It was winter in London towards the end of January. It snowed and it was biting cold, especially at night, so I stayed indoors as much as I could.
On the Tuesday I went down to The New Forest for work and the train was actually warm which was nice.
Wednesday was movie night with a burger and Mary Queen of Scots at the cinema. I liked it (very pretty scenery) but wasn’t blown away.
On Thursday night I met up with my friend Laura for some warming dim sum at Yauatcha. So yummy and nice!
The weekend was nice and relaxing. On the Friday night I ordered sushi and watched Roman Holiday. Saturday I had a lie-in and went out for some shopping and errands. It wasn’t as cold anymore and so nice to be outside! On the Sunday I made nachos, watched the new episode of Suits and read my book in candle light. Love lighting candles when it’s dark outside!
The fourth week in January my social life had calmed down a little but work was really busy!
It snowed on the Tuesday but luckily it didn’t settle, but it was a cold day and it definitely felt wintery. We went to the cinema to see The Favourite which I really enjoyed. Olivia Colman was amazing in it! Before the cinema I cooked one of my favourite pasta dishes but used squid ink tagliatelle instead of regular pasta. So yummy!
The rest of the week consisted of full-on work day and early nights in. Friday as well, I was so tired and it was bliss to have dinner cooked for me. We stayed in watching Jack Ryan and thereafter the really good (but gritty) film You Were Never Really Here.
The next morning we had a lie-in and a big breakfast, visited some friends with kids and in the evening we went out for dinner to Sorella.
I was craving their truffle pasta and although different (because the seasons have changed) from last time, it did not disappoint. We had other yummy dishes as well, like charred leeks with egg yolk and sword fish.
The next day was suuuper cold but I still walked around Windsor Castle. It was raining sideways, really windy and cold but I still had a nice few hours there. I saw Meghan’s wedding dress and a bit inside but most of the visit one walked around outside.
When I got back to London I was in desperate need of some warming comforting food and made roast chicken and dauphinoise potatoes, which really hit the spot!
For pudding we had homemade brownies and ice cream, which of course wasn’t that warming but definitely comforting!
The third week in January was another socially busy one. Monday night I met up with my dear friends Gaby and Ro for tacos and a catchup.
We met at Breddos Kingly Street and ordered up a storm; different types of tacos, tuna tostadas, crab quesadilla, queso and of course guacemole and tortilla chips.
Tuesday was theatre night and we started with an early supper at Terrace, one of the two restaurants in the National Theatre.
A few small plates to share and a glass of Prosecco later it was time for…
…Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes (!!) in the lead as Mark Antony. It really was a pinch me moment and I loved every second of it!
Wednesday I went down to The New Forest with work. Although it was a grey and rainy day seeing the animals walking around freely was like seeing sunshine. Love the nature there!
Thursday night I went for drinks with colleagues at Frog by Adam Handling where we tried lots of the snacks like crispy frog legs with dip, crab and kimchi bites and cheesy doughnuts. Yum!
Friday night I met up with my friend Daisy for dinner at Hoppers. I’ve been meaning to go for absolute ages and the queue always puts me off, but now that they have opened a second branch near Bond Street it’s much easier to get a table. Yay!
The work week was rather intense so all I wanted to do at the weekend was to take it easy. I slept late, made nice breakfasts, cosied up with scented candles and Netflix. It was absolutely heaven and so needed!
When I got back to London I straight away had a busy week. Catching up on work, finding new routines, but also socially.
It was someone very dear to me’s birthday on the Tuesday so we splurged and went for dinner in The Shard. It was a wonderful evening. Great food, lovely company, excellent service and amazing views! Will tell you more about it in a separate post.
The following evening was equally magical with dinner at the Royal Opera House followed by The Nutcracker. This also deserves its own post.
Thursday I stayed in but Friday was another fun night out. This time a group of us tried out a new wine bar in Balham.
Saturday I had a lie-in followed by a little spa session at home. (Love that after a busy week) and a croissant for breakfast.
In the evening we shared this lovely whole roasted chicken and excellent mac ‘n cheese at the local pub before we went to the cinema to see Mary Poppins Returns. Sweet film!
New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair, with a visitor from London, my best friend and her husband and daughter. The guys played golf during the day and as soon as they got back we had wine, champagne and nibbles and chatted away until the little one went to bed. That’s when we tucked into our three course dinner, cooked by me. For a full report, click here.
The following day we had a lie-in and breakfast with our hosts before going back to my parents’ house in the afternoon. We watched a film in the afternoon (which feels so indulgent!) and in the evening I made pizza for us all.
The next day we cosied up on the sofa in front of another film and braved the cold for a very short (but beautiful walk) before having another nice dinner with my parents.
After dropping my guest off by the train to the airport I toured around seeing friends. First lunch with one friend outside of Malmö, then tea and a catch-up with another friend in Lund and finally dinner with an old school friend and his family in the evening; also in Lund.
The next few days I spent time with mamma and pappa. We had lots of lovely food, like lobster Thermidor one evening.
The next day mamma and I (but mainly mamma) made English scones that we had with tea, clotted cream that I’d brought with me from London and mamma’s raspberry jam.
In the evening we had dinner with lots of little bits; which we all love. It was ham and truffle salami left over from the pizza night, spicy chorizo, olive, cheese, bread and two different patées.
The Sunday was my last day in Sweden and to make sure we could have dinner together in the evening I had booked a late flight. I quite like flying late, making the most of the day.
After a hectic month with late evenings at work and a lot of social engagements I really enjoyed slowing down for Christmas. In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and this year we went to my uncle’s house for a big Christmas dinner.
Christmas Day was a quiet one at home; reading cookbooks and eating sweets. We had cod and the best sauce for fish for dinner, followed by ice cream with caramel sauce.
I spent Boxing Day with my best friend. We met up around lunch time for some sale shopping followed by fika and in the evening we had fish tacos for supper. The next day I met another friend for dinner in Malmö (review to come) and we had a lovely time.
On the Friday I met up with another friend, in Höllviken this time, at our favourite place. After a prawn sandwich and a nice catch-up I went to the hairdresser and did some food shopping for New Year’s Eve.
Saturday was full on with three social visits after each other. But I got quality time with everyone and for that I’m so grateful. It’s quite tricky to get to see everybody because of different work schedules, family engagements and of course, flu season throwing a few spanners in the works. But I managed quite well this time. Didn’t get to see everyone but I will be back in the summer again.
The last day of the week I spent at home, but not so leisurely as I had a lot to get done before my guest from London was arriving in the evening. Lots of tidying and preparations for New Year’s eve. Mamma and I also made a really nice dinner; venison (will post the recipe) followed by tarte tatin. So yummy!
The second week of December was very busy and great fun! The office Christmas party was on the Monday night, at Smith & Wollensky as usual, and really nice.
And then the rest of the week followed in a similar pattern.
On the Tuesday it was one of my colleague’s birthday so a group of girls went out for a nice lunch with steak and champagne at Flatiron. Wednesday night started with work drinks and after that I went to a lovely event at Tate Britain.
Thursday night was calmer and spent at home packing for the weekend. Because on Friday night we had a Christmas dinner in London (with turkey!) and afterwards we drove to the countryside to spend the weekend there.
It was Christmas carols in the village church, lovely dinners and time sat in front of the fire and on the Sunday we went out for a lovely dinner with entertainment before driving back to London again.
The week was pretty full on (avoid parties on Mondays if you can, is my advice) but great fun, and although it’s tiring I try to prepare myself that the three weeks in December that I spend in London and the UK are always full on like this.