Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Choccywoccydoodah / Bar Du Chocolat

The only thing I’ve been craving recently is a good ol’ hot choc to keep me warm, what with the miserable weather at the moment and all the flood warnings. I’m talking real melted chocolate topped with a mountain of whipped cream, marshmallows and a chocolate stick, not the usual instant powder stuff mixed with water.

My friend Steph and I decided a trip down to Choccywoccydoodah was in order for one of these, where my cravings were certainly fulfilled. I had been looking forward to this for days, and let me tell you it exceeded my expectations! Both being true Brightonions you’d think we’d be regulars at this little place but neither of us had ever been before. Surprising considering we’re both also chocoholics. I arrived soaking wet from the rain to find Steph tucked away in a little room full of heart shaped chairs and paintings of cherubs on the walls, patiently waiting for me so we could order!

Need I say anymore?

What I would do to scoop up that melted chocolate dribbling down the side again!

Once we had spooned up all of the cream the treasure was revealed; gooey marshmallows.

My only regret is that I didn’t save enough room for one of the Choccywoccy dipping pots but the Choccywoccy hot chocolate is a dessert in itself.

You can tell we weren’t disappointed! (I made a mess as always – you can’t take me anywhere!)

If you’re a fellow Brightonion or if you’re visiting for the day I would suggest you trying this place out. You can’t really go wrong with homemade chocolate cakes and a hot chocolate to die for! It’s a little hidden, tucked away behind the shops of Dukes Lane on Boyces Street.

If you’re still in a chocolatey mood after your hot chocolate it’s worth walking around the corner to their store on Duke Street where the most incredible cakes are displayed in the windows. I can never stop myself peering through the window to see the new creations when I walk past!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Courgetti Not Spaghetti

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about courgette spaghetti, which seems to be ‘the thing of the moment’. It’s quite simply a courgette or two sliced into long thin strands making it a great pasta substitute. I read quite a few healthy food blogs, where courgetti seems to be making a regular appearance so I thought I’d give it a try and make my own little recipe. I kind of made it up as I went along using anything I could find in my fridge but it turned out so good I just have to share it with you guys! 

Pan Seared Salmon and Courgetti with Mushrooms and Grilled Tomatoes

Start by roughly chopping any veg of your choice. I chose mushrooms and tomatoes. As I was only cooking for myself (poor lonely me!) I only used 1 courgette, which was perfect. Roughly estimate one courgette per person and then some, so if you’re cooking for 4 I would use 5 courgettes or 6 if your guests are hungry.

The easiest way to make the courgetti is by using a Julienne peeler. I purchased mine from Lakeland for £3.29; best buy of the month! You use it just as you would a normal vegetable peeler but instead it creates thin strands. It only took a minute to peel the whole courgette!

Set the peeled and chopped vegetables aside and scrape a teaspoon amount of coconut oil into a hot pan. You can use whatever oil you prefer but I always use coconut oil as it’s much healthier. Once it’s melted, place the Salmon fillet skin side down. It’ll only take 10-12 minutes to cook so after 5 minutes turn it over onto the other side. 

Now for my famous grilled tomatoes! My family love it when I make these. It’s so simple to make but they’re so delicious and perfect to accompany any meal. In the summer I love these with a salad and barbecued chicken or mixed into quinoa. Turn your grill onto full power and slice a handful of cherry tomatoes in half. Place them on your tray (it gets quite sticky so place tin foil over the tray first) and season with rock salt and cracked peppercorns. Then drip over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and place them in the grill. They’ll be done around the same time the salmon is cooked. 

Pan fry the mushrooms in a pan for a couple of minutes, again using a dollop of coconut oil and then chuck in all of the courgetti with a drop of lemon juice to give it a slight tang. It only takes a minute or two, you don’t want the courgettes to get mushy because they’ll release a lot of water. If you prefer, you can boil the vegetables or even have them raw. 

Once the tomatoes are looking deliciously squidgy mix them into the pan with the courgette and mushrooms. I would now recommend draining the water out of the pan that the courgettes have made. I unfortunately was far too hungry to bother so plated it all up straight away; I need to have a little patience! Grate over some hard cheese such as parmesan and place the salmon over the top.

Give it a go! The best thing about this recipe is that as long as you have courgettes, you can create your own recipe by adding in whatever you like. You could add grilled chicken or halloumi cheese or even have the courgetti on its own with pesto. Many of the recipes I have read recently have had a tomato pasta sauce with meatballs, which is next on my list. 


Friday, 17 January 2014

The Cow and The Komedia

Who says mid week evenings need to be a night at home, in you’re pyjamas, eating biscuits (we’ve all been guilty)? When you have nothing to do, just head down to your local cinema and catch that film you’ve been meaning to watch. 

Wednesday night, Marcus and I decided to eat somewhere we’d never eaten at before and go to the Duke of York cinema that I’d never been to before. 

We stumbled upon The Cow pub in the heart of the Seven Dials in Brighton. The restaurant we had planned to go to turned out to be closed on Wednesdays so, running for shelter from the pouring rain and in desperation for food, we jumped into the closest door we could find. From the outside the candle lit tables gleamed; nothing seemed more appealing than some comfort food under candle light while watching the rain tumble down the windows outside. 

Thank you rain and thank you ‘other restaurant’ for being closed on Wednesdays because I’m so happy we found this gem of a place!

I ordered risotto with wild mushrooms and a poached egg on top. I wasn’t expecting much because I often find risottos are rather bland but I was so wrong. It was the best risotto I have ever had – even Marcus liked it and he is usually repulsed by mushrooms! It’s worth visiting The Cow just for the risotto!

The burger was just as good…

If you are ever in the area and pop into this place make sure you take a trip to the bathrooms upstairs. Strange suggestion, I know, but I was drawn into a bit of a trance looking at the many pictures on the walls upstairs.

Then it was time to head to the iconic Duke of York cinema at Preston Circus. You know you’re at the right place when you see the ladies legs in stripy stockings hanging off the side of the building!

I was so excited to finally watch a film here but just as we got to the front of the queue there was an announcement:

“All tickets to 12 Years a Slave have been sold!”

No! Not only was I excited about being in this cinema for the first time but I had also been looking forward to seeing the film all day! Disappointed and frustrated, we sulked back to the car where we came up with the idea to quickly go to Dukes At Komedia, a cinema owned by the same company, Picturehouse, not too far away in town where American Hustle was playing.

Again, you can spot the ladies legs in stripy stockings and know you’re at the right cinema.

The Duke of York cinema and Dukes At Komedia are both independent cinemas and you can really tell the difference from the usual big name cinemas. Both have bars serving food and alcohol that you can take straight through to watch your film. I took in a peppermint tea, making me feel right at home. Most of the screen rooms have double sofas that you can book. I’ve never been quite quick enough to get tickets for them but I always get so jealous of the people snuggled up on them with their popcorn.

The film by the way was great. A trip back to Duke of York is definitely needed though especially while they’re showing 12 Years a Slave.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Shoe Closet / Part 2

I’m sorry it has taken so long to get part 2 up! I completely forgot until I was having a rummage through my shoes yesterday and thought I’d post about my favourite heels.

Most of my shoes bring back memories; I remember where I wore every pair, what I wore them with and when.

When I was working in Vogue House during the Summer I had a speedy shopping spree one day along Oxford Street on my lunch break. I returned to the office wearing these white sandals that I found in the New Look sale for something ridiculous like £10. Bargain! If you’re after the real ‘strappy’ look this Summer I’ve found these knee high sandals from ASOS, which are amazing! 

These are without a doubt my favourite heels I own. I bought them from Kurt Geiger (called Gen) for my 20th Birthday as a treat and wore them out that night in Brighton. I have since worn these babies 1000’s of times! Kurt Geiger no longer sell the exact same print of these but they have continued ‘Gen’ through the seasons. Currently these ones are the most similar in the tan but I’ve been eyeing up these for a while! Both are in the sale, which of course is an added bonus. 

These black and yellow block colour wedges were a bit of an impulse buy. I had just finished my final exams in May last year and thought to celebrate I’d hit up the ASOS sale. They’re by Bertie on ASOS but aren’t available anymore. If it’s the black and yellow colour block you like I’ve found these and these but I also found these by Office, which are a plain black wedge. They looked great with a summer dress or I also wore them one evening out for dinner with my mum with skinny jeans and a cami. 

I just love this wine colour. They’re from Miss Selfridge and again, you guessed it, I bought them in the sale at £25! I don’t think I’ve even worn them yet and to be completely honest I forgot I had them but I’m going to have to find an event to wear these to soon. 

These are my number one classic black shoe called ‘Helix’ from Kurt Geiger. I doubt I would’ve made it through University without these! I wore them most nights out because they are SO comfortable and went with everything. Here’s an old pic of my closest friend Charlotte and I in London wearing them (notice she’s also wearing my favourite Gen’s from above!) 

These salmon pink wedges are called ‘Hyacinth’ by Kurt Geiger as well. So many of my shoes are by Kurt Geiger because I used to work there for a couple of years! These ones were my work shoes at some point a couple of years ago so I had to wear them every shift. Believe it or not they’re actually really comfortable and I still wear them a lot now. 

Meet ‘Alfresco’, the first shoe I bought from Kurt Geiger when I first started working there. I wanted these for so long and I remember I wanted them for Valentines day and I just managed to get them in time. My feet have strangely shrunk from a size 38 to a 37 over the years so these are now too big for me (you can see from the gaps at the back). Devastating!

Before I went to Florida in November I decided last minute that I desperately needed some plain black courts. The only ones I could find that I could order with next day delivery were these from shoebou.com. I’m so glad I bought them because they’re such a great staple to have in the wardrobe for those times where you have nothing to wear!

These are called ‘Elsie’ from Kurt Geiger again (you can’t blame me for having most of my shoes from there after working there for years!) The most memorable occasion that I wore these to is Royal Ascot in June 2012. 

When you walk wearing these people will get glances of the golden star on the sole. It’s subtle but adds to the beauty of the shoe!

If you want to see Part 1 of my shoe closet you can find it here. The next shoe closet post will be on my casuals! Hope you enjoyed this one!
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