So the Boy and I have been sorting our garden, we have a terraced house so have a smallish shady spot, half-decked and now since the Boy laid it half lovely green grass…
I cannot wait till we are finished and we can sit and eat outside!

I also cannot wait to have things growing, to make my own pudding with fruit we have grown will be amazing.

So last week we paid yet another visit to the garden centre where we purchased a ton of berry plants as well as peppers, chillies and tomatoes…

Strawberries! Not many of these will make it into a recipe, they will probably be nibbled whilst sitting on the grass…

Plus another of compost (we seem to be going through a lot of this!) and some flowers…

Plus the Boy bought me this beautiful rose-bush… the roses are huge and pink and so so pretty!

And this could be the most perfect rose I have ever seen in my whole life…

So the Boy got busy planting and for a reward we had a steak dinner…

I kept it simple so there is no recipe as such in this post…

I pan-fried the steak, mine was medium rare and the Boy’s as rare as I could make it!

I also made sweet potato chips and a simple green salad with tomatoes and avocado…

To make these I used 1 large sweet potato, chopped into chunky chips roasted in olive oil, dried chilli flakes and paprika in the oven for about 30 minutes at about 180c…
if you use very little oil these are very healthy…

And to serve with the steak I made some lemon and black pepper creme fraiche, I wanted something light and fresh as it was such a hot evening but am still very new to eating red meat so needed something…

Just literally mix lemon zest from 1 lemon, half a lemon’s juice and as much black pepper as you like with two or three tbsp of half fat creme fraiche, it was yummy with both the steak and the chips… and much healthier than mayo…

The steaks were a purchase from the farmers market that day…

There are lots of farmers markets in Bristol and I am lucky to have one near where I work on Wednesdays, so as often as possible I pay it a visit and make a treat dinner…

They looked quite small when I bought them but they were not!

After what was a huge very filling meal on a beautiful evening we decided to go for a long walk and I just wanted to share some of the photographs I took, they are so Bristol they could be postcards… I had to share.

We stopped off at The Cottage, one of the greatest views a pub could have…

As we watched, the Matthew sailed past…

Then there were balloons, I have never taken a photograph that is more Bristol than this one, with the balloon and the colourful houses…

Then we walked back through the harbours, admiring all the boats…

Back home past the Ostrich (another gem in the sunshine)…

There were so many vapour trails in the sky, and although they are bad, they were very pretty that night…

And back south of the river…

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Day at Court

June 11, 2010

On Sunday I was lucky enough to be taken to the Stables Bistro at Ashton Court by my Mum… I have wanted to go for ages and we were fortunate enough to go on one of the sunniest days we have had in a long time, the estate is beautiful at any time but when sunny makes me love where I live even more!

The view as you arrive is stunning…

The estate is huge and centres around the main house which has an event space, there was a wedding here today (what a perfect day!), there is also a cafe serving snacks and light lunches, a farm shop, a gift shop and visitor centre plus the bistro

The menu is a blackboard brought to your table, we were spoilt for choice, although on such a hot day I ruled out a roast immediately

I ordered Seabass, which came with a herby butter, tiger prawns, squid, asparagus, new potatoes and a salad which was dressed with a really good vinaigrette

My Mum is a vegetarian so ordered the mushroom and asparagus risotto, which looked amazing, we identified several different mushrooms, they had really gone the extra mile with this. So often is risotto is the standard rubbish vegetarian option that I think people tire of it but this one truly stood out… lots of parmesan too

We had to resist licking our plates

We were seated below this spooky picture of a little girl

The only pudding that we felt was ‘summer’ enough was pavola, which came as a deconstructed version, my only complaint is that the meringue was quite tough but I persevered and it was worth it

Yes, the pile underneath is cream (!)

The Stables Bistro is so called because, you guess it, you sit within the old stables

They are quite special stables, with big ornate gates for each one

After lunch it was time to shop… the gift shop has so many cute things I want to buy…

This very cute butter dish, mine is a rectangle shape so no harm in getting a round one to cover all bases right?

This plate for egg and soldiers makes me want to eat egg and soldiers again (Is 26 too old?)

They also sell Forest of Avon products, which are just beautiful…

The shop display shelves are even made by them

Take a look at their website, they can also be commissioned for furniture and even kitchens (dream!) I have my eye on a bench for the garden, there is a lovely one in the shop

Even the displays in the shop are cute, I had to stop myself my buying this whole table of decorations

I did however buy myself this very cute sauce pot, I cannot wait to use it… it might be time for a sunday roast so I can fill it with horseradish cream

I had to include some more photographs of the gardens and the house as it was such an amazing day, we didn’t go on a big walk into the estate it was too hot!

The view of Bristol

Views across country

The beautiful house (with a wedding party in front, you can get married here)

Secret gardens, perfect for romantic picnics

I love a tree lined avenue

Another gate tucked away, all the stonework was so perfect, I think it may have all been cleaned recently

A May Wedding

June 11, 2010

Over the May bank holiday I went to see two friends get married in Bristol, it was such a nice relaxed day with so many cute touches that I had to share…

They tied the knot in the Council House on College Green, we sat in councillors seats, there were even microphones (although there were not working, we did check), and the aisle was strewn with rose petals…

The bride looked stunning in a fifties homage outfit, complete with pillbox hat style facinator and veil, peep toes platforms and a Dior new look style strapless dress, the Groom wore a smart single breasted suit with a pink tie to match his button-hole and the brides bouquet

I loved how it looked when she sat with the black petticoat popping out…

The brides bouquet was a small hand tie of pink and white roses

The bridemaids were a highlight as well, all in little black dresses, halterneck also in the Dior new look style, with little kitten heels with bows (bows are an obsession of mine at the moment)

The dresses all had a little waist belt to match the brides dress and show off those tiny waists

A halterneck and gorgeous fifties style hair

And the present from the happy couple? A Tiffany necklace, lucky girls!

The story behind the necklaces comes from the proposal, which is a good ones, boys if you’re listening this is a tough one to beat…

So Paul and Caroline are in New York on holiday and they take a walk up Fifth Avenue where they come across Tiffany’s, where he takes her up to the engagement ring room and asks her to marry him…

well done Paul!

The wedding breakfast and reception was held at Goldbrick House, an amazing building on park Street that used to be a jewellers, until the current owners gutted the building and built a cafe bar (ground floor), restaurant (first floor), with a champagne bar (second floor front) and lots of mini rooms dotted up and around such as the library where people could sit or dance or eat or drink.

There is also a roof terrace overlooking the rooftops and although it was a bit of a grey day it didn’t rain and on arrival we all went up there for the welcome drinks of Pimms or elderflower presse

And I adore the chandeliers and the art…

The wedding breakfast was in the restaurant and because of the restaurant space there cannot be a top table as such, the Bride and Groom and their family all sat together but there were just lots of big tables which added to the informal and relaxed atmosphere

The tables were gorgeous, strewn with black and white petals and pink diamonds!

With bread ready for the starving guests (we did have to walk up the big hill after all!) and we got stuck straight into the wine, I’m afraid I didn’t write down what we drank but it was very good, the red was a Malbec which the Boy loved

And we all had cameras on our table so the couple get photos of everyone

They even had cider, a must for a Bristol wedding

The Menu…

I had the beef…

The Boy had smoked salmon… this was strange, as I always go for fish and he for beef but I am glad I picked the beef, it was so pink it just melted!

 
I had the chicken… with pomme Anna…

The salmon looked good though, love the presentation

Chocolate shortbread

Sticky toffee

I have the Pannacotta… a favourite but one I have not attempted to make myself yet!

The cake was a mountain of chocolate cupcakes with pink and white icing and edible flowers, I took mine home and ate it for breakfast the next day, it was goooooooooood

Another bridesmaid highlight was their speech, they spoke about the bride instead of having a father-of-the-bride speech which was really nice.

Caroline had a childhood friend, a uni friend and a grown up friend, people from every stage of her life who gave really funny and heartfelt speeches

Another cool touch was that for the toast while we all had a glass of the traditional champagne Caroline’s table of uni buddies had a shot of sambuca!

Then the party started… with the first dance…

Then later more food to keep us all going… Mini fish and chips, bacon rolls and mini quiches, a really fun touch and just what you want after a few cocktails!

The cocktails are very good at Goldbrick, I had an espresso martini first to wake me up after dinner…

then I found something very special that has become my all time favourite drink that I have ever had anywhere (it was that good)… the Spiced cucumber martini, not too sweet or strong and really refreshing go and try it.

Thanks for the lovely day you two!

So a few weekends ago Bristol had the most beautiful weather, sunshine, clear blue skies and it was warm enough to go out without a coat… a perfect day to mooch about in the city…


It had been a while since I had seen my old housemate Sofi. She is definately the coolest girl I know, she is a Brand Manager for Vitamin Water -if you haven’t tired this drink yet where have you been?! She is also a devoted blogger and her blog is amazing… check it here, lots of cool pics regarding music fashion and random fun stuff…

So we decided to have a girly day out, we went shopping and had Lunch at Obento, the best sushi place in Bristol…

I really recommend Obento, I had all of the above for about £12 and Monday to Thursday sushi is half price… so much better than some chain restaurants I could mention

First we ordered some edamame beans (or soy beans) to snack on while we ordered, I love how healthy Japanese meals can be, we ate so much food and although we were very full, we were full of energy and ready to shop afterwards.

I ordered the chef’s plate which means they choose the sushi, but you get sashimi as well… the plate was so pretty I (almost) didn’t want to eat it

So I got salmon and tuna sashimi, a crayfish handroll, 4 california rolls (!) and tuna, salmon, cuttlefish and octopuss nigiri plus lots of pickled ginger, which I love; the colour is just amazing.

If you have never tried sushi and are afraid of it (as I used to be) try a sushi box from Marks and Spencer first (no raw fish) and work up to the proper stuff -although I have to say I don’t think I have had the most authentic sushi I will ever have yet, I am still a bit scared… I didn’t eat the octopuss!

You could also try making your own sushi… a friend of mine makes his all the time, but then he does live in Japan, I will get some tips from him and give this a go soon and let you know how it goes…

Then we strolled off to the fountations to collect an ice cream from the stand there (another reccommendation -if you haven’t had one from there why not! Kicks cornetto’s out of the water!) before we tackled Park Street

Sushi websites… find out more!
FAQ’s
SushiLinks

Also give youtube a search there are lots of helpful videos if you’re making your own.