Sunday, 30 June 2013

June 2013 Instagramy-y Part 2

Years ago there was outrage and demonstrations when the 
Notting Hill Post office closed down.  Yes, the UK has gone through such hard times that it had to close down a basic utility in what is probably one of the "wealthiest areas" in England. 
They still haven't found a proper use of it but lately it is being used as an art gallery.

At least it's free.  ( To look at.)

The Law Society seems to be upping its game. 
You're tired and cranky and you are going home to..?

It's illegal to drink alcohol in the tube now so there was some illegal activity and I was at the scene of the crime.

So glamorous no? 
This is what Kronenbourg beer doesn't want you to see.

I am a Gemini.  
The second most reacted to astrological sign after Scorpios.  
I would prefer to be feared like them.
As I am moving house for an upcoming renovation, I didn't have time for a party so just had a few people around for cake and bubbly.

I channeled Martha Stewart and McGuyver when I saw some strawberries and chocolate bars reserved for off grid living and made these for the first time.

I was feeling so smug until one of my guests couldn't lift it because the chocolate was stuck to the plate. Smooth...

A neighbour brought me these cookies with ribbons tied to them!
Love the ribbons and cookies combo.  

Even though it was in the middle of June, the weather has been so atrocious in England that I wore a wool sweater with a scarf.
The scarf is Les Tresors Retrouves by Annie Faivre who is one of my favourite Hermes scarf designers. 

I know my limits so I ordered little Laduree macaroon towers.
They make more of an impact than cake and seems more festive.

Sorry about the lighting...

I like my birthdays like Asian weddings, I celebrate for days.

The actual day I had breakfast at my fave brunch place, Wolseley.
One of my friends joined Mr CSW and I.

Due to the Ascot races, it was hard to get reservations and only got a table a few days after my actual birthday.  We chose Waterside Inn as a tribute to the Roux brothers and is a short drive.

Mr CSW and I fought on the way as he put the directions on the GPS on his phone but then his battery went dead.
We depend on electronics too much.

Don't worry, he was just looking at some boat - we made up.
We sat and had a quick aperitivo and canapes in front of the river.
This is just to the right of the restaurant.
The river had a lot of traffic with barges, rowers, and the restaurant had its own boat.

The boat was heading back and a waiter was restocking it with canapes and drinks for a couple to have a quick spin.
If I had known about it, I would have gone but it was booked.

But no matter, we had a lovely view anyway.
I always find that I love canapes much more than the actual food.

We then went inside for the rest of the meal.
The plates were amazing, I wrote the name of it but have now forgotten completely but they had a nice clink to them.

Now I shall be polite and say that it is nice.  But in a way that you meet someone nice at a party, you wouldn't necessarily go out and make the effort to find their number and ask to see them again but you would always say hi if you bumped into them.

Dessert 1

We ordered a certain dessert but they made a mistake and brought us another one so they insisted we try the dessert while we waited for the one we ordered.

Dessert 2
Mr CSW informed them it was my birthday so 
then we got this as well...
Dessert 3
Then of course there were also the petits fours.

Dessert 4
I felt like we were filming a Man v Food episode!

We needed to take a walk around the town called Bray 
which is a very sweet hamlet.

It is a very manicured commuter/retirement village in the "shires".

They have amazing parks and little streams surrounding the town.

The local church.

This is the house that borders the secular part of town.

There were chocolate box cottages everywhere.

Do you see the grey building on the right in the right picture?
That was the Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal.

I had a serious case of rose envy while walking in the 'hood.  Each stem had about 6 roses on it!!

On the way to meet a fellow Gemini friend for a catch up dinner I walked past Charlotte Olympia's store in Mayfair.

These new shoes called Girls on Film are so witty.

Although for that price, you could go on a proper holiday because those shoes won't get you very far at all.

We had dinner at Wild Honey.
We had dinner there last month but we had a very assertive waiter who took away from the pleasant evening.
My friend wrote a firm but polite letter and we were invited back
so that they could rectify the issue.

I really think it was great of them to make an effort and I must say that this place serves great quality food without fuss.

I had to use their photo as mine was terrible as you can see!

Their custard tart is amazing!!!

Culture wise I went to a really pretentious play in the Print Room in Notting Hill instead of the West End on one of the few sunny days this year to watch Tutto Bene, Mamma?

The laundry set the stage for a typical Italian family house.
There was a lovely garden just at the back and everyone got a free glass of beer!

Now I say it was pretentious because the play was in the pitch black! We had to hold the shoulders to get to our seats.  We were okay until a few pensioners were led to their seats.  

They were old so they found it difficult but they were also a bit deaf so they couldn't hear the instructions.  The guy next to me luckily only touched my shoulder thinking I was his chair...
All this and the show hadn't started yet!

It was a gruesome play based on a true story and 
personally the best bit was getting to the seats.
But this was the theater after it was over, 
they finally let some light in!

Well I heard someone thinks all I do is eat and faff about which isn't entirely untrue but I also did some penance.

I never pretend to be a great homekeeper;  
my neighbours can attest to that.
But when I do clean, I go whole hog.

The last two weeks have been interspersed with packing and boxing all my goods.

Don't quote me on this but I will spring clean every year now.
Packing has uncovered so many things and basically more things that I don't think I will ever buy another thing again...
Still not totally finished.
Give me strength!
Hope you had a great month and here is to a fun July! x


  1. Your photos are fabulous as always. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

    I am spring cleaning my kids playroom while they are at school today. It is a horrible job. I always donate or bin lots of stuff depending on its state. The kids rarely notice but do like it clean. My house seems to have gotten to the stage that it looks very clean and tidy on the surface but if you open a cupboard I can't promise stuff won't fall on your head.... So a massive declutter is in order and I will start with the toys.

    I don't think I know many Geminis - I am a Pisces and alas no-one fears them very much. Although I have been told I am happier than most Pisces to swim against the flow (I am not sure if that was meant as a compliment at the time....)

    Best go. Early morning here and Farmkids need kicking out of bed.

    1. Thanks FW, it was lovely. I hadn't spring cleaned in years although I did do a few culls to the charity shop. I need to try and get onto ebay, I heard people will buy anything. You are lucky no one goes, Ahhh Pisces...with a pregnant pause. ;) Have a great week!

  2. I love these posts! You do seem to eat out and faff about a lot though! But that's a good thing, isn't it? Laughing that you had a fight with Mr CSW over technology - I thought from that second photo he was contemplating jumping into the river over it all. I hate to say it, but I rely on my phone now as well for the maps. It was useful when we were overseas though (checking taxis were taking us in the right direction in Rome for instance). THat play looks ridiculous, just like that restaurant in New York where they serve you in the dark. The Beer garden part sounds like the best bit frankly!
    Love your scarf, the macaron cake towers and the birthday festival! Happy Birthday N! Hope the packing is going well. xx

    1. Thanks Heidi. Yes it is a good thing right? ;) I swear that I was going mental at him plus he has no sense of direction anyway and I thought I would leave it to him to get us there bc it is usually me who learns the route as a back up but I thought, it's my birthday, relax...We were only 15 minutes late but you know those kitchens need people to intersperse the cooking. Oh yes, I am probably the only person who hasn't been to that restaurant which they also have in London. Still packing...xx

  3. I am contemplating my to-do list (am not drinking alcohol during july which might allow me to "get stuff done") and spring cleaning ranks highly on it.
    And put some stuff on ebay to sell.

    LOVE THE FOOD PORN! I love laduree vanilla macarons, and I love caneles. YUM! Think I gained an inch around my bum from reading that!

    I love London, 'tis my second favourite city and my home away from home. I ran the marathon there last year, and it was the best thing I ever did.

    1. Yes I need to get onto ebay myself. But now most of the stuff is gone so ...Yes I am a sucker for pastel and spherical shapes so macaroons are a natural fit! London marathon? whoa. congrats, that is a feat in itself to get in!!

  4. I loathe how all of our post offices are being closed down, my nearest is miles away now and it used to be such a friendly local place to pop in to with packages - it was my Cheers.

    That is an excellent birthday celebration, the Wolseley is my favourite, I love their lobster omelette.
    I really wish I lived in an idyllic English village, I'd like to retire to a place like that if I don't make it to the sunshine.

  5. PS _ PItch black - ye gods, I'd have been unable to go in!

    1. It is such a crazy concept. I understand cutting back but post offices?? Yes Wolseley is just so comfy and snug and grand all at the same time. Go for the sun everytime. English villages are sweet for about a few hours then it's all the Archers with no drama no? Don't worry about the play - you didn't miss anything bc I was there and saw none of it :)

  6. This post is funny girl :-)
    At least the entrance was for free, and it seems like a nice place!
    xoxo darling

    1. Thanks Gloria, but I don't understand how an art gallery could afford the rent - I would prefer the post office back! xx

  7. Well Happy Birthday! I'm a Gemini too. Loving the birthday that goes on for days. Fights in the car are so easy to have aren't they? We don't even know how to work the GPS in our car, I still print out maps, so much for technology.
    Good luck with the big clean and de-clutter. My children and MrBP are all quite messy so I am constantly cleaning, I've got to tackle my basement room AGAIN this month so I feel your pain.
    That Hermes scarf is gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Dani! I usually remember the route but I was busy so I thought it would be fine...Battery power needs to be unlimited! Thanks I need luck with my declutter on the plus side I am finding so many things I thought were thrown out :)

  8. GPS is what saved our marriage! Nobody in their right mind wants to rely on my directions. Belated birthday Greetings - it sounds like you had a fab time. The play sounds dire - I'd have been chucked out for laughing at the pretentiousness of it all!

    1. Ha! GPS only works if you spell correctly. I remember when it first came out my friend mistyped something and we ended up in Hertfordshire. That play was funny until it started! But thanks for the birthday wish :)

  9. no WONDER we love your writing - we adore gemini-people - (over here? Pisces. the "other" sign that people respond to - yeah, not with that Scorpio Shiver which would be nice - but with a slightly pitying "oh dear" sort of a look at one's probable strange imagination type downfall ;-)

    happy re-location during re-model(l)ing chez CSW towers.

    and thank you for the trip through Bray and restaurants-of-england - that was beautiful.

    1. Oh Pisces! apparently you guys are the only one immune to Scorpios ;)

      Yes renovations that will commence with last minute preprations. Thanks for coming by as always! x

  10. It looks like your birthday was filled with Dionysian bacchanalia.

    This made me hungry. Now I must head for dim sum.

    1. My glucose levels would have been illegal in most states!

  11. Eating and faffing about? Sounds good to me if you can do it often enough. ooh those foodie photographs, I think it's against my code of ethics as a nutritionist to say what I really think about your selection of foods.

    Anyway seems like another eventful month and happy birthday, happy birthday! If I recall it was the big one and it sounds like you celebrated it well!


    1. I would love to know what your guilty pig out session would consist of? If you just thought all this has no effect...But the desserts were overwhelming and I never want to seem rude you see! Yes it was a big one - at my age they all tend to be hehe xx

    2. Leonida's Belgian chocolate, Baileys, Dulce de Leuche flavour Haagen Dazs ice cream and Banoffee pie!! I've indulged in one or two lately to try and shake off this mood! x

    3. Whoa major sweet tooth! When you go, you go mental!! lol x

  12. I miss tooling around London.....we stayed at a friend's condo on Sloane Square twice because Excy re-designed it so she let us have it when the family weren't using it.....fabulous......

    1. London is very easy to just amble about for sure!

  13. Yummy it was.:) but it was too much...

  14. Your GPS story reminds me of the London trip I and my bf took a few years ago. He decided to take his GPS with him, so we won't get lost and I said that's all part of the fun and that he'll kill the charm of traveling by taking this piece of equipment. We had a huge fight over it. Guess what? When we flew to London, the thing died. Much to my enjoyment.:D I was in London several times and so we didn't get lost anyway, I have no idea why was he worried.

    P.S.: The combination of Martha Stewart and McGuyver is hilarious!

    1. Even with GPS there are still squabbles among couples isn't there?! I can proudly sat I have a great sense of direction that I could be a cabbie. The vestige of nearly getting lost as a 4 year old in a Hong Kong department store during Xmas. I never ever got lost again! Yes I am neither of those which is why those strawberries stuck to the plate! :P

  15. Whaaat? I'm just trying to think - was that the one off Ladbroke Square where we lived (albeit in a dark dank basement flat) I used to see all sort of famous writers in there hoping some sort of talent would rub off on me...

    1. Very close, it's on Hereford Road just off Westbourne Grove. Such a sweet local theatre. There were some BBC Culture show correspondents there (saw them before the show) but I think it was more homework for them!

  16. Girl... way too much food in 1 post.... I'm hungry now... Canapes + macarons+ strawberries + insane desert. How come you could eat well in the UK ??? Never could find a ood meal there ^^

    1. You don't know the half of it!!But yes London has great food but the problem is that we don't have just "normal" restaurants of good quality like Paris. But you tell me which cuisine and I will let you know ok? :)

  17. Great pictures. Happy Birthday! I'm with you re the celebratory aspect, why NOT celebrate for days, with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for all! LOVE your H scarf, my H scarves are sadly in their boxes until fall, it is too hot for them now. XO, Jill

    1. Thanks Jill! Lucky you re heat wave. I would give up wearing scarves for a heat wave here..Loved your sunnies by the way xx

  18. Happy Birthday darlin! Hope the weather warms up in your part of the world so you don't have to wear a scarf and wool sweater:)! I love your chocolate covered strawberries and those cookies tied with a ribbon look adorable!

    1. Thank you! I wish we could have some of the Cali heat wave...:)

  19. Loved this post! My favorites are the ones where you eat out and chat. Great to see more of England and that charming village. Laughing about the GPS thing...Sounds like my hubs and I. He insists the GPS is absolutely correct and sometimes it isn't...Maddening.

    Sounds like you are having a fun July so far.


    1. Fighting over directions will never stop...I thought gps would help bc with maps it was worse but it will be argue ent topic forever won't it? ;) looking forward to your vaca posts xx


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