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!

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Another pampering day -Toinen hemmottelupäivä

I had another pampering day today. My dad is in town which is amazing by the way as I have spare two hands helping me with the baby! Whilst my dad went to have a day out shopping and my dear Aussie husband was looking after our sweet baby girl I went to hairdresser, to my absolute favourite and trusted one called Jojo&Flo. I always book the salon director to do my hair and she is just amazing. She told me already last time that I should go for bob style cut and darker highlights, I hesitated. Now I was I totally ready for the change. I thought the suggestion of salon director would suit me as my dear Aussie husband told me last summer that ”darling you are turning to thirty it would be maybe time to look a bit more elegant rather than girly”.  He meant it in a nice way and I totally agreed. Time to change my look to more classic chic, like Parisian street style rather than have my long blonde hair flowing whilst wearing something pink :)! So today I took darker highlights, in fact mix of three: dark brown, golden brown and blonde.

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Tänään sain nauttia toisesta hemmottelupäivää tässä kuussa. Luksusta! Isäni on Lontoossa käymässä, mikä on ihanaa, minulla on kaksi muuta kättä auttamassa vauvan kanssa. Kun isäni suuntasi shoppailemaan keskustaan ja rakas aussimieheni toimi lastenvahtina suuntasin luottokampaajalleni muodonmuutokseen. Varaan aina ajan niin kutsutulta ”salon directorilta”, mikä täällä on korkein kampaajan arvo salongeissa (täällä siis usein titteli etenee graduate, stylist, senior stylist ja salon director). Hän jo viime kerralla ehdotti trendikästa polkkaa ja tummempia raitoja. Silloin emmin. Nyt olin valmis muutokseen. Viime kesänä nimittäin aviomieheni hyvään sävyyn tokaisi ”rakas täytät kolmekymmentä, ehkä olisi aika pukeutua elegantimmin pikemminkin kuin tyttömäisesti”. Olin samaa mieltä. On aika tavoitella pariisilaista klassista katutyylia pitkien blondien hiusten ja pinkkien vaatteiden sijaan. Tänään siis leikkasin trendikkaan polkan ja otin kolmen sävyn raidat: tumman ruskeaa, kullan ruskeaa ja blondia. Olen uskomattoman tyytyväinen. Lopputulos oli juuri sitä mitä toivoinkin. Kiitos ihanaisen luottokampaajani!

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For tonight I have a whole free range chicken in white wine simmering in a slow cooker for dinner.  I will post you the recipe if it is successful. This is in the end my first whole chicken that I am cooking. I love slow cookers by the way, they are the dream of any housewife as you just put things in for 8-10 hours and you get an amazing meat that falls off the bone -yummy! I better go now to enjoy my evening as I just got my baby to sleep. I hope you have had a lovely weekend so far. Have a relaxing Saturday night!

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Illalliseksi minulla on tulossa kokonainen kana valkoviinissä. Toivottavasti se onnistuu. Jos kokkaan ensimmäisen kokonaisen kanani onnistuneesti, resepti seuraa perässä tähän blogiin. Kokkaan kanaa siis niin kutsutussa ”slow cookerissa” (uunimme on siis yhä hajalla kiitos British Gasin huonon palvelun). Rakastan muuten ”slow cookeria”, se on jokaisen kotirouvan unelma. Ei tarvitse kuin laittaa mausteet, lihat ja liemet ”slow cookeriin” ja jättää hiljakseen poreilemaan 8-10 tunniksi. Liha suorastaan putoaa luusta, niin meheväksi se tulee. Lähden nyt nauttimaan lauantai-illasta sillä sain juuri vauvamme nukkumaan. Toivottavasti teillä on ollut onnistunut viikonloppu. Ihanaista lauantai-iltaa kaikille!

My lovely neighbourhood – Ihana asuinalueeni

I joined today the club of running pram mothers when instead of my usual morning walk I found myself running with the pram. I love running in the park and breathing fresh autumn air! It is nice to get back to running again although I have to say that it is actually quite tough to run uphill and push the pram at the same time. It is a real workout if I have ever felt one.

It took me a couple of months to get used to our new neighbourhood as this is much more residential than the previous area we lived in. Now I have to admit I have fallen in love with this new one . I love peaceful streets, beautiful parks, buggies that I see everywhere, huge and well kept houses and gardens. Everywhere you walk you see that this is home not a place where you would rent a flat and not stay for a long time.

I usually do two walks a day with my little baby girl and I thought I would share with you my morning walk views as I find them quite beautiful.

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The ponds in the park are pretty.
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The autumn has arrived as you can see from the colours.

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One of the most gorgeous streets in our neighbourhood.

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One house on this street is just bigger than another..this one has 12 windows on one side -just amazing!

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So peaceful. I am still only 35 minutes away form Oxford Circus believe it or not!

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I think this house is one of the most beautiful ones and for me this is what England is all about. Country style houses and big beautiful gardens.

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Our lovely local pub where we went to last weekend. This fire place space is like from some ones living room. So cosy!

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English pubs, so pretty! We have such a great selection of pubs in our area. All of them gastropubs that serve superb and delicious restaurant quality food. They are also very family friendly but in the evening you are guaranteed to see some mothers having their night off from babysitting duties and wearing their nicest clothes on!

Our typical Sunday in North London – Sunnuntaimme Pohjois-Lontoossa

Yesterday when the morning was sunny we thought we would have a family walk from Muswell Hill to Highgate. We hadn’t done that walk before so we were curious to see what the are between was like. We have our eyes constantly open for new places and potential areas to buy house in. Muswell Hill is one of my favourite places in North London. If you have not been there, go! It is like a small pocket of London and cute own world. It has great shops and cafes and it is super baby friendly too. There is this awesome place called Crocodile Antiques . It has a fantastic shop attached to a love coffee shop. They have play corner for kids and in general lovely atmosphere. Muswell Hill has lots of non-mainstream shops which I prefer.  There is a shop called COOK.  I love the concept of this place. It sells gourmet style pre-made meals, lots of Indian food and wonderful cakes and desserts! Every meal has a signature of a chef who cooked it! I think this must be the dream of any busy housewife at Muswell Hill if surprise dinner guests arrive!

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These days Planet Organic is my favourite store to do our family grocery shopping  in! There is one in Muswell Hill and the other one on Essex Road, both North London. The store has a great selection of organic food, and goodies! They do home deliveries too!

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From Muswell Hill we chose a nice road to walk to Highgate. We passed beautiful houses and walked across Highgate Wood, a wonderful forest like park! The air smelled so fresh that it felt almost like being at the countryside.

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After arriving to Highgate village we went to this fantastic and cosy pub called Red Lion and the Sun. The food was excellent, service really good and pub so popular and crowded that we go the last table they had, so next time we need to book a table well advance! This pub is the place to be on Sundays. I warmly recommend it. It was a find!

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We had a lovely Sunday.

I also have to mention that my baby is so good. During the whole long (3h) lunch in the pub she was happily sitting in her highchair and being social and charming all the people around her. The group of people in the next table to us was admiring her and her huge blue icy eyes. I definitely feel so thankful for having such a lovely daughter, but it has been a long journey and the allergy problems messed up our happiness for a long time so I feel like as a family we deserve this. I am glad to get the happiness back and say I finally fully enjoy my motherhood.

Last night I realised I have been adding very few posts about our travels and I think in addition to the recipes I will be adding lots of traveling tips and accommodation recommendations as we have found so many lovely places to stay and visit whilst traveling around Europe. I hope you find them useful for your travels!

Have  a wonderful Monday!

Surprise Saturday pampering -Lauantain yllätyshemmottelu

My dear Aussie husband surprised me on Friday night.  I was having a lovely glass of Chardonnay in a local pub with my Norwegian friend. We had a proper girls’ evening, talking rubbish and having great time.  After coming back home I went to change my nighty on when I suddenly noticed there was a small piece of paper on my pillow in the bed. There was a poorly drawn heart on it and my name written with wonky handwriting. I opened it and there was a surprise full body massage reservation done for the Saturday midday to one of the most amazing local beauty salons. I was wordless. How sweet was that?

In the Saturday morning we did a walk in our new neighbourhood that I am absolutely in love with. A couple of months ago we decided to move to a bit more North London and get a big place for ourselves with the beautiful back garden and a small ”guest wing” as we call it. With the baby girl it is nice to have more space, two levels and big kitchen to do my cooking in.

I haven’t posted any photos of our new place. I love our rose gate in the backyard.

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The neighbourhood has just more and more stunning houses nearby and I love admiring them. This was what we discovered whilst doing our morning walk in the morning. Pretty!

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We had a cup of tasty coffee in our local Italian brasserie before I headed to enjoy my massage.

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The place I had my massage in is called ”House of Vanity”. It is such an amazing beauty salon. So luxurious and the massage was one of the best I have ever had, even the massage I once got in a fancy Alpine resort cannot beat it. It is so difficult to find a good massager and I think now I have found one so I will return to this salon..soon. Breastfeeding and nigh time wake ups have really made my shoulders and neck tight so a good massage is worth every single penny!

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What a relaxing Saturday afternoon. I feel like a human again. London is great! I have a peace of mind (and body too!).