather was so nice, Lewis and I decided to cycle to a sweet little nearby village called Dedham and spend the afternoon there. I really love cycling and I’m very lucky to have a really nice bike, so I was great to get out and away for a bit.

A couple of years ago I had a bit of a thing for vintage bikes, I really wanted an old-fashioned bike with a basket, and a ladylike frame just like the ones that people cycle around in Cambridge.  My Dad and I scoured eBay for weeks looking for the perfect old-fashioned, second-hand bike that we could buy and do up. After losing out in a fair few bidding wars we came across my bike, which we managed to purchase for a pretty cheap price, although it did need alot of work. When we picked it up it was pretty rusty, with a burgundy frame and in desperate need of some new tires. We took it to my Granddad, who’s pretty handy at this type of thing, and he spent a few weeks sanding it down, spray painting it this Royal Blue colour and replaced the tires and the saddle. He even bought me a navy blue ribbon to weave around the basket. I was so happy and overwhelmed to see what a great job he’d done and I still love to ride my vintage bike [I’m pretty sure it’s older than me]. As I’ve been away at Uni and the weather hasn’t been great, it was the perfect time to dust the old girl off. [I’m forever debating whether to take my bike to Uni, but there is a lot of hills in Exeter, and being such an old bike it only has three gears.]

IMG_1062

We left my house at about 1 o clock and had a really lovely bike ride in the sunshine, cycling down all the little country lanes, checking out all the beautiful scenery, and passing all the massive houses and barn conversions on our way.

IMG_4771

IMG_1057

It takes between about half and hour and 45 minutes to get to Dedham by bike. By the time we got there Lewis was starving. We rode down the final hill into the middle of the village,locked up our bikes and walked down this little road in search of  lunch. There are a number of good places to eat in Dedham: the Essex Rose is a lovely little tea room, selling cream teas, homemade cakes and handmade sweets; although I’ve never been The Sun Inn apparently has been visited by Prince Charles; but mine and Lewis’ favourite place, and one of the poshest in Dedham, is The Boathouse.

IMG_1445

IMG_1055

IMG_1051

IMG_3932

 

This lovely restaurant and boathouse, sits right on the edge of the river bank. Lewis generously treated us both to a very reasonably priced 3 course meal and we sat outside in the sunshine by the river, and ate and chatted happily, watching people going up and down in the hired rowing boats. For lunch we both had Chicken + Chorizo Toastadas for our starter with Sweet Chilli Dip and a Rocket Salad, for main we both had Award-Winning Pork Sausages with Herb Mash and Sweet Red Cabbage, then for dessert I had the Apple Strudel and Lewis had the Chocolate and Coffee Mousse. It was all absolutely delicious and a really lovely Easter treat!

IMG_0352

 

 

IMG_0492

 

IMG_1039

After lunch, we were planning to get a little rowing boat for ourselves, but by the time we’d finished it was getting pretty shady over the river and we didn’t want to get cold, so we decided to go and sit on the grass on the other side of the bank, with my picnic blanket, in the sunshine for a little while.  It was really nice to just sit and relax, chatting and soaking up the sun whilst watching all of the people in their rowing boats. There is little that is funnier than people watching, and we had a great time watching all of these dads and boyfriends trying their best to row and steer these little rowing boats without hitting anything. Much to our amusement, just infront of us in the river there was a duck and her ducklings taking a swim. This proved a major obstacle for the majority of male rowers who didn’t seem sure whether to slow down or try and go around them, trying to avoid hitting them with either the boat or the oars. In the gentlemen’s defence, [unfortunately it was mainly gentlemen rowing and the one lady we did see looked rather peculiar] however, it is a pretty tough task to take a rowing boat out at Dedham. You can either row around for an hour or two, up and down the river or [if you’re a bit of a pro] you can take a boat down the river about a mile to Flatford, stop there for a piece of cake and then row back. Whatever you do, getting the boat back on time is the biggest struggle and there’s a pretty hefty fine if you don’t make it. So me and Lewis decided to avoid all the hassle and lie around on the river band instead.

IMG_6147

IMG_9303

 

IMG_1044

Overall, it was a really nice relaxed day, just sitting in the sunshine. I’ve been going to Dedham since I was a child – walking to Flatford, going out in the rowing boats, buying sugar mice from The Essex Rose -and so it’s lovely to visit every once in a while for a lovely calm day. It’s also nice to get a bit of time with Lewis, where we don’t have anywhere to be and we can just enjoy each others company.

I hope you enjoyed this post, do you have any favourite spots near you that you love to visit? 

 

Harriette

 

STUDENT COOKING: WHOLEMEAL PITTA BREAD PIZZAS

I haven’t really written any Student Cooking posts since my Jamie Oliver Meatball Pasta Recipe, however; I thought it was about time I put another one up as I have learnt so much over the past six months, and have even been trying out a lot of new recipes. Recently I’ve really gotten into healthy cooking at Uni, mainly because my friend Giulia cooks amazing meals with lots of veg and I was really inspired to see what healthier dishes I could make. Here food blogs, and free supermarket magazine have been extremely influential and I certainly recommend having a look at both if you’re looking for something new to try.

IMG_2815

Here is a very quick and easy recipe for Wholemeal Pitta Bread Pizzas – which I have recently become obsessed with. They make a great alternative to pizza, allow you to pick your own toppings and can be rustled up in a flash so they make the perfect lunch or quick dinner.

This recipe takes maybe 15mins, you with need:

o  A packet of wholemeal pitta bread [much MUCH better than the white ones]

o A tube/ jar of tomato puree

o A variety of toppings: I like courgette, peppers, onions etc. but you could also have, chicken/ sausage/ bacon.

o Mozzarella Cheese [Cheddar is fine but doesn’t taste as good]

o A chopping board

o A sharp knife

o A teaspoon

o A baking tray

1. First of all you need to decide what toppings you are going to have. If you want to include any meats you will need to cook these before hand e.g. a sausage, a bit of chicken, a piece of bacon. The pitta bread is obviously small so you won’t need much, which makes this dish ideal for left over bits of meat and veg.

2. Next you need to choose if you are going to have anything with your pitta pizza. Normally I have sweet potato wedges, which take about 20 mins in the oven so I prepare them first and stick them in the oven before I chopping veg for my pizza. If you’re just having a salad or another pitta pizza, then you don’t need to worry.

3. To begin, you need to preheat your grill oven to about 180. Next you need to pick your pitta – the bigger one in the packet the better from my experience as they’re not always majorly filling.

4. Spread tomato puree on one side with the back of a spoon – usually I only use a little bit as I find tomato puree can be very bitter, then I add some italian herbs over the top to add a bit of flavour.

5. Chop up and add your toppings. One of the best things about making these is that you don’t need much of each item, maybe a 1/4 of a pepper and the same for a courgette so not too much. Usually I also use a shallot instead of wasting a whole onion.

6. When your toppings have been added, slice three pieces of mozzarella (or as much as you want) and place these on top of everything.

7. Finally take your pitta and place it on a baking tray and on top of the grill – or directly on the grill if you wish. Keep checking it every couple of minutes – you’re only really waiting for the veg to soften and for the cheese to melt so this won’t take long.

IMG_1818

8. When it’s done, take it out of the oven and viola, you’ve made yourself a delicious 15 minute pizza. Put it on a plate with your chosen side and enjoy!

IMG_1247

Apologies for the slightly blurry photos in my very tidy looking student kitchen, but you get the idea.

If anyone gives this a try or has made them before I’d love to hear about your favourite topping ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Harriette

Visting Camden Town

I’m a very happy place at the moment. I had two pretty big essays in at the end of term, which was rather stressful and involved a lot of late nights. But yesterday I packed up my stuff and went London bound to stay with Lewis for the weekend before his parents drive us home and it’s been so lovely to just relax and do what I feel like doing for a while. Now I’m very much looking forward to a whole month off ( lucky me) at home, where I can just relax and revise for my exams in May.

Today me and Lewis decided to go to Camden for a wander around, as neither of us have ever been, and the weather was quite nice. Coming out of the tube station, the high street was pretty packed with people everywhere going into shops, buying food, taking pictures, buying London novelty gifts etc. We went a had a look round a few of the shops we knew: Vans, Urban Outfitters, America Apparel. I spent most of my time walking down the high street looking up at all the artwork and graffiti on the front of the shops, and turning around to look at what people were wearing – getting a little bit of outfit envy at how effortlessly cool everyone looked.

IMG_0965

We had a look around the market and I was very tempted by all the t-shirts and vest tops with the Starbucks Logo and Celine on the front of them, particularly as most of them were being sold 3 for £10. Then we went for a walk around the river – here there were loads of different food stalls: sushi, jerk chicken, flatbreads, camel burgers, falafel, paella, crepes, doughtnuts, churros, fresh smoothies, fresh orange juice. You name it there was a stall for it and it all smelt uh-mazing. Lewis and I were particularly tempted by the crepes, but decided not to get anything.

IMG_0966

 

IMG_0968

 

IMG_0967

 

In one of the sitting areas the side of a building had been painted with a chalkboard bucket list, where visitors could leave their  own goals. Although one was “Before I die I want to kill my husband” and another one was “Before I die I want to assault David Cameron”, with the most aspirational one being to “see all the wonders of the world”.

 

 

IMG_0974

 

 

 

Around the river as well, there were a few cute little shops including a really nice little bookshop. I spent so much time in the Classics section looking for books that I have on my list for the summer, that Lewis had to drag me out. There were also a few sweet little trinket shops that I was very tempted by but sadly I didn’t take any cash with me – note to anyone who does go to Camden, cash is a bit of an essential if you want anything, because obviously a lot of these places don’t take card.

IMG_0971

 

IMG_0970

 

Despite how busy it was, the atmosphere around the river was really relaxed with most people just enjoying sitting in the sunshine with a cold drink in their hand. It was certainly easy to forget that we were in the centre of London.

IMG_0977

 

IMG_6771

 

IMG_4732

 

IMG_0976

After a bit more of exploring, we came across a Byron Burgers on a little backstreet, and decided to stop their for lunch as neither of us have ever been. I really loved the retro feel in the restaurant, with the quirky wallpaper, and school-like chairs. The staff were all really friendly. The girl that served us spent a while looking for her pen before finding she’d put it in her hair and sat on the table next to us to take our order. The burgers came pretty quickly and they were so GOOD. The only thing I regret is not choosing to have a milkshake, as everyone in there seemed to have picked to have one, which I reckon means that they’re pretty good. But the food was really nice and it was nice to have a little break.

 

 

IMG_0979

 

 

IMG_5801

We had a really nice little trip. I reckon we’ll probably go back to Camden again next term when I visit as I’d love to do a bit of shopping (funds permitting) and try out some of that great looking street food. How did you spend your Saturday? 

 

Harriette