Thursday, 30 April 2009

Shampers Wine Bar/Restaurant

J and I were walking through Soho one day trying to avoid the hustle of Carnaby Street and wondered past this lovely looking wine bar which had an enticing menu outside. We thought about it stored it away in our heads and then carried on. Recently following a long day at work we fancied dinner out, J works in Soho and so I suggested Shampers since it had looked good.

We wondered in were shown to a table in their downstairs section and then started studying the menu. To be honest my first thought was that it was more expensive than I had expected but it all looked good. I wasn't too hungry so I went for two starters while J had a starter and a main.

I started with mini chorizo which were yummy but nothing spectacular, not exactly difficult to fry a chorizo! J had rollmops, something I don't like so I didn't get to try them but he said they were nice. Our starters were okay, not great but reasonable.

Then for my main I had a goats cheese and lardon salad. I expected to have a nice slice of fresh goats cheese on top of my salad and ended up with a fried piece of goats cheese. Again nice but nothing too great. J had a steak sandwich, it looked okay and he said was nice and his chips were definitely nice!

All in all okay, but for it's prices just not good enough. There are so many places in London from which to choose from to eat and I really think that if Shampers are trying to sell themselves on their food they need to up their game.

Incidentally on another night out we ended up in Browns in Mayfair, cheaper, nicer and better service. Perhaps a lesson learned for us...

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Hangover food

A belated post to an awful hangover a while back but I thought I might branch out and share a recipe with you. J was suffering awfully and I felt pretty rotten too and I had a healthy hangover, one where you desire good food not junk. And so out came the lentil soup and along came bowls of yummy restoring food.

I boiled up some green lentils for about 40 minutes until they were nice and soft, with some thyme and pepper for flavour. Meanwhile I softened down a chopped onion and added in garlic and a chopped carrot. When this was all well cooked I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and a couple of teaspoons of hot paprika. Let this cook down until the lentils are ready. Half drain the lentils, I decided to leave some of the cooking water to try and retain the goodness from it, and then add in the tomato sauce and cook for a little while longer. Before serving throw in a few handfuls of spinach, this needs about 1 minute to cook. Finally served above with a big dollop of greek yoghurt and a drizzle of olive oil.

And there is the cure to my hangover that Saturday, and boy did it work!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Salma Hayek's stunning wedding dress

Image: Associated Press from Daily Mail website

Wow, doesn't Salma Hayek look gorgeous! I imagine a dress with this kind of bodice could risk looking very tacky but somehow she manages to pull it off. I love love love the skirt too, the fullness and tulip shape of it are perfect. Sigh...

Friday, 24 April 2009

It's Friday!

Woo hoo! My shoes came this morning and fit like little feet gloves. Plus they are beautiful green, yeay.

Secondly since it's Friday and I have been loving the Slow Loris being tickled which Blog Goggles posted a while back, also to be found on You Tube, I thought you lovely people deserved a very nice slow loris to welcome the weekend in

Image from Cute Overload

Finally a huge thank-you to my followers and readers, for taking the time out to listen and respond to my ramblings. It really does make having a blog very enjoyable and I love hearing from you all. It would be fun if we could have blogging tea parties every now and then as I think they would be most enjoyable. Although no idea how they would work perhaps someone should invent something...

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mmmm cheesecake

So today I have not been having the best day at work. Then I bought myself a plum cheesecake... and things are getting better :)

Perhaps this could be because it combines my love of both cheese and cake. And that it is absurdly bad for me but ridiculously yummy!

Hope you are all having lovely humpdays

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

New Green Shoes!

Inspired by Rachel and Blog Goggles I today purchased new shoes! Woohoo! I mostly wear flats, being both tall and having deformed enough feet I figure this is sensible but finding relatively inexpensive comfortable flats is not easy. The last pair I bought are too small. However I still wear them, I know, I know I shouldn't but I have no other options. So today I purchased some summery green flats as below:
They are from Toast where I have never shopped before, but Rachel says they're comfortable and I like the green and hopefully they will soon be whizzing through the postal system to me. Fingers crossed they fit!

This does of course mean that I will now have to rid myself of a pair of shoes, for those of you who don't know, J has enforced a one in one out policy on shoes for me. Which is actually good, it does make me think more about my purchases knowing that something will have to go if something new appears. But perhaps I can sneak these ones in, tee hee!

Anyone else have a shoe policy? Apart from buying and owning as many as possible :)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Monday signs...

My friend has just returned from a lovely trip to Wales and came back with this picture of warning signs at a castle she visited. I just love that the head one also has eyes closed in pain as if it's going to be really bad if you hit your head!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday Sights

We had a relaxed Sunday, both of us had spent Saturday hungover so we wanted to make a little more of our Sunday and since it was a lovely day I thought I might share it with you...

We walk past Buckingham Palace on the way to church and normally see the tail end of the Royal Guards after they have changed.

Then after a little lunch on a bench in Soho we went for a walk round Hyde Park, with lots of other people, I love watching people play and have fun.

Popped out at the Albert Memorial, which is glorious in the sunshine!

And I have never really looked at it so today saw this little part of it, love the detail, so Victorian.

And then we walked down to Chelsea and past Bibendum, it has the best pictures outside of these fabulous cars and landscapes.

And finally we pootled home to Pimlico, tired feet and ready for a cup of tea. What a lovely Sunday, hope yours was as good! x

Friday, 17 April 2009

New Blog Love

I have recently been discovering quite a lot of new blogs and thought I would give some of them a shout out to see if you like them too! So here goes...

1. Wee Birdy - A delightful blog focused on London and full of interesting places to go, things to do and food to eat

2. fresh365 - I found this from Lovely Morning, Kristinas blog and the food and photography are captivating. I'm hoping to do more cooking now I've got more time and this is quite inspiring.

3. Blog Goggles - Fabulously stylish, sweet and amusing, a blog I love reading and introduces to me to all sorts of desirable items

4. Start from where you are - My sister's blog full of lovely ideas and thoughts on being greener and looking after yourself and the planet

5. Colour me green - Both a wedding blog and a stylish New York blog, one with great pictures, thoughful posts and much more.

For now just these to start, but these blogs are definitely work a look. If there are any you have found recently which you have really enjoyed can you leave me the link in a comment. It would be much appreciated!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

A Gorilla a day...

Will keep you smiling away! Especially if they are as cute as these ones:

Image: The Commons on Flickr, via Cute Overload

I dreamed a dream...

I woke up this morning and felt guilty. At first I couldn't work out why and then I remembered. I cheated on J. In my dream last night. Some of the dream is slightly hazy, I know for sure that the boy I cheated with was not someone I know, he was nameless but good looking. We were all at a party and for some reason I decided to go shopping with this boy, we had been looking for an excuse to escape. J was there but I didn't care that I was obviously going off with someone else. I know I kissed the other boy and I think then I felt guilty in my dream and returned to J who had been watching and waiting for me all alone at the party. I remember him asking me, did you cheat on me and all I could say was yes, but I didn't sleep with him. And then we left to get the Number 24 bus home.

I felt so guilty this morning that I told J. I'm not sure why though because it makes me feel horrible to know I dreamed this and that it could upset him that I dreamed this. And it's stupid because it really was just a dream, and one I shouldn't worry about. According to a friend dreaming of cheating is expressing an anxiety I have with another area of my life. So I really shouldn't worry but I still feel bad. Ah well, here's to a more peaceful nights sleep tonight...

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

New Shorts!

I was so very excited last year when Banana Republic opened on Regent Street and flew in and oohed and aahed at all the pretty things there. And then I looked at the price tag and saw the prices. They were charging £80 for something which was $80 online and this was when the exchange rate was more in our favour! So I slunk out, and thought of all the beautiful pieces for the office which were right up my street and decided to wait for the sales. Well the sales haven't yet come but their prices have got considerably better and as I had the day of yesterday I just happened to be walking past when I found these:

I have been looking for shorts forever! Nice ones which aren't too short but also not too long. Short length is one of those things which can really change how your legs look. And won't they just be perfect for beach walks in Sicily and for summer days. I'm not sure if you can see in the pictures but they're blue and white pinstriped. And now they're mine!

It's just a shame my legs aren't as slim and are currently so white they're reflective, oh to be an English girl...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


J and I went to Hibiscus in Maddox Street for his birthday last week. We had been given a voucher for it as a wedding present but one of our friends and took the chance to use it. The restaurant was small, smaller than I had expected but nice, soft muted colours with some nice artwork and comfortable chairs.

Seeing as we had the voucher we treated ourselves to an aperitif but decided to go for the lunch menu which was three courses, a glass of wine and coffee with petit four for £33 (about $50). The amuse bouche was a little hisbicus juicy drink with a foam on top and yummy little balls of something inside. We both enjoyed that and they served proper bread with yummy butter. And then our starters. J had a chicken liver and foie gras terrine which was lovely. I ordered a Royale of Parmesan cheese with some asparagus something which I had no idea what it was. It turned out to be a squidgy, soupy something which had an odd taste which I couldn't identify. I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed.

We then got our mains, J a spatchcock quail with some veges which was lovely, great taste, looked nice, ticked all the boxes. I had a fillet of silver mullet with spring leeks and black grape jus. The fish was nice, not amazing but nice. However the leeks had been pureed and were bright green and tasted odd. Neither J nor I could put our finger on quite why it wasn't very nice but there was something odd all the same. And as for the grapes, there were a couple of little halves but not really very much else grapey.

Our puddings redeemed the meal somewhat, Whimberry Clafoutis and Barley Malt ice cream with a green tea syrup. It was yummy! And finally some really very good petit fours.

All in all, okay but not somewhere I would rush to recommend. It just wasn't great and my meals weren't great at all. A shame really as I had been looking forward to it but onwards and upwards to the next restaurant!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Pizza Party

We had a pizza party for J's birthday, much, much fun. I made the dough in the afternoon from a Giorgio Locatelli recipe with fresh yeast and then prepared the tomato sauce for the topping. A slight mistake there when I forgot to cook it down after straining it but a little tomato puree sorted that out!

All our lovely friends bought toppings, you can see a couple above, pesto, mushrooms, bacon, egg, black pudding, lots of sausage, asparagus and on I could go... Then away we went. We all took turns in making pizzas and then shared them out whilst drinking and conversing and perhaps singing too. All good! Much much fun. Definitely one to think about again.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Happy Easter!

I'm off home to see my parents today, going to spend some time out of London relaxing. We had a pizza party last night for J's birthday, I shall post about it when I'm back.

Until then, hope you all have lovely Easter breaks and enjoy the long weekend!

Marie x

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Happy Birthday J!

It's J's birthday today. For which he got a beautiful new paring knife and knife sharpener. Romantic I know... but he is an amazing cook and knives are one of the few things we didn't put on our wedding list. And he can make me many more yummy dinners so winning all round.

What do you get your other halves for birthdays? Any ideas for me for next year!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Morning thoughts

Sitting in bed this morning while eating my breakfast we had the Today programme on Radio 4. This is one of my favourite things, strangely enough, as much as I hate hearing all the bad news I hate even more not to know what's going on. And I enjoy starting my day with breakfast and a rant at the radio. But I digress.

We heard the awful news about the earthquake in Italy and then J turns to me and says:
'What happens if Etna erupts when we're in Sicily?'
me: 'I think we'll be fine we're far enough away'
J: 'Hmm maybe'

Which got me thinking on the way into work, what would we do. Would we escape to the beach and try and find a boat to sail away on. But as far as I know lava flows pretty quickly so might not be ideal approach. Any suggestions?

Oh and I also realise I've probably not said that we're actually going to Sicily. Our first holiday abroad since 2007, these weddings do rather get in the way of spending on holidays! Leaving on the 17th May and I am just so excited to be going to spend time in the sunshine with my husband. Woohoo!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A killer image

Fear not, I'm not going to go all political. But I saw the picture below and couldn't help but love it. It looks like something out of a college yearbook not some of the world's top leaders at potentially one of the most important meetings of the year! Brilliant.

Oh and for those of you wondering what London is like at the moment, all I can say is same same really. Just lots and lots of police and cavalcades all the time. Yesterday I walked past the back of 10 Downing Street (I do every day, twice) but anyhow, there were about 70 policemen and women just hanging around, it was of course the time that President Obama was visiting Gordon Brown but still that's a lot of police! It'll all be back to normal soon I'm sure.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

On changing names...

I always knew I was going to somehow keep my name but gradually as our engagement progressed and we got closer to the wedding I felt somehow that I wanted to take J's name too. However he never seemed to fussed so I was going to just become Mrs K. After lots of wrangling (internally) I finally asked him to be very honest with me and tell me if he wanted me to take his name or not. To which he said he would and it was decided I would become Mrs R-K, he would be Mr R and the kiddies (if we have any) would be little R-Ks.

I didn't think much of it beyond that but quite liked the idea of proclaiming my marriage to all and sundry through this new name and of the pride I have of being married to him and having his surname to prove this.

And then we got married and confusion ensued, were we both K-Rs or just me and was I K-R or R-K and who knew! Slowly, very slowly, people are getting it and I'm getting it. I booked a restaurant today under Mrs R-K! Which is a big step for me. Because it has taken until now to actually start changing things.

I got my new passport the other day and new debit cards. I have informed my frequent flyer club of my change in name. But I still haven't officially changed names at work. Nor have I changed my credit cards. Nor have I changed the countless online accounts I have. And this is beginning to weigh on me. I have a lot to do. Which takes a lot of time. And I really should create of list of everything I need to change and slowly tick it off. Otherwise it's just going to take longer and longer and longer and potentially never get done!

So sorry for the moan, but any advice for quickly changing names or thoughts on changing names more than welcome! Thank-you, WitC x