Sunday, 28 February 2016

Walk with me: Cherhill Downs (the white horse)

I've walked this short steep 2.8km walk since I was a very young child and I love it very much. This is actually the first time I've taken pictures here because I find it so beautiful I feel that

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Why Baskervilles in Palmers Green is my favourite London tearoom

Whenever I'm in Palmers Green, I feel a definite urge to go to Baskervilles for tea and cake and I'm not even a big fan of tea. I only truly like Rooibos tea which is caffeine free and delicious without milk. I dislike milk. And if I'm consuming caffeine, I want coffee.

Baskervilles is relatively new, I lived round the corner from it about 7 or 8 years ago and it was sadly not there then. I first discovered it a couple of years ago when I popped back for a jumble sale. Palmers Green is so good for jumble sales and charity shops. I find some of my favourite clothes and books in Palmers Green and for so cheap.

Anyway, back to Baskervilles and why I love it:

It's both cosy and spacious as well as sweet. The details are lovely - blackboard has pretty green frills drawn round the options, the staff wear frilly aprons and are really nice. It's usually quite full of happy families (they are very child friendly) but it was quiet today as we went quite late in the day.

Going for a walk at lunchtime - such a good idea!

Reasons to go for a walk at lunchtime

  • fresh air
  • natural light
  • switch off and recharge
  • exercise

During winter/until the clocks change, I expected all my weekday walks would be in the dark, but yesterday was so sunny that I scoffed my lunch while working and used my break to go to Regents Park.

glorious daffodils

 I felt so happy and relaxed walking in the sunshine amongst the daffodils and blossoms and little fat squirrels.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

WALK MORE! 2016 resolutions - better late than never

Goal: go for a walk every single day

I mentioned in a previous post that my sister leaves her house every day and goes for a walk which I think is amazing. I work full time in a basement and see very little sun, especially in winter. Even in summer, the only real time I spend outdoors is when I go for a run. I think the outdoors nature time might be a big part of why I love to run!

Anyway, my sister has inspired me and my main resolution for this year is to develop the habit of going for a walk every day. I've already started (most successfully at the weekends) and Stu has been joining me which is so nice.

Weekday walking is less good, it's dark when I leave work and I'm tired. I often go to the gym at lunch and when I don't, I like to spend it with my colleagues as I mostly work alone and don't want to alienate myself further! And I already get up early because I do a bunch of chores and have a relaxed coffee with Stu before I leave for work. Roll on summer, then I can have daylight evening walks!

Quick lazy breakfast - coffee, banana and cereal with coconut milk

I'm really looking forward to all the potential walks I plan to experience this year - I've already really enjoyed my walks over the last week and a half! I haven't managed every day but I've only just started. And actually even night walks have their charm. I love the shadows and lights, particularly tree branches.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

2 course pancake feast for two

Coconut & coriander pancake with stir-fried greens, sriracha and a soy/vinegar dip

Pancake day is probably one of my favourite days of the year! Mmm pancakes. Why don't I eat pancakes more often?!

Anyway, I was feeling inspired this year and decided to step my pancakes up a notch (for me) even though I love a classic lemon and sugar.

Both pancakes were made using coconut milk and I was inspired by an amazing coriander stuffed omelette we had in Morocco with Mohamed from Mali tours. I didn't actually eat much of it because it was his breakfast and I was worried he didn't have enough! I hope he didn't think I didn't like it because I loved it and have made my own version of it twice since our return.

I'm also obsessed with mango at the moment. I've only just learned how to cut them into these hedgehogs via this amazingly helpful youtube video and now I can't stop buying mangoes. Before this video I used to ignore the mango, accept defeat and let Stu prepare them or I would buy expensive preprepared packs. Mango independence acheived!

Coconut pancake with mango, coconut cream, maple syrup and lime
Both pancakes are vegetarian, dairy free and low in sugar and I think they are pretty healthy as well as feeling special and delicious. Me and Stu really enjoyed them.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Marrakech, I LOVE YOU - part 2

This post is my notebook of where we stayed, where we ate and what to remember for next time. For where we went and what we did, see part 1.

Where we stayed

We stayed in Riad Chi-chi, which was right in the medina, near the souks and very close to Medersa Ben Youssef and Musee Marrakech so an ideal location for us as we were only there a short time and it was so easy to access everything we wanted to do. The souks are a maze and cars can only get to a certain point but with airport transfer, we were met at the drop off point by a lovely man from the riad called Saleh who showed us the way and gave us a map.

A riad is a traditional building with all the windows of the rooms facing inwards to a central garden/courtyard and has a roof terrace on top.

Riad Chi-chi is so peaceful and beautiful and it was lovely to walk through the chaos of the medina and plunge into calm. The d├ęcor is subtle, creams and whites and stone, white Moroccan lamps, cream pom pom blankets, pot plants, rose petals and a small fountain.

When we arrived we had mint tea and biscuits while filling in forms - lots of form filling for tourists in Morocco. We had to fill out a little card as we arrived at the airport, when we arrived at the riad and when we left the airport.

Our room had this beautiful big window seat - so romantic and pretty! 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Marrakech, I LOVE YOU - part 1

I've wanted to visit Morocco since I was 8 and finally decided to live the dream - Stu and I went to Marrakech for 3 nights this week and it was all I had hoped and so much better. The chaos, the pattern, the colour, the food, the intense beauty. I loved it and can't wait to go back.

This post I will talk about what we did and where we went. For places we stayed, ate and helpful notes, please look at part 2.

Medersa Ben Youssef
This is a disused Islamic school and the architecture and decoration is utterly amazing. This was round the corner from the riad we stayed in and was the first place we visited. So, so beautiful, pattern on almost every surface. Just incredible.