Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Olive Tree, Romsey

I think finding new places to visit is always a lot of fun and I've been meaning to go to this little pub-restaurant for a while now, so I put on jeans and a shirt and headed for lunch with my lovely friend! We're fast approaching June and the weather is still disappointing, so we opted to sit inside; we were surrounded by low ceilings, books and candles which created a really nice atmosphere.

We ordered a Club Tree Sandwich (toasted bread, chicken, bacon, tomato, egg mayonnaise and lettuce) each and went for fries. The chips were some of the nicest chips I've ever tasted and the sandwich was so good. The chefs aren't afraid to pack it with as much as they can  (super value!) which meant I had bacon and sauce falling out of the sandwich as I ate...but no one was watching as I acted like a complete animal so I carried on. 

The waitress brought us water with lemon and ice which was a nice touch and if you request sauces, they come in little pots with spoons which was lovely! It doesn't take much to please me! 

Overall I was really happy with the great service and the fab food so I recommend going if you're searching for a new place to dine at. 

There's a car park close by - about a 1 minute walk away - and it's £1.50 to park for 2 hours.

The Olive Tree, Romsey | 11 Latimer Street SO51 8DF

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A Utility Skirt & Frill

Recently I've been buying clothes that I know will last me a really long time, as opposed to buying something I know I'll only wear once. My friend Nadia would always come round and rummage through my wardrobe and she'd always say 'this has a tag in it still...another tag...have you even worn this?' and my answers would always be 'yep...yep...mmm, no'. I managed to get a job a week after my 16th birthday and thought it was always a really good idea to buy things and then wear them only once - a terrible habit that I've learnt to overcome (3 years later...). 

I really love neutral shades and thought this skirt from Warehouse looked real comfy but also quite classic. It's a bit of an odd design because there's no lining and, if the D-ring came loose and the clasp unclasped, the skirt becomes a skirt NO MORE - it's essentially a piece of material you wrap around and secure at the front. I love that D-rings are a trend at the moment and I love that this one is a rusty gold. 

I'd been after a white off the shoulder frill top for a while, but didn't want to buy a cropped one as I wanted to pair it with trousers and jeans -  luckily I came across a longer one from Warehouse.

Louie always has to get involved - he's mastered the 'one leg in front' pose...

Top: Warehouse 
Skirt: Warehouse
Shoes: Topshop (from a few years ago!)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Essie Limo-scene

Hola amigos, I've found the perfect nail varnish so thought I'd dedicate a post to it! I've always taken extra great care when it comes to my nails and biting them has, luckily, never been a habit. Instead, I make up for it by cramming my mouth with food - a tastier and more satisfying alternative in my opinion. I think painted nails can make a huge difference in how you go about your day, and this shade leaves hands looking clean and cared for! I've fallen in love with a new nail varnish and it's a classic manicure shade called limo-scene. I love nude varnishes and think they look really cool and tidy. I've written about a cheaper alternative in another post and at £7.99 for a measly 13.5ml bottle, you may need to take out a loan...but the colour is lovely and it doesn't tend to chip!

What I'm listening to: Florence + The Machine - Ship To Wreck 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Apple Roses

I absolutely love flowers and I absolutely love food, so after my mum stumbled across an easy peasy recipe video online, we decided to recreate the prettiest puff pastry puddings!

This was our first attempt and one vital lesson learnt and the toppest tip of all top tips I can give to you is to ensure the apple slices are super thin. If the slices are cut thinly, they will be more pliable; the bendier the apples = the prettier the roses. 

I found so many recipes that all require numerous ingredients and utensils, but with a quick attempt came an elimination of unnecessary bowls, sugar and flour. We used the bare minimum and the process worked really well with barely any washing up to do and great results to show for it. 

You will need:

Puff pastry sheets (the ready rolled kind is fuss free and so easy to work with!)
2 apples
1 lemon
Icing sugar dusting (optional)


Butter a cake tray 

Cut the apple into thin slices and place either in a bowl or onto a dish

Other recipes told us to soak in lemon water, but instead we just squeezed lemon juice over the slices - easy peasy lemon squeezaaay

Open your Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets and cut into sections. Don't worry about having to place the sheets onto a surface sprinkled with flour, just use the sheet of paper wrapped around the pastry sheet as a surface

Place the apple slices onto each individual sliced sheet 

Sprinkle with the hero-spice that is cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon) 

You can sprinkle a little bit of sugar too if you want them to taste sweeter 

Turn the bottom of the sheet half way over the sliced apple

...and roll

Leave in the oven for about 25-30 minutes on a low heat, then sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar

TA-DAH! Edible roses! And you won't feel guilty either because apples count as part of your 5-a-day... 

Inspiration just in time for a Sunday baking day!

Friday, 22 May 2015

What I'm Reading: Cecelia Ahern

Following the success of the P.S. I Love You film adaptation, I was really keen to delve further into more works by Cecelia Ahern, and The Book of Tomorrow didn't disappoint! Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors (ever) because she has the capacity to make me laugh from the word go! Considering I'm in the middle of an English degree, it's pretty refreshing to read a novel that tells a gripping tale with no difficult phrases and ridiculous words in sight! 
I instantly grew attached to the character Tamara and after just two chapters, you'll honestly feel like she's a hilarious close friend who says aloud most things we're too afraid to say. A ballsy, confident and fun character lost in a remote village and surrounded by a realm of secrets - which you eventually find out. There's nothing greater than when you're reading a book that's SO GOOD, you tell yourself 'just one more chapter' whilst your eyes are struggling to stay open!

As with most of Ahern's settings, the novel is set in rural Ireland, although this one is equipped with castles, a travelling library, ancient history and magic.

Ahern writes so brilliantly and I can't wait to read The Year I Met You. 

You'd be an eejit (ha ha ha) to ignore this one...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Trago Lounge

I had my last exam on Monday and I'm now free of deadlines until September, so what better way to celebrate than with a really really re-he-heeeally tasty breakfast at Trago Lounge. 

I really loved the restaurant's decor - I absolutely love a wall covered in frames! The atmosphere was relaxed and I can't recommend their brunches (which are served all day - WOOHOO!) enough, but more on that later. 

I abstained from running over to a dog sat with its owner in the lounge and giving it a big hug because I was really hungry and didn't have the energy, but thought it was lovely that the restaurant allowed pets to chill with a bowl of water whilst their owners lounge around in the lounge. 

I asked the typical Elena question whilst ordering: 'do you charge for tap water?' 

(You might think 'stupid question', but imagine if I asked for water and they charged me for it? I'd rather buy a drink worth paying for...)

'No we don't, it's illegal to charge for water' 

'Oh right just checking, I'll have tap water please' 

Next to the bar sits two jugs of ice cold water with cups so you can refill as you please which is a great set up in my opinion! Did you know, if someone walks into a restaurant and asks for a glass for water, Trago {and other restaurants} are obliged to supply it. You learn something new everyday. #funfact 

I had the Lounge Eggs which consisted of two poached eggs served with hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin, with bacon and spinach. At first glance I fell in love, and at first taste I fell even harder... 

I almost opted for the stack of pancakes drenched in peach sauce and yoghurt and covered  in strawberries, but today I was in a  savoury mood - does anyone else have 'food moods'? 

I wore my waistcoat from Zara and a white blouse, unfortunately it was pouring down with rain and absolutely freezing (Britain cold in May - no way, really?!) so I walked through the high street with a plastic bag on my head - to all those who saw me, you're welcome for the laughs - and arrived at Trago looking like a drowned rat. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Nutella Krispies

Nutella and marshmallows make for an easy no-bake Rice Krispies cake success. I'm certain this recipe has been made before, but thought I'd remind those reading how great these actually are. Nutella is the greatest spread in the word and so although these cakes aren't really aesthetically pleasing (where's the oozing Nutella?), once you've had one, you'll 100% want another! 

You will need:

Marshmallows (however many you think is best, aka - loads)
Two or three (or four or five) heaped tablespoons of Nutella 
A block of butter

The amount of each ingredient required isn't really 'set', I added the contents together and hoped for the best so if you don't have a lot of Nutella left in the cupboard then just add some milk chocolate. Although the real worry here is - why do you not have a spare Nutella jar hiding in the cupboard? It's a necessity. 

To make:
Place the marshmallows, butter and Nutella into a bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water. Alternatively, you can heat the ingredients in a microwave; remember to stop heating and stir at intervals because the microwave will burn the mixture if left to heat for too long. 

Marshmallows aren't so keen on melting when placed over a hob, so I pressed the marshmallows against the glass bowl with a large spoon in an attempt to flatten their stubbornness...

Pour over the cereal and mix together.

Once mixed, butter a tray and empty the contents into it. 

Leave to cool for 20 minutes (if you can refrain from devouring one). Or, if you have no  patience whatsoever (like me), then place the tray in the fridge for 5-10 minutes  - just make sure the bottom of the tray isn't overly hot. 

Finally, cut into squares & place one in your mouth. 

I'll definitely be making s'more of these! (Get it?)

Smores...melted marshmallows... (Incase you didn't) 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Weekend in Photos

This week has been so busy - I've been working quite a bit (to fund my terrible spending on clothes) and with university exams looming, I've been attempting to revise (read: reading books, writing notes and taking several food breaks). 

Yesterday I went shopping with mum and went into TK Maxx. I found the most beautiful  mirror but didn't end up buying it. I left my heart with the gold rose frame and I'm hoping it'll still be there when I next go. I loved it but couldn't justify spending the money on something I didn't need! I'm going to be a nightmare when I eventually move into my own home. I've accepted that I have an issue with spending money on clothes, but having my own house will inevitably mean buying home decor will become a habit too. 

In more exciting news... my Auntie and Uncle collected their new puppy and brought her home! We rushed over to see her and, if you can believe it, she's tinier in real life than she appears in the photos. They've named her Bella and she's the most beautiful cockapoo I have EVER seen. 

'Jack I want you to draw me like one of your French girls'