Monday, 31 August 2015

生活 : livelihood

At the moment my life is filled with seafood and calling everyone auntie and Mr. Cheung. I called out desperately for a life changing experience and I definitely got it. I love living in the city and I already feel at home here. Despite being pale and only knowing a few words I look forward to spending my time in Hong Kong.
My Instagram is already blooming with pretty desserts and neighbourhood pets. They have turtles at the Wong Tai Sin temple and they are so cute!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Garments with memories.

 (ah I hate chipped polish!)

Jumper: Topshop / Skirt: Hennes & Mauritz / Leather Handbag: Russell & Bromley / Sandals: Zara / Amethyst ring and white gold watch: Vintage

I haven't photographed myself in a long time, I must admit it felt very unusual to do this again. I am currently in love with my wardrobe choices so I really must show you my outfit for the day more often.

It was my birthday on Saturday, aside from seeing Vivian Maier (which shall be posted up next along with my new camera) and drinking a couple of cocktails on the way to see Paul Smith's new favourite spot: My mama picked out this skirt for me from H&M. We fell in love but the sizing wasn't right. I ended up going into five different stores including Oxford/Regent's main store (Five floors of searching). I opted for a bigger size than usual but it has become one of my favourites, I love midi skirts at the moment.
I don't usually find anything in Hennes I like aside from a couple of basics, lucky my mama has good taste!

The Zara sandals were a total mishap, they were purchased on account of one too many blisters from wearing too many heels. But I've instantly grown to love them strangely enough, the thick red soles and stitching remind me of these bamboo slippers our Japanese friends gave to my parents.

As for the Topshop Jumper, I wear this all the time, even at clubs (you think I am joking?). It's thin and light but contains a woollen blend, I am always cold so we are the perfect match. The bag I purchased at Spitalfields Market when Elly, Charlotte, Scott and I went on a vintage shopping haul. I bought a gorgeous pair of cream golden trimmed heels for £1, (though they got slightly ruined while dancing).

I think it is just as important for a garment to carry a story, it makes it more valuable and cherish-able to yourself. 

Aside from the skirt envy, I am having a masculine moment by wearing Toni and Guy cream in my hair, it smells gorgeous and look sleek. Expect me in a suit next time, ha!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Skala Beach: A small but detailed guide

(35mm on Pentax)

Last month I spent some of my time off on a beautiful Greek Island called Kefalonia, located west from the mainland. While staying in a small hotel in the mountains, every morning I opened the shutters of our terrace to see the beautiful seascape ahead. It was a lovely get away and excuse for me to lounge on the beach with 'A Secret History' by Donna Tartt in one hand, and an iced coffee with milk and sugar bought to me in the other. Since then I have added coffee into my daily routine, doppios is like medicine to me.

I love to search for new places before I go away online, but I had no luck blog scrolling and Instagram tagging Kefalonia. Since I found a few little gems by Skala beach I thought I should share these and hope that they may come of use if anyone stumbles upon this before their departure.

e a t

Pikiona: A restaurant just behind the beach containing an open garden lounge for live music and simple decor for dining. Perfect for grills! I recommend the grilled Salmon purely for smokey flavour and freshness.

il Destino: Something different to your usual Greek speciality, It's like walking into a Parisian greenhouse while the restaurant is filled with Louis XV style loveseats and old wooden canes. However their menu takes a different turn, an unusual selection of Italian cuisine with freshly made pasta and pizza bases. I couldn't say the pizza was to our taste (trust me i'm an expert) but their creamy tagliatelle was delicious, topped off with a shot of ouzo really did perfect it.

Mikelatos Family: I ate my weight in tzatziki and ending up coming here on more than one occasion. True Greek cuisine at it's finest, freshly blended humous and warm flatbreads to rolled aubergines with warm feta. All to be enjoyed while admiring the interior.

d r i n k 

Akri Bar: A huge selection of cocktails ranging from classic Piña Coladas to unusual blends of 'tree sap liquor'. One of my favourite hot spots throughout our stay as we sat under the wicker terrace and chatted with the lovely ελευθερία (Eleftheria) which also translates to Liberty!

Captains Bar: It is difficult to write about this, but you just have to visit the Captains bar at least once. At least for the extreme drinks.

p a c k

Kefalonia has numerous mountains throughout the island, comfortable shoes are advised, unless of course you hire a car which I would recommend as the public transport links are awful.

Take a pair of snorkelling goggles as the clear waters are full of fishes and beautiful black stones.

Unless you are like me and pick wild mint from the gardens, bring some of your own tea bags as they do not have their own special blend.

s u n b a t h e

A place to soak up the sun on the beach is by the Metaxa bar, €6 for a pair of sun loungers and parasol for the day. All while enjoying the reggae remixes, taking advantage of their free (but slow) wifi and making use of the beach cafe service.

b u y

Korres body washes and moisturisers are much much cheaper in the pharmacies.
The Olive Wood Shop in the main Skala town will make your knees shake if you have a bit of chopping board envy...

A small but detailed guide to enhance a delightful trip to Skala beach.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Culture and Cocktails

 One of my favourite things to do is to show friends new places to go in London. Even I stumbled upon hidden treasures during my time in the city. If you are following me on Instagram, I am sure you have noticed my frequent time at Bookmarc in Mayfair, or private events on The Strand.

It is a beautiful sight to recollect my admiration for gallery visits and new eateries. I am slowly balancing out the neglect I had bought upon myself by falling in love one street at a time in the heart of London.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Blackberry, Almond and Saffron Cake.

(remember to not accidentally tip in the vanilla pod in the sugar bowl)

What do you do when you grab the blackberries before the birds get to them? You bake a cake!
I find that these are a difficult currant to grow without a greenhouse, and I can honestly say that these beautiful berries were in fact from the grocery market. The very few blackberries that we were able to pick went straight into a pot on the stove to make a concentrated juice.

What I love about this recipe is the slight density of the sponge, it brings out the almond and saffron flavours in every bite. I would recommend to not be so generous with the almond extract if you are not the biggest lover of almonds. However, I adore the burst of flavour mixed with the blackberries that delightfully rest on top!

- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

- A pinch of crushed sea salt 
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads 
- ¼ cup whole milk
- Grated zest of 1 whole lemon
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- A large bowl (300 grams) blackberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180ª and line a 22cm springform cake tin with a little spot of butter and greaseproof paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, mix together the softened butter and sugar together for around 3 minutes until creamy and pale. Crack in the eggs one at a time until combined into a fluffy mix.

3. Pour the milk into a saucepan (or a microwavable bowl) and saffron threads, heat this up just until the milk starts to bubble. The saffron changes the colour of the milk into a deep saffron yellow. Set aside for a few minutes to allow to cool.

4. While the milk is cooling, finely grate the zest of a lemon along with the almond extract. Add the milk and gently mix in with a spatula. Finishing off combining these ingredients with the electric whisk, using the spatula first is a simple way to avoid any splashes while whisking.

5. Pour the dry ingredients: flour, almond, baking powder and a pinch of salt into the mixing bowl. On lowest speed whisk this altogether until a delicious cake mixture has formed.

6. Dollop the mixture into the cake tin and smooth over with a spatula. After rinsing and patting the blackberries dry, arrange neatly on top of the cake. It will be likely that they won't all fit, so try to squeeze them into any small spaces remaining. Overall, the blackberries will sink slightly into the cake, so perfection isn't key. (sob)

7. Pop the cake into the oven for 50 - 55 minutes, test the cake with a skewer making sure that the centre has cooked through. Allow to cool for a few minutes before unlatching the sides of the tin off.

Let the cake cool completely until serving with a delicious cup of Lady Grey.... Or a bowl of blueberries? I am encouraging the summer fruits!