Mums’ night out

I had a great evening last night. I caught up with my dear mummy friend. Like I mentioned in my previous post we went to our old neighbourhood in Highbury. We met in a nice bar Zioulf’s on Upper Street. It is a nice bar, quite artsy feel inside and lots of experimental cocktails.

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After a glass of wine in Zilouf’s we felt starving and started wandering down the Upper street. When we got to the front of La Farola I could not help myself. I actually have mentioned this place once before in my blog, a bit over one year ago. I was there with my husband when our daughter was only 3 months old and the place had just opened. I remembered it being amazing, probably one of the best Spanish food I have eaten outside of Spain. They had a photographer in the bar as they were hoping to put more photos and videos on their website..oh dear the photographer was next to us all night so we will probably appear on the website soon!

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We ordered honey glazed courgette flower -amazing-, crispy pork belly, steamed octopus and tasty bruchetta, all tapas. We bought an enjoyable tasty white wine bottle:Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine de la Viste, Languedoc, France. I was delighted, the wine was extremely good.

I love our catch ups every time. What is special is that our daughters were born on the exact same day in the same year having Camden in their birth certificates! The other thing that is special is that we don’t have to talk about babies all the time, in fact we quite rarely do if it is only two of us without babies. It is so nice to catch up with the mummy friend but actually have something more in common than the child. It also means that if we want to talk about the challenges of motherhood we can and the other person truly understands, but also we can just sip our wine and pretend for a second being back in our twenties! We both also have this love of Highbury and we hope to return there one day. Islington is a special place in London. Like my friend puts it, it has that variety of life in it and everyone looks different but interesting in their own way. I will miss that place and I will miss our mummy nights out..although maybe when we meet again in London our children will be so much older that we can have a proper party night for change. Our daughters were friends since I think 3 weeks old..will be funny when they meet again and we can tell the story and show some photos.

Anyway, if you are in Islington try the above mentioned places they are super nice! I have had so many happy moments in my life right there!

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Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany -Gordon Ramsayn York and Albany

I have had a busy but wonderful past week. First my dad was visiting us and then my Finnish friend came to stay with us with her two children. I have had such great time and it has been incredibly nice to just speak Finnish and let Isla to hear and speak Finnish!

I took my dad and husband to York and Albany on last Saturday. It was my husband’s birthday so it was a perfect place to go. Before lunch we took our sweet little daughter to the playground at Primrose Hill. She has been there before and loves it as it has a big sandbox.  The weather was good and warm, almost like a summer day! After the playground time we did our typical ”feed the baby and put her to sleep” routine which worked perfectly again. As our baby girl loves her 3h naps we were able to head to the pub and enjoy a long three course lunch.

I started with some champagne and men went for Bloody Marys.

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I started with some salmon and salsa verde and men decided to get some foamy mushroom soup which by the way was amazing!.

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For the main course my dad and I ordered some haddock wrapped in parma ham and my husband took truffle pasta.

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Like I have mentioned before I love chocolate desserts so I ordered the French style chocolate tart with black coffee whereas men went for the savoury choice of cheese platter which I helped them out with…super tasty.

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I picked the wine for us which was a fruity and smooth Italian red, perfect for socialising as it was not too heavy or full bodied. I was actually extremely happily surprised how good the wine was as I did not go for an expensive one.

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We had a wonderful day. Food was superb, beautifully presented and what was even more amazing was that we happened to have a Finnish waitress. I noticed her slight Nordic accent and was able to locate she was from Finland and bravely asked if I was correct. She was so happy to serve us in Finnish. To thank her for the good service my dad gave her Finnish chocolate. She was so happy about that!

Back to the lunch…I cannot believe the  price value of the lunch menu York and Albany has at the weekends. Three course lunch is £24. The food is excellent and the dining room in the pub is gorgeous. If you have not been there it is worth going. If you don’t want to go for the set lunch menu you can always order from a la carte. Wine selection is great too! I think the bottle of Italian I ordered was only £26 and I have to say it was extremely tasty!

I am now heading back to continue my Norwegian knit which I am determined to finish rather soon. I hope you have a good start of the week!

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!

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!

Sunday in Highgate Village -Sunnuntai Highgaten kylässä

As my dad was in town we wanted to take him to one of our favourite pubs The Red Lion and the Sun that I mentioned in my blog post a few weeks ago. This pub is located in Highgate. As the weather was wonderful we thought we would have a lovely walk there. First we crossed our beautiful local park and then showed my dad the high street in Highgate Village.

Koska isäni oli Lontoossa viikonloppuna ajattelimme viedä hänet lempipubiimme The Red Lion and the Sun, josta olenkin jo aiemmin kirjoitellyt blogispostauksessani. Tämä pubi sijaitsee Highgatessa Lontoossa. Ensin kävelimme halki kauniin läheisen puistomme ja sitten suuntasimme kohti Highgatea.

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The Highgate Pantry.

I have probably said this multiple times before but I love these small pockets of London that are like villages with all the independent shops, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, green grocers and cute boutiques. The Highgate Pantry bakery had a mouthwatering window!

Olenkin jo aiemmin sanonut useaan kertaan, että rakastan Lontoon pieniä itsenäisiä kylämäisiä yhteisöjä. Etenkin pohjois Lontoo on täynnä näitä pieniä kaupunginosia kuten Highgate, Hampsted, Highbury, Stoke Newington, Primrose Hill, Winchmore Hill, Muswell Hill, Crouch End. Ne kaikki seuraavat samaa kaavaa. Kylämäisen osan läpi vie high street, joka on täynnä mitä ihanaisimpia kahviloita ja puoteja lihakauppa, kalakauppa ja vihanneskauppa mukaan lukien. The Highgate Pantry leipomolla oli upea ikkuna.

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Some amazing looking lolly cupcakes in The Highgate Pantry.

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I usually try not to support the chains, but Le Pain de Quotidien has quality food and all organic too!

Yritän useimmiten välttää ketjuja, mutta Le Pain de Quotidien on loistava. Ruoan laatu on hyvää ja kaikki luomua.

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A lovely fruiterers in Highgate. — Ihana hedelmäkauppa Highgatessa.

The place called Limone in Highgate has a great selection of dairy and gluten free cakes. So all of you who are looking for finding some special diet coffee places in North London, this is one for you! Yesterday Limone had a tasty selection of special diet treats and one particularly interesting cake -lemon rosemary cake that was dairy free! Inspired by this, I will definitely bake some lemon drizzle cake next week when our cooker will be finally fixed. British Gas promised it to be ready next Monday -finally! Fingers crossed.

Jos etsit erityisruokavalioon sopivaa kahvipaikkaa Pohjois-Lontoossa Limone Highgatessa on mahtava. Se tarjoaa kotitekoisia maidottomia ja gluteiinittomia kakkuja. Yksi mielenkiintoisemmista oli sitruuna-rosmariini kuivakakku. Kuulosti tosi herkulliselta! Sen innoittamana aion ehdottomasti leipoa sitruunakakkua ensi viikolla, kun uunimme vihdoin pitäisi olla kunnossa. British Gas lupasi tänään, että maanantaina 14.10 uuni on korjattu. Toivottavasti, sillä rakkaan aussimieheni syntymäivät lähenevät kovaa vauhtia ja haluan kokata ihanaista illallista syntymäpäiväiltana!

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Waterlow Park in Highgate is super beautiful! I recommend a walk in there! I had a lovely Sunday, hopefully you had a relaxing weekend too!

Waterlow puisto Highgatessa on todella kaunis. Suosittelen kävelyä siellä! MInulla oli upea sunnuntaipäivä. Oli niin ihanaa nähdä isää! Toivottavasti teilläkin oli rentouttava viikonloppu!

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Waterlow Park.