All the food; both home cooking and eating out!

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Last week was rather full on, but in the best possible way! Monday I mainly prepped for the day after when I had my friends Gaby and Ro over for dinner after work. For once I wasn’t rushed and it was such a nice feeling. We started with nibbles; obviously Jamon Iberico and saucisson from Spain, nice olives and my homemade dill hummus with pitta chips.

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Then I served trout fillets with dilly new potatoes and a lovely sauce for fish and finished the dinner off with dulce de leche pannacotta. Gaby also brought a selection of canelés from Babelle that were amazing!

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My childhood friend Therése arrived from Sweden on Thursday evening and we had dinner together at mine while chatting away. I made a selection of tapas including the Jamon Iberico and saucisson, Nocellara olives (our favourite!), Manchego and Ossau Iraty cheese, padron peppers, calamari and my asparagus with wild garlic mayonnaise.

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On Friday we met after work and had a speedy but delicious dinner at Barrafina Drury Lane before going to the theatre around the corner to see 42nd Street.

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Saturday was lovely and sunny, so we put our sunglasses on and went shopping in Chelsea where we also had lunch. A pit stop at home to change and we were off to dinner. We had amazing sushi that I will tell you all about later and finished the evening with champagne at Kettner’s Townhouse.

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Therése’s last full day here we went back to an old favourite for lunch; La Fromagerie in Marylebone. The food, the cheese and the ambience is just a winning combination.

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In the evening I made us a nice chicken salad and we had ice cream and chocolate chip cookies for pudding. It was such a lovely weekend and I’m so grateful my friends make the effort to visit me while living abroad!

 

 

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Spring and snow in the same week!?

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Friday was such a wonderful day here in London; it was 14C and sunny and it felt like Spring really was here. Fast forward until the next day and it was -1C and snow. Most of the snow has melted again now and I really hope this is it. Spring, please come back!

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Apart from the weather changes it was a lovely week. I had some time to myself to just relax and catch up on feel good series such as Grey’s Anatomy (don’t judge!), Madam Secretary and Elementary (yes, crime makes me feel good. Any questions on that?).

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But I also had quality time with friends. On Tuesday I met up with my friend Laura at Flesh & Buns for sushi, fried squid, steamed buns with duck and wonderful doughnuts with black sugar caramel.

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On Friday I had sushi again, at Sticks ‘n Sushi and an early night. Saturday started with a long lie-in and a blissfully quiet morning before I reorganised my whole wardrobe and tidied up at home. So nice to get it done and so needed!

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Yesterday I met up with dear friends from Sweden in town. We had a lovely afternoon with lunch at Carluccio’s, a trip to the playground in the snow (!) and tea and cake to warm up afterwards.

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So lovely to spend quality time with my friends in London. It’s always such a whirlwind trying to fit everybody in when I go home so this was a real treat!

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!

Dublin: bars and pubs

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When I visited Dublin last year I had the perfect tour guide; my Irish friend Sinead who lives there. After brunch, shopping and a mid-shopping coffee on the Saturday, we were ready for some vino in the afternoon. The first place we went to was the cute The Bailey Bar with stripy canopies and pastel colours. We managed to snag one of the outdoor tables and spent an hour or so chatting and people-watching. What a treat at the end of October!

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Next we went to one of the most famous pubs in town; Kehoes (try pronouncing that!), and I realised I had been there when I last visited Dublin. It’s a great mix of tourists and locals here, and it still feels genuine. Plus it has the prettiest ladies room I’ve ever seen in a pub!

The Bailey Bar, 2 Duke St, Dublin, Ireland

Kehoes, 9 South Anne Street, Dublin, Ireland

Dublin: brunch at Dillinger’s

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For Halloween last year I went to Dublin for the weekend to visit my friend Sinead and the city was bustling to say the least; in part because of Halloween but it was also the Dublin Marathon that weekend and of course there was a big rugby game on (like most weekends in Ireland).

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I arrived late on the Friday night so we only had time to catch up over a bottle of wine, but spent the next day out on the town. We started with a delicious brunch at Dillinger’s in the cosy Ranelagh area.

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The place was packed when we arrived but we got a nice table (can’t remember if you can book or not) and started to read to menu. For a brunch menu, this was one of the best I’ve seen; I wanted to eat everything!  In the end I decided on the hash brown with guacemole, poached egg and smoked salmon while Sinead had the waffles with fried chicken and maple syrup. Both dishes were really nice (just a tad too big for us).

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We also had bellinis drink (appropriate when on holiday) and coffee.

Our lovely Saturday continued with some shopping, both in Ranelagh and central Dublin, and some drinks outside before going home to change and then on to dinner.

Dillinger’s, 47 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland

Brunch at Avenue, St James’s

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Several Saturdays ago I met up with Sinead for a very lazy (and late) brunch at 2.30pm in the afternoon, a time that suits me perfectly when there’s unlimited prosecco.

Although brunch is almost a religion in the US and even more popular in my native Sweden than in the UK, London brunches are becoming increasingly popular. We went back to Avenue, where we had dinner a few weeks previously as we thought it would be a fun place for brunch, and it definitely was.

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The other guests were in high spirits (maybe even literally due to that free-flowing prosecco) when we arrived and it was a mixture of smaller parties, hen dos and larger gatherings. It’s table service here (no buffets) and you can choose from the menu and then pay a set price for two or three dishes. We both started off with eggs (as it was at least my first meal of the day), I had eggs benedict and Sinead eggs florentine. Both really nice, although my slice, I mean slab, of ham was the biggest I’ve ever seen.  After the savoury start we continued with amazing waffles with berries and yoghurt.

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And then finishes off our brunch with something very sweet; an chocolate and vanilla icecream sundae. Really nice as well!

We really enjoyed our brunch here and the restaurant is perfect for that type of meal. But if I’m going to be picky (and I usually am) I would have liked some more fruit with the waffle and I still think they need to change the lights (or completely do up) the ladies room!

Avenue, 7-9 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1EE

Berlin in pictures

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Berlin was quite different to what I expected, but Emma and I had a fabulous time. We enjoyed good food (restaurant reviews in separate posts), laughed A LOT and walked lots taking in the sights.

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On the Saturday we started the day at the Berlin Wall museum for some contemporary history. It was very educational and well worth a visit. After that we walked around for the rest of the day exploring Berlin. The city is a fun fix of old and new, pretty and ugly.

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Emma at The Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe.

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An obligatory tourist picture by Brandenburger Tor.

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Strasse des 17. Juni by Brandenburger Tor.

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Reichstag (the Parliament).

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Modern architecture.

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The river Spree.

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Brandenburger Tor.

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Gendarmenmarkt (Cavalry square) with pretty old buildings.

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Den iconic green man; a little chubbier than the regular one.

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A typical Berlin view; old meets new.

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Die Fernsehenturm (Television tower) which you can spot from anywhere in the city.

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The River Spree.

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Graffiti.

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The Lipstick and the Powder Compact by Kurfürstendamm.

 

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A walking talking sausage stand. I didn’t buy any but they looked and smelled great!