Monday, 30 December 2013

long way down

Jumper H&M
Coat Urban Outfitters (old)

The Christmas break calls for pubs. Lots of pubs! There are a few pubs in and around Farnham (Surrey) we love - The Mill at Elstead, The Anchor at Lower Froyle and The Nelson Arms in Farnham itself are a few of our most-coveted. This week we met Kat and fella at The Globe in Alresford; about halfway between our two homes. Alresford itself is a really pretty little Hampshire town just outside of Winchester with lots of quaint cottages, shops and cafes... and several very nice pubs! We went to The Globe which has managed to keep its old English pub charm that seems so rare these days. The food was good - mushroom stroganoff for me, as well as steak and fish and chips which all seemed to go down well. Decent portions, cooked well and tasty - so many pubs seem to be unable to meet all three of these I find. Yes, I like gourmet fancy food, but I also like leave a meal feeling full! 

Would love to know if you have any good pub recommendations in the Surrey/Hampshire/West Sussex area?


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

the big chop

Yup, I did it! In case you don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram and haven't seen my newly trimmed locks, here you go. Last Friday I went along to Farnham Headmasters to see James for the big chop, and I'm so glad I did! I had about six inches or so taken off, so was a really big change. Do I regret it? Not at all! I am so happy with my new look!

This is just a quickie - will do a proper post after Christmas! What do you think?

Monday, 23 December 2013

last minute canapés

So, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which means festive drinks and nibbles all round! Whether you're staying in with family, having people round for drinks or going to a festive gathering, these little brie and cranberry puff pastry bites will be perfect. Crisp, flaky pastry filled with gooey warm brie and sweet cranberry sauce - these are to die for!

For 24 bites
2 packs puff pastry (pre rolled)
1 large brie
1 jar cranberry sauce
1 egg

Cut the pastry into 12 squares - if you're looking at the pastry rolled out to landscape, cut it into three rows and four columns. Pop these squares into a muffin tray, wiggling the edges round so they fit snugly. Add a small square of brie (as tempting as it is to add a big chunk, they will just end up spilling out) and half a teaspoon of cranberry sauce. Gently pull the corners of pastry in together and brush with a beaten egg. Cook on 180c for about 10 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack. You'll want to eat these warm, so before serving pop them in the oven again on 180c for a few minutes, this should crisp them up further, make them more golden brown and deliciously warm and gooey. 

All in all, it takes about 5 minutes to prepare these and then 10 minutes to cook. Super quick, easy and skill-free. They are so delish, and perfect for pre-Christmas drinks parties or cuddling up at home in the warm. Thank me later! Below are some mince pies I made alongside these cheesy bites, and some more Pinterest inspired Christmas nibble ideas. I'll have one of each please!

And finally, have a gorgeous Christmas - eat, drink and be merry! After all, this is the time of year you can eat copious amounts with zero guilt. It'd be rude not to! See you on the other side...


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

borough market

Last weekend I went to Borough Market for the first time - boy was I in foodie heaven! After browsing the endless cheese, bread, cured meats and cake stalls (amongst others) we stopped for a salt beef bagel which was delicious. Gherkins, mustard and buttery soft beef - what's not to like?! I picked up some gorgeously stinky cheese and wild boar cured sausage - perfect for the pre-Christmas cheese board and nibbles. Mmmmm. 

After a good mooch around the market, we did some Christmas shopping and then made our way to the Wallace Collection, just a few roads behind Selfridges on Oxford Street. Despite being a bit too late to look around the collections, we popped to their restaurant for a cuppa and catch up in the warm. Their restaurant is stunning (see pictures below) - you feel as if you're in Venice or something! 

This week is the last week of term and I am super busy finishing marking and wrapping things up before the Christmas break (the joys of being a teacher). I am literally counting the hours until this term is over! To mark the end of it I am getting my hair cut on Friday, and it's a big one. I'm totally fed up with my too-long sheet of boring hair and am finally getting the big chop! Stay tuned...


Saturday, 14 December 2013

rudolf and pals

This post is long overdue! When I was younger my parents wouldn't let me put our decorations up until a week or so before Christmas, which was just torture. Now I'm a big girl and have my own place the decs go up on 1st December without fail! The lead up to Christmas is just as fun as the day itself, if not more so, so we like to make it last as long as possible. It's not like we have a load of decorations, and we don't have enough room for a proper tree, but a few little touches here and there go a long way. One of my favourite places to buy home decorations (and kitchen equipment - its like my Mecca!) is Home Sense - affordable and eclectic, its right up our street. For any other Surrey folk, a new store has opened in Farnborough and its amazing, gogogo! If you love their sister company TK Maxx for home bits and bobs, then you'll love Home Sense. 

Reindeer Squires Garden Centre
Glass Vase* Home Sense Christmas Candle* Home Sense

Wooden Wreath Home Sense* Silver Decoration Sainsburys

Red Berries Squires Garden Centre

Inherited from my Nan - how creepy is this little guy's face? He's a chocolate basket.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

melting snowmen

And the Christmas baking has begun! Last weekend I tried my hand at making festive gingerbread shapes, and pinched this fab idea from Katie of Sugarpatch. How cute are they?! I took a load into work as a batch made an huge amount, and they went down a storm. The biscuits themselves are perfectly flavoured, have a nice crunch and perfect with a cuppa. 

Gingerbread men are so last year...


Monday, 9 December 2013

toys in every store

This weekend was spent catching up with old friends, Christmas shopping, eating good food and listening to Bublé
Yes, it truly is December! 

This week is going to be a mix of stress and lovely things - the students are sitting mock exams which means a lot of marking for me, but I've also got a few fun things planned. My Mum and I have a yearly tradition of watching Gone With The Wind at Christmas time, and tonight we're going to see it on the big screen for the first time. Its almost four hours long, but is just the most incredible story - if you've not seen it, you must! And on Thursday I'm meeting up with old work colleagues for a festive bite to eat. Perfect!

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