Friday, March 21, 2014

Trending - Giraffe Love

Everywhere I look at the moment there are beautiful doe-eyed giraffes.  From Pinterest to Harpers Bazaar and Louis Vuitton's Art of Travel campaign, giraffe love is here to stay.  I mean what's not to love about these beautiful, graceful and velvety animals.  Here are some of my favourite shots to get the weekend off to a great start...

images: 1,2 3+

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Almond Snacks


It's no secret that I love nuts - peanuts, almonds, monkey nuts, pistachios, walnuts, when I came across a recipe recently that souped up the humble almond it was a given that I would give it a go.  There are other recipes for elevating the humble nut into something special, including this recipe from Nigella that is a nod to the spicy nuts served in the Union Square Bar in New York.  This one uses just a few ingredients:

2 cups raw whole almonds
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt:
To Make:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Mix all the ingredients together before placing on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.  Cook for 8-10 mins, stirring from time to time and keeping an eye on them so that they don't burn.  Allow to cool and a crisp glaze has formed over the nuts.
Then munch!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Dior - La vie en rose

Natalie Portman is beautiful.  She is even more beautiful than I remember in the new Dior ad for the new Miss Dior fragrance Blooming Bouquet.  Embodying the grace and elegance of Parisian chic, she sells this perfume like no other could.  Everything about the ad screams romance, couture, style; it teases the viewer promising a lifestyle of opulence and luxury, if only you were to wear Miss Dior.  Miss Portman wears an exquisite haute couture gown from Dior, designed by Raf Simons and is surrounded by gorgeous pastel hued flowers.  I'm sold.  The ad is Shot by Sofia Copola and photographs taken on the grand staircase by the wonderful Tim Walker...I'm in love...

If these magical photographs have captured your heart, you can watch the ad and her interview here...

images: Dior

Monday, March 10, 2014

Glimpses from the Weekend...

I had a myriad of very boring and potentially stressful admin jobs to get through this weekend and wasn't looking forward to them at all; but guess what?  I didn't do any of them. What a rebel I am!  I didn't do them because this past weekend saw London basking in glorious sunshine and after weeks and weeks of grey skies and torrential rain, there was no way I was going to miss out.  I fitted in some quick gym trips and then a wonderfully gentle walk in Claremont Landscape Garden.  I love this garden for it's soft landscaping and dotted white benches strewn around the lawns.  All the spring flowers were there in abundance and the views from the Camelia garden down over the rest of the park were a soothing vista for tired and weary psyches!  Then it was a quick trip to the newly opened Daylesford Organic Farmshop in Esher for a hearty bowl of soup and tangy rarebit.  In fact Saturday was a bit of a gourmet tryathon all round, as in the evening we made it to a place that I've been dying to try for some time, Ben's Canteen.  I'd heard fantastic things about their burgers and it didn't disappoint.  The BC burger is a beef pattie topped with salt beef, homemade bbq sauce and cheese and I was torn between that and the crispy chicken burger made with spicy buttermilk.  I went for the chicken, and oh my word, it was heaven.  The chicken coating was spicy and crunchy and the streaky bacon was crunchy not soggy;  the celeriac slaw was finely chopped and totally delicious.  Really a fantastic tasting meal and great value too. If you want to go for a pud you can do 2 courses and a glass of wine for £15 between 5-7pm which is exceptionally good value.

Sunday saw another glorious day, so I packed a bag, windbreak, towel and rug and it was off to West Wittering beach, one of my favourite places ever.  For some reason, despite the wonderful sunny day, apart from dog walkers and horse riders, the beach was pretty deserted.  I read, watched the tide come in, slept and let the worries of the past week slide to one side for a while, letting the positive ions do their thing.  Bliss.  It's good to have some time like this, like putting money in the bank, something to draw on when emotional resources are weak.

Hoping your weekend was relaxing and restorative!