Les 110 de Taillevent

Les 110 Taillevent

I must apologise to you for the delay with this write up. You saw it on my insta stories, you fell in love, I promised you a piece on my blog that weekend… and then life happened and everything in my world came to a bit of a grinding halt.

So for the past few weeks I have been playing catch up like I’ve never played before – I’m juggling balls like a (semi) pro circus act and I have most certainly dropped a fair few along the way… (I said semi).

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Undercoffee Coffee with Greggs
for Fairtrade Fortnight

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A couple of weeks ago I attended a very special event at the Ham Yard Hotel, one of my favourite hotels, in the heart of Piccadilly.

We had gathered for Fairtrade Fortnight, and to bring to the forefront of our minds, our everyday coffee choices and whether or not they are ethical. Which sounds all very heavy and serious and not at all light and cappuccino frothy… But that’s the point. Buying a coffee is a little treat, which I usually buy for myself without thinking about its provenance.  How can my morning latte decision possibly be of any importance to the rest of the world?

But it is. Enormously.

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Blue Tit London

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You know that pub you love to go to, because everyone seems pleased to see you, there’s always a friendly face, you can practically see Norm propped up at the bar and they make you feel instantly at home?

Well that’s Blue Tit. Except it’s a hairdresser. And they have beer.

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Lip smacking deliciousness at
Tandoor Chop House, Covent Garden

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A couple of minutes walk from The Strand, lies the new scrumptious venture from Ennismore – the very very gorgeous Tandoor Chop House – a collision of a classic British chop house and a North Indian communal eatery…

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Gluten free crumpets have arrived
(and it’s a whole new world)

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One of my very first blog posts was all about crumpets. Crumpets and tea, crumpets with jam, crumpets on the sofa, crumpets oozing with butter…

Crumpets sum up cosy for me and I’ve been banging on about them ever since. They are a part of me. Literally. I’m probably around 40% crumpets on any given day. (Apart from Christmas, when I became 70% cheese. There was less room for crumpets).

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Kodak has stolen my heart.
All over again.

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It feels sometimes, that there’s a new gadget appearing in the shops, every ten seconds. New TVs, new phones, new music systems, new cameras… and with every new launch comes more buttons, more features, more everything… I find it all a bit bamboozling.

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Warm smoothies for winter

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I do love a smoothie, but have always associated them with summer.

Until NOW. Have you ever had a warm smoothie? They are my new favourite thing.

It’s still so cold outside and I’m constantly wrapped up in scarves, hats, gloves and thermals… but rather than grab a coffee or a hot chocolate to warm me up, I’m instead whipping up a storm in my kitchen and creating delicious warm smoothies from fresh fruit and veg, and feeding my body at the same time as feeding my soul.

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A foodie adventure in Birmingham

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I do love an adventure. And culinary adventures around the UK, discovering some of the country’s hidden foodie haunts and gems, are some of the best.

Especially when they involve a snazzy journey on a snazzy train on a Friday evening, whizzing me out of London and straight to the curry capital of the UK – hello Birmingham.

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The Crown, Old Amersham –
The Perfect Valentine’s Staycation

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The Crown is not your average boutique hotel. No no no. It is something very special indeed. It’s a timber-framed, 16th century property in the heart of Old Amersham, a pretty cobbled market town. What was originally a whole day’s horse ride from central London is now a half hour tube journey from London, and we made the most of this a couple of months ago, when we scooted off to The Crown to luxuriate in our own roll top bath and stroll around the grounds and indulge in some wonderful English fayre.

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Restoring old wooden floors
in a Victorian house

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Floors: MINE!!! Hurrah!! Slippers: Jigsaw

Ah my dear readers. Finally, we made it – the floors are done and I no longer have to breathe dust like a crazy dust-breathing dragon any more.

It’s very exciting. And I’ve loved seeing the transformation, day by day… I wanted to write a post to explain what we did, how we did it and give you some tips, should you be thinking of doing something similar to your home.

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An Art-Inspired Afternoon Tea
at Rosewood London

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There’s a saying in the world of theatre – ‘form over content’ – which essentially means that lots of effort has been put into making the lighting, the music and the costumes amazing… but the play itself is underwhelming. I’ve often thought of this phrase when faced with beautiful looking cakes in cafes and hotels, which sparkle and glow and look very fancy pants…. but when it comes to it, just don’t taste that great.

But THIS art-inspired afternoon tea, at Rosewood London, was absolutely, one hundred percent, not one of those occasions. On the contrary, it’s one of the best afternoon teas I’ve ever had.

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Zing Zing – delicious MSG-Free
Chinese Delivery

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I love Chinese food. And I mean, I LOVE Chinese food. It started in my teens and a pivotal moment was when I chose Peking Duck & Pancakes at home with a pal, over a New Year’s Eve party in a swanky bar. Where a boy was going to be who I liked. And he played the guitar.

Even then. I ditched both him and the bar for duck.

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It’s good to share

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The Village Bakery, Walthamstow Village

For so many, getting a foot well and truly on the property ladder seems impossible. Nearly every single person I know who has managed to buy a home, has had financial help from somewhere, usually an older family member or through inheritance.

So often though, this just isn’t an option and trying to raise funds to buy a flat or a house anywhere in the UK, let alone London, can feel like an insurmountable challenge.

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Change a little, enjoy a lot…

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There’s no denying it, Winter is well and truly here. And it has brought with it bitter winds, snow, rain, a frozen pond in the garden (you’ll know all about this and my fish rescue mission if you follow me on insta stories) and a cold that creeps into my bones and just won’t budge.

I actually don’t mind the cold weather at all, as long as I can watch it from inside. I like to be on a sofa, wrapped in blankets, warm and toasty and appreciating the freezing snow from the other side of the window.

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Meet me in (St) Lewes

If you’ve never been to Lewes, then this blog post may come as a surprise to you. The pretty winding streets, the delicious smell of wood burning stoves as you step off the train, the picture book cottages, the generous sprinkling of antique, gift and book shops,  the sounds of seagulls and the faint taste of salt on your lips…

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