A lady who lunches twice and a weekend in Norfolk

Any week that starts with a cooked breakfast on a Monday is a good week in my book, but looking back from where we are now, in the middle of a UK Coronavirus lockdown, this week at the end of January, beginning of February looks particularly good.

The rest of the day I worked as normal, and in the evening I ordered sushi from Sticks ‘n Sushi for dinner and watched a film I missed when it was on at the cinema; A Private War, based on the true events in journalist Marie Colvin’s life. So gripping!

Tuesday after work I met up with my friends Chris and Debs for dinner at a cosy pub. I had been picking up their post while they were away and they gave me really sweet gifts as a thank you. So nice to see them again too!

Wednesday night I ordered pizza for dinner. Sometimes when I have a lot of plans in a week I struggle to cook for myself on my nights off from socialising. Definitely I want to work on!

On Thursday my friend Ria officially became a UK citizen which we celebrated with bubbly and a nice lunch! I had chicken liver parfait with brioche to start…

… and for our main course all three of us had steak! Yum!

On Friday I had another lunch out, with a dear ex colleague. So much fun to have a proper lunch (we hardly did when we worked together) and it also gave me an opportunity to finally try Aquavit. Spoiler: it was great! Review to come.

In the evening I took the train to Norfolk for a weekend with my boyfriend there.

The next morning we had our usual breakfast and while my boyfriend went to a meeting I braved the cold, but sunny, outdoors for some pictures. Then we settled in front of the TV in the afternoon and watched the rugby.

In the evening I cooked for us. Easy but delicious dishes. First up bruschetta bar with burrata caprese. We used a supermarket burrata, which was surprisingly good!

For the main course I made the delicious shrimp rolls with oven fries. We had lots of brioche hot dog buns left over from the Christmas party so decided to use some up.

We were actually really full after the first two courses so watched some His Dark Materials before we had pudding. Vanilla pannacotta with blueberries in lemon sugar. Yum!

On the Sunday we went for a lovely, but quite cold, walk on the beach in Brancaster, working up the appetite for lunch.

At this lovely place! Review to come!

We were still really full in the evening so instead of another big meal I used up some leftover and made us tomato bruschetta and mini shrimp rolls. It was the perfect snack while watching the last episodes of His Dark Materials. Loved it!

Home cooking and lovely dinners out!

It already feels weird looking back at ‘normal weeks’ but I’ll continue like normal, hoping to provide you with some cooking inspiration, restaurants to try after all this or just a little escapism.

The fourth week of January this year was so normal it just passed by without much thought, but that’s what I long for now; normality. I guess we now have a new normal and we’ll just have to do the best we can to get through these difficult times together (in spirit).

I had my usual Greek yoghurt with honey and fruit (in this case kiwi fruit) for breakfast and on the Monday we both got a new dishwasher installed and a new sofa delivered.

On the Tuesday I made puff pastry pizza, which is such a great shortcut creating something yummy!

On Wednesday I saw an old colleague for lunch at Smith & Wollensky. We both had their excellent burgers! And in the evening I went to a leaving party for a dear friend.

Thursday I worked from the New Forest. I had cold puff pastry pizza for breakfast on the train (so yummy!) and an egg salad and bacon baguette and fruit from Pret for lunch.

Back in London in the evening I had a buffalo chicken wrap for dinner and it was so so good!

Friday I walked through central London in the evening, doing some errands on my wait to meet friends.

Two of us, that managed to get out of work at a decent time, had a drink before all three of us, Gaby, Ro and I, met up for dinner at a new for us spot.

Which was super chic and had really yummy food. Restaurant review to come!

On Saturday I pimped my scrambled eggs and they turned out so well I will give you the recipe soon! Love eggs for breakfast (or brunch it was probably after midday) at the weekend.

In the evening my boyfriend and I decided on an impromptu steak dinner out near his. We both had the ribeye, fries and bearnaise sauce. And some creamed spinach to share. Yum!

On the Sunday I made roast chicken for dinner. With broccoli cheese, roast parsnips and potato wedges with carrots, peppers and red onions. And gravy for my boy (I’m less of a fan but enjoy making it). Such a lovely week!

Cinema trips and taking it easy!

The third week in January started with a not so healthy, but very delicious, breakfast. This Nutella-ish spread on toast!

My friend Tobias gave it to me when I was home in Sweden for Christmas and it’s so good! Like a malted chocolate spread with crunch in. Addictive!

For dinner I had my “Friday night pasta” with browned butter, parmesan and truffle oil. Yum! Other than that I had a quiet night in watching TV.

Tuesday night was the same. The weather was terrible and after a sociable few weeks it was nice to hibernate. I had a cheese toastie for dinner, watching Netflix and cosying up inside with candles and tulips.

Wednesday I went for a walk at lunch time soaking up some sun. So nice!

And in the evening I met up with a friend for dinner. We tried a new restaurant and chatted away all evening. So lovely!

Thursday night we braved the rain, did some quick shopping and had Shake Shack before going to the cinema to see 1917 at the IMAX. It was amazing. Especially at the IMAX. I still think it should have won best picture at the Oscars, it was definitely THAT good!

Afterwards we went to Café Monico to sit down with some wine and talk through the film. Almost as important as going to see it!

Friday night I went to the cinema again, but this time on my own, to see The Gentlemen. Such a great film! Loved seeing Hugh Grant and Michelle Dockery in different roles to what we’re used to. And Matthew Mcconaughey was brilliant too!

Saturday I had a lie-in and spent most of the day reading.

But early afternoon I went to Curzon Victoria (such a lovely cinema!) to see Little Women. It was so lovely and loved the whole cast.

On my way home I picked up some goodies and had a baked camembert with baguette, salami and nocellara olives for supper.

Sunday I also took it as easy as I possibly good, but didn’t go to the cinema. Instead I read, watched TV and ordered Greek for supper. A much slower week (but still had some lovely nights out!) which was so needed.

Back in London, Birthday Celebrations and Some Cooking!

The second week of January – and the first week back in London for me – was back to business straight away. I was back at work on Monday, unpacked and tidied up in the evening, made myself some noodles and read a good book.

Tuesday was pretty much the same, while also doing errands, buying gifts and getting organised.

On the Wednesday it was my darling boyfriend’s birthday, so I took him out for a night on the town! First champagne (and a cheeky G&T!) at Sky Pod Bar, taking in the lovely view!

Followed by dinner (and more drinks) at Sushi Samba with more amazing views. Can you sense the theme?!

Thursday was head down working and putting things away at home. I always stock up on everything from cheese to body lotion to mouth wash when I’m in Sweden and it takes me a while to find space for all these extra items.

Friday night we had our usual burger before going to the cinema to see Cats. Not that we expected it to be good (it wasn’t!) but we wanted to make up our own mind. A little bit entertaining, but a total car crash of a film, but mostly it was just REALLY WEIRD! If you’ve seen it you’ll appreciate this little video – it’s spot on!

We stayed in on Saturday night and I cooked. Prawn cocktail in lettuce leaves (this recipe + avocado) followed by…

…homemade Dover sole a’la meunière which was absolutely delicious and so much fun to make! Will post the recipe soon.

For pudding we had Gino with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

On Sunday we had a lie-in and our favourite breakfast and then we decided to go for a refreshing walk on Wimbledon Common.

It was lovely to be outside and get some fresh air and check out the swans and the ducks in the pond. Little pleasures!

Absolutely starving we had a late lunch at The Ivy Café in Wimbledon Village before heading back.

For supper I made us a really nice chicken curry (will post the recipe soon) and we watched some TV before hitting the hay. Such a lovely weekend (and week)!

Prep, party and going home for Christmas!

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The third week in December was also a busy one. December is usually a crazy month, even though I try my best to prevent that from happening, I never seem to succeed.

Monday I went down to The New Forest for work (train lunch above) and when I got back to London in the evening I hit the shops for some last Christmas shopping. Thank god the shops are open in the evenings!

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The next day I worked from home and prepped for our party the next day. In the evening we went to a lovely drinks party and when we got back I continued the prepping.

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Wednesday night was our party and it was so much fun!! I didn’t take a single picture of people but snapped some of the food.

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The next day I worked from home again and we had leftovers for both lunch and dinner.

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In the evening a friend helped us eat the leftovers as he couldn’t make the party and the three of us had a lovely evening drinking champagne and stuffing ourselves.

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Friday night I flew home to Sweden and back home we had tea and sandwiches in the middle of the night.

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The next day I unpacked, wrapped Christmas gifts (which I love to do) and spent time with my parents.

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In the evening we made boeuf bourguignon and it was so nice to be home and have dinner with mamma and pappa.

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The next day I spent time with my best friend Emma  and we had a lovely brunch with allll the seafood and even champagne. So lovely to be reunited again!

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We had such a lovely day just hanging out and it was the perfect ending to a fairly hectic week.

 

 

Theatre, Lucia and my first côte de boeuf!

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The second week of December was a busy (and fun!) one! We went to a Christmas party on the Monday night and I was so busy chatting I didn’t take a single picture.

Tuesday we had eggs for breakfast before work.

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And in the evening we met up with the book club. Our hostess Mary-Lou made a lovely three cheese mac ‘n cheese and I contributed with pudding; spiced sponge with cream cheese and pomegranate seeds.

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Wednesday evening we had a lovely supper at The Palomar before seeing The Book of Mormon.

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We finished the evening with some bubbly at Bar Americain.

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Thursday I had a lovely night in (so needed) and ate all the comfort food. First nachos and then some Toblerone for pudding. Yum!

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Friday night we went out again, and had an early supper at Bread Street Kitchen before…

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…we went to the Lucia concert in St Paul’s Cathedral. It was so wonderful to celebrate this Swedish tradition with lots of fellow Swedes in this beautiful space. And it felt extra special because I got to share it with my boyfriend and his family.

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After some mulled wine the others headed home and we headed to a second supper at Hawksmoor. We shared a (smaller than usual) steak with fries and bearnaise sauce and a sticky toffee pudding. Yum!

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On Saturday I baked the soft gingerbread again and lots of sliced gingerbread!

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And in the evening I cooked my first ever côte de boeuf! It turned out great and we ate it with dauphinoise potatoes, broccoli and bearnaise sauce.

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The next morning we slept in and ate breakfast in our dressing gowns with the sun shining in through the windows.

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The rest of the day we continued prepping for the party the following week and in the evening we had tagliatelle with bolognese, marinated tomatoes and garlic bread.

London: The Best Croque Monsieur!

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I have been to The Wolseley numerous times. It’s my favourite place for breakfast, but I have also enjoyed many lunches, dinner and even afternoon tea here. But it took me the better part of eleven years to discover their amazing Croque Monsieur!

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One early Saturday evening in December, tired from Christmas shopping and in need of a bite to eat since I had skipped lunch, I passed The Wolseley and thought that would be an excellent place for an early solo supper. They are always fully booked but keep several tables available for walk-ins and I was lucky enough to nap one in the café area. It was actually the first time I’d been in that part of the restaurant and it was cosy and cute and had plenty of people eating by themselves, just like I did.

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Eyeing up the menu the Croque Monsieur caught my eye (always in the mood for melted cheese!) and it was just as perfect as I had hoped. The bread was crusty and thick, filled with melted cheese and a nice slice of ham and topped with béchamel and some more cheese. It was very cheesy but in the best possible way and different textured made it such a treat to eat.

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Sitting there full and happy, resting my tired legs and watching the world in the restaurant go by, I was so content. A perfect London moment. And a perfect meal.

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EB