Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lady Dinah's

I was planning to blog again before this, but sadly illness struck on Friday and I'm only just getting over the blocked nose and general icky feeling (but welcoming in a hacking cough...), but I really wanted to share some pictures of our trip to London a couple of weeks ago to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium.

For those of you who haven't heard, Lady Dinah's is London's first cat cafe. Located an interesting 15 minute walk through Spitalfields Market from Liverpool Street Station, it opened in March after a massively successful Kickstarter appeal and is constantly improving. This is the third time I've been and it keeps getting better! There's an upstairs area and a basement, where we sat on this visit; the basement is really cosy and the upstairs is bright and airy, so you have a choice of atmosphere in which to enjoy the beautiful cats.

Let's play spot all the kitties in the above photo...

This little guy was hilarious - he jumped up and would not get down for ages!

This is us half-way through a Plougman's Lunch, banana and custard cake and two "Petra"s - chilli hot chocolates with a shot of raspberry syrup, named after one of the prettiest cats in the place. One of the things that has improved most at Lady Dinah's is the food - there wasn't much on the menu when we first came at the end of March, but now there are a lot of items and everything is delicious. I think this was the best cake I've ever had and the hot chocolate was absolutely divine.

This is the upstairs area - look at that tail!

If you like cats, I would definitely recommend a visit, but don't go expecting cuddles - they'll let you stroke them, but mostly they'd rather play (which is endlessly entertaining) or sleep!

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Thanks to those of you who didn't run away screaming because they're totally over-saturated with autumn/pumpkin-themed things!

At the beginning of October, when all things pumpkin were new and exciting, I really wanted to make pumpkin and hazelnut mini doughnuts - so we went off in search of pumpkin purée. Turns out that our local Sainsbury's doesn't stock it, so rather than give up we bought an edible pumpkin to purée ourselves.

Guys - these edible pumpkins may look reasonably small, especially compared with their carving siblings, but let me tell you: you get so. much. purée. I ended up turning to my trusty friend Google to help figure out some more exciting and tasty new ways to use up my glut of pumpkin, and it did not disappoint.

So, for anyone still excited about all the things you can do with pumpkin (how are there so many options?!), grab yourself a handy partner to do all the awkward carving and get making and baking these tasty treats:

Pumpkin spiced muffins - These muffins are reasonably simple to make and very tasty.
Tips: Definitely follow the instruction to spray your muffin cases with cooking spray!
Coconut oil can be hard to find/expensive, but you can substitute it with melted butter. There are also substitutes for can use for buttermilk.

Pumpkin and hazelnut doughnuts - So delicious that they're impossible not to eat all at once!
Tips: To cook these I used a mini doughnut mould and a piping bag to get the mixture into the mould, which worked pretty well, although it was a bit fiddly.

Pumpkin spice syrup - This didn't go particularly well for me, but I'm eager to try again - if you learn from my mistakes it should go better!
Tips: Definitely strain the syrup with more than just a sieve, as the recipe states - I didn't because there was nothing to hand and I was impatient! I've bought some of these Lakeland muslin squares to try out next time.
Make sure your cloves are well ground! I didn't and you could certainly tell...

Pumpkin cream cheese filled brownies - These were probably my favourite pumpkin product I made - I do love a good brownie and the pumpkin cream cheese ramped them up another level of deliciousness.
Tips: Make sure you have enough brownie mixture for the top layer or your edge squares will be disproportionately pumpkin-y!

Are there any other pumpkin recipes I should try?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn Brights

Oh dear, it's been an awfully long time since my last post! I blame the fact that we moved into our new house at the end of August - moving is stressful and needs lots of recovery time obviously! And I still need to sort out some of my stuff. I've got lots of exciting things I want to post about though so hopefully I'll be a bit more regular again.

First up is my very first outfit post, something I've wanted to start doing for ages. My very first introduction to the world of blogging was the wonderful Selective Potential - hers is still one of my favourite blogs - and ever since I discovered this fashion blogging thing I've always wanted to have a go. I put it off for ages, feeling not thin/pretty/fashionable enough (and not wanting to demand that someone take millions of photos of me!), but I decided now was the time to take the plunge...

Can you tell I'm still working out the posing?! Haha. I bought this hat in the Miss Selfridge summer sale a few months ago and I've been waiting for autumn to arrive to wear it - I think the deep blue and yellow jewel tones complement each other really well. The beginning of autumn can be a really bright season with the changing leaves picked out against a bright blue sky on a (at the moment rare) sunny day, and I wanted to channel that while I still can!

These photos were taken in the garden of our new house (except the last one, which is outside the front door as you may be able to guess). I'm excited to eventually paint and decorate and really make the house our own! Though for today we really just need to tidy up...

Hat [similar in teal] - Miss Selfridge , Cardigan - H&M, Top - H&M, Jeans - Topshop, Shoes - Clarks, Earrings - Accessorize, Necklace - Accessorize

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