Sunday, 24 July 2011

If you go down to the woods today

If you go down to the woods today, you'd better not go alone.... because there is likely to be a massive party going on!

Dragging my muddy wellies through the forrest under the torrential rain, Latitude Festival chucked me knee deep into a joyous world of actual good music, arts, theatre, comedy and more! Highlights included The Naked and Famous and Foster The People, and now I just can't stop listening.

Want to see some videos? YES PLEASE.

The Naked and Famous

Check out Alisa Xayalith's hair.... It's "Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs" meets my dream hair, but I promise this is not the only reason I love this band.

Foster the People

Can we go again please.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Happy birthday little birdie

Yesterday was Blushing Birdcages' first birthday. To celebrate we went for cupcakes at Brick Lane. Photos after words...

I know it seems indulgent to devote an entire blog post to cakes, but these are likely to be the best cupcakes you will ever eat (that's right, I said it). Kooky Cakes frequent the Sunday Up Market at Brick Lane right at the end of the car park eatery stretch. Each cake is 'kookier' then the one before, rolling cookies, cupcakes, slices, biscuits and whoopie pies into one great big barrel of joy for a sweet tooth like mine. I suggest you go there, now. Or next Sunday. Buy a cupcake, I don't want to ruin the surprise but expect oozy fruity jammy goodness to run out the middle and icing that actually taste like fruit.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The great easter egg hunt of 2011

The English summer has come and gone, it happened, I promise you. Do you remember Easter? That hot weekend in April where we all had BBQs in the park, drank cider and stripped down to our bathers no where near a beach? That was Summer!

I did spend some time with my lovely friends in West London over Easter, and we had the most delightful easter egg hunt! Oh, to be 5 years old again.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Are you ready for the greatest show on earth?

This last year has gone by unbelievable quickly and Festival season is upon us again (yikes). Wireless on Saturday is first on the agenda, Lattitude and Love Box following closely after before the mother of all festival hits and I am all engrossed with the insanity, excitement, and fun that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. While I eagerly prepare myself for what round two will have in store, I thought I would re-visit some fun street photos from last year.

See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Polpo: Life as a food blogger's sidekick

I have been sampling the life of a London foodie of late, alongside me food blogger friend Caviar Girl. With an undeniable passion for food and new experiences there was no way I could shy away when she told me about her new endeavor over a Hot Pot dinner in China Town - a meal that has become somewhat a ritual for the two of us at the quaint Beijing Dumpling restaurant.

And so, the gastronomic journey around London began. First stop, Thai in Kensington, followed by tiki style cocktails in Notting Hill. We talked about the food and I sat and listened to Caviar Girl's accounts of the culinary delights she experienced on her travels to Moscow, France and Copenhagen.

More recently we decided to jump on the bandwagon with all other London foodies and take a long lunch on a Monday bank holiday at the brother of the most talked about restaurant on Urban Spoon (Spuntino). The Venetian wine bar Polpo did not disappoint.

The menu consists of small plates designed to share so the three of us chose a variety, determined to try the full spread. We started with a selection of Cicheti (bite sized starters) consisting of arancini, potato and parmesan crocchetta and artichoke wrapped in prosciutto. Our portion consisted of one of each, leaving us with modest bites of the three. I most definitely could have passed on the artichoke, but the arancini were perfect; cheesy, gooey on the inside, flavorsome and crunchy at the first bite.

One of the highlights of the meal came out next, broad bean and ricotta bruschetta. It was delicious and the flavours melded well together. The bread was crunchy, and the flavour of the mint and beans was fresh and strong when accompanied by the mild ricotta.

With starters essentially out of the way, we welcomed the heavier dishes to the already cluttered table. At this stage of the meal I could have seen the service improve, when our (very cute) waiter failed to take the used dishes away. Lucky the dirty dishes didn't bother us too much as we had a 4 person table for the 3 of us.

We went for the braised lamb with farro, which was full of striking flavours. The farro was perfectly cooked but the dish left nothing to be desired with tough and chewy meat. The prawn risotto was a good choice, seasoned with saffron cooked to the texture of paella. It complimented the meal, fitting with the style and flavors of the other elements we had enjoyed. The scallops cooked with peas and pancetta had so much potential, but alas let us down. The broth was thin and watery and took away from the delicious scallops which were actually lovely, fresh and smooth.

The pièce de résistance; a dish where none of us knew what to expect, blew us away. The 'midnight' cuttlefish gnocchi in squid ink with gremolata... it just sounds adventurous! The gnocchi was shaped in small unidentifiable bites, the cuttlefish was fresh and melted in your mouth. The gremolata added a subtly citrus zing which complimented the fish.

So full by this point, we were unsure as to whether or not to go on... but next was desert...! The flourless orange cake served with mascarpone was to die for. And yes I am aware that is a strong statement, especially to come from someone with such a ravishing sweet tooth. All I can say is you must try it for yourself.

The afternoon rolled to early evening and after three hours of eating we were more than satisfied. Looking around the room we examined what sat on other people's tables. Being the one person who will always have food envy I decided the table next to us ordered very well with the pork dish, calf livers, clam linguini and polenta. All are on the list to try next time. We finally ended the afternoon with coffees and a chat with our friendly and flirty waiter about the other restaurants in the family.

So until the next invitation from the queen bee foodie, I look forward for another afternoon with good friends and excessive amounts of good food.

*images taken from Caviar Girl, follow her blog. It's delicious.

Polpo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Pretty wall art... furry friends!

In the excitement of online shopping, Jess, Liv and I have given ourselves the new project of decorating the flat... first stop wall art!

I now have the most adorably cute forrest friends wall deco in my room!

Love it!!!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Black Swan... of the film kind

It has been a while since I have a) seen a decent film and b) shared what I have been watching with you.

I went to see Black Swan the other week, with the ever so delightful Lizzy. Friday night girls date style. To start off with a nice clean round up of what I thought... Not what I expected, crazy as hell and so damn good! Any movie, no matter how silly the story line, that leaves your heart pounding and a little shaken up must be good.

Natalie Portman is beyond outstanding and ever so deserving of those Academy Awarda noms, even if only to praise her ballet dancing, as a result of some serious commitment to the role. Mila Kunis was surprising, and spectacular in bringing the perfect amount of her very own 'girl next door, tom boy' style to her character.

The perfect amount of freaky, can't bare to watch stomach churning gore, stunning cinematic sequences that resembled the elegance of old film, the ever so subtle original Swan Lake musical score to build dramatic effect, perfect costumes and mind blowing toe pointing and pirouettes proves Black Swan has it all.

Although, I know many will argue my opinion based on the cheese factor of the 'predictable' story line, I say without hesitation that when walking into the cinema knowing you are in for a scarily new take on the age old tale (you can't blame anyone for ruining the ending), Black Swan leaves no disappointments.

Whip It!

So.. by now we will have all seen 'Whip It', that awesomely cool film starring Ellen Page, directed by Drew Barrymore about the bizarre but insanely cool sport where girls in rollerskates inflict physical pain on each other while in fishnet stockings, coloured knickers and not much more - Roller Derby. Well I headed out to Bethnal Green on Saturday to check out the real deal. Given my excitement over that movie, you can imagine my reaction when I was invited by the lovely Amy to go check it out.

The London Rockin' Rollers Grand Final was last saturday, and let me tell you those girls are tough - torn fishnets, black eyeliner and all.

With two minutes to go in the second half (fans will have to excuse my lack of technical knowledge of the game here) our knuckles where white and our voices were hoarse as we hung over the railing to catch those last moments of an extremely close game! The team we were barracking for (purple and green) won, which was obviously a good thing but getting that intense and enthusiastic about a game we didn't know the basic rules of prior to attending was probably the most exciting thing about the evening.

Bring on the next match I say... this game will make a sports fan out of me yet.

Ellen Page

London Rockin' Rollers

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Sweet December snow (like a blizzard)

London town (yes and my little flat on Highbury Corner) experienced a wee bit of a blizzard back in December.