Madrid the food and the City and the drinking girlsu

food, Travel

So day 1 was awesome. Day two I woke up fine, dreaming of a breakfast of dreams. So I hopped in the shower and got ready.

We hopped in a cab and headed to our breakfast place which was truely amazing. Only it was there that the hang over hit me. I was doing well until this point. I ordered my coffee and a fresh juice and then my food arrived.

Federal Cafe

Hangover

Whenever I am hungover I feel like avocados and smoked salmon are my best friends. I normally ask for the hollandaise on the side but I didn’t.

I wish I did.

They had added garlic in it which didn’t settle well with me. I wasnt sick but I felt horrible and just needed to be quiet. But my friends were worried so they asked a lot of questions and I withdrew into my hangover dreaming of my bed!

I just wanted to be alone.

Segways

This is were Becky informed me we were on Segways for the next section of the day! I couldn’t think of anything worse. Little did I know this would clear my hangover right up!

So we walked over to the Segway area the temperature had cooled to a 30 degree heat so although it was super hot still it had nothing on yesterday.

We all got water and hydrated but I wasn’t thirsty I was just tired. I sat in a slightly shady street with my wedding attire on and slowly died by the side.

Our instructor was brilliant he was super funny and patient. He had to be, we were awful! Becky went first and was so scared she screamed the street down and I could stop laughing. We all laughed at Becky as she awkwardly used the Segway. Tears streamed down my face of pure joy and I forgot my hangover and cane alive again!

It turned out none of us were much good. Two were okay and the rest of us hated it and swore we would never get on one again. He gave us ten minutes to feel it out for ourselves and one by one we dutifully got back on.

City tour

Whizzing around Madrid on the Segways were amazing. It was a great way to see the city and it was so safe. Madrid laws state that cars must wait for the Segways so we were allowed in the road not on the pavements.

It was so much fun, the driving helped cleared all our

Then we went do the market place! Yes it’s touristy but the bustle of all the food stalls and all the choice wow I loved it!

I bought an octopus skewer which was so tasty and massive!

Then we went to the main square for beer and ice cream. The bar where really sweet although they didn’t know what a shandy was but they looked after us.

Nap time

I was still exhausted. A few of the group had already left and now it was my time to put my head down and catch up on sleep.

So I went back to the hotel and caught up on some sleep. When I woke up we headed back upstairs to the roof top bar!

I needed the pool! Everyone ended up coming up for a glass of cold wine, gin and a dip in the plunge poool again.

Today was 34 degrees so it was still super hot! Then we all headed downstairs to get ready again. Becky had planned everything so well. Even down time was accounted for! We had a great day and it was about to be followed by an amazing meal!

Barata

jiminy cricket batman that starter was heaven on a plate. The mozzarella was soft and creamy the pesto was injected by me served with bread oh my word. I would actually fly back to Madrid for this meal right now.

The fish and pudding were also great but starter was out of this world.

The sangria was flowing the laughter was constant and the games were fun.

It was such a great night but we had an early flight and we were all aware of it! So we finished the hen how we started!

On the rooftop drinking gin!

I have this thing with Le Creuset

interior design, Uncategorised

Oh yes I do.

It started with a sugar bowl and it will never end!

8 years ago I moved into an upside down house in Archway. The house was awesome and completely unfurnished. I had to buy everything from scratch. This meant I slept on a gym mat for a few months before my secondhand bed arrived.

One of the first things I bought was a bright red sugar bowl from a charity shop. I think it was 50p and it is still my sugar bowl today!

TkMax and homesence have a lot to answer for. Me and Gavin went shopping one day and treated me to a bright red La Creuset butter dish. It is beautiful and my pride and joy although I don’t use it enough.

Then he found this beautiful black mug there was 6 of them and they were £5.99 each. I wasn’t sure on the colour but they were gorgeous and a french cookware brand I adore.

I bought two.

Used them, fell in love with them and went back to find out there were no more left. These mugs keep your tea warm for much longer and I loved them but I missed out.

Then it grew from there

I have two jugs

A teapot and coffee pot. Honey ares, baking trays and baking dishes. I have two pie dishes and even two pie birds to let the steam out!

They are all red except for the mugs which have also increased. I now have 6 smaller black mugs 8 different shaped mugs and 8 little espresso mugs even though we don’t have an espresso machine. Every time we go in TKMaxx we hunt for these larger mugs. When one broke we couldn’t find it even on there website so Gav bought me a purple one. It hides at the back of the cupboard.

These are hard mugs to break but it does happen and it makes me sad.

Homeward Gifts

I often get LeCreuset for christmas and birthdays and I bloody love it. I would rather get a practical gift then something I never use.

My most used dishes are the smaller bakeware ones as it’s normally just me and Gav. I grew up in a household where food was all laid out on the table so you can help yourself. So my dishes do get used a lot!

I definitely have a thing for Le Creuset. I want some of the cast iron collection next! I just added them up and I have 25 different styles of Le Creuset that’s not how many pieces I have.

This may be an addiction!

My favourite healthy lunch I prepare at work

body confidence, Fitness, food, health, Personal Experience, weight loss

So I am training, toning and eating healthier. I am a stone (14lbs) over weight. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite healthy lunches that I prepare at work.

I get 30 minutes for lunch so I don’t have a lot of time. This Asian salad I saw on a website and have adapted it to suit me.

You will need:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Cabbage medley
  • Asian slaw
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Prawns ( I chose chilli and coriander)
  • Soy ( I am using Tamara less salt)
  • Sriracha ( I don’t like heat but I love this sauce)
  • A lime

This will make 2 lunches with enough salad to make 2/3 more.

I would love not to buy things with so much plastic however everything I bought was prepacked. Plus I only get 30 minutes so I have time constraints.

So Tesco is my local supermarket to work. I tend to do a shop for the weeks lunches! This isn’t a cheap lunch but I get 4 lunches out of it so it works out at about 2.50 a lunch and 250 calories per portion. I colour make this a lot cheaper by pre preparing everything at home but I would have to buy a lot of ingredients that I would have to eat all week.

Eating habits

I don’t know about you but I hate eating the same thing every day. When you are single this is the worse part of cooking!

I decided to prepare lunch for my work colleagues who only eats fish.

This Asian slaw is literally pickled cabbage and it takes so yummy. It adds an acid and freshness to this salad and I love it!

Now you want to give it a good mix

Now you add more flavour. Tamari has less salt than normal soy and it gluten free ( not that this effects me)

Hot source

sriracha is my new best friend when it comes to cooking. The level of heat is just yummy. Even for people who don’t like heat I would recommend using this! Just add a little at a time! I always find I need just a wee bit more!

Everything tastes better with sesame seeds. These roasted ones last for ages in your cupboard and they can make pretty much any dish tasty.

Fresh lime. I love like with the sweet salty chilli dressing you have put in this just helps sharpen it all up!

Perfect quick lunch

Yum, add as little or as less as you like. If I don’t add it does feel like I am missing something.

So that’s it!

I have more healthy lunches coming but for under 300 calories this is a great lunch and if there are left overs that get to marinate over night, so tastes even better.

What’s your favourite lunches.

May Day British Beach trip avec pooch!

french bulldog, Personal Experience, Travel

So Easter, then Mayday equals a lot of extra days off. This May Day bank holiday I had my mum visit me from France! Yay.

Thought I might share a nice day at the British seaside with the pooch! He hates being left at home and we love taking him with us. I think it’s great that you can take a dog with you. London is pretty good for dog friendly places but where we are going is super dog friendly!

We decided to treat her to a day trip to Leigh-on-Sea a place that if I won the lottery I would move to in a heart beat. If you have never been to Leigh it’s so lovely. A traditional British fishing town where dogs are welcome in so many places!

We got the train up and arrived at Leigh-on-Sea just before 12pm. It was busy considering that the weather was grim. Dogs were everywhere. We walked passed the cockle sheds passing lots of walkers a few tourists and a lot of locals!

All the puppies

It isn’t a long journey but obviously a pint was in order! Also more frenchies and the most gorgeous British bulldog Hugo!

He was super friendly. He jumped straight up on the table and Frank, not to be out done, jumped up to!

Then we wandered up along the front and hadn’t walked more than 10 paces before we came across Sara’s Tea garden which is an amazing dog friendly cafe. Frank had his own menu and came away with his own homemade snacks! Pretty much every table had a dog underneath it.

Oh yes the human menu was pretty great too.

The great scone debate

We all had the scones and the Essex Tiptree jam. Jam first then clotted cream!

I really don’t understand how people put jam over cream it’s practically impossible!Tea was good. As a Brit we judge tea places quite harshly. If I say it’s a good cuppa it’s a good cuppa!

Then we had to walk off our scones! So we walked all the way up to Chalkwell. The houses along the sea front are the stuff of (lottery) dreams said the weather wasnt perfect but it was great for walking. Frank tried to give me a heart attack by almost jumping in the sea!

On-Sea Estuary

Technically it’s the estuary not the sea, but do I love it! Leigh-on-Sea has won awards for its beaches even though its not big. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach which is a shame because Frank loves sand.

Just before the main beach there is a little bank between the buildings so we let Frank play with that stretch of sand whilst we waited!

Of course we walked all the way there and walk all the way back! It was a lovely walk and by the time we got back we were ready for a nice local pint at Ye Old Smack.

Plus I had some time for some planning! Lots of birthdays and appointments this month!

waiting for the train

We were happy. Eaten yummy scones, gorgeous ales, 15000 steps befriending lots of puppies.

We checked the train times. Still had time to snark in another drink!

This time something warm. Then home.

How was your bank holiday?

Healthy habits, does chocolate count?

body confidence, food, health, Personal Experience

Day 14, 3 healthy habits, 30 day blog challenge.

I am slightly over weight, a sugar addict and lazy! So writing about 3 healthy habits seems a bit hypocritical however. I am trying to tone up and loose weight so I have change 3 things which is definitely a healthy habit.

Farewell Diet Coke

Like most people when they start dieting you give up the heavenly full fat drinks and swap them with diet drinks.

I became addicted we are talking 8 cans a day of Diet Coke. If I was hungry I would have one, every meal including breakfast I would have one. I felt like the fact that it had no calories meant that I could have it all the time.

Wrong

I started cutting back after Christmas when I ordered 3 crates of coke and Gav said it wasn’t healthy. When you rely on something too much then it’s a bad habit. It need to be kicked so I stopped.

I cut it down to two cans a day. Which was still a lot but at least it was something. This year I decided to cut out plastic water bottles. So cans of coke are harder to find.

Cutting back

When I went on holiday to Bulgaria I failed with my plastic bottles and diet coke wasn’t as everywhere so I treated myself to full fat coke!

But when I returned from holiday I didn’t buy any coke. At work I swapped my coke for squash because for some reason I wasn’t drinking enough water. I know squash isn’t that great. But I am drinking 4 litres of water everyday.

Swapping coke for water and squash is definitely a step in the right direction.

As you saw from my fridge yesterday there is no coke for either me or Gav. We both have a can but I still haven’t drunk it yet! If will be my Sunday treat!

Aurevoir chocolate

I had a lot of twix o’clock at work. Basically I now understand that I am an emotional eater. If I am upset then or annoyed then I want chocolate. Twix O’clock became a 2pm habit. I like to reward myself for everything!!!

It had to end. I am not going to deny myself chocolate but I definitely do not need it everyday. But a few times a week is fine. My skin doesn’t appreciate too much sugar so it better to cut right down. Plus I love celery so I cut it up and pop it in Tupperware. When I want to eat I something I can tuck into my cut up veg.

How good does that twix look!

Getting my arse into gear

So my last healthy habit is walking home. I get the bus to and from work. Living and working in London means that public transport is super cheap.

We now have lighter evening so roads and pathways don’t look so scary. So far I have walked home 3-4 times every week for the past 2 weeks . The weather hasn’t been great but it hasn’t stopped me.

My body is grateful for the exercise and fresh air. Plus it’s spring, so all the blossoms are out and my Instagram and a few of my blogs have had spring themes and lots of blossoms on them.

When I get home Gav meets me at the door with Frank and we go and walk him in the park. I have a wee bit more energy and my skin looks better.

Even though I should not reward myself I don’t feel so bad for eating a piece ( a whole bar, I am a compulsive eater) of chocolate.

But walking isn’t just about physical health. My 45 minute walk home clears my head. I listen to music and zone out. Walking has left me in a meditative state. I come home happy. The weather hasn’t bothered me.

I have given myself a task of 70000 steps a week and so far I have smashed it. I just need to keep going!

In summary

When I was photographing this I wanted to hurry up so I could drink the Diet Coke, it’s 10am so I will make myself wait! I also ate the celery, yum and will eat the chocolate later.

I am trying to be healthy, getting fit for the wedding. I have saved money walking home. I am saving roughly £24 a month so… I am going back to the gym. It’s only £36 a month and I miss it. I can go before work, my work mates go every day.

It about changing your mindset and creating a habit that you stick too. I am drinking more water (squash) walking home and cutting out my chocolate snacks for fruit and veg!

Things are getting better and I am feeling better!

Watch this space!

My favourite dishes

food, Uncategorised

Day 11, 10 favourite dishes, 30 day blog challenge

I am only allowed 10 so this may be tricky. I love lots of food my food is going to be super country specific rather than food specific.

This is a hard one because food is maybe my favourite thing… yes I think it is. I love textures and flavour and feel like a meal can transport you some where!

  • creole dinner
  • French Food
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
  • Buffalo Orange Chicken wings
  • Rare steak and chips
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Phillipino Food
  • Spanish
  • Gin

I do love to cook. I like to think I can try my hand at anything.

Both my parents are great cooks. I used to sit and watch them cook. They both cooked from scratch and I picked it all up. My mum was a good baker and made us healthy hearty British meals. I learned a lot from her.

Creole food

My dad cooked meals from home, fried fish, salt fish , rice lentils and chicken soup. My dad loved everything about British food . Roast dinners, stews and good food.

Friday night dinners were the best. He cooked fried parrot fish with a gorgeous tomato sauce. His chicken or octopus curry with potatoes is the best thing in the world! His lentil soup is beyond gorgeous especially when he puts chorizo in it! The fourth part of the dinner I a cucumber salad. Simple and delicious!

French Food

Oh lala. Tartiflette, Crab mimosas, tomto salads, Rare beef, octopus salad. The french can cook and to top it off they know how to add a gorgeous glass of red wine to help it all go down.

Mum mum has been living I france for over 14 years now and has picked up a few recipes. Her baking and traditional British food is yummy. But France has such good local produce that makes even a salad ( you don’t make friend a with salad) taste yummy.

Steak and chips in France is maybe the best in the world…. with Hawksmoor also do an amazing steak.

Turkish food

Ummm Turkish breads, onion salads, hummus oh yes. Then there is marinated meats!

Turkish food is completely associated with kebabs, and traditionally are beyond yummy. But there is so much more to Turkish cuisine than just meet and bread. I love it all, seafood, gozleme and pide. I love it all.

Vietnamese

When I lived in Australia I didn’t have the greatest experience but the food, jeez the food. I used to go to a Vietnamese restaurant and had roast quails with sour sauce. I loved this starter so much that when ever I went to this restaurant I would order it as a starter and a main.

This opened my eyes to Vietnamese food which on the whole I feel like there is a freshness and pure deliciousness that I have never tasted before.

Orange buffalo

They deserve there own section. Me and Gav live chicken wings. My dad does great ones and has always loved them too. We were excited to introduce him and his partner to these tasty wings that have won awards in the states.

I do dream of going to Texas and going to the chicken wing festivals they have there. Last year London hosted one too and it was brilliant. It was a hot dry day and we had so much beer and chicken wings it was wonderful.

Hopefully we will be free for it this year.

Japanese

Part of the reason I want to Honeymoon in Japan is the food. Sushi, ramen, the lists goes on. Again there is a cleanness to Japanese food that I love. I could eat sushi every day.

I have a list of places I want to eat in Japan but if you have any recommendations I would love to here. My friends Sam and Jon just went to Japan so they have a few recommendations that I can’t wait to try!

Mexican

Oh boy! I told you love food, meat cheese and bread are you sensing a theme. Pulse Mexican food is all about fresh tomatoes, onions and guacamole.

My friend is Mexican and cooks food that I have never had in a Mexican restaurant. I can’t tell you what a good cook she is! Beyond tasty and again freshness.

Filipino food

This is a new one for me. We had it recently and I can’t stop dreaming about their noodle salad.

Stuff of foody dreams. This is all down to one restaurant food vendor BBQ Dreams. Amazing dishes like I have never tasted. Crispy cauliflower and marinated hearts. All perfectly yummy.

Spanish, German and the rest of the world.

Are you sensing a theme? I just love food all of it. British everything, German sausages and pickled cabbage. Tapas and Rioja… seriously.

I have had pulled pork encased in a mash potato pig and traditional borscht soup in Russia. BBQ lobster on the beach in Seychelles, peroge next to nuns and priests in Krakow, chips in Belgium ( truly are the best in the world) neaps and tatties in Scotland. And roast dinners in my homes.

Food need to come from the heart. So I don’t really have a favourite dish. I love the all.

That and gin, is gin a food? It should be.