Cultural Sundays

tower of london poppy tower of london poppy shard tower of london poppy Ways I like to spend my weekends:

a) Sitting in front of the TV, watching re-runs of Modern Family (love that show!), in my fluffy dressing gown and a cup of tea (which has to be Twinnings!).
b) Having a culture day at a museum
c) Asleep

#GrandmaLife

I know that your 20s are meant to be about going out every weekend and spending your Sundays tweeting about your never ending hangover, but lately that life just doesn’t appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the occasional night out, where I belt out all the words to Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’ (and then cringe the next day when my friends have it recorded their phones), but I like to spend the majority of my weekends having lazy days, maybe venturing out to Tesco to refill my HobNob stash and being a tourist in my own country/city.

I spent last weekend at the Tower of London for a cultural day, which pleased my not-so-inner geek so much. We saw the crown jewels, the prison within the tower, where Anne Boleyn was coronated and where she was beheaded (awkward!). We ended the day with an obligatory trip to the gift shop. Hands down the best part of any school trip! Right?

It’s hard to miss the endless pictures on Instagram of the Tower of London poppy display, which is to mark the 100-year anniversary of World War 1. Each poppy is laid out for every person who died fighting in the First World War. A striking visual display of all the blood shed during the war. tower of london poppy poppy display london london guardOn a happier note, remember when I got shortlisted for the Cosmo blog awards? (STILL SO HAPPY!) Well voting ends tomorrow, so please vote for my little blog in the Lifestyle Category if you haven’t already. If you have already voted, a wee thank you gift is on its way to you*.

* the gift is a lifetime supply of virtual hugs. You’re welcome!

Summer Casuals

jigsaw boyfriend jeansSo summer’s drawing to an end and I have bitter/sweet feelings. Reasons?

Sweet: around a month before the end of every season, I always just want to jump to the next season. Right now, all I want to do is wear tights, coats and boots, take a walk in the woods and step on some crunchy leaves and spend evenings indoors with my fluffy dressing gown, (which I actually wear all year round! It’s soo fluffy I’m gonna die!) hot chocolate and the fire on. Sound nice? Plus, the arrival of autumn means that Christmas is coming!!

Bitter: I know will regret the above statement when it’s a depressing, dizzily day in November and gets dark at 4pm.

Nevertheless, it is still only August and my current choice of outfit for a lazy summer day is to dress down in my oh so comfortable boyfriend jeans, a tee and my “are they ugly or are they chic” Birkenstock-type shoes.

Does anyone else also suffer from this internal dilemma and love/hate relationship for autumn and the coming of winter?!

london church summer ootdtop – Jigsaw | jeans – ASOS | shoes – F&F | bag – Mulberry | sunnies – Miu Miu

Wahaca Southbank

wahaca wahaca southbank wahacaI know it’s not customary to blog about chain restaurants, but who makes up the blog rules eh? Wahaca is one of my favourite chain restaurants, so much so that even writing this post is making me incredibly hungry! Must.have.wahaca.now.

I had never been to the Southbank Wahaca before and it didn’t disappoint. The menu is the tasting menu, which means that you get to try the new dishes here before they hit the other restaurants! #KeenMexicanBean

Food – The trick with Wahaca is to go for the street food and avoid the main dishes. This means you can sample many dishes, share with friends and this part of the menu just happens to have the best food! If you’re a veggie like me, a must have are the quesadilla (these were the new cheese and chilli ones) and the nachos with fresh guacamole. Mmmm.

Atmosphere – The atmosphere at this Wahaca is lovely! It’s lovely to sit outside on a hot day (which are becoming rare now, goodbye summer!) as you get to people watch along the Southbank and the view of the river. Southbank has such a nice atmosphere during the summer and is always bustling, so it’s nice to sit amongst that. There’s a mini fair ground in Southbank at the moment, so after all of that food we had a cheeky ride on the carousel. Yep, I am still 5 years old inside.

Shu-mazing factor – 7/10

Right, now I’m off to persuade someone to come to Wahaca with me!wahaca southbank wahaca wahaca

This Week I’m Baking – Victoria Sponge Cake

victoria sponge victoria sponge cake One thing I love about late summer, is that The Great British Bakeoff is back on our screens! If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, or you don’t live in the UK, let me give you the GBBO 411. Bakeoff is a competition for bakers, a bit like the X Factor for cakes with stressed bakers, technical challenges and Paul and Mary complaining about soggy bottoms!

Watching the show each week always gets me in the mood to get my bake on, so this week I made a true British summertime classic, the Victoria Sponge cake. Fairy simple, yummy and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of English breakfast tea. Here’s how to rustle up this bad boy:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar (to dust)
  • Raspberries
  • 200ml double cream
  • Jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c (160c if you have a fan oven).
  2. Grease and line two 18cm cake tins with baking paper.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale (almost white-ish) and fluffy mixture.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one by one and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in the flour a bit at a time, to avoid knocking all of the air out of the batter.
  6. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside (in the tins) for 10 minutes. Place on cooling rack for a further 20 minutes, until the cake is completely cool.
  8. Sandwich the cakes together with jam and whipped cream. TIP – I made a booboo (yes I still say this word) and put too much cream on the cake, so when I placed the lid on, the cream spilled out of the cake. Whoops! So even though you might not think you have enough filling, don’t worry, when you put the lid on the cream will be pushed out to the edge of the cake.
  9. Garnish with raspberries (or any or berries of your choice) and dust a little icing sugar on top to make it magical.

victoria sponge victoria sponge

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