Friday, 29 November 2013

Feelgood Friday: Fish Pie

The late autumn dilemma - too early for gamey casseroles, but too many root vegetables already. So I've turned to fish pie, to see if I can have me some comfort food and not wreck the pre-party season regimen.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Uptown Girls: Trunk Show in Chelsea

Trunk shows are such a great way for fashion entrepreneurs to share and sell in a social and intimate setting. Anne hosted this party in her Chelsea pad and gave friends the opportunity to try on and buy goods from three fabulous enterprises.

Anne's apartment is the perfect backdrop for the beautifully crafted goods on show, and champagne really does help with the decision making.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

To the Bar: Why have cotton when you can take Silk?

"Taking silk" is the barrister's term for becoming a QC - a recognition of excellence and seniority, awarded to about 30% of barristers after 18 or 20 years' experience. The term originates from the QCs' court gowns, traditionally made of silk.

When I said 30% of barristers, you didn't think I meant 30% of the men, and 30% of the women, did you?! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Inspiration Monday 25.11.2013

I didn't always know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.

Diane von Furstenburg

Friday, 22 November 2013

Feelgood Friday: Hamper of Heroes

I've been starting my Christmas shopping online, and looking at the hampers put together by the department stores. Hampers are the loveliest gift and always such a treat to receive ... but it is rare to find one that contains much of use. Even the fabulously expensive Harrods hampers have stuff in them that you just know will sit at the back of the larder for ten years! It's the same story for the mid-range hampers, with a couple of feature items, then a lot of fillers. Who eats shortbread anyway?

So I've put together my own hamper of uber-useful kitchen heroes. Call it a basket of fantasy, or just a sandwich short of a picnic, these are the foodstuffs that keep on giving.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Inspiration Monday 18.11.2013

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is noone alive who is Youer than you.

Dr Seuss

Friday, 15 November 2013

Feelgood Friday: Spaghetti with bacon, peas, basil and mint

It's shivery-cold, the nights have drawn in and the Christmas parties not yet started - a little cocooning, a little comfort is called for. That surely means pasta and Friday night telly?

The combination of basil and mint in this recipe is not an obvious one, but it works to give a gentle lemony flavour. Last weekend I made this spaghetti with the herbs and peas, and it was crying out for the sharp and salty introduction of bacon.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

All I want for Christmas

In my family, the tradition is to write lists of things we want so that the giver has a choice, and the recipient a surprise! Each year as I accumulate more stuff, it becomes more and more difficult to think of what is appropriately affordable yet I don't already have...

Monday, 11 November 2013

Inspiration Monday 11.11.2013

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask: "Mother, what was war?"

Eve Merriam 1916-1992

Friday, 8 November 2013

Feelgood Friday: Daumier at the Royal Academy

Procrastination is one of my flaws.

Even though Manet is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest French artists and certainly one of the most important of the impressionists, I nearly managed to miss the exhibition of his works at the Royal Academy earlier this year. The only way I could get a ticket was to join as a friend - so now I want to make sure I make full use of my membership!

This looks perfect for a little Friday treat, and the RA is open until 10pm tonight.

Apparently, Honoré Daumier was "a freethinker and chronicler of everyday life in turbulent 19th century Paris". Sounds like he was a blogger before his time!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Intelligence: Women in Science at the Other Club

The Other Club is a space for professional women in London founded by my friend and Evening Standard journalist Joy Lo Dico and Katie Glass of The Sunday Times.

During the day it offers hot-desk working space, and by night the venue we host a range of talks, Q&As, supper-clubs and networking events. Currently at a pop-up space in Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, the runaway success of the Other Club will hopefully find it a permanent home very soon.

I went along with an old schoolfriend, to Science Night. This was something quite different for me as I have an arts background (before the law got to me, at least). But I realised how relevant and prevalent scientific issues are to so many aspects of my life. It was a world away from the dreary and inaccessible chemistry lessons at school!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bonfire Night Bangers

It's usually the first time I notice the winter cold, huddled with friends on damp grass in the park watching the fireworks and realising I can't feel my toes. But this year the weather is still fine, not even tights-under-jeans temperature yet!

This recipe is an old favourite, very easy and possibly the freshest-tasting way I've found to do sausages. It is lighter than some of the classic bonfire night casseroles, so this is what I decided to make for this unseasonally warm early November.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Inspiration Monday



Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?

Nelson Mandela

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Weekend Planner: November

Getting the best out of the weekend is, for me, all about forward planning. When I wake up on Saturday morning (i.e. when I get woken up..) to my other full time job, it is comforting to know I have the day already mapped out. I can give all my energy to doing, no need to worry about the thinking!

Autumn is my favourite time of year, so I definitely want to take Kiddo for a walk through the leaves in Kensington Gardens.

The Princess Diana Memorial Playground there is almost a reason to have children! You can only get in accompanied by a child and it is an amazingly designed and varied place.

As well as climbing frames and the showpiece galleon, there are calmer spaces for togetherness and contemplation.

Something other worldly about it, no?

Maybe even a little Californian...
Definitley transporting me from early winter London!

Just outside the playground, we happened on a pugs' meet-up - always great to make new friends!

then on to the serious business of leaves...

...and seeing how the professionals do it! So much care that goes into the shared spaces of this city.

Time flies; yes, indeed it does.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Feelgood Friday: evening beauty routine

So good to have a Friday night in! When I first became a mum, I felt very conscious of being housebound on weekend evenings. But I've come to enjoy having some down-time. Friday evening is a great time to catch up on TV I've missed over the week. Two of my favourites, The Good Wife and Ray Donovan, have just finished their seasons so I'm on the hunt for something else - what would you recommend?

Either before or after telly, a long bath and facemask. My beauty routine has been transformed and simplified by the discovery of an electric face cleansing brush. There are several models on the market, some quite expensive, but mine is from Boots No7 costing £24.99.

After removing make-up, put on cleanser as usual. Then wet the brush, switch it on and work it around your face - start at the chin and neckline, then gently across the cheeks. Turn it onto the higher power setting for nose and forehead if, like me, you have more oily skin and larger pores in those areas.

Quite simply, my skin has never been so clean. After using the brush, it feels as if masks, serums etc just sink into my skin, and my face glows as if I've just had a facial.

I got into Khiels last winter when I was looking for a moisturiser to see me through the bitter cold months. This mask has become one of my star products, great for restoring the health and vitality to my skin.

Then the grandmummy of them all: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Recovery Complex. The lovely lady who sold me my first bottle many years ago described it as an insurance policy. How right she was, and no dreary forms to fill in.