Last Weekend I...

(pics from my Instagram feed)

... Ate my weight in sushi. On Friday I went for dinner with a friend at Bento Boss on Whiteladies Road. We were being incredibly indecisive so ordered three bento boxes between the two of us! It was way more than we needed but everything was so delicious we made a pretty good job of polishing it off and left feeling very full.

...Got on with some Christmas shopping. On Saturday we went up to Clifton Village, it's not somewhere I visit often but there's something fun about going somewhere you're not too familiar with to buy gifts. In amongst the 'posh lady shops' (as Will calls them) there's some interesting and quirky stores, my favourites were mainly in and around the Clifton Arcade:

Soma - full of gorgeous prints, art, ceramics and jewellery.
Dustbowl Vintage (pic bottom centre)- Specialising in mid-century menswear, it's so lovely to come across a vintage shop that takes so much care in curating their collection. The lady working there was rather rude to us when we bought something but her shop is pretty special so I may just forgive her! 
Otomi (pic bottom left) - a specialist Mexican shop. We got over excited and are now fully stocked up on all sorts of chillies... chipotle, ancho, pasilla, arbol - well you've gotta treat yourself a little too right?!
Papersmiths (main pic & bottom right) - A place of dreams (don't tell me you don't dream of stationary too!) Stocking every indie mag I follow on Instagram and full of beautiful paper goods, coffee table books and the most stunning piece of succulent living art!

...Had an impromptu Saturday evening out with a couple of friends, a couple of drinks and Thai food. 

...Cooked a lovely roast dinner of duck legs with spiced plums, roast new potatoes, carrots and chicory.

...Watched Despicable Me 2 while drinking Baileys. Sunday afternoons in winter were made for this!

As we'd been away the previous two weekends - Devon & London - it was lovely to be in Bristol. Ignoring that I probably definitely spent too much money it was a near perfect weekend full of food and friends and some quality time with that fiancĂ© of mine. (and I didn't even tell you about the fish and chips I had for lunch on Saturday - oh my gad!)

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Vintage Inspiration : Belle & Sebastian - 'The Party Line' music video

I love the retro vibe and 70s styling of the new Belle and Sebastian music video for 'Party Line'. Belle and Sebastian certainly know a thing or two about keeping it kitsch, just look at this beautiful print of theirs I came across recently and check the video to 'Party Line' below. Oh... the tune ain't half bad either!

Print from La-la Land Prints.

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A Pumpkin Proposal

I've always loved Halloween, it probably has a lot to do with falling in love with The Nightmare Before Christmas when I saw it at the cinema when I was a kid and watching it every year since, and that when we were growing up trick or treating was a big deal around where we lived, also that dressing up has always been a favourite activity of mine, and that pumpkin pie is so damn tasty! So Halloween is always one of my favourite times of the year but this year will no doubt be remembered as the best ever!

Under the guise of a spooky Halloween date night we started of the evening with dinner at The Urban Standard. After dinner we visited our local cinema - part of the small Scott Cinema chain The Orpheus is such a lovely old school style cinema, with just three smallish screens it's a welcome change from visiting a multiplex and perfect for a date night. The film we saw was not quite your usual date night choice... The Babadook is a independent Australian horror film which tells the story of a single mother and her unruly child who are terrorised by a monster from a children's book come to life. The film uses a traditional horror set-up to heartbreakingly deal with the issues of depression, loneliness and grief. It was terrifying and harrowing but also brilliant! I very much recommend it but maybe not for a romantic evening... unless your romantic evening is happening on Halloween of course!

After the film finished we made our way home, we had planned to get a cab but as one wasn't available for an hour I was happy to walk the 30 minutes back to our flat. Will tried to find new taxi numbers as we walked and apparently not looking where he was going while Googling he walked head first in to a lamp post (!) - he hit his head pretty hard, so I spent most of the walk home torn between trying not to laugh at him and worrying about the rather large bump on his forehead!! I soon learned that he had good reason to be a tad distracted!

We got back to our flat in one piece however and there I found the most wonderful surprise - our living room was full of candle light and set up in the middle of the room were five pumpkins carved with the words Will You Marry Me ? Saying yes (which I did of course!) is a bit of a blur but I remember feeling all confused at first by the transformation of the room that had certainly not looked that way when I'd left it a few hours previously. It turned out three of our amazing friends had been Will's little Halloween helpers (Trick or Treaters?) not only coming in and setting up the room but also helping him carve the pumpkins earlier in the week! While we drank some champagne we sent a few Whatsapps to friends to share our news, it was pretty late in the evening so we waited to tell our families the next morning but I did get to speak to one of my best friends who lives in Australia at about 2am our time which was so lovely. The next night we had friends over at ours in the evening, dressed up, celebrated and drank *ALL* the champagne! 

Sorry for the rather long post but I wanted to share the story of our very Happy Halloween engagement in all its bumped head, scary film, perfect pumpkin glory!

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Lunch at Sky Kong Kong | Hay Market, Bristol

 I've been meaning to pay Sky Kong Kong a visit since it came on to my radar through food blogs and social media when it opened back in August and a recent Saturday mooching around central Bristol provided the perfect opportunity to do so. The ever changing, locally sourced menu sounded intriguing and its great to see another restaurant pop up in what used to be the darkest corners of the Bear Pit - Sky Kong Kong's neighbour Mathilda's Chilli is one of my favourite spots to eat in Bristol.

The decor at Sky Kong Kong is a perfect combo of rustic and minimal. With its gorgeous dresser full of crockery, communal tables, bookshelves and mis-matched chairs you feel as though you could be eating in someone's home, but you know, one of those uber-cool homes you only see on Pinterest.

I gather from their twitter feed and website that rarely is the same dish served up twice at Sky Kong Kong. Instead chef Wizzy creates a new menu daily based on what seasonal, fresh organic ingredients    are available and what tickles her fancy I assume.  We were served a bento box (bento bowl?) which included marinade stir-fried strips of beef as the main event along with rice, crab-stick, sausage pieces, a plethora of crunchy vegetables, kimichi and chilli sauce. The meal was not quite like anything else I've had in a restaurant before but it was exactly the sort of food I love - fresh, healthy, full of flavour with a good spicy kick. At £6.50 the lunch was perfectly good value and the service was quick and friendly. I left feeling satisfied, nourished and inspired to try and recreate similar dished at home. 

I look forward to going back and although I'd love to sample their sushi (which you can be sure of on a Friday), there's a lot of fun in turning up not knowing what's in store. I definitely recommend checking out Sky Kong Kong for yourself - let me know what you think if you do!

Sky Kong Kong, Haymarket Walk, Bristol Centre
Lunch - £6.50 | Website / Twitter

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