October 27, 2015

Things to do in London this November

Image from the Ntaural History Museum

I may be biased but I think that London is one of the best places in the world to spend the Autumn! Here are a few Autumnal inspired things to do this November to make the most of the weather and of London!

1. I think personally my number one thing to do in London this November is to see the Charles and Ray Eames Exhibition at the Barbican (21st October - 14th Feb 2016). The exhibition contains 380 of Eames' pieces, curated by Catherine Ince, and is the first retrospectively the UK since 1999. Famous for the Eames chair, and the Eames lounge chair (obviously), the husband and wife team are some of my favourite designers and their furniture is as popular as it ever was, being reproduced by Herman Miller and Vitra. They influenced the fields of photography, film, exhibition, furniture and and product design, and pieces of each are on display here! A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, followed by a quick visit to the Conservatory afterwards!

2. Up there as one of the most Christmassy things to do is Ice Skating, and this is the month when they all open! I would recommend booking of you can, just to avoid queues and to ensure you definitely can skate. So wrap up warm, treat yourself to a hot chocolate and skate away!
Natural History Museum: 29th October 2015 - 3rd November 2016. Adults from £12.65.
Canary Wharf: 31st October 2015 - 27th February 2016. Adults £14.95.
Eyeskate at the London Eye: 14th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016. Adults £10.50 - £12.50.
Skate in the City (Exchange Sq): 16th November 2015 - 25th February 2016. Adult £13.00.
Somerset House: 18th November 2015 - 10th January 2016. Adults from £7.50.
Winter Wonderland: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016. Adults £10.50/£14.50
Winterville: 26th November - 23rd December. Adults £7.00/£12.50.

3. Another super Christmassy thing to do, but this is when they happen, is to watch some of the big Christmas light switch ons! Watch some celebs, drink some Mulled wine and soak up the Christmas atmosphere! 
Oxford Street: 1st November from 5:30pm. With Kylie Minogue, Gabrielle Aplin and Foxes.
Christmas at Duke of York Square: 8th November at 3pm.
Carnaby Street: 12th November from 5pm. With a whole host of Christmassy activities and 20% off over 100 shops, bars and restaurants!
Regent Street: 15th November. Activities from 12pm and they have stated it will be a 'Star Studded Show'!
Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park: 20th November - 6th December. Not a light switch on but they have the most incredible light display and features! Definitely worth a visit!
Christmas at Kew: Winter Trail: 25th November 2015 - 2nd January 2016.

4. Perhaps the most traditional thing to do in November is to go to Guy Fawkes night! Here is a round up of some of the best Fireworks displays in London. But I recommend that you book tickets on line before hand to make sure that you definitely get your space!
Newham Fireworks: 1st November. Free!
Crystal Palace Fireworks: 5th November. Celebrating 150years! Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £10.
Southwark Fireworks: 5th November. Free!
Wimbledon Park Fireworks: 5th November. Adults advanced tickets £8.50, on the gate £10.
Bishops Park Fireworks: 6th November. Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £8.
Battersea Park Fireworks: 7th November. Adults tickets up to 6th November £8, on the 7th November £10. Battersea Park you have to book before you go, you cannot buy tickets on the gate.
Morden Park Fireworks: 7th November. Adults advanced tickets £8.50, on the gate £10.
Ravenscourt Park: 7th November. Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £8.

5. I visited the Spirit of Christmas Fair: (2nd - 8th November) last year and absolutely loved it! Super excited to be going back next weekend. It is super Christmassy, puts you in the festive spirit and is one of the best places to pick up some unusual pressies. I highly recommend it.

6. Remembrance Sunday: Sunday 8th November, remembers the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts. There is a Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall should you wish to go out and pay your respects.

7. Something that I am super excited about and will be book soon is Birdies Crazy Golf Club: (11th November - 20th December). It is a Nine-Hole Crazy Golf Course in the Vaults of Waterloo from the brains behind the Rooftop Film Club ... Sold already?! Me too! Not only that but it is an underground course that has loop, half-pipes and a five-foot drop!! There is also a cocktail bar with drinks from the Spirited Mixers and food from Hawksmoor Knightbridge's head chef and a menu from Hix! PERFECT! Golf is £9 per round, and entry to the bar without golf is £3, you must book online before you go!

8. EFG London Jazz Festival: 13th - 22nd November. This is a 10 day event with world class, and emerging Jazz artists. With a wide range of events, concerts and talks there will be something for everyone to enjoy. And is something a little different this November! Lots of shows have sold out already, and others soon will, so make sure you book soon.

9. Probably the best thing to do on November and Christmas is to visit all the Christmas Markets! To look at all of the amazing, unique Christmas goodies for either yourself or for presents, to eat lots of yummy food and drink mulled wine! Here is a round up of some of the best one in London.
Winter at the Southbank: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016.
Winter Wonderland: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016.
Winterville: 26th November - 23rd December.
Hyper Japan Christmas Market: 27th Novemver - 29th November.
Chelsea Physic Gardens: 28th November - 11th December.

10. Winter at the View from the Shard: 23rd November - 31st January 2016. This Winter the Shard will be transformed into an 'Enchanting, Sensory, Winter Experience'. There will be ice drystals and frost and it will look all magical and wintery! So book now, and go and check it out!

I hope you enjoyed this little selection, let me know what will you be visiting this November ..November

October 25, 2015

Recipe // Pumpkin

Image from here

It's nearly Halloween guys!! Which can only mean one thing ... Pumpkin Carving Party! Ever since I moved to London, I have Carved a Pumpkin with my lovely other half, and last year we had our friends over to join us! We ate Halloweeny food, got the knives out and carved these bad boys! ...

We had so much fun carving them, although I was left with a lot of Pumpkin insides that I did not know what to do with ... But this time I will be prepared and here are some ideas and recipes for your Pumpkin leftovers!

Firstly we have the seeds:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are so yummy, and so easy to make (Once you have separated them from the rest of the Pumpkin!)

Step 1: Clean the Pumpkin seeds, and leave them to dry for a few hours in a tea towel, or kitchen roll
Step 2: Place them on a foiled baking tray with a couple of glugs of your favourite type of oil (I use coconut) and add your seasonings ...

A few ideas are;
Brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet seeds
Sat, chilli, cayenne and cumin for little mexican seeds
Or plain Salt and Pepper for simple seeds

Step 3: Bake them in the oven at 190-200 degrees celsius, for 30-45minutes and VOILA!

Then we move on to the Pumpkin Insides;

Pumpkin Puree

You can substitute canned Pumpkin with real Pumpkin puree, in most recipes, see below. Jack 'O' Lanterns or Carving Pumpkins do not have the same flavour as smaller pie Pumpkins, but you can get a similar flavour ...

- Pumpkin Flesh
- Pumpkin Spice Mix (1\4 Cup Cinnamon, 4 teaspoons Nutmeg, 4 teaspoons Ginger & 1 tablespoon allspice)

To make Pumpkin puree from the real Pumpkins, roast the insides of the Pumpkin, not the guts, or the seeds. Just the fleshy bits until they become tender. When they are tender you need to get rid of some the excess moisture. This can be squeezed out in a colander or to get more flavour in to the puree then roast it in a pan, or a slow cooker with some Pumpkin Spice Mix to taste, on a low heat, until the moisture evaporates, and caramelised or browned.

Pumpkin Soup

- 2 Onions
- 1kg Chopped Pumpkin
- 750ml Stock (Vegetable is best)
- Pot of Single Cream

Finely chop the onions and fry in a pan for 5minutes, then add in the pumpkin. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until it turns golden.
Add in the vegetable stock and season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Pour in the cream, bring to the boil again, simmer for 10 minutes then blend.
Serve with a swirl of cream, some roasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh bread!

And for desert ...

Pumpkin Cupcakes

- 200g Plain Flour
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix (From above)
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 100g Light Brown Sugar
- 120ml Vegetable Oil
- 2 large eggs
- 180g Pumpkin Puree

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius
Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and Pumpkin Spice together in one bowl
In another mix together the caster sugar, and brown sugar with the oil.
Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add in the pumpkin and vanilla.
Once fully mixed, add in the flour mixture slowly until well blended.
Place into 12 cupcake cases, filing each 2/3 of the way up
Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

- 225g cream cheese at room temperature
- 110g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 350g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth and fluffy, then add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Leave in the fridge for around half n hour, then put icing into a piping bag and pipe on to completely cooled cupcakes.

    Right well I better go an research what I will be carving this year!!

    What are your Halloween traditions?

    October 18, 2015

    Colour Crush // Black and White Halloween

    As Halloween is getting closer and closer, here are some alternative colour schemes. Black and White is a lot classier than the traditional greens and oranges, so here are some inspirational images for a black and white Halloween from my Colour Crush Pinterest Board

    Enjoy ...

    October 13, 2015

    Best Things About Autumn

    Image from here

    With Autumn now in full swing, I thought I would share with you all my favourite things about Autumn, and my favourite things to do in Autumn!

    The Fashion

    - Cosying up in layers
    - Layering up in jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves
    - Pyjamas, dressing gowns and cashmere socks

    The Food

    - Burgers
    - Caramel Apples
    - Cinnamon
    - Cloves
    - Coffee
    - Doughnuts
    - Hot Chocolate
    - Marshmallows
    - Oranges
    - Pies
    - Popcorn
    - Pumpkin
    - Roast Dinners ...

    The Weather

    - Rainy days spent inside watching films
    - The changing colours of the leaves
    - Cosy nights spent in front of the fire
    - Long lazy walks all wrapped up warm with coffee ...

    - The Bonfire Night!

    I am not really one for Halloween it self but I do love a good Fireworks night. Probably for the same reasons as above, although this time cosying with burgers and doughnuts watching the most amazing fireworks! My favourite one in London is Battersea Park fireworks: (7th of November)
    Although some other amazing ones are;
    Newham Fireworks - Sunday 1st November
    Crystal Palace Fireworks - Thursday 5th November
    Southwark Fireworks - Thursday 5th November:
    Wimbledon Park Fireworks - Thursday 5th November
    - Morden Park Fireworks - Saturday 7th November