What are the two best things about summer? Ice-cream and cocktails…. and the weather, al fresco dinners, summer wardrobes and generally being in a better mood, but we’re just concentrating on the two for this post! Well, not really ice-cream, sorbet but hey go with it!
I’ve been seeing a slight frosé (frozen rosé) craze circulating the Internet this summer, but because I’m more of a prosecco fan, I decided to adapt the frosé and make my own version. I call it a peach sorbet & prosecco cocktail…doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? It isn’t much of a recipe, as it’s pretty simple, so don’t call me a mixologist just yet, but it’s a lovely drink that you can serve up easily for a BBQ or any get together this summer.
First the sorbet…
4 ripe peaches
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Peel the peaches, cut in small cubes and freeze overnight.
- Stir sugar in ½ cup of water, and blend with the frozen peaches and a few ice cubes.
- Add the salt and lemon and blitz until smooth.
- Transfer to a loaf pan and freeze (either for a couple of hours or overnight)
Mint leaves or rosemary for garnish
- Add an ice-cream scoop full of the sorbet to each glass
- Pour in a capful of elderflower cordial and top it up with prosecco
- Serve up with a sprig mint or rosemary to garnish and voila!
For my sister’s (I won’t say what age) birthday, I surprised her with a couple of mock boarding-pass tickets for a weekend in Amsterdam! We’ve both wanted to go there for years and years and as it was a bank holiday weekend and my birthday too, it seemed like the best time to get away and explore the Venice of the North!
We spent 3 days walking around, trying to avoid getting run over by a bike (they’re everywhere!), visiting the cute sell-everything shops that have amazing interior design in the Jordaan district, brunching of course (Amsterdam is big on vegan & veggie friendly cafes) visiting the Red Light District (an experience, to say the least!) and my highlight, the Anne Frank House, a place which I’ve been wanting to visit ever since reading her diary, at around 11 years old. If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, I definitely wouldn’t skip this one. You may find yourself in the queue for 2ish hours (try and book tickets online before to avoid this) but it is incredibly moving to see the annexe in real life, walk the steps she and her family tiptoed, trying not to get discovered by the Nazis.
I just fell in love with Amsterdam. The canal views, bike culture (maybe next time I’ll actually have the courage to ride one), the people and the buildings. I could see why New York was originally named New Amsterdam (just call me Wikipedia!) as the tall townhouses with stoops looked straight out of a Sex & the City set!
My last post was a quick break to tell you all about the MAC & Disney event, but now I’m back to the land of pizza, pasta and gelato through this post (not in real life I’m afraid) and bring you a guide for the beautiful city, Florence.
We hopped on a train from Lake Como to Florence, with a little stop over in Milan and spent 2.5 days walking around, exploring the city and comparing gelateria, as you do in Italy! We happened to be in Florence over Easter weekend and although the city was heaving with people, we still managed to tick most of the churches, bridges, statues etc from our list.
Like any city, the best thing to do is just to walk around and absorb the place, but obviously you should hit the main places on your list. The main things you don’t want to miss (and can’t miss, as they’re simply everywhere) are the beautiful white-washed historical buildings that take over the main piazza in Florence, including the main one, the Duomo.
Florence also houses the famous Michelangelo’s David statue in the Accademia Gallery, however as the queue was as long as the Amazon River, we decided to settle for the imitation David statue instead, in the Piazza Della Signoria. The piazza also has many other classical statues, which shamefully reminded me of how much of my Classics knowledge I’ve forgotten since my degree!
Other things to see are Basilica Santa Maria Novella, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Officina Profumo Farmaceutica (a 500 year old pharmacy that used to be run by monks!) and the Sant Ambrogia market.
See the best views of Florence
The most famous view point is at Piazzale Michelangelo and many people head there for sunset, which is exactly what we did. However we also stumbled across a lovely view from the Giardino Bardini Gardens, a much less well-known garden to the famous Boboli, but I would recommend Bardini for a quieter and more relaxed experience…plus check out the view!
I am an avid reader of The Londoner’s blog and in her Florence blog post, she made a big statement that a little family run restaurant, Cammillo, was the second best restaurant she had ever been to…so you can’t not try it, right? Initially my family weren’t too keen as the veggie options were limited, but after some persuading (and promising of gelato after) we booked a table for lunch. I ordered a simple spaghetti with garlic & tomato sauce (such a simple gal!) but, it was seriously perhaps the best spaghetti I have ever had! Make sure to book a table at Cammillo, as it gets booked up very quickly with locals and tourists.
The food in general was quite meat based, as Florence is in Tuscany, so if you’re a meat eater other must-go places are Il Latini & Café Gilli.
Have the best gelato
I don’t think you can get bad gelato in Florence but obviously I did my research beforehand and picked out some places I definitely wanted to try: Gelateria dei Neri (try the salted caramel), Vivoli and one that actually wasn’t on my list (going off the list? I’m wild!), Gelateria Santa Trinita (try the coconut), which in my opinion may have been the best one we had been to!
As it was Easter weekend, a lot of the shops and restaurants were sadly closed, but if you’re going to Florence, add Brac & La Cantinetta to your list, let me know what they’re like and make me jealous!