Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thanksgiving in Madrid

Tomorrow we're off to Madrid for our Spanish Thanksgiving. We'll be spending the weekend with our college friend Clayton just lounging around the beautiful, bustling city...less of a sight-seeing trip and more of a swap the turkey and pumpkin pie for paella and sangria. Fitting, as it really doesn't feel like Thanksgiving in London, firstly because I went to work today, and secondly because we're without our family. I think this rendezvous will help take our minds off the fact that we're not in the states for this lovely holiday. Check back for photos from our Spanish getaway next week.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends...very thankful for you. Sending lots of love!

[Image via Whispsofair]

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chocolate Affogato Obsession

This past weekend, we indulged in homemade affogato every night. It was so addicting! I admit this photo isn't actually what I made (this looks much more sophisticated) but it certainly does this fine dessert justice. It all started because we were having friends over for dinner on Friday night and I was looking for a quick, easy dessert to whip up. I stumbled across an affogato recipe in one of my Giada De Laurentiis cookbooks and decided to give it a go. It was so easy to make and it turned out so well!

Here's what you need:

1/3 cup cold whipping cream (I got pre-made whipped cream from Whole Foods as I was a bit lazy)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon espresso powder (any store-bought brand will do)
1 pint chocolate gelato or ice cream (I went with Haagen Dazs Belgian chocolate)

Simply combine 1/2 cup boiling water with the espresso powder until it's well mixed. Then put 2 scoops (or more) chocolate ice cream in little dishes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of espresso over the ice cream and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately or else it will melt!

I hope you love this one as much as I do!

[Image via Serindipitousromance]

Monday, 12 November 2012

Scenes From Bruges

Beer, chocolate and waffles. All of the reviews I read about Bruges were not a joke! The city was perfectly romantic and charming...full of little streets, canals, chocolate shops and lovely restaurants. We went last Saturday for a quick two day trip and it was just the right amount of time to make sure we experienced all it has to offer (it's a tiny place!). When we arrived via Eurostar, we went straight to the main square and walked around, admiring the traditional, colourful architecture. There are crepe stands and chocolate shops at literally every turn...I can't even count the amount of waffles we had...they were so good! 

After a quick panini lunch overlooking the canals where all the tourist boats go by, we headed over to Henri Maes Brewery. This is the only and oldest brewery still operating in Bruges and there's always a line to get in. It's only about 4 to get in so it was worth it for an hour-long tour and a free glass of refreshing beer. The brewery walk is so narrow but once you reach the top, there's a fabulous view of the whole city. After the tour we walked along Lover's  Lake which is actually part of the main canal...very romantic! Then we made our way back through the winding streets to relax at the hotel before a Belgian feast. I'd read about a cool beer bar in the centre of town called Brugs Beertje, so we popped in for some pre-dinner ale...blonde ale for me, amber ale for Jim, both from Henri Maes where we went earlier in the day. The night carried on at Pieter Pourbus, a traditional Belgian restaurant, where we had fresh fish dishes. 

On Sunday we did a bit more sight-seeing after a waffle breakfast at our favourite stand (it's just off Market Square near Belfort). Our first stop was a boat ride on the canal...and unfortunately the weather had turned so we had to do this in the rain! Nothing like umbrellas on a boat. I still loved seeing everything from the water and making sense of the city layout. We walked around the city for a bit, wandering around the canals and checking out the neighbourhoods in the rain (pretty but freezing!). Belfort was next and despite the long queue, it was well worth it. It's a 360 degree view of the entire city and you can even see the ocean from one side. We ended the day with a long lunch De Gastro, a cosy restaurant right near the fish market. Bruges is well-known for their mussels and chips (french fries), and theirs did not disappoint. I had a delicious wine, Jim enjoyed more Henri Maes beer, and we stayed for a while just chatting and watching the city pass by outside. 

I promise you'll love Brugges if you get the chance to visit! 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Happy Birthday To My Gorgeous Sister!


I hope you have an amazing celebration today and an incredible year ahead! I so wish I could be there to give you a huge hug, kiss and toast. You inspire me and I'm so proud to be your sister. Enjoy your special day and the little surprises!


[Image via Pinterest]

Friday, 2 November 2012

In Bruges

I’m very excited to be getting away this weekend on a mini trip to Bruges! This week has been a whirlwind (as have the last few) and I am looking forward to exploring a new city and experiencing new things. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and live a little! We’re taking the Eurostar so thankfully won’t have to deal with the airport hassle – it’s so genius. Once in town, we literally have no agenda aside from checking in our little hotel...from what I’ve heard it’s quite a small town so we’ll just walk through the cobblestone streets and relax. A few local specialties we’ll definitely be trying include chocolate (Belgian chocolate, anyone?), beer (apparently there’s some fun tasting tours) and waffles (naturally). Can’t wait to share photos and tips on the best places when I get back...

[Image via Pinterest]

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