Easter at home

Easter collage1

Happy Easter!

I got back from Sweden last night after ten wonderful days with friends and family. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I’m starting to learn that I never have that much time when I go home. And I’m happy I managed to squeeze in as much as I did.

I ate a lot of pick ‘n mix and cooked a bit, met up with friends and got invited over to theirs for lunches and dinners. And I got to enjoy the fresh countryside air, pick wood anemones in the woods and unwind a little.

Here are a few pictures from the trip and I will post a lovely recipe later in the week!

pa13
Our Easter dinner on Holy Saturday; plenty of eggs and herring!
pa11.jpg
Champagne, nibbles and quality time with my dear parents.
pa4.jpg
British asparagus! with homemade hollandaise sauce – SO good!
pa3.jpg
“Our” woods
pa5.jpg
Picking wood anemones
pa9.jpg
Rhubarb meringue pie – our new favourite pudding!

Cape Cod: Spanky’s Clam Shack in Hyannis

cc66

The second day in Cape Cod, we managed to catch the boat to Nantucket and explored the pretty island for the day (top tip: book your ferry in advance!). When we arrived back into Hyannis, we headed straight for dinner, eager to eat at a more socially acceptable time than the evening before.

We went o Spanky’s Clam Shack, which seemed like the place to eat in this little town, and joined the queue at the bar. I’m really not a fan of waiting or queuing in general but when I can sit at a bar and sip a drink (in this case frozen strawberry daiquiri) I really don’t mind.

cc67

When we were shown to the table (after only a ten minute wait) we got snacks straight away, like they could sense our hunger. I really liked the crab dip and crackers, although the presentation could have been improved on. But this is one busy restaurant so I can see why they like plastic bowls and wrapped crackers.

cc69

We got our starters quickly too. Sinead got another mountain of crispy calamari with a tomato chilli dip.

cc70

I tried something completely new for me; a stuffed quahog (no, not a Family Guy reference, it’s the actual name of the clam). It’s a huge clam filled with breadcrumbs, butter and herbs, and I really liked it. But it’s quite compact and therefore really filling.

cc68

While we were munching on our starters we saw lobster after lobster leaving the kitchen.

cc72

We got the main courses while we were still eating our starters (we had already sent them back once so felt bad if we did it again). But considering the size of the starters it would have been nice with a pause in between courses.

Anyway, Sinead’s chicken with kale and fries was really nice.

cc73

 

But I think my clam bake was even better. The lobster was huge and perfectly cooked and the corn was the best I’ve ever had. I also had a plate full of a local type of clam and as I hadn’t come across them before I got a lesson in how you peel and eat them from our lovely waitress (it required removing them from the shell, pull of a membrane and then soak them in stock for quite a while to remove the sand). It’s always fun to try new things, and the clams were quite nice but I prefer the regular sweet ones. I also got a baked potato which I barely touched as the lobster, corn and clams were more than enough for me.

I really liked this place, but be prepared for big huge portions and a quick pace.

Spanky’s Clam Shack, 138 Ocean St., Hyannis, MA 02632

Cape Cod: Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis

cc65.jpg

The first evening in Cape Cod, we decided to have dinner at one of the restaurants in the Hyannis Harbour. We’d been driving around the Cape during the day so got to the restaurant we had decided on,  Black Cat Tavern, quite late. We were the last guests to arrive and eventually we were the only people left (bar the staff).

We thought that was why our main courses arrived while we were in the middle of eating our starters. I don’t like to be rushed when eating as it always give me a stomach ache, but we were to polite to say anything as the restaurant was emptying out around us.

But the following evening when we went to another restaurant, the same thing happened, although we had dinner much earlier and the restaurant was full. In the middle of our very substantial starters, we actually told the waitress we wanted to wait. She completely understood but the kitchen seemed to insist to get the food out, so when it arrived again, after five minutes we let them put it on the table.

cc61

I don’t understand this culture of rushing your guests through a (large) meal. Is it just in this area, or is it because of tourist season or what’s the reason?! Please do tell me if you have an idea.

Anyway, the food was nice in both the places, and I really like how understated the seafood is here. In Europe where oysters and lobster are luxurious and quite expensive it’s served a certain way or in certain places. Here, where you have lobster and oyster in abundance, you can enjoy it in your flipflops straight from the beach and I really liked that.

cc63

At Black Cat Tavern I had Oysters Rockefeller (baked oysters with a spinach and cheese topping and in this case cured ham as well) as my starter and they were really nice. Generous portion too!

Sinead had a minor mountain of calamari with a chillie dip – also really nice!  As I was a little bit stressed by the time our maincourses arrived I only manage to snap a picture of my own plate of bakes scallops (a first for me), with baked potato and creamy lobster sauce, but I do know that Sineads food was nice as well.

Black Cat Tavern, 165 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601, USA

Cape Cod: Canteen in Provincetown

cc58

On this unplanned US trip I trusted Google to help us find places to eat in Cape Cod. In P-town, one of the places I found was Canteen, and as we walked past it approximately two minutes after having stepped out of the car we decided it was a great place for lunch.

cc59

I, not surprisingly, made sure to get my (first) lobster fix for the day and decided on a lovely lobster roll. I also got a glass of frosé but it was too sweet for my liking.

cc60

Sinead had prosecco instead, and a lovely salad with quinoa and chicken.

This laid-back place is perfect for a quick bite while wandering around town. The food was really nice and fresh and the staff super friendly.

Canteen, 225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657

Cape Cod photos

cc11

My summer holiday was just lovely. First five days in New York; eating, shopping and drinking our way around the city. Then five days in glorious Cape Cod with blue skies, great beaches, boats and lobster (and a few days in Boston before heading home). We drove around the cape singing to the 90s songs the local radio played, only caring about where to stop for pancakes.

cc5cc10cc2

It was as idyllic as it sounds (and looks), and we had a great time taking in the New England style houses and pretty little towns.

cc4cc13cc6

Sadly we didn’t have enough time on the beach but it was still a lovely few days.

cc1cc18cc20

One day we explored Nantucket and wished we could just stay there for the rest of the summer. It’s such a little paradise.

cc28cc35cc45

But we also enjoyed the fabulous gay-town Provincetown at the end of the cape; filled with pride flags, drag queens and a wonderfully warm atmosphere.

cc50cc52cc55

Oh, take me back!

Eating NYC: breakfast at Balthazar

IMG_6063.JPG

Not jet-lagged at all while in the US, we actually overslept breakfast at the hotel every single morning and had to find breakfast elsewhere. An easy feat in New York, but also a little bit tricky if a donut from Dunkin’s (they’re everywhere!) doesn’t constitute breakfast in your opinion. One day we just happened to walk past Balthazar and decided to try our luck. We got a table straight away. A small one in a corner. But still, we were hangry and breakfast was near so it was perfect!

IMG_6066.JPG

I had my favourite egg dish; Eggs Benedict, and this was a great version. More rustic than The Wolseley’s but almost as nice. And in my ravenous state I loved the addition of the fried potatoes. Sinead had a lovely omelette, also served with fried potatoes, so we were both very happy with our menu choices. An hour and breakfast here put us in a good mood for the rest of the day. I would still like to try the breakfast at the hotel as it seemed great, but that’s for another trip.

Balthazar, 80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Italy in spring

IMG_7550.JPG

For Easter my friend Caroline and I went to Italy, to enjoy glorious spring weather and eat copious amounts of pasta. That’s our type of holiday.

IMG_7556.JPGIMG_7564.JPG

We spent most of the time in Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, but we also drove to Modena, Cierva and Ravenna. Driving in Italy was an, ehum, experience but we got into it after a while.

IMG_7587.JPGIMG_7584.JPG

It was lovely to see all the fresh produce at the greengrocers. Bright red tomatoes, asparagus and courgette flowers made the mouth water, and strawberries were in season too!

IMG_7591.JPGIMG_7592.JPGIMG_7593.JPG

We of course enjoyed pasta, cheese and charkuteries as well. And fish and seafood.

IMG_7599.JPGIMG_7601.JPGIMG_7604.JPG

Just a change of scenery and pace was lovely, but also to enjoy some sunshine and be able to sit outside was amazing. I’m such a spring and summertime person I feel I came alive again!

IMG_7640.JPGIMG_7632.JPG

I have plenty to tell you about the restaurants we went too, so hope you’re up for a few posts on Italy!

IMG_7687.JPGIMG_7683.JPG