Sunday, 16 December 2012

Warming up to the festive season

Over the past couple of weeks I have done a couple of unusual but pretty festive things.
The first was a pop up pudding club held by coco catering, held at Hagglers corner which had been transformed into a winter wonderland by orchis floral design. It was an absolute feast of puddings from sticky toffee pudding to pavlova and poached pears. The last pudding of the night was a wonderful teacup of mocha mousse. It had a light coffee cream top hiding a dark chocolate mousse and I think was my favourite of the night. 

The second fun thing I have been to was a port and sherry tasting by the wonderful Barry Starmore (All things wine and more ltd) and Jefferson Boss. What these two guys don't know about booze isn't worth knowing!
We started with a light sherry and worked through to the rich luscious Fernando de Castilla Pedro Ximinez which seemed a firm favourite before moving on to three lovely ports, including Krohn Dry White port which I ended up buying a bottle of ready for Christmas. 
I hope you are all enjoying the run up too and not finding it all too stressful x

Friday, 30 November 2012

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile but it has all been a bit manic in the run up to the launch of my new book, more of which I hope to show you later.
I am afraid with everything going on here I must be on Santas naughty list as I haven't done any Christmas knitting this year, apart from a couple of rather selfish projects. I have just completed to beautiful Betty Mouat cowl by Kate Davies and I have just started a pair of socks. They are in red so hopefully that makes it a bit festive anyway!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

An autumnal feast

Last night I decided to have an autumnal/Halloween feast with friends so thought I would share a few pictures.
The evening started with a Vampires Kiss cocktail (Chambord, champagne, frozen raspberries and spooky skull ice cubes!) and then with the help of my takented chef friend Alex we had quite a decadent spread.
The menu was Halloumi salad with pumpkin seeds, potato gratin dauphinoise, aubergines with dukkah topping, mushroom tarts, beef ribs in a coffee and chilli sauce, then chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!
Even better was that my friends unexpected came in fancy dress, so I thought I would share a few pictures and hope all your Halloween celebrations are as successful.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Chocolate dilemma

Having spent the past two weeks utterly immersed in the world of knitting I mentioned to my sister (an incredibly talented cook) that I felt guilty for having not done any baking in awhile. At one point I was definitely earning baking brownie points for my loaf a day but I am afraid I must be currently in the dark, dank, floury naughty corner. So imagine my surprise when she presented me with 5 kg of chocolate to get baking with ! After the initial shock that such a block of chocolate existed panic sent in as I am now in serious need of chocolate inspiration. Any ideas would be gratefully received, meanwhile I am off to find an ice axe as I can't see any other way to chop up such a chocolatey beast!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Night in the zoo

My parents recently very generously bought me a surprise treat, beforehand all I was told was a date to be at their house. That night my boyfriend and I were handed a bag each, inside were a torch and an animal 'onesie' and told to guess what the treat was ........ a night in a zoo! 
 We arrived at Whipsnade Zoo early evening just as the zoo was closing to beautiful views over the Chilterns.
We were then shown to the super cute pods that were to serve as bedrooms for the night and to meet our neighbours the reindeers and the rhino

 We then were taken on a trip around the zoo and were lucky enough to feed the bongos (shown below and no I had no idea what one was before we got there! and the elephants, as well as visiting the meerkats, lazy lions and super cute baby cheetahs (I can hear you ahhhing from here!)

 After our evening meal we were led back to our pods by torchlight to see just how different the zoo is at night, the first stop and one of my favourites was the flamingos but we also went back to see the lions as well as wolves. The second picture, although hard to see is Spike the leader of the lion pride but I think in this pose he just looks like a lazy dog.

 We woke early to go and help give breakfast to some of the animals before the zoo opened, we fed wild boars, bears, wolverines and naughty chimps.
 You are then allowed to spend the rest of the day in the zoo and thought I would show you a super cute baby pygmy hippo.

 images courtesy of M Armstrong 2012
I can honestly say it was one of the most magical experiences of my life and can't recommend it enough.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A proper English seaside holiday

I decided to make the most of the end of summer with a short trip to the seaside!  I think the North Norfolk coast is one of the most beautiful part of the English countryside. It combines both the stunning atmospheric coastline of places like Blakeney and Sheringham, with the classic, retro seaside town of Great Yarmouth where we of course managed to eat chips on the seafront and play pirate inspired crazy golf - what more could a girl ask for!
I also thought I would give the details of the amazing place we stayed the pigs in edgefield, we stayed in one of their spa rooms which included a sauna, outdoor bath and firepit, I would highly recommend it.
I will also blog about my exciting night in the zoo soon.

(images courtesy of M Armstrong)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

True tranquility

Last week I took time out from the crazy world of knitting to visit hitchin lavender fields. It was like stepping back in time. If you are in the area I would thoroughly recommend visiting, it was a complete bargain as the entrance fee also included picking a bag of lavender and 5 sunflowers! All in all a perfect day in the English countryside.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

The new autumn/winter season has now been launched by Rowan so I thought I would show you a couple of my favourite pieces from a brochure I worked on for them. The yarn is called Frost and whilst I am not usually a huge fan of fancy yarns this one really appeals, its a chainette construction with a metallic effect and is really lofty.