30.1.13

BERLIN FOOD- PART 2

As we only had two and half days to eat our way round Berlin, we tried to make sure we visited a good range of places to keep our stomaches happy.

On Friday after wandering around the Deutsches Historisches Museum we headed to the beautifully decorated cafe for a beer and couldn't resist trying out their waffles.
Waffles, BerlinThey were so tasty and the cherry stuff on the side, although very sweet, went perfectly with the waffles. I think I must have gobbled mine up in about 2 minutes, definitely the perfect post-museum snack to get your energy back!

Whilst we were in the cafe I was leafing through the guide book I bought and realised that not too far away there was a pizza place with a good priced lunch menu. Even though we had just had the waffles we can never resist pizza, so walked about 5 minutes round the corner to 12 Apostles.
This pizza place is situated underneath the railway arches and is decorated with a religious theme in mind (if you haven't guessed) and the pizzas are all named after the 12 Apostles, I had the Judas (salami, peppers and peperoni) and Steven had the Tommaso (onions, peppers, courgette and pesto) and they are huge!
12 Apostles, Berlin
I'm gutted to say that it completely defeated me (damn you waffles!) but for a lunch time price of 7 euros I didn't feel too bad! I think its suppose to be quite a touristy place but I didn't really get that feeling from it, probably because I was too busy stuffing my face to notice.
12 Apostles, Berlin

After pizza we strolled to Georgbräu Brauhaus , a lovely pub on the bank of the Spree River which is the only place that serves St George Pilsener.
Pub, Berlin
I've heard that it's a great place to go in the summer as they have a huge beer garden but the inside is perfectly cosy in the winter. The beer was very nice and I desperately wanted to order a schnitzel but I couldn't fit another thing in!  Beer, Berlin

We started Saturday with a massive breakfast at Mokkabar. I've never really understood European breakfasts before and to be honest I'm still confused. I ordered German pancakes which came with a big bowl of fruit and yoghurt, perfectly fine, a little on the large side but a good breakfast.
Mokkabar, Berlin
However, Steven ordered the 'cheese' off the menu which came as a huge dinner plate with 5 or 6 different cheeses (a good portion of each), plenty of fruit, a pot of jam in the middle, a boiled egg and a bread basket with nutella and honey! What are you suppose to eat first?! Would definitely recommend this place if you are looking to be full for the whole day!
 
In the evening we tried Rootz, a vegetarian and vegan burger place in Kreuzberg. I ordered the weekly special, a southwest chilli burger made with brown rice and Steven ordered the Garden burger made with tofu. The burgers were nice, nothing amazing but fine for the price (15 euros for two burgers, drinks and fries), would recommend if you're looking for some quick grub though.
Rootz, Berlin
We finished our evening at the Ramones Museum, which turns out to be not too far from the 12 Apostles (imagine our delight when we had been wandering around the wrong area in the freezing cold due to the address being wrong on the trip advisor app!) We paid 5 euros each which gives you entry to the museum and a beer.
Ramones Museum, Berlin
I loved this place, I would love somewhere like this in London, cheap beer, bands playing and a place to sit that looks like you're in someones front room! It was so unpretentious and I loved all the old Ramones pictures, it really makes you want to go home and listen to all their stuff.
Ramones Museum, Berlin

And that was pretty much it for food and drinks places, I don't think we did too bad in two and a half days! 
Are there any places you would recommend trying out next time we go?

28.1.13

BERLIN (PART 1)

Berlin

On Thursday we took ourselves off on a little jolly to Berlin to celebrate our 5 years of being together. I've always wanted to go and when we booked it we didn't really take into account just how cold it would actually be. I know, I know, English complaining about the weather AGAIN but it was soooo cold, I have to reiterate the point! I wore SO many layers! I had a pair of normal tights, wool tights, 2 pairs of socks and jeans on my bottom half alone and I was still numb.

Berlin

Despite the cold (sorry!) we had lots of fun and managed to squeeze a good enough amount of sight seeing/eating/drinking/relaxing into the 2 and a half days we were there. I really like how relaxed the city is, even in the tourist spots there was half the amount of people that you would find in a similar spot in London (although I'm thinking they were probably more sensible then to venture out in -10 degrees) I also noticed how much they promoted their own brands, I don't really remember seeing an advert for McDonalds and there wasn't a Starbucks/Pret on every corner, there were plenty of German cafes to get a hot drink and the supermarket we got our supplies from only sold German beer in bottles! I wasn't really conscious of this as I walked round but it was after I got back to London that it really made me think of it, has any body else noticed this?
I will do another post (part 2) on where we ate and some of the places we visited once I get the pics sorted. Also, I have to say I'm very disappointed in myself that I didn't have a sausage, no bratwurst, bockwurst or currywurst so I'm going to have to visit Herman ze German to make up for this!

Apartment, Berlin

I also wanted to mention that this was the first time we had used airbnb to book an apartment and I'm so glad we did. The whole process was so easy and I had been emailing our host prior to our arrival so we already knew a little bit about each other. The apartment we stayed in was in Kreuzberg and I really looked forward to going back there after a long day of sightseeing and eating.

Apartment, Berlin

Our host was lovely, she supplied us with fresh milk, spaghetti and pasta sauce on arrival and even a bottle of red! She left maps and a list of local cafes and places she recommended us to try - which came in handy when looking for breakfast! The apartment was so clean and was a great size, (it was certainly bigger then the studio flat we lived in when we first moved to London anyway!) and beautifully decorated. We made sure that we spent a good amount of time back at the apartment in the evening, as it was so lovely and warm it would be a shame not too!

Apartment, Berlin

I've put a few more pictures from Berlin on my Flickr.

23.1.13

FIVE YEARS


Five years ago today, I went on a first date with Steven. He walked me home like a proper gentleman and text me first thing in the morning asking how I was, that's when I knew he was a keeper. We've managed to squeeze a lot in in the past 5 years; we've lived in 4 different flats, new jobs, the huge move to London, holidays, new hobbies and plenty of pizza. I'm looking forward to spending the next few days in Berlin, just the two of us.

22.1.13

PAINT CAN

paint brush holder

I've got in to a terrible habit (again) of just pinning things I like and never looking/making/baking anything I have pinned on to my lovely boards. Over the weekend whilst we were snowed in, (if you didn't already know...) I made a new paint brush holder...well...I painted a tin. I've been meaning to do it for a while, I have been putting off buying new brushes because I have no room for them and that just isn't right!
It was so simple to make, you just need a clean tin, a brush and paint- I used some acrylics I had laying around. It probably took a total of half an hour including in between drying time and I'd probably recommend about three coats of paint so it doesn't look patchy. I think I'll make a couple more for my pens, better get eating them beans!

20.1.13

A SNOWY WEEKEND

weekend

My weekend, along with everyone else's in the UK was pretty snowy, most of my plans got cancelled so two days of TV watching and plenty of food was on the agenda!
We headed to the pub on Saturday afternoon for a tipple or two and spent most of today watching football and generally being super lazy. I think the above three photos sum up my weekend perfectly, I was almost tempted to get out and build a snowman but I was far too comfy in my pyjamas to leave the house! Let's just hope it clears up a bit so we can all get to work in the morning, I suppose.

18.1.13

EAST STREET RESTAURANT

EastStreet Restaurant iphone
On Wednesday night we decided that after buying some thermal clothes for our Berlin trip next week (didn't really think through just how cold it would be in January...) that we should go and get pizza from our favourite place. We walked down Oxford Street and turned off one of the little side streets and came across East Street Restaurant. The bright lights from inside were calling us over and after seeing they do two select course for £8.95 before 6, who could resist?
EastStreet Restaurant iphone
EastStreet Restaurant iphone
The interior is really fun and bright with illuminated signs suspended from the ceiling, I liked the little touches - like the map as your place mat and free tea! I ordered goi cuon to start with (pictured), which I really enjoyed, nice fresh flavours and then char kway teow for my main, which was actually a little bit too rich for me. I spied on the food of the people sitting next to us and his rice dish looked very tasty. I was also very tempted to nick a thai cracker but I refrained.
I always find it quite difficult thinking of places to eat when out and about on Oxford Street (that isn't a tourist trap) so I think I will definitely be back at some point to try something else.
EastStreet Restaurant iphone

I took these pics on my iphone, I really wish I had my camera on me though as the colours in the restaurant are so bright and attractive, hopefully next time!

16.1.13

EMBROIDERED NOTEBOOK



I made this cute embroidered notebook for my friend Sophie who I saw over the weekend. She seemed pretty pleased with it (she taught me how to bind a book!), I even scalloped the inside pages, a perfect place to house all her thoughts.
It was very simple to make...just draw your design on the front cover and then pierce holes along the design. Run a simple back stitch through the holes and tie the thread off.
Then follow this easy tutorial on hand sewn journals by Martha Stewart, I think it took about half an hour at the most. I might make a few different ones up, will be better then writing everything on post-it notes anyway!


14.1.13

WEEKEND UP NORTH

This weekend, I went back up north to see my family for a couple of days. I don't think anything could beat getting looked after and having a full Sunday roast WITH sticky toffee pudding and custard made by my mum. Pure luxury.
I always find it a bit strange going back to my home town, I seem to look at it through different eyes then when I lived there. Everything seems to be much smaller then I always thought it was but maybe that's what London does to you!


On Sunday we went for a walk around Normanby Hall, a local stately home type place with plenty to see and do within the grounds, fun fact: Samantha Cameron grew up on the estate.
I haven't been to Normanby Hall since I was about 10 so it was nice to remember some fond memories of day trips in the summer there, not much has changed since either!
I headed back to London this afternoon and thankfully I didn't get snowed in but I don't think I was far off. I love using the couple of hours train ride to switch off and read my book, although why is it when you sit in the quiet coach someone always has a phone conversation?!
Back to work it is for me tomorrow, although I am definitely wishing for enough snow to at least have an extra hour in bed!

12.1.13

LIFE THROUGH MY IPHONE

So far, 2013 has mainly been filled with a lot of 9-5 work and trying to re-gain some kind of balance between fun stuff and work stuff. I don't understand how Christmas can mess up your routine so much!? Anyway, I still thought I'd share what my iphone has captured over the past two weeks, even if its not the most exciting!

1.New Years Eve spent partying with Ke$ha... 2. ...Dressed as Zooey Deschannel (I have a fringe, easiest costume I could think of) and Elvis Costello, he looks straight out of Mad Men!
3. My new favourite drink, perfect with a squeeze of lime! 4. New recipe card, blogged here, I don't usually regurgitate blog stuff but I was pretty darn pleased with it  
5. + 6. For some people, January means healthy eating...I seem to be eating more of the good stuff, something has to get me through this cold weather!
7. A sunny walk along Regents Canal 8. Reading through Swedish Photography magazines from 1945, crazy things.
9. Happy milkshake face 10. Valentino exhibition at Somerset House, if anyone else has been, I would love to hear what you thought of it...I wasn't so sure?
Hope you have a lovely weekend! 

10.1.13

ONE HOUR



Lunch times at work are always a tricky one, one golden hour to do whatever you want with. All morning I count down the hours till 1 o clock, thinking of all the places I could go or thinking through what we will eat for dinner so I can get the ingredients. Recently, I have got in a bit of a rut of eating beans on toast at my desk whilst catching up with Made in Chelsea but yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day in London that I couldn't resist venturing outside.


I have worked in Camden for 2 years now and when I first started, I explored the area every lunch time, whether it was eating my lunch on Primrose Hill (mainly so I could walk past the bakery and get a bun), or go for a walk around Regents Park. I know how lucky I am to work in an area that has both shops (Morrisons, you have all my money), and open green fields and how could I not mention Camden market, which people flock from alllll over the world to see. Believe me, Camden tube station is toooooo small for tourists (stand on the RIGHT).


I took myself off for a walk down Regents Canal yesterday and I'm so glad I did, the sun was shining, the narrow boats were all lined up and I definitely forgot about work for a good half an hour. When I got back to my desk I felt so refreshed that I spent the afternoon day dreaming about day trips, so ended up booking one to Paris! What a way to beat the January blues!


8.1.13

RECIPE CARD



Whilst I was resting my back over the weekend, I decided to take the time to make a recipe card I have been meaning to make for ages. We make the Joy the Baker no-knead pizza dough A LOT, like...more then any one should probably eat pizza but I can't seem to remember the recipe. I constantly get the measurements mixed up and then we have to go and look it up because I'm lazy and haven't wrote it down yet, soooo... I made this small recipe card which can can be stuck pride of place on our kitchen wall (only joking...kind of).


I had a lot of fun making this card, I was actually quite surprised how relaxing I found the whole process of planning the layout and then making the actual card. I know it's not perfect and I certainly need LOADS more practise but I'm pretty pleased with it! I think a small collection of them would make a lovely gift (after I have practised more!)

6.1.13

WEEKEND



This weekend I had planned to catch up on a load of washing and other boring housework stuff, spend an afternoon exploring some part of London and generally have a lovely two days off from work. This, however, did not happen because I have managed to hurt my back so bad that it hurts to lay/sit/stand in any position. So instead I watched a ridiculous amount of Weeds and season 5 of Mad Men, ate a lot of comfort food (beans on toast), and caught up with blog bits and pieces, I know it sounds pretty good but I'm feeling far too sorry for myself right now. I'd even take doing the washing up over this pain.
I really should take up Pilates or something. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

4.1.13

MEANTIME BREWERY TOUR



For part of Steven's Christmas present I booked us on a tour of Meantime Brewing Company in Greenwich. Currently in London it seems you can't avoid their London Lager or London Pale Ale and their bottles seem to be appearing in more and more pubs.





Having never been on a brewery tour I wasn't really sure what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were there for just over two hours and were able to try a half pint of five of their ales including the Yakima Red and the India Pale Ale.





We learnt plenty about how Meantime was founded, the history of the beers and where the flavour inspirations came from. I don't think 'tour' is the right word for it though, I'd say it was more of a 'sit down and try some beer' kind of thing - which I was perfectly happy with!
I'm not a big beer drinker but I found it really interesting and was definitely worth the ticket price (only £15!), I'd recommend it to anyone!

1.1.13

2013

Happy New Year!
I have been thinking about the things I want to achieve this year for quite some time now. I get a bit panicky when setting myself goals as I really really want to achieve them but sometimes, life just happens and you can't do everything you want to but then you feel like you've failed. Everyone knows as soon as you write it on the internet its true and you have to do it so I try to keep things like that to myself but I guess a new year means a new start so here are a few things I am PLANNING on doing this year...



I really want to open an Etsy shop at some point, only when I've got everything ready though. I will hopefully be selling hand embroidered tote bags and cushions, I really love the designs I made last year (like the ones above), but I'd like to expand on the designs I've got until I'm completely happy with them.

Earlier on in 2012 I tried my hand at making clothes using a pattern and although it was very fiddly and quite stressful, I was pleased with the outcome and so proud that I had made something I could actually wear. 
This year I want to try and make a dress so I've bought the Colette 'Peony' pattern, they say its a beginner one but after having a quick look at it I'm not so sure! It seems rather complicated but I am determined to give it a go. I will keep you updated...once I start!

There are a few small things that I can do every day to try and improve, like my handwriting and drawings which I'm not going to stress about but just keep working at. I got given a Wacom tablet for Christmas (so spoilt!) so learning how to use that to the full advantage is definitely a priority. I'd also like to take more pictures of Steven and I together, I seem to have plenty of us stuffing our faces!
On the health side of things I'd like to try and find an exercise that I actually enjoy and stick to but I'm not so sure that's going to happen. I think I eat pretty healthy (apart from all the pizza on a Friday) but I definitely need to cut back on my portions, boooooring! 

So all in all nothing major, just learning and developing a few skills and seeing what happens. I'm excited that we have already booked a trip to Berlin and are currently planning one to Spain for a friends wedding.
2013 is shaping up just fine.
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