Sunday, 1 May 2016

OUTFIT: Archive by Alexa

Dress - ASOS Curve
Bag - Zatchels
Boots - Vagabonds
Necklace - Tatty Divine

It sure has been a long time since I did an outfit post. I think I've felt a little uninspired by clothes recently and I've found myself dressing in jeans and a jumper most days. I want to make more of an effort with my clothes, I don't necessarily want to dress more smartly but instead take pride in my outfits, so let's hope this is the first of many more outfit posts.

I was totally not in the loop when it came to the Archive by Alexa Chung collection for M&S. When I did eventually check out the website I spied a few nice dresses I thought about trying on. A few days later I met Sarah for lunch who was wearing a wonderful moss green and blue tartan trench coat. I instantly enquired where it was from and lo and behold it was from the Archive collection, it had just sold out. I tracked it down in store a few days later and now I can't stop wearing it. It's very long and quite heavy but considering how cold it's been recently it's working perfectly in my wardrobe.

This dress is another new find. I love smock style dress but I find that the empire line is often too high for my ample chest. This dress however fits great, it's slightly oversized and thanks to the pale blue denim material it is super easy to wear, I love it.

Thank you Sophie for snapping these photos.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Frank's Canteen




Tarka dal

Almond and apricot cake

Another weekend, another brunch as my motto seems to be at the minute. This time Steve and I visited a local Highbury brunch destination, Frank's Canteen before a visit to The Emirates to see Arsenal.

Steve had read about Frank's Canteen in on of those 'best brunch places in London' type books and being in the area that weekend we knew it was worth stopping by. Open until 3pm we were lucky to grab ourselves a table an hour before closing and before they'd run out of food.

We ordered the tarka dal (spoiler: it was incredible) and the roasted ham and sweet potato hash. The tarka dal is a veggie dish and one of the best brunch plates I HAVE EVER HAD. Toasted naan covered in thick dal, chilli chutney, cheddar cheese, crispy onions and two perfectly poached eggs - this was an indulgent dish packed full of flavour. I really wish Steve and I hadn't decided to share because I wanted to eat every last scrap of this myself.

The ham and sweet potato hash was lovely but after trying the dal there was no way anything was going to compare. Despite almond and apricot cake not normally being too my fancy we wanted a little sweet for the road so ordered this cute little cake to share. It was perfectly spongy with a lovely splodge of fruit on top.

Our visit to Frank's Canteen was a last minute decision that I couldn't be happier about. The menu changes all the time but I think certain dishes rotate a bit so I'm sure you'll be able to try the tarka dal for yourselves at some stage. It's open for brunch and Sunday roasts but they don't take reservations so be prepared to wait a little as the space isn't huge. If you live in Highbury I am extremely jealous that you have this local gem.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Oldroyd




Cornish seawood and cider salami



Smoked pork belly and pea croquettas

Mazzancolle prawn

Courgette fries

Cornish crab tagliarini

Confit swordfish

I feel it's a little redundant writing about Olyroyd as it was so long ago that I visited but I've had these photos sitting around in my saved folder for ages so it seems a shame to just disregard them completely. Note to self: write up restaurant reviews within a week next time.

Tom Oldroyd was one of the brains behind Polpo but now he's opened up his own restaurant slap bang in the middle of Upper Street, Angel. There's definitely a distinct Polpo vibe to the place, a sharing plates, Mediterranean style menu in a causal but refined setting but I'm not complaining because I adore Polpo. The menu is seasonable so I doubt anything I ate will be present at the minute but that doesn't really matter because well thought out, simple dishes with excellent ingredients will carry through from season to season.

We popped in for a very early dinner one Monday which is why the place looks so empty but by the time we were leaving every table was full. The restaurant is pretty small with a few tables around the bar downstairs and a slightly bigger space on the first floor. We had our pick of tables so sat in the covetable corner spot to survey the rest of the space.

We started with the seaweed and cider salami which didn't really taste like either seaweed or cider but I enjoyed it regardless. I didn't realise the dish was going to come with cornichons, I'm not a fan to be honest.

Next up were the pork belly and pea croquettas which were wonderful - deep fried fluffy parcels with a bright green interior and an earthy truffle mayonnaise on the side.

We probably should have ordered a mazzancolle prawn each but they're actually pretty big and meaty so you can just about share one.

I remember loving the courgette fries, crispy and not at all soggy which is quite often the case with these sort of chips. I love how wild they look in the bowl.

I was taken aback by the size of the crab tagliarini, it was huge. Essentially a massive pile of spaghetti tossed with shellfish with a tasty olive oil based sauce this was the probably the simplest dish we had but it was still enjoyable.

The confit swordfish was definitely a stand out plate. This was a big portion of food and the fish was incredibly meaty yet soft and succulent, the sign of a well cooked dish. Packed full of flavour from the herbs and bean salad this was delicious.

Oldroyd is great and I'm definitely keen to return again. With an ever changing menu and a fantastic set lunch option this is a fantastic North London destination that I'm sure will continue serving wonderful, simple yet talented dishes for a long time.

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