Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The World's Best Bacon Butty

I know, I know... It's a bold claim to make but I am honestly telling you this is the best bacon butty (roll/sandwich) I have ever had. Now, it's not the first time I have had it, I had one last summer and was seriously blown away. Sometimes the simplest things really are the best.

Maddock's Tea Room is a little cafe in Pennard where we did our walk. It's run by husband and wife Anthony and Pat from their home. It's warm and cozy inside and they have a display of delicious looking pastries, tarts, quiches and desserts. They have a homely menu serving honest home cooked food, simple and delicious. Their desserts are gorgeous as well, I had the lemon cheese cake last time. Maddock's uses quality ingredients and local produce where possible and everything is home made on the premises. They also offer an afternoon tea, the table next to us had it and it's definitely something for next time.

Right back to the bacon butty. It's a warm, fluffy, soft white roll filled with a generous amount of butter and lots of probably the best bacon you will ever have. The bacon is salty and cooked so that it's perfectly crispy without too much fat. You can also ask to have the fat trimmed off. The roll is so soft it almost melts in your mouth. This is a world class bacon butty, let's take a little look.

Look at all that bacon! I have mine with ketchup but you can ask for any sauce you want, or have it without sauce, I'm sure it would be just as good.

If you are ever in the Gower Peninsula pop into Maddock's for some treats, you will not leave disappointed or hungry. And after you have had a bacon butty at Maddock's, you will want to go back!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Seaside in Pennard

We have a lovely little weekend get away in Wales. My boyfriend's parents have a beautiful home just outside of Swansea in the Gower peninsula and as they don't live there we love getting away from London for a bit of fresh air, sea side walks and surfing in the summer. We checked the weather last week and it looked like it was going to be a sunny weekend so we packed the car Friday afternoon and headed West.

As the weatherman had promised, Saturday morning was beautiful, crisp and fresh with plenty of sunshine. We decided to head to Pennard for a walk on the cliffs to enjoy the stunning views over the Three Cliffs Bay, I might have also had an ulterior motive of a post walk bacon sandwich (I will tell you about this later!). Dressed up warm in my new snuggly scarf and wellies, we drove down the picturesque country lanes. I really love going to Wales, London can be quite a hectic place and it's so lovely to get a little bit of peace and quiet.

Scarf: Accessorize
Jumper: Supertrash
Jeans: Zara
Sunglasses: Prada
Wellies: Guess 
Hand Bag: Michael Kors

It was even more beautiful than I remembered. We came here once last summer but it was quite a chilly, cloudy day so it looked completely different with the glorious sunshine, glistening sea and crashing waves. The sun was warm and I couldn't have felt further away from London. Exactly what we wanted.

Coat: Kjus

Nano loved his run around off the lead, something he doesn't get to do as often in London. Sun in his eyes and wind in his hair I think he was happiest and cutest dog in the Peninsula that day.

After our walk we headed to Maddock's Tea Room for some brunch and that bacon sandwich I mentioned. It's so good I think it deserves it's own post, I promise I will tell you about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Once a month the girls and I meet up for book club. We take turns in hosting a night of nibbles, wine, gossip and of course to discuss the book of the month. This week it was my turn to host my first book club evening and I was quite excited. Food wise, I wanted to serve something relatively healthy but with a bit of naughty mixed in. As book club is around dinner time, I find you often don't eat and then fill yourself with snacks. My sister makes an amazing chicken pasta salad and kindly shared her recipe with me, it's simple, filling and healthy. On top of this, I served mozzarella and tomato sticks, a selection of cheeses, multigrain crackers and melba toast, whole grain baguette, skinny popcorn and a sweet treat of mini cupcakes.

The salad is super easy to make and something you can have for lunch the next day if you have left overs. You will need:

A couple of chicken breasts

Some brown pasta

A small honeydew melon

Lime marinated red onion

Pine nuts

Either home made or shop bought basil pesto

Now I had every intention of making my own pesto, and I did, but I really should have hand chopped it as it turned out too smooth. It just didn't have the texture I wanted so I sent the boyfriend to get me the best pesto he could find at Sainsbury's.

Thinly slice about 1/4 of a large red onion, add some sea salt, olive oil and the juice of two limes and leave to marinate. Dice up your chicken breast and cook with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Boil your pasta so that it's nice and al dente, you don't want soggy pasta in a salad. Leave both to cool while you chop up or spoon out your honeydew. Lightly toast your pine nuts on a frying pan, don't use oil. After everything has cooled, combine all your ingredients and add pesto to taste, I used about half a jar for quite a large portion. Just before serving mix through some rocket. Super easy and I guarantee it will go down well, the saltiness of the pesto and the sweetness of the melon is a lovely combination and the kick from the onion and crunch from the pine nuts makes it a winner for me.

The mini cupcakes were delicious as well and went down a treat as well but unfortunately I can't share the very secret recipe with you. My best friend Nafsika who runs Cupcake Factory in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has kindly trusted me with it so you will just have to imagine how yummy they were. They are by far the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

I've been asked for details about what I'm wearing so I have updated all previous posts. This is my what I wore for book club, comfy and casual and perfect for a night in with the girls.

Jeans: Zara
Cape: JZD
Tank Top: H & M
Jewellery: URU Diamonds

Monday, 19 January 2015

Ethiopian Food in King's Cross

Ever since living in Ethiopia as kids, my brother and I have been obsessed with Ethiopian food. Our whole family loves it, and ask any of us what our favorite food is, Ethiopian will be the answer. Luckily for us, London has some great Ethiopian restaurants. Last week my brother and I caught up over Ethiopian food in King's Cross. It's a restaurant he has been to lots of times, but a new one for me. I was so excited for dinner I only had a light lunch to save space, I couldn't wait to try the delicious, spicy dishes.

Ethiopian food is a mix of spicy meat and vegetable stews, served on injera, a sourdough flatbread made from teff flour. The food is served on one big dish and you usually share your food and always eat with your hands. Even to this day I maintain that all food tastes better when eaten with your fingers, much to my mother's dismay.

The restaurant, Addis, was about a 5 minute walk from King's Cross station and when we arrived it was very busy. We sat on some stools with small tables while we waited for our table and had a drink. The crowd was a mix of families, groups of friends and even a small hen party. The interior of the restaurant was basic but authentic and it had a nice buzzing vibe.

 We ordered our favorite dishes of kitfo (spicy minced meat) , ye beg wot (meat stew) and doro wot (chiken stew). We also got a small portion of spicy spinach with cottage cheese. The food took quite long to arrive, and by the time it did we were starving and tucked straight in. It was to die for, really really well spiced and balanced, the injera was light and delicious and the portions were large. We had 3 dishes and it was definitely enough, we ate it all but mainly because it was so good rather than not having had enough. We were very pleasantly surprised when the bill arrived and I have to say it was one of the cheapest meals I've had in a long time.

As the night was still young we thought we would find somewhere nice for dessert. My brother has been wanting to go to the Renaissance hotel so we headed to the cozy warmth of the Gilbert Scott Bar and Restaurant. The building itself is stunning by the way and a lovely place for dinner or some cocktails. There was an excellent pianist and and the service was great, I have a feeling I will be back, maybe for a special occasion. I had a warm ginger cake with cinnamon cream and ice cream and my brother went for warm chocolate with yoghurt and lemon ice cream. Both were delicious and completely finished us off. Happy and full I headed home on the northern line, glad made the trip to the other side of town.

Coat: Guess
Shirt: Terranova
Leather Jeans: Rio Beach
Boots: Rio Beach
Handbag: Michael Kors
Scarf: Cashmere from Nepal

Did you notice our matching outfits by the way? So not planned.