Nights in, book club and a few days in Norfolk!

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The fourth week in August was a nice mix of evenings in and out, fun with the girls and a some lovely days by the seaside.

Monday was a regular work day and in the evening I had a nice night in. I made a batch of tomato sauce (to stock the freezer with) and used some of it to make tortilla pizzas for supper. It’s so easy to make, and still I sort of forgot about them for a few years. But they’re now back in my rotation and a much nicer alternative to store-bought pizzas that I try to eat less of.

My entertainment that evening consisted of a few episodes of Elementary before going to bed early.

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The next day was very similar with work as usual and a night with Elementary.

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On the Wednesday night the book club girls came round for some nibbles, drinks and book chat on the roof terrace while it was still summer and we had such a lovely evening!

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The following day I went down to the New Forest for work and met up with some friends back in London in the evening.

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We didn’t really have a plan but ended up at The Railhouse Café near Victoria where they could squeeze us in.

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On the Friday afternoon I found myself on a train once again; this time on my way to Norfolk for a few days by the seaside. On arrival all of us (my boyfriend’s family and I) had a lovely dinner outside in the garden.

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The following day we went fruit picking with the children, followed by some time on the playground and of course an ice cream as the weather was lovely. We had such a lovely day and a lovely evening too, with a quick appearance at a drinks party followed by dinner out.

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I had some local Norfolk oysters followed by the lobster Thermidor. Love being by the seaside eating seafood!

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Sunday the weather was amazing so we all went to the beach. We sunbathed, went swimming, made sand castles and had a picnic. Such a lovely day!

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On the way home we stopped by a really cute little private railway, only open to the public a few times a year, and had a little ride on it. So lovely for children and adults alike!

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In the evening two of us made dinner and put a whole turbot on the barbecue. It might look ridiculous but it worked out really well! Yum!

 

Opera and a sunny weekend in Norfolk!

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Last week was great fun, but as usual I started the week quite calmly. On Monday I had Ocado deliver my food order and for dinner I just had an oven pizza. Not terribly exciting but I was so tired from all the concerts the week before.

I had another evening at home on Tuesday when I watched the latest episode of Big Little Lies and made a cheese toastie with pancetta for dinner. Another chilled night as I tried to get rid of my cold.

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Wednesday it was nice weather and I went down to The New Forest for work. I had breakfast on the train down and lunch outside in the sunshine. The train was freezing as always but I came prepared with two large wraps despite the sunshine!

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Thursday was also lovely and in the evening we went to Opera Holland Park to see Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera about Swedish king Gustav III and the masquerade ball, really enjoyed it! I didn’t have time to eat dinner before leaving work so I was very happy when I could have a big hotdog and camembert popcorn in the interval. Great dinner!

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I cooked a lot more on the weekend though… We went up to Norfolk on Friday night and went straight to the beach for a sundowner.

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Then back to the house to cook. We had a an elevated caprese salad as a starter, with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, basil, tomatoes and rocket.

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For the main course I barbecued pork fillet which had been marinated with lemon, garlic and herbs, a potato salad and parmesan crème.

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We had pudding (strawberries and ice cream) inside as it got really cold in the evening, but still it was such a lovely evening first on the beach and then eating outside. And love a barbecue!

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On Saturday we had breakfast in the garden before we went to the beach.

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We had brought a picnic for lunch and as it was lovely and hot (30C) we even swam in the sea. Well, I didn’t really swim, but I did go in twice! The North Sea was cold but it was still really refreshing on such a hot day.

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We lit the barbecue again in the evening, but not until we’d each had a nice shower and an ice cold gin and tonic.

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Our starter was ham and melon (so simple but very summery!) and pan con tomate.

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For our main course we had barbecued chicken (I spatchcocked a whole chicken and marinated it in a barbecue type sauce), with it we had sweet potato oven fries, Mexican corn salad and homemade mayo. So yummy!

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For pudding we had strawberries and ice cream again while watching Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.

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The weather was a bit cooler on Sunday so I stayed in resting and trying to get rid of my cold and read a book. For dinner we finished off all the leftovers before going back to London. It was such a lovely weekend it felt like a mini holiday! Much due to the gorgeous weather – more of that, please!

Nights in, dinners out and a weekend in Norfolk

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Last week started with three nights at home. So lovely and much needed. I went to bed early, read a good book and watched a new cosy series called New Amsterdam. Love a hospital drama!

On the Thursday night it was a friend’s birthday dinner at Joe’s Brasserie and we had such a fun night!

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IMG_5710.jpegOn Friday afternoon we drove up to Norfolk for the weekend. We had a date night dinner at cosy The White Horse and the next day we went for a long walk on the beach and met a seal.

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In the evening we had a friend staying over and we went to the local pub for dinner. The next day the boys played golf in the rain while I read indoors, and after their game we all had lunch together at the club house. In the afternoon we cosied up on the sofa and watched the last two episodes of True Detective season 3. Loved it! In the evening we drove back to London.

 

Quiet weeknights and a weekend away!

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Last week was just what the doctor ordered; quiet evenings followed by a weekend by the seaside.

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I can’t remember the last time I had four days in a row without plans in the evenings, and I fully enjoyed it. And realised I need to do less during the weeks. I was too tired to cook most days but made a big batch of pasta one night that lasted a few days.

Other than packing my bag for the weekend (not an easy task with a weather forecast promising everything from sunshine to rain and cold temperatures) I just watched TV, had early nights and took it easy.

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Then on Friday I finished work early and took the train to Norfolk. The weekend consisted of walks along the beach (we saw seals!!), some outings in the rain, nice food, some baking and just hanging out. So lovely and nice! And with Monday being a bank holiday the work week this week is a short one! 🙂

Dinner with the girls and a weekend in Norfolk

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This past week was just lovely. I had a few evenings to myself but also had a wonderful dinner with Ro and Gaby one night. Ro cooked this really yummy chicken dish with mustard and panko breadcrumbs – recipe here – and we had a lovely time chatting and drinking prosecco.

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Gaby brought pudding; amazing doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts! We tried three different ones and they were all yummy (yuzu & passionfruit; cinnamon and raspberry) but I think the winner was the raspberry one.

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On Friday night I went up to Norfolk for the weekend and had such a lovely time walking on the beach, breathing in the (very) fresh air and just taking it easy.

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The countryside there actually looks a lot like the part of Sweden I’m from so I felt right at home, although the beaches here were even wider. It was so nice to be in the countryside and lower the pace for a bit.

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And eat nice food in cosy country pubs and have fish and chips by the beach. Now, it’s back to the real world, but that’s quite nice too!

A different Midsummer – Wyndstock

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While my friends and family back in Sweden ate pickled herring and drank several aquavit I celebrated midsummer in a more British way. Together with my friends Gaby and Laura I went to Houghton Hall in Norfolk to attend Wyndstock –  The Country House Party.

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When I arrived on Friday evening my friends were already there, so they showed be around and we had some wine in the bar tent and enjoyed the bonfire. Then off to bed only to be woken up by torrential rain and we found out the hard way that the tent we had hired from the organisers was not waterproof. Luckily the weather improved, tents were repaired and we actually got a new (waterproof) tent for the second night.

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On Saturday after breakfast we went on a tour with the game keeper in the deer park which was quite the sight.

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At midday we got to go into the house and look at the new exhibition Houghton Revisited. For the first time since Catherine the Great bought Robert Walpole’s (the first British prime minister) art collection it has been returned – on loan – to Houghton Hall where he used to live. 

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After lunch (a nice paella with chicken, chorizo, squid, prawns and mussels)…

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… we had tea and cakes. People from the local parish sold baked goods they had baked themselves. It was quite the spread! 

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We had a lovely cheese scone to share and a cake slice each. Gaby had glutenfree carrot cake and Laura and I had a delicious chocolate cake with both cream and frosting.

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In the evening dinner was served either at 7pm or 9pm, we had the earlier slot and although it was well organised we were pretty disappointed by the food. The starter was just about OK, the maincourse dreadful but the brownie for pudding was actually delicious. We still managed to dance until pretty late and watch the fire works. And it was so nice with a dry night’s sleep. On Sunday we left after breakfast to get back to London for afternoon. Despite the weather I had a great time and although Saturday supper was pretty bad the food was otherwise quite nice and everything was very well organised.