Alfresco at Jamie’s

Last night I went out for dinner with friends and as we had spent most of the day in one of our favourite places in London, (Covent Garden) we ended up eating at one of our favourite restaurants there – Jamie’s.It is in a really sweet little square off Long Acre with lots of other restaurants and wine bars and lots of outside seating.

What I love about Jamie’s is the way everything is served in such a rustic and unique way. Some of the sharing places are served on logs which lay on a stand of old tins on your table. All the food is delicious and fresh and the prices aren’t bad either!

Above is the brilliant bread selection with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.

Below is the main dish which I had – Jools’ favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli.

This was cooked to perfection and suited dining outside in the evening with a large glass of white wine perfectly!For desert we all chose the same thing (boring, I know!) It was the Amaretto, Chocolate and nut Brownie. It said in the menu it would be served hot with icecream but ours wasn’t so the waitress kindly took it and heated it up. My favourite kind of pudding is hot and cold like this! We finished with Mojitos! A fantastic end to a brilliant day in London!

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Abandoned

I don’t usually go to National Trust places but I was suprised by this find – Calke Abbey. The history in brief is that the family who owned it died out and the last remaining person lived in it alone with collections of taxidermy, baskets and lanterns. He basically filled rooms with his collections and then closed them off. He then died and the National Trust took over the house. They maintained parts of it like walls and leaking roof but the rest was kept how it was found.

 

It is pretty eery to walk around and feel like you live there – honestly in every room you could picture what it would have been like because it had all been left.

Curiously the library had 2 copies of every book?!

A creepy servants area – weird!
This is the room the last surviving family member slept in until 1981.Above is the very long tunnel that the gardeners would use to get home so that they couldn’t be seen by the house.

Below is the ‘Grotto’ which is described as a secret place of romance – you can use your own imagination!

 

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Eightsome

So on Tuesday I had my first attempt at Scottish Reeling and the London Reels club. My best friend Oli has Scottish family so he has done it all before but we went with a group and we were all first timers. It was in Knightsbridge and they provided free wine, yay!

You have a practise run first and then the dancing begins with a wine round between each dance. It looks tame but it is insanely energetic and everyone there danced their socks off. I fell over once and caused an avalanche on the floor, I also got scratched but that is more to do with my lack of co-ordination than the actual experience itself. I couldn’s recommend it enough, the pictures don’t do it justice. These pictures were taken just before the end when it had died down a little and it was quite late. We had such a fun night and I am going back for more next month.

The pictures weren’t taken by me and they aren’t the most amazing pictures but you get the idea!

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Borough Market

Today our London tour took us to Borough Market, one of my favourite markets because there are so many delicious foods to try and buy. It was raining which was a shame but as most of it is covered over, we had a good look through the different stalls.

I am a huge saucisson fan so this stand appealed to me a lot. I couldn’t resist a taste!

Meringue…….I am yet to master this but 2012 will be my year. I cannot get meringue or fudge to work…..anyone have any tips?!

My boyfriend introduced me to this very traditional Portugese sweet – called Pastel De Natas, also know as Pasteis De Belem. The original recipe is the secret of one family but over the years many bakers have tried to recreate the original. This version tasted AMAZING and we each had one. It is pastry with a custard filling, sometimes they have cinnamon or sugar on top.

Just look at these Turkish Delights…..many flavours and colours. The man let me try lots of them and I was in heaven. It is nothing like the shop bought Turkish Delight in a pink wrapper…if you know which one I mean?

Take a look at the variety of nuts this stall had…..I love just walking around and looking at the colours and textures of the foods. This stand was pretty impressive!

We had a good chat with the guy who owned this stall, the wine was delicious and I would have bought some if it wasn’t for the fact that this was the first place we went to and I would have to carry it around all day and night!

Truffle mustard…..this is just amazing! You can use it as a dressing for salad or use it to make a sauce……a good thing to have in your kitchen to impress your guests!

Look at these cute little French tins. Presumably for storing tea, they are so pretty I want one for my kitchen!

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All the pictures I talk about are taken by me.