31 December 2015

One Day. Happy New Year

I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to 2015. As far as years go, it’s been a pretty great one. From living the life in London to visiting 18 incredible cities/towns in 11 different countries, it’s safe to say my wanderlust ratings are off the scale.

I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve seen. The world is an incredible place and despite the troubles and fear we face at times, we must always remember to live each day with a happy and grateful heart.

I hope 2016 holds many wonderful adventures and experiences for you. Just think…

A new year.
Three hundred and sixty-five beautiful mornings and starlit evenings,
Fifty-two promising weeks, and
Twelve transformative months full of possibilities.

I can't wait to share my Italian Christmas adventures with you. Look out for the first post next week.

Much love to you all, make a wish at midnight and dream to achieve it. Happy New Year, 2016 I can’t wait… xx

25 December 2015

One Day. Merry Christmas

It’s hard to believe it was a whole year ago that I was tucked away in a Cotswolds cottage enjoying my first European Christmas with family friends by the fire. Where does the time go? This year I find myself nestled in the foot of the Italian Alps in a magical little town called Merano. There’s snow on the mountains and Christmas markets everywhere, and, you can even eat a Christmas meal in a bauble - I mean how festive is that? Even better, Dad’s come to visit so we’re spending it together.

I hope you have a magical holiday with those nearest and dearest to you. Much love and have yourself a merry little Christmas xxx

Photo by Krissie.

20 December 2015

Plate Up. Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Just a very quick one for you today because I know we're all in festive moods with plenty of last-minute shopping to do whilst humming carols and planning menus.

This fresh, easy and healthy dish is a great option if you're looking for something quick to whip up over the Christmas period. The recipe comes to you via my lovely friend Soph.

recipe, salad, pasta, cooking, healthy recipe, fetta, summer, vegetables, roasted
What you'll need
1 packet of your favourite pasta (shells or spirals will do well)
1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1 red onion, sliced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
Baby spinach
Feta, crumbled
Balsamic glaze

What to do
Preheat you're oven to 200 degrees Celsius and grease a baking tray. Toss the sweet potato, carrots, onion and garlic in olive oil and roast until tender.

Meanwhile cook you pasta. When al dente, drain.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and roasted vegetables, as well as adding in the spinach and the feta. Toss together and finish with a luscious swirl of balsamic glaze.


See, told you it was easy. Serve it up as a dish on its own or as an accompaniment.

recipe, salad, pasta, cooking, healthy recipe, fetta, summer, vegetables, roasted

recipe, salad, pasta, cooking, healthy recipe, fetta, summer, vegetables, roasted

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Photos by Krissie.

17 December 2015

Style It. Welcoming 2016 With A Bang - NYE Outfit Ideas

There’s merely 2 weeks left of 2015 so if you haven’t already been shopping, I suggest now’s the time to grab that scene-stealing outfit for the 31st. Whilst, everyone knows that New Years Eve has a habit of being a little anti-climatic, whatever the occasion you ought to welcome 2016 in style – I think it’s a good omen. So pop that fizz and prep for the party with these outfit ideas, I can’t decide which is my favourite…

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Photos by Krissie via retailers.

13 December 2015

Eat Me. Gordon Ramsay's Heddon St Kitchen, Mayfair

December is a beautiful time to explore London. Mayfair in particular is a favourite of mine because every street is lit up with twinkling lights that wink at you as you go by.
It's almost like they're in on a Christmas secret.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end

From bustling Regent St, to some quieter walkways and courtyards; you've really gotta hand it to London - they know how to do festive spirit.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end

I took a stroll yesterday to work up an appetite before heading to Gordon Ramsay's Heddon St Kitchen for lunch.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay

Nestled in one of the little laneways off Regent St (that always seem to be brimming with foodie hotspots!), Heddon St Kitchen has an industrial New York feel with exposed copper pipes and old-world wooden and leather booths.

I settled in and eyed off the menu hungrily while waiting for my friend to join me. The table next to me had just ordered chateaubriand so needless to say my mouth was watering already! In the end, as we were hungry, we opted for the set menu which is available between noon and 6.30pm each day, and at £22 for two courses or £26 for three, it's a bit of steal.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay. menu

The entrée was definitely my highlight. Rilettes of Scottish salmon served with a delicate avocado puree. So light and tasty.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay, entree, salmon

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay, entree, salmon

Next we had slow-braised beef with parsley-infused mash. So soft and tender it simply pulled away with a fork but be warned of devouring the whole thing, it's very rich. Half was more than enough for me.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay, beef

Finally our dessert arrived in a little surprise pot. Caramel and chocolate mousse with a shortbread crumb. How can you go wrong? Takes me back to the home-made mousse my mum makes. Don't worry mum, I still think yours is better.

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay, dessert

london, winter, christmas, decorations, soho, west end, heddon street kitchen, gordon ramsay, dessert

If you're in the neighbourhood and you've worked up quite the appetite from Christmas shopping and festive light-wanderings, then I suggest you check this place out. 4/5

Where: 3–9 Heddon St, London W1B 4BE
Phone: 020 7592 1212
Bookings: Recommended for evenings and weekends

Heddon Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Photos by Krissie.

10 December 2015

Plate Up. Christmas Jar Recipe Hamper

I’ve been a busy little Christmas elf these past few weeks, browsing the stores, buying goodies online and even making some presents myself. If you’re short of gift ideas for your nearest and dearest then might I suggest this little hamper of jar recipes. Jar recipes you ask? Yes, the ingredients for something delicious are all in jars and then you simply attach little instructions for your gift-receiver to make themselves. Great for those who love to cook; it’s thoughtful, shows effort, and most importantly, is utterly delicious. For my little hamper I’ve opted for mulled wine, gingerbread, hot chocolate and fried chicken, but the possibilities are endless – have a Google and you’ll see what I mean!

What you’ll need
4 assorted screw-top jars (I like these ones)
A box
Some filler
Paper tags

Mulled wine:
4-6 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
2 tablespoons cloves
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
2 tablespoons all spice
A crack of pepper

100g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb soda

Hot chocolate:
2 tablespoons malt powder
2 tablespoons corn flour
3 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
100g dark chocolate, grated
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt

Fried chicken:
3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
A pinch of salt and pepper

What to do

First things first, make sure you’ve washed out your jars and thoroughly dried them.

Then start with the mulled wine. In a small bag give your cinnamon sticks and star anise a bash with a rolling pin to crush them. Add these into a small jar along with the rest of the ingredients.

Seal it, give it a shake and set aside. One done.

Next the gingerbread (my fave!), take a medium-sized jar and add the sugar, ginger, all spice and cinnamon.

Give it a mix around, then pack it down tightly with a spoon. Combine your flour, baking powder and bi-carb, then pour this on top.

Seal it up and no shaking this time. Two down.

Third, hot chocolate. This one’s really easy. Take a small jar and add all your ingredients.

Try not to make a total mess with the cocoa like I did!

 Seal it, give it a shake and set aside. That’s three.

Finally, the coating for finger lickin’ly good fried chicken. Take a large jar and add in your flour, then carefully add all the other ingredients on top so you end up with a nice colourful layer.

Seal it up and don’t shake this one either.

So that’s it, jars done, now it’s just a matter of making your little labelling instructions (I’ve included mine below for you, you can be a little creative) and tying them on with some ribbon.

Pop the filler in your box then layer in your jars. I went for red and green for Christmas but if it’s for a birthday present then all you need to do is change up your ribbon colours. Voila!


Mulled wine:
In a large saucepan add a bottle of red wine, 2 tbsp of honey/sugar, the zest & juice of 1 orange & 1 tablespoon of this mix (use a muslin cloth or tea strainer). Heat until steaming but do not boil.

Mix 150g melted butter, 1 tbsp golden syrup & 1 egg yolk. Add to these dry ingredients, mix well then knead into dough. Chill for 15mins then roll out & cut into biscuits. Bake at 180C for 8-10mins.

Hot chocolate:
Simply add to warm milk then cosy up with a blanket…

Fried chicken:
Spread this dry mixture onto a plate & crack an egg into a separate bowl. Dip your chicken in the dry coating, then dip it in the egg, then dip it in the coating again before frying.

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Photos by Krissie.

6 December 2015

Must Have. My Christmas Wishlist

Gift-giving truly is an art. It takes a lot of thought to find the perfect present for someone that is both personal and something they actually desire. Personally I would be thrilled to find my stocking full of these this year. From a gorgeous red dress for the festive season to some must have accessories and even a few little home decorations too. Here’s what’s on my wishlist…

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Photo by Krissie via retailers.

3 December 2015

Suitcase. Prague, Czech Republic - Travel Guide

My friend Emma and I are the biggest Christmas elves you’ll ever meet. We’re usually listening to carols in November, frequenting Winter Wonderland more times than we can count and wearing our Christmas jumpers to any kind of Christmas pop-up we can find well into January even!

In honour of our spirit we’ve started a little tradition. A Christmas market tradition. Here we are last year in Bruges…

And here we are exactly 52 weeks later in Prague. See, grinning from ear to ear despite being outside for approximately six hours in 0 degrees. Told you we love Christmas.

For my first foray into the Czech Republic, I found Prague to be a delight, and definitely a place one should visit during the festive season! There’s mulled wine on every corner, giant Christmas trees in every square and a general festive spirit in the air that is totally infectious. We even had a sprinkling of snow!

The Old Town Square is not to be missed, particularly at Christmas time! This historic part of town hosts the city’s largest Christmas markets complete with food and little knick-knack stores. I bought some beautiful Christmas tree decorations and a gorgeous piece of artwork.  The church in the square is an awe-inspiring sight and if you head up the tower opposite you’ll have a beautiful bird’s eye view. You'll also find the famous astronomical clock here.

As I always say, you shouldn’t visit any European city without doing a walking tour. Our guide Katerina with Sandeman’s Tours was a delight and full of historical knowledge. This bohemian city is simply bursting with tales, from accidental bombings during the war to the Rolling Stone’s footing the bill to light up the city’s castle.

Of course, you can’t miss seeing Prague Castle itself. It’s the largest in Europe [although I do think that title might be cheating a bit as it’s not one big castle, rather a network of buildings and a grand church but beautiful all the same]. One things for sure, you certainly get a beautiful view back across the city from here.

If you’re looking for something a little different then I guarantee you’re going to love Mindmaze. Tucked away just outside the centre of town behind a mysterious red door you’ll find this life-size interactive puzzle game. It’s difficult to explain because you really have to experience it for yourself but basically you’re locked in a room and told you must solve the clues in order to find the “key” to get you out! It requires problem-solving, common sense, some math skills and of course a desire for fun! You’ve got one hour to solve the immersive riddle – we cracked it in 51mins [with a few hints]. A must-do!

Prague is a VERY budget friendly place. A trip on the tram around town is a mere 50p and the taxi prices aren’t too bad either. There’s also an underground metro system, and for those who like to take it all in, walking is a great option as the city centre isn’t all that sprawling.

I’ve never really been one for hearty meat dishes like those you find in Germany, Eastern Europe, or in this case, Prague, however I can recommend some very good Italian restaurants for dinner.

Il Palazzo is tucked away underground in what used to be the emperor’s old wine cellar, AND both Michael Jackson and Madonna have dined here! I ordered the scallop risotto which, as you can see, was prepared with a delicate hand and tasted equally delightful! A great choice for a fine-dining-feel at an affordable price.

Pasta Fresca was my favourite meal of the weekend. This little hotspot has a great vibe; as soon as you enter you can see chefs preparing fresh pasta and slicing Iberian ham off the bone. My lobster tagliatelle was divine, definitely a number one choice if you love a bowl of spaghetti.

When it came to the Christmas markets we certainly weren’t short of mulled wine and sweet treats. Plus we also tried the locals’ favourite festive dish – langos. Basically it’s like deep-fried bread topped with garlic, tomato sauce and cheese. Certainly not good for you but it was very moreish I will admit!

Continuing in the same vein of items bad for your waistline there are plenty of chocolate stores dotted around Prague. We liked this one for its Christmassy designs, free fudge samples and when the owner discovered we were Aussies he even took a snap with us.

If you’re the brunching kind then don’t miss Café Louvre for breakfast. By London standards it’s ridiculously cheap and there’s an extensive choice of food from eggs to smoked salmon toast, pancakes and croissants. Everything we tried was delectable!

Thank you for a wonderfully festive weekend Prague, your market squares, Christmas spirit and extraordinary history had me in raptures. I highly suggest you Czech it out!

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Photos by Krissie.