Banana Republic Marimekko Collection and Yellow Jacket

So long, so sorry.  I really struggle to find time for my blog at the moment. Work is hectic and my baby at the stage of walking and running everywhere which keeps me busy! I had to post this one outfit though. Banana Republic launched a collection with Marimekko -Finnish iconic brand- and as soon as I saw couple of items I had to get them. Almost everything was sold out online but I ran to the store on Regent Street and manage to get what I wanted! One of the purchases was these lovely trousers Marimekko ”Kivi” print.  In addition to Marimekko I have been looking at this yellow jacket in Zara for almost a month now and today I decided I need it, well I didn’t really needed but I wanted it 🙂

We had a wonderful family day in Notting Hill today. Our baby is so sweet and lovely these days and I can warm heartedly say I enjoy every moment of motherhood at the moment. I guess that is why I struggle to find time for my blog as I feel like spending every moment with my little sweetheart. I promise I try to soon get back here with some good recipes. Here some pics of my outfit today.

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How beautiful is High Street Kensington and Notting Hill area! One of my favourite parts of London. We found a fantastic pub in Kensington area by the way. It is called Windsor Castle -I recommend it  to everyone. Really high quality food, amazing beer garden and impressive wine selection.

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Have a relaxing weekend!

A small little place in Soho -Pikkupaikka Sohossa

I love my coffee. I love brunching, lunching and dining out. I guess I could have been one of those women who never grow up and could always just be out and about partying or having fun socialising with my friends. I haven’t given up of my outings after the baby and I never will (of course they have been a bit limited for the past 10 months). Life is all about enjoying and I will make sure my little daughter learns this attitude as well. When my sister was in London couple of weeks ago we went to this fantastic coffee shop in Soho. We just wandered and bumped into the place. I have seen it several times but never been to inside so it was about the time to give it a try. It is called Foxcroft & Ginger on Berwick Street in London. It is in the heart of Soho that I so love. I guess now after having a baby I have realised how many places I could have gone in the evenings and I still would find new ones. When I feel sad about how many things I miss due to being stuck at home, I try to comfort myself that at least I had my baby young such as when I am mid forties I can return to London and do it all again 🙂 This Foxcroft&Ginger is a coffee shop during the day time and a cool bar at the night time!

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ImageI had Eggs Benedict with soy flat white and my sister ordered some super tasty veggie brunch. Delicious!

ImageMy favourite thing: reading menus!

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I warmly recommend this place!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great Christmas. I am in Finland now. It is so dark that sun hardly rises..no snow and I do wonder how  I was able to live in this country over 20 years all these winters through. Finns must have some additional gene to handle it. Our stay here has been pretty crazy so far..circus in fact as our baby has woken up hourly every night crying. I feel like after 10 months I do not have strength for this anymore so when we go back to London I think I will be looking to hire a night nanny to do the nights, I dream of booking a hotel as I do need some sleep.

Sorry for not being writing in Finnish lately, I have been so terribly busy (and tired) that to type the text in both languages has been just impossible. I wish you all a very merry Christmas!

Christmas time in London -Joulunaikaa Lontoossa

Christmas is almost here, crazy. I think despite all the decorations I have not realised it is Christmas, I have been so busy. Typical me though, always so many things to do. Sometimes I laugh at myself thinking, I could live life a lot easier, I could not try to do everything!

Anyway, I love German.Swiss, French and Austrian Christmas Market culture. The atmosphere is just enchanting. We have Christmas markets here in the UK but I have to say they are not as authentic with all the wooden toys and gluhwein as the Central European ones.

I went to the one in South Bank, no snow so I really had to use all my imagination to get the Christmas feeling. Here are some pictures I took. I apologise the quality, I took them with my Lumia phone instead of our good camera but I think they’ll do and you get a picture of the type of markets we have here.

ImageI bought amazing pearl earrings from these markets I love them!

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ImageThis fake snow that everyone wanted to touch made me really laugh as a Finn who has lived with the snow for over 20 years. I tried it and it was nothing like real snow 🙂

ImageThis BFI (British Film Institute) Riverfront Restaurant is awesome! I went there with my friend, in fact she had her birthday there. It is in the South Bank. Really good value for money. Nothing fancy but really cosy and casual. For hamburger lovers it offers a great selection including pulled pork burgers!

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More pictures about the restaurant. I warmly recommend it. It is also very family friendly during the daytime.

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I had to take this photo. One day we can show our little baby girl where she spent her days. Crossing Thames on the pedestrian bridge from impressive St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City to South Bank. In the background you can see the Shard (over 72 floors) the new skyscraper that will be the tallest building in Europe!Great views aren’t they! My tiny Londoner in the pram. I will miss London when one day we may not life here. Until now I do feel that I have a privilege to enjoy this fantastic city and all it can offer!

Flat White please -Flat White kiitos

I love Flat Whites. It is a type of coffee people are not very used to in Europe. Flat Whites in fact came to the UK during the time I have been living here. Before it was either americano, espresso or latte when you went to order your coffee. Flat White contains basically a couple of espresso shots (usually 2) with the foamy milk but it has less milk than latte so the flavour is stronger and it is not as heavy as latte. Flats Whites are typically Australian and New Zealander thing and Melbourne is the capital of flat whites. The city has so many coffee shops one after another that you can drink coffee every 10 metres. All of them are super good and it is difficult to find bad coffee in Melbourne! In London if I want to find a good coffee (which I have found surprisingly difficult) I usually go for Australian or New Zealander coffee shops as the quality is guaranteed. It seem, however, that it is mainly New Zealanders who have brought the coffee to London rather than Aussies.

The coffee shop I personally think is the best one in town is ”Grind”. It is located in Stratford shopping centre (another one is in Putney). The Flat Whites in this coffee house are phenomenally good and so are their Afghan biscuits. Afghan biscuits are almost like small cakes that are made of coco dough mixed with corn flakes and the biscuits have devilish chocolate topping -yum! I saw my Finnish friend the other day and we met in Stratford shopping mall and headed straight to Grind to have Flat Whites and Afghan biscuits. As soon as my cooker is fixed I will bake some Afghan biscuits and post you my favourite recipe!

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In the Grind -Flat White and Afghan biscuit.
Grindissa Stratfordissa-ensimmäinen normaalileivokseni sitten kreisin maidottoman imetysdieetin!

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Afghan biscuit. So good
Niin hyvää -afgaanileivos!

There are a few other amazing New Zealander coffee places in London that I can recommend:

All Press in Shoreditch.

Flat White in Soho.

Sacred in Soho, Highbury, Covent Garden and Westfield. Ganton Street Sacred is awesome and it is right in the middle of action in Soho just around the corner of Carnaby Street!

Enjoy your coffee! My key rule is that as coffee is for enjoyment I only drink good one!

Rakastan Flat White kahvia. Se ei ole tyypillinen eurooppalainen kahvityyppi. Flat White on suosittu nimenomaan Australiassa ja Uudessa Seelannissa. Se sisältää yleensä kaksi espresso shottia ja vaahdotettua maitoa, tosin maitoa on huomattavasti vähemmän kuin lattessa. Melbourne erityisesti on tunnettu kahviloistaan, joiden Flat Whitet ovat toinen toistaan parempia! Jos siis haluan hyvää kahvia Lontoossa suuntaan aussi tai uusiseelantilaiseen kahvipaikkaan sillä laatu on niissä taattua. Näyttää tosin siltä, että uusiseelantilaiset ovat valloittaneet Lontoon kahvimarkkinat aussien sijaan.

Mielestäni paras kahvila on Grind, Flat Whitet ja afgaanileivokset ovat tässä paikassa päätä huimaavan hyviä. Kun näin suomalaista ystävääni toissa päivänä me suuntasimme Grindiin Stratfordin ostoskeskuksessa ja maiskutimme afgaanileivokset Flat Whiten kyydittämänä. Afgaanileivokset ovat valtavia pikkuleipia, jotka on valmistettu kaakaotaikinasta, johon on lisäksi sekoitettu corn flakeseja ja kuorrutus on jumalainen suklaavaahto pähkinakorsitein! Heti kun uunini on korjattu postaan suosikki afgaanileivos reseptini tänne!

Grindin lisäksi Lontoossa on muitakin uskomattoman hyviä uusiseelantilaisia kahviloita. Suosittelen kokeilemaan seuraavia!!!

All Press Shoreditchissa.

Flat White Sohossa.

Sacred Sohossa, Highburyssa, Covent Gardenissa ja Westfieldissa.

Nauttikaa kahvista! Kahvi on nautintoaine huonoa sellaista en suuhuni pistä!

My little French kitchen -Pieni ranskalainen keittiöni

You know I love cooking shows, I have noted it several times. If you ask my dear Aussie husband, our TiVo recording space is overloaded of various cooking shows that I record and watch whenever I have a chance to. My new celebrity chef favourite is Cordon Bleu trained Rachel Khoo whose program ”My Little Paris Kitchen” I am absolutely in love with. Rachel Khoo does French cuisine with her own twist -fantabulous! You can find her recipes online so have a look at them. My favourite so far has been Croque Madame muffins -wow. I will make them soon -as soon as my oven has been fixed. I am still waiting, last week British Gas came to fix it but had a wrong spare part -surprise- and this was only fourth attempt to fix it -unreal! Anyway, I will post a recipe here if those Croque Madame muffins are as amazing as they sound.

Tiedätte kuinka rakastan kokkausohjelmia. BBC Good Food täällä Britanniassa tarjoaa huikean määrän erilaisia ohjelmia ja kaikki valtavan korkeatasoisia. Jos kysystte rakkaalta aussimieheltäni meidän nauhoittavan digiboxin tallennustila on pakahtamaisillaan kaikista kokkaus- ja leivontaohjelmista, joita jatkuvasti nauhoitan. Katson niitä aina kun vain voin. Tällä hetkellä ehdoton uusin suosikki julkkiskokkini on Rachel Khoo, jonka ohjelmaa ”My Little Paris Kitchen” tujotan haltioituneena. Rachel Khoo kokkaa ranskalaisittain antaen ruoalle oman loppusilauksen ja lopputulos vaikuttaa hyvin houkuttelevalta. Hänen reseptejään löytyy myös netistä. Resepti, joka minun täytyy kokeilla ensi tilassa on Croque Madame muffinit. Aion tehdä niitä heti kun uunini on korjattu. Tämän pitäisi viimein tapahtua maanantaina tosin sitähän se British Gas lupaili jo viime viikolla, jolloin he saapuivat paikalle väärän varaosan kanssa -uskomatonta! Postaan blogiini reseptin mikäli nuo muffinit ovat niin ihania kuin miltä ne kuulostavat!

My next two Amazon orders will be her two cook books!

Seuraavat Amazon tilaukseni ovat Rachel Khoon kaksi allaolevaa kokkauskirjaa!

My Little French Kitchen

Imageand ”My Little Paris Kitchen”.

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Have a look at Rachel Khoo, her recipes will rock your kitchen!

The Orange Tree Pub -Pubi Totteridgessa

We love to do day trips at weekends. My dear Aussie husband and I both love discovering new places in London particularly when new pubs are involved. On Saturday we went to this praised and recommended pub in Tottridge called The Orange Tree. I had heard it was good but never did I think it would have been this good. It was like a fine dining restaurant, fantastic atmosphere, beautiful decor and great location and yes, the food was top draw.

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Rakastamme  päiväretkiä. Minä ja rakas aussiemieheni yksinkertaisesti nautimme uusien paikkojen katsastamisesta etenkin jos kuvioon kuuluu pubiruokailu. Lauantaina vierailimme eräässä hyvin arvostetussa ja suositellussa pubissa Tottridgessa nimeltä The Orange Tree. Olin kuullut, että kyseinen pubi olisi hyvä. En koskaan kuitenkaan uskonut, että mikään pubi kauempana ”maaseutumaisemissa” voisi olla näin uskomaton. Ruoka oli kuin ”fine dining” ravintolassa, tunnelma mahtava, sisustus ja ympäristö hivelevän kaunis.

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ImageDecor was very impressive

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Everything was just so thought through.

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I had this amazing scallops starter. Scallops were seared in the top quality olive oil and served with pineapple salsa, sweet chilli sauce and balsamico. I got so excited about this dish so I prepared the whole fried squid with salsa in the evening. I will post the recipe later :)!

Tilasin tämän uskomattoman herkullisen alkupalan: oliiviöljyssä paistettuja kampasimpukoita, jotka tarjoiltiin makean chilikastikkeen, ananassalsan ja balsamicon kera. Innostuin annoksesta niin paljon, että valmistin samana iltana kokonaisesta mustekalasta vastaavantyylisen aterian. Postaan reseptin pian blogiini!

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For the main course I ordered a duck salad. I am getting used to ordering salads as my main. This is due to a fact that I know that every time the main arrives my baby gets hungry too and there is no way I am finishing my meal before feeding her, so the best option is to order something that tastes good even if being cold: salad. With the starter I had Australian Little Yerring Chardonnay. I am a Chardonnay girl from head to toes, but I ordered this wine due to the nostalgic feelings. My dear Aussie husband and I did a trip to Yarra Valley and actually visited Yerring station  a few years ago. In the winery I had this wine last time! With the mains we chose Shiraz-Viognier from the same vineyard. My dear Aussie husband had a seafood linguini as his starter and spit chicken roast as his main. Everything was so delicious that I warmly recommend you to visit this pub. It is like a top class restaurant. The staff is wonderful, food excellent, wine list very interesting and the pub is also very child friendly.

Pääruoaksi tilasin ankkasalaatin. Tilaan nykyään aina salaatin pääruoaksi. Tiedän kokemuksesta, että joka kerta kun pääruokani saapuu, tyttäreni tulee nälkäiseksi ja tämä merkitsee sitä, että oma ruokailuni saa odottaa. Tästä viisastuneena tilaan siis aina salaatin, joka maistuu kylmänäkin yhtä hyvältä! Alkuruoan kanssa tilasin valkoviinia, australialaista Little Yerring Chardonnayta. Rakastan Chardonnayta ja vannon sen nimeen aina, mutta syy juuri tähän viiniin oli nostalginen mieliala. Nautin viimeksi kyseistä viiniä Yerring station viinitilalla Yarra Valleyssa Australiassa, kun rakkaan aussimieheni kanssa teimme viinitilamatkan. Pääruoan kanssa päädyimme samaisen viinitilan Shiraz-Viognier punaviiniin. Meillä oli kerrassaan täydellisesti onnistunut pubilounas! Paikka oli mahtava, palveleluhenkilökunta hyvin ystävällistä, ruoka uskomatonta, viinilista kattavan vaikuttava ja pubi oli erittäin lapsiystävällinen. Suosittelen siis lämpimasti teitä vierailemaan kyseisessä pubissa, se on kaiken matkustuksen arvoinen!

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I hope you had a great weekend too!

Toivottavasti teilläkin oli onnistunut viikonloppu!

Feel Good Food -Ruoanlaittolehden huumassa

I went to the store today and when I saw this Feel Good Food magazine and glimpsed it through I could not walk out of the store without buying it. The recipes look amazing, fabulous, tasty and mouthwatering. I am quite picky with the food magazines I buy as I dislike so much recipe fillers. By saying this I mean useless recipes that are not very good but have been added to the magazine to fill up the extra space. After reading this magazine through (whist sitting with my baby on a playmat and playing with her) I became restless. How can I wait until Monday to my cooker to get fixed, particularly when the weekend is coming! I think I may need to test out our microwave’s oven functionality and bake something today..my hands are so restless and I fancy something sweet anyway. I fact I will probably test out the lemon drizzle cupcake recipe…I will post it here in case it is good enough for my taste buds. Anyway, if you have a chance to buy this magazine, go and get it, it is worth every penny! Have a great Friday!

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Menin kauppaan tänään ja kun näin ylläolevan lehden en voinut kävellä kaupasta ulos ostamatta sitä. Luin reseptit läpi pikaisesti samalla kun leikitin tytärtäni leikkimatolla. Respetit näyttävät jumalaisilta!! Joka ikinen niistä! Olen hyvin kranttu ruokalehtien suhtee sillä vihaan täyteresepteja, reseptejä, jotka ovat vaan täyttämässä tyhjaa lehtitilaa olematta juurikaan erityisiä. Tässä lehdessä ja etenkin tässä numerossa ei ollut yhtäkään täyterespetiä..pikemminkin niin mahtava valikoima ohjeita, että tekisi mieli kokata ja leipoa ne kaikki läpi heti! Jos sinulla on mahdollisuutta ostaa kyseinen lehti, mene ja hanki se välittömästi. En malta odottaa uunimme korjaamista maanantaina, viikonloppukin on tulossa, kuinka voin hillitä itseni ja olla leipomatta. Onkin hyvin todennäköisä, että testaan mikroaaltouunimme uuniominaisuuden tänään ja leivon meheviä sitruunamuffineja. Jos ohje on mieleinen, postaan sen heti tänne! Ihanaista perjantaipäivää!