30 May 2012

Le Caprice

I love this restaurant. It is so old school and grown up, just like you imagine a proper restaurant to be when you are little. Like somewhere JR and Sue Ellen might go. You have to drink champagne or an Old Fashioned - seems like the appropriate things to order. We always sit at the bar, close to the man playing the piano. Food highlights included a deep fried courgette flower with buffalo mozzarella. A very lovely Friday evening!

28 May 2012


If you want to be on trend in garden right now, go for the wild look. This photograph could have been taken at any road side ditch in Sweden, but no, this is Chelsea. Amazing!

A full report from the show will follow shortly.

26 May 2012

Sunny breakfast

How nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy a lazy breakfast with lovely company. And to watch the flowers swaying in the wind with some happy bees hovering around them. This is what we have been waiting for - a quiet moment after another hectic week.

20 May 2012

Bibimbap and more

Of course I should have taken a photo of my Bibimbap before I mixed it all up, but when it arrives all sizzlig hot and delicious, you just want to get stuck in.

Gorgeous char grilled broccoli - one of my favourite vegetables cooked in such a tasty way.
 The busy dining room. There is often a queue outside.

The other day I had a meal at Korean resturant Kimchee for the first time. I often get a bus which goes past this place and I know it is popular judging from the queues outside. My husband had been before together with some Koreans who apparently approve, so I think the food is fairly authentic. The menu is quite extensive and it was really hard to choose what to have, but in the end I went for a Bibimbap - rice, vegetables and meat which arrives in a hot stone bowl with a raw egg yolk on top. You have to stir it all around so the egg and vegetable cooks, the rice sticks to the bottom of the bowl and goes all cripsy. So yummy. Next time I will try something from the grill. Extra points for the rice pots which had funny tassles on them, and the enormous tea pots.

19 May 2012

An oasis in Princelet Street

Love the head appearing from the out of the Ivy.
 The calming sound of water.
 Rows of small pots on iron shelving.
 A beautiful creamy rose.
More sculpture.
 Pink Aguilegias in pots.
 And some blue ones.
 The back of the garden.
Hostas and Hellebores thrive here.
 Amazing hostas, not a hole in sight.
A sense of history...makes me wonder about all the people who used to walk these streets.
 Dream house.

Between Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market are some of the most beautiful houses in London. They were built in the early 1700s and used to house Huguenot silk weavers. I have always thought that there must be gardens at the back of them and today I had the chance to visit one, thanks to National Garden Scheme. A lovely haven of a courtyard in the middle of such a busy area.

Not so many years ago it was undesirable and cheap to live here. Not any more. Gilbert and George have lived here since the late 60s and since then many other artists have moved here. Tracey Emin has built a swimming pool underneath her house. And a hundred metres away is the mish mash of Bengali supermarkets, edgy fashion shops and pubs full of city boys, dodgy deals going on at street corners and at night time hundreds of people roaming the streets looking for various kinds of fun.

If you would like to explore the area and visit one of these house, look up Dennis Severs House in Folgate Street.

18 May 2012

Happy Friday!

So happy it's the weekend. This is what my garden looked like this morning - the sun was shining and everything. It is starting to look nice now, bits of colour here and there. Amazing to think that in just another month there will be sweet peas growing up those canes at the back, and lots of poppies in flower. Exciting times!

17 May 2012


The first English strawberries of the season. From Chegworth Valley at Broadway Market.

16 May 2012


On Saturday we went to Tate Britain to see the Picasso & Modern British Art show. On display are some very familiar works which are of course great to see for real, but also some of paintings in a very different style to Picasso's most well works. So interesting to see he produced such varied paintings. The two pictures above were wonderful. 

Alongside the Picasso works on show are paintings by British artists who have been influenced by him. Henry Moore, David Hockney and Francis Bacon are all represented. The exhibition is on until the 15th of July and I would definitely recommend going - thoroughly enjoyed it!

15 May 2012

Almost in flower

Looks like I will be making Elderflower Cordial at the weekend. Must remember to buy citric acid - easier said than done as apparently it can be used for less wholesome activities than jam making. But hopefully I can convince the chemist that I am a cook, not a terrorist. I will report back!

14 May 2012

Market Lunch

On Saturday we finished off our visit to Broadway Market with lunch at Market Cafe. Good coffee, nice menu, lovely atmosphere. Yesterday I saw that Jay Rayner reviewed the place in the Guardian. He likes it too.

13 May 2012

Spiced Grilled Bream with Fennel, Red Cabbage and Pink Grapefruit Salad

At last some sunny weather and some summery meals to go with it! Went to the market yesterday to buy some mackerel but apparently they are hiding deep down in the sea at the moment, so no mackerel to be had. Instead we left with a very nice looking bream. Honestly, this was so tasty and fresh, I can't wait to make it again in the summer and eat it outside with a glass of rose and cook the fish on the barbecue. The juicy, slightly bitter grapefruit with salty olives tastes amazing. Here is what I did.

Sea Bream Fillets
Ras el Hanout
Smoked Paprika
Dried Chillies
Olive Oil 
Salt and Pepper

Red Cabbage
Pink Grapefruit
Spring Onions
Black Olives
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Make a marinade for the fish using chopped garlic, crushed dried chillies, Ras el Hanout, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Rub all over the fish fillets and leave for 30 minutes to an hour. Thinly slice the fennel bulb, red cabbage, spring onions and radishes and mix together with the rocket and olives in a bowl. Peel the grapefruit, then carefully remove all the white stuff and membrane - tedious but worth it. Cut the segments into pieces and add to the salad, mixing again carefully to avoid breaking the grapefruit pieces up further. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Grill the fish for about 3 minutes on each side and serve. We enjoyed a glass of prosecco with this, but a nice rose would go really well too.

11 May 2012

Green and white

This looks like summer to me. And this morning the sun is shining!

10 May 2012


Poppies are my favourite flowers. The only ones that could possibly compete are Sweet Peas but no, when you see a beauty like this there is simply nothing that compares.

Amazing how a single burst of orange can brigthen up another dreary, rainy day.

9 May 2012

Quiet time

A dull evening saved by the most inspiring magazine which arrived through the letterbox at just the right time.

8 May 2012

Things are happening

My lovely Geum started flowering today, and hopefully it will carry on right through the summer.