28 Nov 2021

In A Bit Then, London

 

Covent Garden

Whilst sat on a 10pm train out of London a few weeks back, it occurred to me that it had probably been my last trip into the capital for quite some time. 

I wrote a post here about saying goodbye to commuting following Covid and the move to permanent home working. Since that point, it’s been 19 months since I was last in an office and, with my maternity leave imminent, this feels unlikely to change anytime soon. In this time, London has become somewhere very different to me. Whilst we used to have a strong love hate relationship going on – the hate mostly coming from the relentless slog of commuting and the love from the people, experiences and opportunities it brought me – I now feel like our relationship has changed to one of gentle enjoyment. It’s taken me a while to accept that I can no longer just ‘pop’ into London in the way I could when we lived in St Albans, although it took several ‘sure I’ll pop in for dinner’ moments to realise how ridiculous it was that I thought that was a sensible idea (particularly when heavily pregnant). But, since leaving commuting behind, there has been a small collection of day trips and weekends and I love it. I love being in London and not feeling frazzled. I love playing tourist whilst still knowing my way around. I love feeling like I have the energy to explore new places rather then travelling all that way just to see the same street and same office on repeat. And whilst it’s likely going to be a few months before I go back into London, I’m really excited to enjoy some days on maternity leave where baby and I head in to visit my sister and my friends. Obviously never-say-never to working in London again, but I’m really here for this new and improved relationship and the better work-life balance it brings me. 

A few photos from my last trip in below; my friend Ele and I spent the afternoon in various Covent Garden coffee shops (we kept getting chucked out as they closed) and then I met my friend Alice in the evening for great Indian food at Cinnamon Bazaar before heading to the theatre to see Six


Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

25 Nov 2021

Lemon & Elderflower Celebration Cake, To Be Eaten in The Peak District

 Lemon & Elderflower Celebration Cake

I made this cake to celebrate our friends’ recent nuptials when a group of us went away to the Peak District. I’d never baked a cake this big before but it was surprisingly simple to make and very tasty – if I do say so myself (it did also go down well with everyone else who ate it)! Recipe below, along with a few photos from our weekend away.

You will need:

450g golden caster sugar

450g self-raising flour

6 eggs

100g natural yoghurt

50ml milk

450g butter, at room temp

Zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice

3 tbsp elderflower cordial


For the icing:

250g butter, softened

300g cream cheese

700g icing sugar

Zest of 1 lemon


Heat your oven to 140c fan. Whisk the eggs, yogurt and milk together. Beat the butter and sugar together and when light and fluffy, add the flour, the liquid and lemon zest. Mix again until smooth. Divide the cake mixture between 3 x 20cm cake tins and bake for 40 mins, until a skewer comes out clean. Mix the lemon juice and elderflower cordial and when the cakes have cooled completely in the tins, poke all over the surface with a cocktail stick and then spoon the syrup over the cakes.

To make the icing, beat the butter until smooth, add half the icing sugar, then whisk again. Add the remaining icing sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest and whisk until smooth. 

Stack the three cakes with plenty of icing between each layer. Pile most of the remaining icing on top, then spread it across the top and down the sides, covering the cake in swirls. Decorate however you want! 

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

Peak District

17 Nov 2021

Photo Diary: An Autumnal Cabin In Norfolk

 Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

In September, Gary and I headed back to Norfolk for another ‘glamping’ experience. We went to the same place we stayed last year, only this time opting for the cabin instead of the yurts. Like the yurts, the cabin didn’t have electricity but it was just that bit more protected from the elements. And just like the yurts, there was a beautiful roll-top bath heated by a log-burning stove. It chucked it down for the majority of our two nights (although we did manage to squeeze in some star gazing and marshmallow toasting before the rain came) but this did result in some serious cosy autumnal vibes:

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk

Autumnal cabin in Norfolk