27.2.14

A Month Of Sundays ~ 02/12


02/02 Will washing up after prepping pulled pork to marinade for supper
09/02 Brunch before heading home from London. Our friend has recently opened a café called Trade,
         if you'e in the Spitalfields area do check it out - the Chrizo & Scrambled eggs was delicious!
16/02 The wonderful Better Food Co. on Whiteladies Road - you know I can't resist a squash!
23/02 Whiled away this rainy Sunday with some sewing. Anyone else inspired by the new series of
         The Great British Sewing Bee?

Well February was pretty lovely, aside from all that rain; I'm so glad it's been feeling like spring is in the air recently. March is going to be a busy old month for me, starting with my birthday, lots of gigs to go to, I'm starting a new job and we're having the first Bridesmaids meet up for my best friends wedding - girly squeals all round!

What are you looking forward to in March?
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Liked this post? You might like this one: A Month Of Sundays ~ 01/12

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22.2.14

My Favourite Comfort Foods

In my recent round up post I flippantly stated that for me Spaghetti Carbonara is king of the comfort foods but I got to thinking about this more seriously (way too seriously) and considering what other meals could be contenders for the crown. So here's a collection of my ultimate comfort foods, not my necessarily my favourite meals but the sort of thing I want to cook and eat to warm the cockles when the weather is cold and miserable. A recurring theme seems to be that when it comes to comfort I crave meals that are creamy, carby and beige in colour!


1// A simple Chilli Con Carne
2// Macaroni Cheese
4// Leek & Potato Hot Pot (this recipe is as close to my Mama's as I could fine online)
5// A mild(ish) creamy Thai Green Curry
6// Cauliflower Cheese


So what's your favourite comfort meal or food? Are you with me in the creamy and cheesy camp? Other people I've asked seem to be all about gravy dishes, like stews and roast dinners, is that more you thing?

20.2.14

Simple Style




































// 3D Triangle Enamel Necklace ~ Oliver Bonas

I'm loving a bit of simplicity in my style at the moment, these four items would look perfect together but also be great for mixing and matching. I'm so very taken with those Chelsea boots...contrasting elastic? Genius! I'm currently on the hunt for a pair of jeans but I really hate shopping for them as it seems to take so long! I think I tried on every style in Gap and didn't like any; so I'm trying Topshop next. Where do you recommend for lovely jeans?


15.2.14

A Few Good things // 001

...a regular round up of lovely stuff






LOVING Happy Valentine's to you! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday? We've been so crazy busy recently and the weather has been just horrid so we treated ourselves to a cosy night in with good food and drink, you know how we do. Our anniversary (6 years & counting) is so close to Valentine's Day that we celebrate the two together, so forgive us getting in to the spirit! Will got me a beautiful bouquet and these gorgeous earrings from Just Trade who specialise in Fair Trade jewellery.

EATING Friska kindly offered me a sample of their delicious porridge to celebrate their new recipe. Friska are a lovely independent cafe chain with four locations across Bristol. Their coffee is great but their food really is something special, I highly recommend! The porridge was the perfect cosy treat for a rainy Friday morning and if you can't decide between the fruit compote or praline topping I suggest you try both like I did!

If my favourite comfort foods got together and had a big old carb fuelled fight Spaghetti Carbonara may well come out on top. On Thursday evening I gave the Carbonara I cooked a little extra something something by adding rosemary when frying the bacon.


BLOG LOVING

Joy The Baker is moving to New Orleans and I just loved reading her post about it. New Orleans is my number one dream holiday destination - the music! the food! It's going to be great reading about Joy's experiences there and I will be bookmarking for the future for when I do make that trip one day (preferably at Mardi Gras time!)

I must find some time over the weekend to have a go doing this lovely chain braid on my hair, which  I saw over at A Beautiful Mess.

If you read this previous post of mine then you'll already know I'm a fan of Orla Keily. I'm certainly not alone, but this time it is a collaboration with Clarks that has set mine and fellow bloggers hearts a flutter. Check out these post from Tigerlilly Quinn and She & Hem and see the full range here. Oh and I just love this very Wes Andrson promo video for the SS14 collection...



What has caught your eye this week online or in real life?


12.2.14

First Impressions : The Urban Standard, Gloucester Road, Bristol


*this photo sourced from The Urban Standard here


A new bar & restaurant opening locally to me is cause for some excitement in my book. So when The Urban Standard opened its doors to the public last Friday night I paid it a visit as soon as I was able, which was the following Sunday afternoon.

First things first the place looks great! The décor throughout is in keeping with the oh-so-trendy vintage industrial aesthetic - exposed brick work, re-purposed school chairs & stools, black & white checked floor, a good mix of metal & wood and plenty of carbon filament light bulbs. I'm not sure if it was because of its name or that I've wasted spent far to much time on Pinterest lusting after vintage industrial interiors but this is exactly what I was expecting in terms of the look and feel of the place; but I'm not about to criticise somewhere for looking just as cool as I was expecting it would. There were however also a number of more unexpected design elements, for example, on display in a caged area next to the bar are beer barrels, tubes and various paraphernalia making a feature of the normally inner workings of a bar. Also there are thistle pattern tiles that run along the tops of the walls which seem to be a remnant from a time gone by - so of course I love that!
We were greeted by a very friendly bar-man who was more than happy to talk us through the drink options. Usually a pub with no ale on tap does not a happy boyfriend make, but after sampling a number of the craft beers on offer Will was satisfied with his choice of a Chimay beer and the Stanford Red cider did for me just fine. At £8.15 our two drinks weren't cheap, especially considering the Chimay was served in a Scooner so only 2/3 of a pint. However those price points seem to be increasingly the norm, especially in new trendy spots with specialist tipples on tap.
In keeping with the décor the design of the menu is excellent and perfectly up my street as lover of type font and the proud owner of a number of vintage typewriters. As well as looking lovely the menu reads very well with lots of variety and choice. There is a great selection of sandwiches and the salads sound amazing. There are dishes 'from the grill' and 'Standards' which include classics such as Fish Pie, Burger and Moules. There are also small plate options and we couldn't resist trying the Potted Crab, which came beautifully presented and was absolutely delicious. Top of my 'must try' list for our next visit is the Truffle Mac & Cheese and the Blacken Chicken Gumbo (hello!). As you can tell I'm pretty excited by this menu, I love its leaning towards Americana without feeling themed and quite frankly I would like to eat everything on offer!

So to summarise our first impressions: Overall I was pretty impressed but it's hard to tell if it would be somewhere we would regularly go for just drinks. It certainly felt more of a restaurant than a bar, but our visit was on a Sunday afternoon so we will have to go and soak up the Friday night vibes for comparison.  Although the drinks aren't the cheapest on the other hand the food seems to be really good value and if it all tastes as good as it sounds then I think we're on to a winner. I think The Urban Standard has all the ingredients to become another local favourite and when it come to independently run venues on Gloucester Road I say "the more, the merrier"!

The Urban Standard
35 Gloucester Road,
Bristol
BS7 8AD
0117 9424341


@UStandardBris / Facebook



2.2.14

Hello February...



Hello all, hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Mine has been quite lovely and relaxing, filled with food and a little bit of drink too to celebrate the end of 'dry January'.

When I don't have plans one of my favourite things to do at the weekend is wonder around my local shops, stocking up on great fresh ingredients for the week from the butchers, fishmongers and green grocers and then spend the rest of the weekend cooking and baking. Saturday night we had a friend to stay and I cooked us Fish Pie, using fresh fish from The Fish Shop. I had to adapt the Guardian's Perfect Fish Pie Recipe as in my opinion the perfect fish pie definitely contains peas! Desert was a deliciously moist Lemon Polenta Cake I made using this Nigella recipe - I love the crumbly texture the polenta and ground almond give this cake. For a twist I added some springs of rosemary when boiling the syrup. Receiving a stand mixer for Christmas has definitely re-ignited my want to get baking - it just makes it all so easy!

Our house guest's job is publishing cook books and she brought us a present from work - Donal Skehan's book Home Cooked. She know the way to our hearts!  It just so happens that the book has just the recipe I was looking for Mexican Pulled Pork. As I type I have Pork shoulder bubbling away on the stove and it smells ahmaaazing!

What did you get up to? Have you been having any foodie adventures this weekend?