Nights in, dinner out, Valentine’s and a trip to the cinema

February’s second week was with hindsight really lovely. Like every pre-coronavirus week of my entire life. It gives you perspective, this pandemic…

Anyway, back to February this year. The Monday passed by quietly. I didn’t even document what I had for supper. So I will assume I worked and went to bed early, which is my preferred way to handle the start of the work week.

The next day I made broccoli cheese for lunch and went out for supper in the evening. My friend Amy and I decide to meet up somewhere on the tube line in between our homes, and I thought Parsons Green with its many pubs and restaurant was a safe bet.

We went to Megan’s near the station and had a lovely time even though the restaurant was quite quiet this Tuesday evening. I had halloumi and aubergine to start and a lovely chicken kebab as my main course.

Wednesday I worked from bed (I remember it being cold outside so under a blanket was the only place to be).

For lunch I had a toasted bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill. So lovely!

On Thursday evening I ordered a poke bowl for supper and watched TV in bed.

But on Friday night (also known as Valentine’s Day) I cooked properly! To start we had Toast Skagen because it’s easy yet delicious.

And for our main event I cooked Côte de boeuf with skin-on oven fries and bearnaise sauce. Yum!

And for pudding I made another crowd pleaser; heart shaped molten chocolate cakes with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. So much yum!

The next morning I made our usual eggs and pancetta and topped the eggs with the leftover bearnaise sauce. A perfect start to the weekend!

In the afternoon we went to see Parasite in the cinema and we were blown away by how good it was. A must see if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. And before that we had Five Guys for lunch.

In the evening I made our favourite crab pasta for supper. So yummy!

On the Sunday we met up with two sets of friends and their kids in Pizza Express for late lunch/early supper and although completely chaotic (apparently only families with young children visit Pizza Express at this time) it was so lovely to see everyone and hang out.

Cinema, nights in and a lovely weekend!

The first week in February was a really nice one (every week pre COVID-19 seems pretty good right now though!). I mainly worked and chilled at home but was a bit sociable at the weekend. On the Monday I made egg salad for lunch that I ate on Finncrisp. So yummy!

In the evening I had burrata with tomatoes and pesto together with leftover crostini from the weekend. Also yum!

The next day I tried a new yoghurt for breakfast and it was absolutely delicious and the passionfruit flavour worked well with the leftover blueberries too!

In the evening I made my favourite noodles and topped them with crispy chilli flakes in oil. Love this simple dish!

On the Wednesday we went to the cinema to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood which was so lovely!

The next night I wasn’t in the mood to cook so ordered Shake Shake. It’s always a winner in my book!

On the Friday we had a quick supper before going to a concert, at a place in Brixton my friend Gaby recommended. The food was yummy and I will write the review soon!

On Saturday, a bit tired after the concert the night before we went over to some friends for lunch and got treated to roast chicken and a really yummy pasta salad! We even stayed for dinner and had a lovely day playing with the kids and catching up.

On the Sunday we just chilled and watched The Irishman. It’s long but really good! For supper we had a caprese salad with crispy baguette, followed by…

… pork fillet, dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and vegetables. Always yummy!

As it was a Sunday I made an apple crumble and raw custard for pudding. A real favourite!

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)!

Christmas in Sweden, food galore and catching up with friends!

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The last week in December was quite a sociable one! I was home in Sweden trying to relax a bit, celebrate Christmas and catchup up with friends.

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The day before Christmas Eve is our “mini Christmas” at home. We decorated the tree, wrapped the last gifts and had Christmas food for dinner. But first a G&T and some crisps by the fire.

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For dinner we had a small selection of traditional Christmas dishes, basically our favourites. Meatballs, cooked ham, rye bread, Jansson’s temptation and “brown” (caramelised) cabbage.

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Look at our pretty tree!

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On Christmas Eve we had leftovers for lunch (and herring for my parents).

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But in the evening we prefer more regular dinner party food (but still with a nod towards tradition). Christmas food is so heavy once is enough for us.

Our starter was my homemade beetroot cured salmon with prawns, dill cream cheese and a honey mustard sauce on butter-fried bread. Delicious!

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Followed by slow cooked venison tjälknöl (cooked from frozen) with dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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For pudding we had both a cheeseboard and traditional rice pudding with lightly whipped cream folded in and berry sauce.

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And after that we had fruits and sweets. This day is all about eating…

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On Christmas Day we wanted something lighter and I assembled a little bruschetta bar with charcuterie, cured salmon, venison from the night before, cheeses and spreads.

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Boxing Day was a social day with fika at one set of friends, completely with homemade saffron buns, gingerbread and games with the kids.

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That was followed by dinner at another set of friends. We had prawns, eggs, quiches, salad and more.

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And ice cream for pudding! My friends are really spoiling me!

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The next day I hung out with my parents and in the evening we had leftovers. But first of course a G&T.

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Cured salmon toast with homemade mayonnaise.

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Venison, dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and cooked vegetables.

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On the Saturday I met some friends for fika at Slättarps Gård (how pretty?!)…

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…and in the evening I had dinner with friends. Once again being spoilt!

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Sunday was spent at home with my parents and we had pork fillet with potato wedges and homemade bearnaise sauce for dinner. Afterwards I went food shopping for new year’s eve and picked up the boy from the airport. Can’t believe how quickly a week went past!

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.

Nights in and a weekend on the town!

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The first week in December was a good (and full on!) one.

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Monday night I had Shake Shack for dinner and tried their new truffle burger. Which was OK, but I prefer the regular Shack burger!

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Tuesday I had another night in with more comfort food; frankfurters and mash!

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And scented candles, new Vogue and some TV.

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Wednesday night and more comfort food. This time pizza (store-bought) with bearnaise sauce and a really good book!

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Thursday I had frankfurters again and an ice cream for pudding. So nice with several nights in in a row!

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But Friday night I ventured out and had a little date night with my city!

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I had a lovely dinner at Barrafina Adelaide Street with my favourite croquetas…

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… the best ever tortilla (honestly it’s fantastic!)…

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…and some scallops!

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Then it was time for Le Mans ’66 at the IMAX Leicester Square. Absolutely loved the film and seeing it on that screen added another layer of amazement. Wow!

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Saturday I did some Christmas shopping and took pictures of all the Christmas lights I came across.

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There were so many pretty ones!

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When I got hungry I popped into The Wolseley for a quick bite to eat and had a lovely supper in the café.

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Such a lovely Croque Monsiuer!

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After some sustenance I did a bit more shopping, checking out Burlington Arcade…

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…and Fortnum’s.

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Back home I had a little treat from Ladurée for pudding. Love their salted caramel macarons.

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Sunday I wrote Christmas cards before once again heading out Christmas shopping.

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And was rewarded with this sunset view!

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I then braved the queue for the Glossier pop-up!

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It was so much fun trying all the products and to see the amazing space they’ve created. It had Alice in Wonderland vibes and was all pink and floral. Lovely!

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Then I went to see my friend Gaby and we had a lovely dinner of steak, mash and a madeira mushroom cream sauce and vegetables.

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Followed by a cheeky glass of Baileys on the rocks! Such a lovely weekend!