The Liebster Award

I’ve recently been nominated for the Liebster Award by two of my absolute favourite bloggers: my friend-of-23-years Ophélie of Cross My Heart And Hope To Die and the cute-as-a-button Amanda who writes over at Funilly enough, they seem to have asked similar questions… (maybe that says something about the kind of people I get along with! 😜 )

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award was created as a way of connecting new and more experienced bloggers and a way for newbies to make their mark into the blogosphere.

The rules: 

1- Thank and link to the people who nominated you
2- Answer the 11 questions that have been given to you
3- Nominate 11 blogs and include their link in your post.
4- Create 11 new questions for your nominees
5- Notify your nominees (blog/social media)

Ophélie’s questions:

1- What’s your biggest dream? Having a house of my own, doing something I love for a job (any idea what I should do? HELP ME!!) and making people around me happy.
2- How do you react to failure? I usually over-obsess and end up try again and again (and again) until it works (well, unless we’re talking about macaroons, in which case I do the dishes and buy a box from Ladurée).
3- Do you have good relationships with your parents? My parents are simply the best people I know and I’m so glad for the person they’ve made me. Everything I have and am, I owe it to them and one of my biggest fear is to never become as good a person, let alone a parent, as they are. Also, they’re actually coming to London next week and I couldn’t be happier.
4- What’s the last book you’ve read? La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret by Emile Zola. Yes, yes, I’m the kind of girl who actually enjoys reading classic French litterature where it takes caracters twenty pages to climb up the stairs… #TotalWeirdo
5- What’s your favourite hobby? Sleeping and eating cake both rank very high on my list!
6- What would you bring to a desert island? A bikini seems like a must-have. Also, a BBQ and my beloved non-disposable straws. It’d be a hell of a beach party, I’m telling you! 🌴
7- Which country do you dream to visit? Australia!
8- Where do you see yourself in 15 years? I honestly have no idea. But you might want to ask my boyfriend, he’s the one who makes detailled plans the next 20 years (and they all make a lot more sense than any I could ever come up with anyway).
9- Why did you start blogging? I was really just looking for a good excuse to click pictures of my food! Oh, and meeting people along the way was kind of a good surprise!
10- Are you a dog or a cat person? I never know what to answer to this one! I actually have 7 dogs at my parents but I also think I was a cat in one of my past life and still act like one from time to time (#CrazyCatLady, litterally).
11- What’s your favourite icecream flavour? I’d always been fairly loyal to sea salt caramel. Until I discovered The Ice Kitchen‘s Mojito Lollies. These things are THE BOMB! 💥

Amanda’s questions:

1- Why did you start blogging? See #9 above
2- Who are you inspired by? Other blogs and bloggers, books, restaurants’ dishes & menus, window displays, colours looking nice together, whatever I find in my fridge. Not necessarily in that order.
3- Celebrity crush? Eddie Redmayne, Guillaume Canet. And also Marion Cottilard, Emma Watson and Natalie Portman.
4- What’s the last lie you told? Most probably something along the lines of “I don’t know why I’m crying”. Or “I’ll be back in 5 minutes”.
5- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Geographically, probably in London. For the rest, see #8 above.
6- What do your friends/family think about blogging? I have no idea.
7- If money was no object, what would you be doing? Probably working in a kitchen somewhere. I’ve always been fascinated by the restaurant industry and wondered if that was something I would be able to do.
8- What has been the biggest challenge you had to face? Like most people, I’m usually the only person standing in my own way. So trusting myself and realising what I do is actually worth something I suppose.
9- Cats or dogs? See #10 above
10- What 3 words would your friends use to describe you? I’m fairly sure food-obsessed and social-media addicted will be among the top answers. but some of my friends might also tell you about my compulsive container buying habits…
11- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Probably tomatoes. They’re so versatile, I never seem to get bored of them.

My 11 nominees: Not all of them are new but they’re all definitely worth a look/read/follow!

Broke in the Big Smoke: I met Leanne recently and she’s the loveliest person you could ever imagine. Also, she’s TONES of cheap as chips ideas to have the best time in London!

Little Miss Katy: Do I even need to introduce Katy? I don’t, do I? But I know she’ll come up with the best answers (and questions)!

Spoon Me: I discovered Molly’s blog through Twitter and I’ve been hungry ever since!

A Certain Adventure: Tamsin’s sneaky Instagram previews are definitely the main reason why I consider having a second lunch every day. Not even talking about how her blog makes me feel. (hint: HUNGRY!)

City Cookie: Did someone say cookie? (also, some of the most lovely pictures around!)

That’s So Bekaah: I don’t know the first thing about beauty stuff. I need more people like her in my life.

Isoscella: Can I please leave in that blog? I promise I’ll behave and put things back where they belong!

Too Short for High Fashion: Totally relate to that blog name! Also, major clothes envy.

Wander To Wonder: So many perfect macaroons! It -almost- makes me want to try making them again!

Pretty Hungry: If anyone can ever convince me to go somewhere, it most certainly is Bianca. Everything just looks fantastic (and delicious, obviously).

… and YOU! Yes, you, who are ready that right now! Come on, it’ll be fun!

My questions:

1- 5 things you always have in your fridge?
2- The most beautiful shoes you’ve ever seen?
3- The quality you value over every other?
4- The ultimate comfort food?
5- The website I should definitely add to my read-list?
6- Your ultimate pizza toppings?
7- Your favourite colour?
8- What do you always ask your mum to cook for you?
9- What you dream to get for your birthday?
10- What should I eat tonight?
11- Biggest pet peeve(s)?

I honestly can’t wait to read the answers!

The Liebster Award

Objective Capsule Wardrobe – #1 De-cluttering

I used to be that kid that kept absolutely everything (from magazines’ pages to every inch of ribbon or fabric). My imagination had no limits when I was younger, and I always found ways to use all the stuff I was putting away in boxes under my bed, in my cupboard, and in my siblings’ rooms. Until said siblings didn’t let me use their space as storage anymore and I had to learn the hard way how not de-clutter.

cake + Whisky | dream wardrobe
Dream wardrobe (from Pinterest)

Later on, my taste for accumulation continued on as I bought far too many clothes in hope it would make getting dressed easier. It didn’t. If anything, it made it worse. Shortly after that, I started being obsessed reading about minimalism, and minimal wardrobes. I’ve been fascinated by those discussions ever since, and started to apply some of these ideas to my own wardrobe for year, favouring quality over quantity (I call it The Investment Theory, might write about it some day, would you guys be interested?), only buying things that fit me, learning tricks to resist that oh-that-looks-kind-of-cool top (that I would wear twice) at H&M…

But all of this doesn’t prevent me from facing this “OMG-I-have-nothing-to-weaaaaaar” moments every now and then (especially in Spring, what’s up with that? Is it just me or do you get this too?).

Weirdly enough, what really helps when that sort of thing hits me is to get rid of things instead of before buying new ones. As they say, less is more. And don’t get me started on the mental space a clutter-free wardrobe brings you!

However, de-cluttering is hard work (and sometimes a little soul-crashing too because it might mean you have to say goodbye to that little silk dress you love but doesn’t fit you quite right…). But here are a few things that help me let go of things I no longer wear.

1. Cake and cocktails: I don’t know anything in life that can not be improved by the addition of those, so might as well have some as you de-clutter! 🍰🍸

2. Have a few plastic bags/cardboard boxes at hand to put things to sell/donate/throw away. Doing it as you go will make it a lot less tiring as you won’t have to spend extra time in the end tidying things up.

3. I like to start by emptying my cupboards entirely and lay it all by categories (tops/bottoms/underwear/shoes/dresses/woolwear…). I only put back inside the things that have past the following tests:

4. Questions that help me decide:

  • Does it fit? If it doesn’t, get rid of it. I know it’s hard, but from my own experience, I can tell you you will never wear it. Yes, even when you loose that extra 10 pounds. Because 1. you don’t know how your body will be shaped then 2. You’ll want nothing more than go buy new things then. And you should do exactly this, because you deserve it!
  • Do I feel comfortable wearing it? There is absolutely no reason why you should wear something you don’t feel good wearing. It really is as simple as that. So if it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t keep it. You can always find something similar, except more flattering / softer / not so tired / you can walk / breathe in (…) and it will worth making that change because you will wear those pieces more (#NoMoreItchySweaters + #TeamBallerinas).
  • If I was shopping right now (and I had to pay full price for it), would I buy this? This little gem really helped me get rid of things that were not exactly top-knotch in terms of quality. Just picture yourself browsing through Liberty’s fashion sections. Now, what if this dress/top/jeans you’re holding were on the rack in front of you. With the usual £££ price tag. Would you still buy it?
  • Would I wear it if I was going out to meet friends right now (or if it was the right season to wear this specific item)? I tend to get a little bit obsessed with lounge wear (as in, stuff I wouldn’t really wear in public but rather to lounge at home… But one can only have that many burger-printed leggings and Bambi Tshirts!), so that helps me keep this issue in sight so they don’t take too much wardrobe space!!
  • Do I feel like I have to keep it? Is it something that’s been given to you? Or something that cost you a fair bit of money and you feel like getting rid of it would be a waste? I’ve had issues with those items in the past but I just found THE BEST way to deal with this a few days ago! Just ask yourself ‘Would I keep this if it had been given to me by somebody I don’t really like?’ and tadaaaaah, it all becomes a lot easier!

5. Once you’ve gathered the things you’re ready to let go of, you might want to organise them in categories and put them in the right bag/box. I tend to only throw away things that can not be worn anymore (because they’re too damaged/stained…). You’ll want to do this right away (and probably bring the bag down to your bin room so you’re not tempted to rescue things from it.). The rest, I usually divide in things to give away to charities (I do that the next day or so, for the same reasons) and things I’ll try to sell on eBay.

6. If after putting them through the test, there are still a few things you’re not sure about, you can create a “maybe” category for those. I like to put those items through additional tests (either in terms of cost-per-wear, or by getting them altered to fit my style/lifestyle better). Don’t forget to review those next time you de-clutter your wardrobe (they can’t be on your “maybe” list then!)

Do you find it easy or hard to let go of things, even if you don’t need/use them? Any de-clutter tips for me? 

Objective Capsule Wardrobe – #1 De-cluttering

Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Salad

With Spring -FINALLY- settling in London, salads have become my new dinner staple. Even though I’m quite loyal to a good Caprese salad (yay, mozzarella!), there was some time last week when I simply couldn’t get the idea of a Bahn-Mi sandwich off my head. But since it is impossible to find a good baguette in London (believe me, I’ve tried!), I decided to go for a Bahn-Mi inspired salad. And it was delicious!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladFor two people, you’ll need:

  • one carrot, cut into thin ribbons (I did this using my vegetable peeler)
  • one lime
  • fresh chilli (I used about half)
  • one clove of garlic
  • mint
  • chives
  • 5 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of fish sauce (+ some to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • about 10 radishes
  • 200g uncooked prawns
  • baby gems (to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to serve)

(Yes, that IS a lot of stuff. It just happens that my kitchen’s cupboards are better stock than most stores…)

Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad1- Prep your (quick pickled) carrots: In a box with a lid, mix the carrot ribbons and a teaspoon of salt. Close the box and shake it off. After a few minutes, rinse off the salt. Add the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Close the box and shake it until the sugar has dissolved. Leave it to the side until you’re ready to serve.  
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad
Onto the rest of the prep: Dice your garlic, cut up your chilli and slice off your herbs, your cucumber and radishes. Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladAs it happens, rolling the mint makes it much easier to chop, in case you were wondering!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladMarinate your prawns: in a bowl, mix the prawns, the lime juice, the sliced chilli and chopped garlic. Add the fish sauce, mix thoroughly and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Once that’s over, pour the whole lot in a pan and cook until dry (the marinade should entirely evaporate).

Dress your plate as nicely as you can starting with the salad leaves and piling up all the other goodies on top (cucumber, radishes, pickled carrots, prawns). Add a bit of fish sauce (about one tablespoon will do) and a dash of sesame oil, as well as salt and pepper (and maybe a sprinkle of chilli pepper if you want).
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladTop up with fresh herbs and admire your work… or you know, just tuck in!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladWhat’s your favourite salad? Looking for inspiration, hit me with your recipes!

Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Salad

Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with Yelp

It seems pizza is always better when you get it from outside (as opposed from making it at home). Or is it just me? Either way, I was determined to get to the bottom of it (and hopefully learn a few tricks along the way)!

So last week, I joined a group of overexcited Yelpers (because PIZZA!) for a pizza masterclass at Pizza Rossa.
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpI was a bit early, so I walk around Leadenhall Market for a while and took in the views (did I ever tell you about this weird obsession of mine with The City’s buildings?) before heading to Pizza Rossa. “Passion by the slice” the sign said. Good sign (geddit?). I believe people who love what they do always do it better. Time to taste-test my theory (and my pizza-making skills, obviously!). Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpEverybody was handed glasses of wine (when in Italy, party like the Italians!) and we got stuck in. After being told about how Pizza Rossa all started out and being promised we were going to make the lightest pizza dough of all times, it was time to get our hands dirty!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAs for all good things, it started with flourCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpTrying really hard the urger to start a flour fight there! 
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAdding in some water

Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpSofar, so good. But then we added yeast, and that’s when it all got a bit lot more… sticky!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpResulting in me having to go halfsies with my partner, whose dough was too dry, for the two of us to have more managable balls of dough! From then on, our newly separated siamese pizza dough babies behaved (we were both really proud)!

All it took to finish the prep was a bit of oil and some salt. And a lot of arm workout! Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAnd then some more to roll it all out!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAfter this, there was A LOT of pizza (and the dough was indeed very light, which might have led me to eat even more than I intended to) and quite abit of wine too (the Italians sure know how to party!). And of course, that’s when my phone decided to stop working. Which might be for the best as you won’t be able to tell how many slices I’ve had…

I have no picture to prove how delicious everything was, but take my words on it and next time you’re in the City for lunch (or dinner, or anytime inbetween really!), just go get yourself a few slices (my favourite was the prosciutto & butternut squash one!)!

I, however, went home with my own little pizza dough ball (which wasn’t little at all!). So I had to make more pizza (oh no!). And I can tell you, making pizza with your fingers crossed (hoping for it to be as delicious as the ones I had the day before) is not easy!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpEither I was lucky or I’m some sort of pizza genius because the dough ended up being so fluffy and soft! Or maybe I was just taught really well! Rolling it was a bit challenging but really fun since air bubbles were desperately trying to kind their way out!

The pros at Pizza Rossa advised to follow several steps to bake your pizza. First you roll the dough out and bake it for about 4 minutes at a really high temperature (250 °C).
Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpThen you add tomato sauce and bake it for another 4 min.Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAfter which you should get something looking a bit like this!Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAll that’s left to do afterwards is to pile your toppings high and bake for a further 2-5 minutes (we went for red onions, red peppers, chorizo dice, basil and sausage leftovers. And LOADS of mozzarella!).Cake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpCake + Whisky | Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with YelpAnd tadaaaah! Does that look like a majestic homemade pizza or what?

I definitely have Luca & Corrado from Pizza Rossa to thank for it! Now to see if I can do as well by myself…

Pizza Rossa, 4-12 Whittington Avenue London EC3V 1AB

*Want to join into the Yelp fun? Become a Yelper! We can even be Yelp-buddies and drink wine together at various event! What do you say?*

Pizza Masterclass at Pizza Rossa with Yelp

George’s Day Dessert – Strawberries & (Coconut) Cream

If dragon slaying is not on your agenda for today (who even has time for that nowadays?), it doesn’t mean you can celebrate St George’s Day! I was short on time, so I decided to go with a really easy re-interpretation of the great British Strawberry & Cream classic, but with a bit of an exotic twist…
George Day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut CreamYou wouldn’t suspect it, but that’s actually a dairy-free, totally vegan-friendly (and fairly healthy) take on the traditional recipe thanks to the use of coconut creamGeorge Day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut CreamAnd it’s the easiest of things to make! All you have to do is whip your coconut cream until soft peaks form (pretty much like you would with regular cream), slice up your strawberries and layer it all up in pretty glasses (mine are Bodum), and tadaaah! 🍓George Day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut CreamGeorge Day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut CreamGeorge day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut CreamI would highly recommend you listen to your heart when it comes to adding extra toppings; I went for fresh passionfruit and my boyfriend with maple syrup and both versions were delicious! And I’m pretty sure chocolate chips or salted caramel sauce would work wonders too!George Day Easy Dessert | Strawberry & Coconut Cream🍓 How are you celebrating the most British day of the year? Should I stick to my Pimm’s in the Garden plan or do you have any recipe I should check out? 🍓

George’s Day Dessert – Strawberries & (Coconut) Cream

Wahaca | Mexican Market Eating | Islington

I initially didn’t plan to write a review of Wahaca (hence the terrible picture quality). We went there kind of by default on a Sunday evening when there simply wasn’t enough food in the fridge to cook dinner, and everything else in the neighbourhood seemed to have already closed.

But then, just like the first time I visited, the utter brilliance of it all hit be. I tend not to be the biggest fan of so-called “chain restaurants” (which I most often than not find a bit “meh”) but Wahaca is most definitely an exception to that rule. So I obviously HAD TO write about it. Also I fell in love with Frijoles, and that was in itself enough of a reason for a review!

I usually blame chains for lacking in originality and/or authenticity and lower-than-standard food quality. Wahaca however definitely can’t be fault on either of these points. Also, they do cracking little cocktails!
Cake + Whisky | WahacaThere were many treats on the cocktail list (Margaritaaaaaas! 🍸) but my eyes were drawn to the Rhubarb Mezcalita special… Cake + Whisky | WahacaAnd God, was I glad I went with it! It was perfectly balanced, which I always find somewhat tricky with rhubarb. Also tried the Hibiscus Mojito, which was refreshing but would have benefited from more hibiscus flavours to make it truly interesting. If I manage to get my hands on some hibiscus flowers, I might actually give it a go as it truly is an interesting flavour combination! Cake + Whisky | WahacaWith obligatory Guacamole (read “I’ll never EVER pass on an opportunity to get guacamole”), we had all we needed to survive the dreaded test of menu-picking.Which I must admit I didn’t get very involved in because 1. I wanted everything 2. I was much too busy scooping guacamole on tortilla chips.

Also, I must confess this was actually one of the best guacamoles I’ve eaten in restaurants sofar. I pretty much gobbled up the entire thing all to myself (#sorrynotsorry), so I don’t know how credible I still am saying this, but maybe a touch more lemon/lime juice would make it absolutely perfect to my eyes. Cake + Whisky | WahacaCake + Whisky | WahacaApparently I was right not to get involved in the whole menu-picking thing, as I was soon faced with quite literally ALL THE TACOS! 🙌Cake + Whisky | WahacaWe started off our little improvised feast with the Chicken Pipian, which paired really well with Wahaca’s own hot sauce. I had sort of mixed feelings about this one: on one hand, I absolutely loved the nuttiness brought by the pumpkin seeds as well as the crunchy red cabbage topping but found the chicken a bit dry…Cake + Whisky | WahacaFollowing up with the Pork Pibil, which was already pretty great by itself, but reached new highs when paired with the fruity hot sauce! Cake + Whisky | WahacaBut the dish to rule them all was the MSC Fish Tacos. Deliciously crispy panko-crumbed cod with the freshest slaw I’ve ever eaten, balanced out with creamy-hot chipotle mayo and tangy pickled cucumbers; there simply was no faulting them on anything. I can only urge you to get your hands on some!Cake + Whisky | WahacaMy one true love though? See that brown-ish paste on the right handside of the picture. Yes really. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s dream-material. Or Frijoles, as people who aren’t quite as obsessed with the magnificent butteriness of this rich blackbean stew call it.Cake + Whisky | WahacaRounding it all up with a slice of the Chocolate Tres Leche Cake. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will order this again as it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. From the description I was hoping for a slightly sticky, intensely caramel-flavoured cake but it rather had a sponge-y texture I found a bit dry… Now that I think of it, I come to wonder if the cake is made with chocolate or cocoa…

What: Fresh Mexican small plates (best excuse ever to taste everything!) that might very well surprise you!

How much: About £40 for 2 people (with drinks)

Tip: If you have the chance to put your hands on the Rhubarb Mezcalita, go for it, it’s GREAT! I’d also advice you to get a double portion of Frijoles (one per person might seem a bit excessive, but I’d rather skip dessert than share those!). Actually, that’s probably what I’ll do next time!

Where: Wahaca, 68-69 Upper Street, London N1 0NY

Wahaca | Mexican Market Eating | Islington

25 before 25

I’m not the kind of person who love birthdays. Or actually, I love them when it’s somebody else’s (because it gives me a good excuse to bake cakes and write cards and wrap presents and do all the things I love).

Cake + Whisky | Another Birthday
A previous birthday party of mine (and the definite proof I shouldn’t be a fashion blogger!)

I’m, however, not quite as good at dealing with my own birthday. I have this weird thing with presents, and I definitely don’t know how to deal with surprises.Oh, and I don’t quite like the ‘I’m so oooooold’ feeling (even if I probably shouldn’t worry about this too much as I’m still being asked for IDs in most places…).

But this year’s a big one as I’m going to be turning 25 in 4 months. I can hardly believe it, it’s like each year is shorter than the one before. So I thought I’d make it a bit less crazy/scary by setting myself 25 goals to reach before my birthday (so I feel like I’ve done things with my life etc etc…).


1. Eat at Duck & WaffleCake + Whisky | Duck & Waffle | London04/05/2015: I was told to order the signature Duck & Waffle dish and it did not disappoint.

2. Make jam (pinapple-rum-vanilla IS a winning combination, in case you were wondering!)

3. Eat jellyfish (what do you say, yay or yuck?)

4. Make pickled turnipsCake + Whisky | Lebanese pickles

5. Make falafels at home (Can you feel the Lebanese feast coming?)

6. Poach eggs (it’s just ridiculous how long I’ve postponned that!)

7. Go to Street Feast

8. Cook at least one recipe from all of my cookbooks

9. Have really good sushi (it’s been too long!)

10. Have dinner in a gastropub (see #9)Cake + Whisky | Pig & Butcher, Islington25/04/2015: Excellent cod brandade (and overall meal) at The Pig and Butcher

11. Write another “5 healthy recipes” article Cake + Whisky | 5 lunchbox ideas | Mexican Chicken Salad15/06/2015: 5 new recipes including this delicious Mexican-ispired chicken salad!


12. Book tickets to The Lion King

13. Go to Greenwich

14. Go to the V&A


15. Keep up with daily abs exercise for 1 month

16. Fit in my jean shorts again

17. Get a pedicure

18. De-clutter my wardrobe

19. and my kitchen cupboards!

20. Get tested for HIV (not fun, I hate bloodtests!)

21. Read 10 books (any recommendations?) Sofar I’ve read: Une Page d’Amour, Emile Zola; La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret, Emile Zola; 1984, George Orwell; The 13 problems, Agatha Christie; Not that kind of girl, Lena Dunham (5/10)


22. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been I’m going to the US at the end of June! Wooo!

23. Give a talk

24. Learn how to use the manual settings on my camera

25. Organise something special to celebrate being 1/4-of-a-century old!

What do you want to achieve this year? Anything exciting? Let me know!

25 before 25

#FiftyChefs: The Hands that feed London | Photography | Shoreditch

I grew up in a family where food was very very important. It was never just fuel. Food is social. It’s an import  moment in the day where you should get together with friends, family or someone else.” says Michel Roux Jr on the introductory picture of Fifty Chefs: The Hands That feed London.

From that moment on, I knew I’d love it. 50 or so chefs, facing the objective of the talented Katie Wilson, revealing how they came to cooking and showing how a lifetime behind the pots and pans has changed them. Showing their scars, reminding us that despite it looking like a very glamourous choice of carreer, life in a kitchen is tough, loud, tiring. But in the honest eyes and the tired smiles, each one of them still shows that cooking is their life and no matter how hard, they wouldn’t exchange it for the world.

Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographyCake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographySome of the UK’s top chefs and some not-so-well-known, yet still top-knotch restauranteurs.Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographyI especially liked reading about Nuno Mendes‘ (of the Chiltern Firehouse fame) tatoos (and how they remind him where he comes from and went through).
Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | Photographyfifty-chefs-7Also very touching where those stories about those places which became some of London’s top dining spots almost by accident. Because the people who created them worked hard, day and night, and cared about the quality of the food and the service they were providing to their customers.Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographyCake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographySo many hands, so many faces, so many stories making up London’s exciting, incredibly diverse food scene.Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographyMy favourite of the pictures was probably that of Bread Ahead‘s Justin Gellatly, which reminded me of my dad’s (who started working as a pastry chef when he was 15). I guess when it comes to food, we never really forget what we grew up with…Cake + Whisky | #FiftyChefs Exibition | PhotographyFrom Shoreditch, with love! ❤

#FiftyChefs: The Hands that feed London | Photography | Shoreditch

Bitters & Rye | London’s best cocktail bar.

There are very few places that make me smile from ear to ear every single time I visit. Bitters & Rye is one of them.

We first visited on Valentine’s Day, and the love story has been going on since then. And just like it is always difficult to find the words to tell people about a fairly-new-but-definitely-here-to-stay love story, I’ve been looking for the words to tell you about this little gem.

The first time we visited, it was because we saw the sign advertising brilliant cocktails. We had a bit of time before heading to dinner (at another one of those London gems I could talk about for hours), so we thought we might as well check it out. We were really early, so the bar was entirely empty. The team was putting the finishing touches to their Valentine’s decoration. We sat at the bar and ordered two cocktails from the Valentine’s menu. And nobody raised an eyebrow when I asked for the St Clement’s Sour. First good sign; I usually get a lot of “are you sure that’s what you want, wouldn’t you rather have *insert any flower-flavoured drink here*?”.

We got our drinks and they were really really good indeed. Perfectly balanced, and both with this little touch that keeps things interesting. We chatted for a little while over our empty glasses when Stav came and introduced herself with a simple “Talk to me“. So that’s what we did. The discussion was fairly simple tough as we were just asked “Which spirit?“. And after a bit of stirring and shacking, another glass appeared in front of us. And that secret cocktail was perfectly designed to match both of our tastes. That was it, we were hooked.

As we left for our dinner reservation, we were hugged like old friends and told to come back very soon. And that’s what we’ve been doing since then.

Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsWe usually order our first drinks from the menu. Take the time to read the descriptions; it’ll give you an idea of what this place is about: really good cocktails, but most importantly, creativity, memories and people. And making sure everyone meets their perfect drink.Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsI doubt I’ll ever run out of things to discover. The bar is far too well stocked for that. Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsI fell in love with the Whisky Sour the first time I tried it and haven’ changed my mind since then (also, *THOSE* amaretto cherries!!).
Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsA little caramel and whisky number (as with all of Stav’s mystery creations, we weren’t quite sure what we were drinking, but that’s part of the fun!)Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsMy favourite of that night (another surprise cocktail, with vodka, lemon and violet). Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsStav truly is the heart and soul of this place, in her own words her “baby”. She makes every one of her customers feel like they’re the most important person in the bar. Also, I’m pretty sure she reads minds. How else would she always get it right when she whips up something for you without you even saying a word?Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsOld fashioned (?) and Grapefruit Daiquiri. 

There was a third round, and also some limoncello shots as well, but by that time, I was obviously smilling a lot too much to click pictures. I went back home with that fuzzy feeling in my stomach that only a handful of places gave me. And the need to tell the world about Bitters & Rye. Just say hi! for me when you go!

What: London’s best cocktails. And most definitely London’s niccest bar team. They make you feel like family and you’ll never want to go anywhere else.

How much: around £8 per cocktail. Plus things money can’t buy.

Where: Bitters & Rye, Paesan’s basement, 2 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4PX

Bitters & Rye | London’s best cocktail bar.

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas

I’m one of those people who always, ALWAYS carry food everywhere they go. No matter where I’m going, it’s extremely likely you’ll find some sort of snack in my bag. And by “some sort of snack”, I mean enough food to feed a small army. For several days.

Of course, I am also obsessed with lunchboxes but I tend to almost carry the same things (mainly leftovers). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers BUT if I want to make sure I don’t get food-envy come lunchtime (and end up going down to Pret for some chocolate croissants), I clearly needed some change! So I’ve been working on some healthy-bunny recipes over the looooong weekend and here 5 of my favourite new lunch ideas!

No-carb Burritos with Broccoli & Avocado (V)
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas
Inspired by a few of Chocolate & Zucchini‘s recipes (see links underneath).

(Serves 1) Prep your charred broccoli/avocado/tahini salad as explained here (I added chilli flakes and pomegranate seeds too). Make a one-egg omelette as explained here. Over-fill your omelette (isn’t that the only way to make a burrito anyway?). Serve with more charred broccoli.

Now that I think of it, I’m sure the salad would be lovely with hard-boiled eggs mixed in too (and probably more convenient to put in a lunch box…).

Warm green beans salad with Jamon and walnuts
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by Chocolate & Zucchini‘s excellent eponymous book.

(Serves 1) Cook green beans in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, make a grain mustard + olive oil + cider vinegar + black pepper dressing. Toss in the beans. Sprinkle with Jamon (I brought mine back from Barcelona!), walnuts and grated parmesan. 

Zucchini noodles alla puttanesca (V)Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by The Londoner‘s brilliant “Slutty Pasta but adapted to be vegetarian!

(Serves 1) Using a vegetable peeler (or a spiralizer if you have one of those!), make linguine-like ribbons with 1 big-ish zucchini. In a pan, cook 2 cloves of garlic into a spoonful of olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add in 6-8 sliced black olives, a spoonful of chopped capers and a pinch of chilli flakes. Toss in 1/4 of a can of tomatoes, 2 table spoons of soy sauce and let the whole lot reduce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce on your coodles and top with cracked black pepper, a little bit of olive oil and some grated parmesan.

Pan-fried kale, soft boiled eggs and parsley sauce (V)

Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas(Serves 1) In a food processor, blend 4 garlic cloves, half a bunch of parsley , salt, pepper and olive oil until you get a fairly homogenous green sauce. Put a pot of water to boil. When it is, add in your eggs and cook for 5 minutes, then cool the eggs under cold water and shell them off. Pan-fry about a bowl of shredded curly kale in a spoonful of olive oil (add a bit of water if it browns too quickly). Sprinkle with salt, dried garlic, black pepper and chilli flakes. Top with the sauce. 

Vietnamese Prawn SoupCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas 1(Serves 2) In a big saucepan, fry some ginger, a few garlic cloves and the white part of a couple of spring onions. Add in two carrots cut into little straws, half a can of sweet corn and a few handfuls of bean sprouts. Add in some stock (I used some I made, but that would work as well!). Season with salt, chilli flakes, fish sauce and soy sauce, thenadd in your prawns (I used frozen un-cooked ones). Let the whole lot simmer for a few minutes, then pour the soup in a bowl and top with the green part of the spring onions, a small handful of chopped mint leaves and chives. 

What did you have for lunch today? Anything I could be inspired by? I’m always looking for new ideas!!

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas