Wednesday, 15 February 2017

RECIPE: Vegan blueberry bircher muesli with Alpro

Alpro breakfast ideas - vegan bircher muesli with blueberries

I always have a little list of recipes in my head that I want to try out, but they're often the ones that it takes me the longest to get round to. One such recipe is bircher muesli. I love the stuff - I'm always buying the pre-made pots from M&S or Pret, and whenever I'm in Germany for work, I make a beeline for it at the hotel breakfast buffet.

Despite its name, it actually has more in common with porridge than muesli, and consists of oats soaked in milk, yogurt or both with grated apple. That's the basis of it, anyway, but you can add anything extra you like to it, such as fruit, granola or nuts. It's been around for years (it's a staple breakfast food in Switzerland) although it's had a bit of a renaissance recently under the guise of Overnight Oats, and there are hundreds of different variations - even versions where double cream or condensed milk is used instead of yogurt. Decadent.

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Saturday, 11 February 2017

WEDDING: Choosing my engagement ring

Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds

It feels like absolutely ages ago now that I announced my engagement on here - and it kinda was, to be honest, as it was back in October. Well, if you remember, I was left with a little task... to choose my own engagement ring. Matt proposed with a beloved, broken ring of mine that he'd secretly had fixed, because he knew I'd want to choose my own ring.

He knew this because every time we idly looked in a jeweller's window or the conversation came up, I confessed that I had no idea what I wanted, just that I didn't want the standard cartoon emoji ring - you know, one square or round stone on a gold band. Of course, that's classic and beautiful, but I just wanted something a little different. And therein lay the problem.
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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

RECIPE: Vegan rice and pasta tofu bowls with Florette

High protein tofu salad bowls for Veganuary with Asian and Italian inspired flavours

I've never been very good at timing my blog posts properly. I've often had to turn my Christmas recipes into New Year's ones, and I have photos of an Easter cake sitting on my computer that I made last Easter Sunday and realised I'd have to wait a year to post if I wanted it to be at all timely. And all that explains why on this, the last day of January, I'm talking about Veganuary!

I didn't go vegan for January, but I know plenty of people who did. Eating a plant-based diet has plenty of potential health benefits, and ethical benefits too (you can see more at The Vegan Society). And while I don't plan to switch any time soon, I have found myself eating more vegetarian and vegan food in recent years. Florette recently challenged me to come up with some high protein, high vitamin vegan recipes, so armed with my block of tofu and some other vegan ingredients that they sent me, I got to work.

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

INTERIORS: A new bedroom

Tempur Love Sleep - tips to sleep better

I will freely admit that I am a tiredyhead. I am that person who falls asleep on the couch at house parties, dozes off every time I'm on a long car journey (as long as I'm not driving, obvs), and has a list as long as my arm of films I've missed the last half an hour of due to the alluring call of the Land of Nod. I once fell asleep at a friend's gig. Sleep is my bae.

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Saturday, 21 January 2017

REVIEW: Little Marrakech, St Albans

Review of Little Marrakech, Moroccan restaurant in St Albans, Hertfordshire

Oh, hello! I took a little bit of a Christmas break from blogging... that then extended into January. The first few weeks of January have actually been pretty quiet, and staying home and trying to remember how to make food that's not entirely made of cheese and booze isn't all that blog-worthy.

Of course, plenty's been going on. Obviously we moved into our own house in December, and we've made serious strides in making it our own. There's still plenty to do, but I've been sharing pics and vids on Instagram and I'm definitely planning a few posts about that. I'm probably most excited about having a decent shoe storage area (remember all those pairs from Spartoo I've been posting over the years?). I'm really looking forward to exploring Tring and the local area a bit more, too. It's so nice! And new for this year is a little thing called Wedding Planning. Eeeep. We're planning to get married next year, so we need to start looking for venues soon and ironing out plans. I'm a big planner, so I'm sure there'll be lots of it on here. But not tooo much, if that's not your thing. I promise.

Having my own kitchen again means more cooking, which I've already been doing plenty of. I must confess it's been a lot of tried and tested recipes lately but I've got a few new cookbooks and am inspired to try some new things. Anyway. That's all to come!

Today I'm sharing a review of one of my favourite restaurants in St Albans, Little Marrakech. This lovely Moroccan restaurant has been tucked away near French Row for quite a long time, and it's always stood out as one of the best restaurants in the area. Sure, now there's a pretty diverse range of restaurants in St Albans, but a few years ago it used to be chains as far as the eye can see, with a million Italian and Indian restaurants and not much else, so Moroccan food was exotic beyond our wildest extremely tame dreams.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

REVIEW: Busaba Eathai, St Albans

Busaba Eathai review - new Thai restaurant in St Albans, HertfordshireBusaba Eathai review - new Thai restaurant in St Albans, Hertfordshire
Busaba Eathai review - new Thai restaurant in St Albans, Hertfordshire

I may have moved out of St Albans, but I'm still a Snorbener at heart. Also, I've moved like 20 minutes away, I'm still there all the time. Nothing's really changed - I'm keeping an eye out for new places to eat and constantly adding to my mental 'To eat' list, which is extremely long.

The newest restaurant to be ticked off that list is Busaba Eathai. They opened in early November, and invited my pal Fiona and I to their opening night. It's a beautiful restaurant, situated on Verulam Road in the building that used to be Cinta Garden. It has a striking dark, intimate decor with quirky murals and high ceilings. And the food - obvs the most important part - is excellent.

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Saturday, 17 December 2016

REVIEW: The Knife and Cleaver, Bedfordshire

Review of the Knife and Cleaver in Bedfordshire, gastropub with accommodation and amazing food
Review of the Knife and Cleaver in Bedfordshire, gastropub with accommodation and amazing food
Review of the Knife and Cleaver in Bedfordshire, gastropub with accommodation and amazing food

You know what we don't talk about enough? PUBS WITH BEDROOMS. It's my new favourite thing, and let me tell you why. I love having a weekend away, but often it ends up costing the earth, between expensive hotel rooms and over the top dinners and activities and whatnot. Super fun, but it's nice to know that getting away for the night and having a nice meal doesn't actually have to cost the earth. And that's where pubs with rooms come in. Or inns. Do we call them inns? Who knows. But the facts are that the rooms are usually reasonably priced, the food tastes good and you can have a few drinks and then totter off happily to your room before heading home the next day.

I was invited to The Knife & Cleaver to review their food, and because it's up Bedford way, which is around an hour's drive from here, they offered us a room. It was such a great weekend. The pub itself has new owners - Epic Pubs - who've put together an incredible menu of gastro fare, and the rooms are very cosy, tastefully decorated in grey and white (totally my jam) with nice bathrooms (ours had a dreamy rolltop bath) and incredibly comfortable beds. Also, they're around £100 a night (between £99 and £109, in fact) which I think is really good value, considering the cost of some grotty chain hotels I've stayed in before. Plus I genuinely loved this place.

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