Oldroyd | Islington, London

This whole “small plate” concept is one I can definitely get behind.

For people like me who struggle to pick only a few items out of a menu, it’s a godsend as it allows us to try a bit of everything, all in the name of sharing and being social.

Not that you need to be a big group to justify ordering the entire menu at OldroydCake + Whisky | Oldroyd restaurantWhich is rather a good thing as I wanted to order every single dish.

In my book, this is the sign of a really good restaurant indeed. Not that I was expecting anything else from Tom Oldroyd, formerly of the Polpo fame.
Cake + Whisky | OldroydWe started off the meal on a high indeed with Summer radishes, smoked cod’s roe & celery salt.

Crunchy, peppery, smoky… So good it got the BF reaching for more (and he doesn’t even like cod roe!).
Cake + Whisky | OldroydBut the best was still to come. More specifically in the form of the Crab tagliarini provençal with brown crab rouille. 

A stellar dish and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten (and you know me, I do not say that lightly!)Cake + Whisky | OldroydLamb & almond meatballs with salsa romesco was the ultimate comfort food and the pickled garlic slices made for an interesting, refreshing twist on the old classic.  Cake + Whisky | OldroydLast (but not least) of the savoury dishes was the Grilled pork ribeye with borlotti beans, chard and hazelnut pistou.

The meat was cooked to perfection and the sweetness of the hazelnut pesto complemented it very well indeed! Cake + Whisky | OldroydAnd so did the zucchini friesCake + Whisky | OldroydWe moved onto pudding with the Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse with salted pistacchio praline and fresh raspberries. Cake + Whisky | OldroydBut most importantly, we finally got our (admitidely greedy) hands on the Stone fruit & brioche pain perdu, which I’d had my eyes on since the beginning of the meal. And there’s only one word to describe this dish: GLORIOUS!

That dessert alone could easily convince me to pass the doors for another meal at Oldroyd.

That is, if I’m ever organised enough to get a table… the rest of London seems to be well aware of how good a restaurant it is! So if you’re planning a visit, it might be safer to book a table

Oldroyd344 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0PD

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Oldroyd | Islington, London

6 beauty new-ins #1

I already said it and I’ll say it again: I’d be the worst beauty blogger in the world.

But does it stops me from buying loads of beauty stuff? Nooooo! Of course not! And I’ve been especially pro-active on that front lately… 🙈🙈🙈
10 Beauty New-Ins, July 2015 | Cake + WhiskyThe worst part is, I’m been using most of those every day since I got them. How did I even live before, I have no idea!

Like toe separators. Those really shouldn’t be a revolution in anyone’s life in the 21st century, and yet until last week, I ended up with nailpolish all over my toes for lack of having purchased that most necessary accessory, but this mistake is now fixed at last.

The Bath & Beauty Works’ mini hand sanitizers I obviously brought back from my US trip after having heard literally EVERYONE raving about it on YouTube. It was a bit of a challenge for me to find sents I actually liked (I’m not much of a sickly-sweet perfume fan…) but I really like how small the bottles are (so convenient to carry them around!) and I’m really happy I got my hads on those.

Having struggle to apply my Bourgeois Bronzing Powder for far too long, I finally took the plunge and got myself a shiny brand-new RealTechniques Coutour brush. It’s so soft and I recently caught myself dreaming of a pillow made of the exact same material… (oh, and it makes applying bronzer SO easy too, in case you were wondering…)

My absolute favourite amongst my new beauty purchases is most probably that Essie nailpolish I picked up in Macy’s on my last day in New York. The name itself (Pret-A-Surfer) is THE BEST and the colour (the perfect mix of blue and lavender) is the one I had been looking for forever. Quest achieved.

With new nailpolish always comes new nailpolish remover (or am I the only one always running out of nailpolish remover when I’d most need to have it at hands?). I bought those little Superdry nailpolish remover pads mainly for the compact size of them but I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised with how great they did their job and will definitely re-purchase those again in the future (and not just because the box is the cuttest and I can think of a billion way to re-purpose it…)

Last but not least, that Shea Butter Cleasing Oil from L’Occitane is SO GREAT it’s made me want to take my make-up off EVERY SINGLE NIGHT without any exception at all. Which if you know me and how lazy I am when it comes to beauty stuff, is quite a revolution really! It’s so thick and it leaves your skin all soft and comfortable, I can’t get enough of it! And don’t even get me started on the smell…

*Not pictured* Josie Marant’s Coconut Watercolour blush (which is the prettiest blush I’ve EVER used); and the cutest lipstick EVER…

What are your latest beauty discoveries? Anything I should know about, now that I have the essentials covered? 

6 beauty new-ins #1

8 photos of happiness

It might seem a bit voyeuristic of me but I actually love tag-style articles as I find them to be a really good way to get to know the person behind the blog (and the little Gossip Girl inside me finds learning secrets extremely satisfying!).

Ariel of Ariel’s Little Corner of the Internet recently created the 8 photos of happiness tag and was kind enough to nominate me. Thanks Ariel!

And while I was busy deciding which pictures to include, the lovely Helena of Helena’s Teabreak, and the darling Amanda of Amanda Bootes tagged me as well! Thanks both!

The rules are very simple: it’s basically about sharing 8 pictures that make us happy and then sharing the love (and happiness) with other bloggers by inviting them to join into the tag!

So here are my 8 pictures!

8 photos of hapiness tag | Cake + WhiskyThis picture of me and my brother when we were kids is the cutest one I have and it gives me all the feelings.Cake + Whisky | FamilyThis picture of my sister & me, taken on Christmas Eve 😂😂As you might have guess, Christmas parties are a bit wild in my family! 😂

I love those pictures with my siblings as they remind me of how great a time we have when we are together. Being away from them is probably the most difficult thing about living abroad, but pictures like that always make me feel better. Cake + Whisky | 8 photos of happiness tagA fantastic trip, Polaroid cameras and my ever-so-wonderful boyfriend who’s getting far too good at dealing with even the craziest sides of me and would’t even think of eating a bite before I’ve taken 25 pictures of anything that’s on a table… This picture says it all! ❤Cake + Whisky | Touring London's best coffee shops with The London Coffee FestivalCake. Duh.

Cake + Whisky | London's best ice cream at GelupoIce cream. Basically like cake but frozen and much more appropriate in a heatwave. I’ll take 1 scoop of each please-and-thank-you-very-much!Cake + Whisky | Ile de Ré France beachOh, I like to be beside the seaside! Pictured is my absolute favourite place on Earth; Ile de Ré, on the French Atlantic coast.

Cake + Whisky | A walk around London | Sunny Days & Pretty DoorsLiving in London. Yes, it’s too expensive and there are too many people and it takes you ages to go anywhere, but I love it anywayCake + Whisky | 8 photos of happinessSlow mail. The sure-fire way to put a smile on my face. If you’re unable to provide cake, that is.

And now I’m going to sit tight and look forward to seing those lovelies’ happy pictures!

Izzy of Qthee

Bella of The Other F Word

Charity of My Life’s Miscellany

Susie of Sequins and Strawberries

Ophélie of Cross my Heart and Hope to Die

Want to join in the picture fun? Don’t forget to tag me in so I can go check out your happy pictures! 

8 photos of happiness

NYC Day 4 – A day by the water [Brooklyn + Financial District + Statue of Liberty]

We spend our last day in New York on the water.
NYC city guide | East River Ferry to Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskyWe found out about the East River Ferry just as we were about to head to the Subway. But, well, as it happens, a cruise to Brooklyn was a lot more appealing than getting down into a smelly, stuffy tube station…NYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskySo up on the boat we went, leaving Manhattan and the UN Headquarters behind.NYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNot only was the boat a much more weather-appropriate mode of transportation, but you truly get a hell of a view for your buck!NYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | East River Ferry cruise| Cake + WhiskyBridge after bridge, the waves slowly led us towards the financial districtNYC City Guide | Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskySoon after, we landed in Brooklyn, where we walked along Brooklyn Bridge Park until we got hungry and raced off to the legendary Grimaldi’s
NYC City Guide | Grimaldi's pizza Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskyThe queues testify of how famous this family-run restaurant is with locals and tourists alike. NYC City Guide | Grimaldi's pizza Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Grimaldi's pizza Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskyBut considering they served us that beauty of a pizza, can you really blame them? NYC City Guide |Brooklyn Carousel | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Brooklyn | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge | Cake + WhiskyFuelled up, we walked up and down the street, in and out of shops (including the more than adorable Dabney Lee stationary store!) while chattering happily.NYC City Guide | Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge | Cake + WhiskyAfter beating around the bush bridge for hours, we finally decided to cross it. NYC City Guide | Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge | Cake + WhiskyIt was on my ultimate New York bucket list (just like every other first time tourist to New York) and I must say it did not disappoint. NYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyFeeling as small as insects, we wandered around the financial district, marvelling at each of those giants of iron and glass.NYC City Guide | The Financial District and World Trade Center Memorial | Cake + WhiskyThe World Trade Center Memorial was probably the most emotional part of this whole trip. The contrast between the towering skyscrappers and the two massive hollow fountains marquing the locations of the two World Trade Center Towers is truly heartbreaking.
NYC City Guide | Staten Island Ferry & The Statue of Liberty | Cake + WhiskyWe topped the day with another cruise aboard the Staten Island Ferry.NYC City Guide | Staten Island Ferry & The Statue of Liberty | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Staten Island Ferry & The Statue of Liberty | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Staten Island Ferry & The Statue of Liberty | Cake + WhiskyNYC City Guide | Staten Island Ferry & The Statue of Liberty | Cake + WhiskyA first trip to New York wouldn’t really have been complete without a look at the Statue of Liberty, would it? 

NYC Day 4 – A day by the water [Brooklyn + Financial District + Statue of Liberty]

White Chocolate & Matcha Blondies Recipe

I’m a bit of a cookbook addict. I spend hours browsing through any I can put my hands one, be it in Waterstones, my GP waiting room or the comfort of my grandma’s home.

Trying out new recipes and seeing how they measure up to my current favourites is something I find terribly exciting.

For that reason, there are very few recipes I’ve sworn allegiance to. But it’s no secret I made an exception for the best brownies’ recipe of all times.

This recipe truly is perfect: it’s easy and quick to make, there’s almost no dishes to clean and you get the densest, moistest, perfect brownies at the end of it.

Unfortunately, all this perfection doesn’t prevent me from experimenting and wanting to change things up a little from time to time, and last week, the idea of matcha and white chocolate blondies simply wouldn’t get out of my head and I knew I had to give my favourite recipe a re-vamp.
Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyAnd once again, the recipe proved itself to be perfect in every way.

White chocolate matcha blondies (serves 6-8)
Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyYou’ll need: 70g self-raising flour, 130g of sugar, 120g of soft butter, 2 big eggs, 200g of white chocolate, 3 teaspoons of matcha powder, 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder.Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyMatcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyIn a mixing bowl, combine the butter and the sugar and whisk until smooth and well combined.Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyCrack in the eggs and mix. Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyMatcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyMatcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyAdd the flour, the matcha powder and the vanilla powder and mix thoughroughly.  Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyMelt the white chocolate (I’m lazy so I do this in the microwave) and add it to your cake batter and whisk once again.
Matcha Blondies Recipe | Cake + WhiskyPour the batter into a buttered and flour tin and bake for about 35 minutes at 150°C. Let your blondies cool down completely before cutting them into squares.

Add some berries on the side (both the colour and flavour contrast make that combination a winner!) and try not to eat it all in one go (I dare you!)

White Chocolate & Matcha Blondies Recipe

NYC Day 3 – Central Park, The Upper East Side and Times Square

Early birds will be rewarded if they visit New York in the Summer. Because it tends to get so hot in the afternoon, you can’t really beat an early stroll around the city.
NYC UN Headquarters | Cake + WhiskyWe started off our day reviving some elementary school memories in the form of flag guessing at the UN Headquarters
NYC Chrystler building | Cake + WhiskyNYC Fifth Avenue Forever 21 | Cake + WhiskyWe then strolled through the streets and over to the Rockfeller Plaza for a bit of early morning shopping. 
NYC Rockfeller Center | Cake + WhiskyNYC The News Building, Rockfeller Center | Cake + WhiskyWe strolled through the streets, pointing at every single building and taking in as much as possible.
NYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyAfter a quick pit stop at Ess-A-Bagel (831 3rd Ave between 50th and 51st Street) to pick up food for an improvised lunch, we marched straight up to Central Park to find a quiet spot to tuck in.NYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyFuelled up, we continued our exploration and quickly stumbled upon Conservatory Water, where kids and parents alike gather to sail miniature boats. NYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyNYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyWe sat to rest our poor worn feet and observed the boats dancing and racing on the pond…
NYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyNYC Central Park| Alice in Wonderland statue | Cake + Whisky… before leaving Wonderland behind to continue our journey.NYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyNYC Central Park | Cake + WhiskyNYC New York Public Library | Cake + WhiskyWe headed North to the New York Public LibraryNYC New York Public Library | Cake + Whisky… where we met this reading-addicted gent!NYC Guggenheim Museum | Cake + WhiskyWe were taking a quick look at the Guggenheim‘s quirky architecture when we heard our stomachs grumbling in unison.NYC Gray's Papaya's hot dogs | Cake + WhiskyWe raced back to Broadway for a taste of the city’s best hotdogs at Gray’s Papaya (2090 Broadway), which is another of those New York cheap food gems you don’t want to miss out on. Certainly not the healthiest of meals, but that’s what holidays are for… right?NYC travel guide | Cake + WhiskyNYC travel guide | Cake + WhiskyNYC city guide | The Hearst Tower | Cake + WhiskyAfter lunch, we zigzagged through the street to burn off some of the calories and tick some more iconic buildings off our to-see list. 
NYC city guide | Times Square | Cake + Whisky As the sun set and fell behind the horizon, we reached Times Square.NYC city guide | Times Square | Cake + Whisky NYC city guide | Times Square | Cake + Whisky NYC city guide | Times Square | Cake + Whisky With our eyes wide open, we took as much in as possible until our head spinned, at which time we decided to beat a hasty retreat (or, as most people call it, dinner!)

NYC Day 3 – Central Park, The Upper East Side and Times Square

NYC Day 2 – Walking the Highline (+ Pride Parade 2015)

After having spent much of the morning going through airport security and sitting in planes and buses, we were keen to explore more of New York. As soon as we arrived, we ditched our bags and we were off again!NYC Pride Parade 2015 | Cake + WhiskyWe started our exploration with a taste of the day’s big event: the Pride Parade!NYC Pride Parade 2015 | Cake + WhiskyTaking place on the day following the countrywide legalisation of same-sex marriage, the atmosphere was cheerful to say the least! NYC Pride Parade 2015 | Cake + WhiskyFollowing crowds of rainbow-dressed people, we slowly made our way south and to the Highline.Walking the Highline NYC | Cake + WhiskyA popular destination for families and friends alike, the 1.45 mile-long linear park is build on a former railway of the New York Central Railroad. Walking the Highline NYC | Cake + WhiskyWalking the Highline NYC | Cake + WhiskyWith trees and flowers all around, it’s the perfect place to take a much needed nature break!
Walking the Highline NYC | Cake + WhiskyWalking the Highline NYC | Cake + Whisky… But you can also choose to marvel at the views… New York skyline to the East…Views on the Hudson River from the Highline NYC | Cake + Whisky… and the Hudson river to the West!Walking the Highline NYC IAC Building | Cake + Whisky… Not to mention some of the coolest buildings in the whole of New York! (here the ICA building, which reminds me of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum)!
Walking the Highline NYC | Street Food Ice Cream sandwich | Cake + WhiskyAfter a little while, we came accross a small street food market, where we treated ourselves to the most delicious of ice cream sandwiches.Walking the Highline NYC | Street Food Ice Cream sandwich | Cake + WhiskyFuelled up, we continued our exploration… Walking the Highline NYC | Cake + WhiskyAfter a bit more walking and a lot more chatting, we reached the end of the Highline. Walking the Highline NYC | Meatpacking district | Cake + WhiskyAnd found ourselves at the very centre of the trendy Meatpacking District.
Price Parade 2015 NYC | Cake + WhiskyPrice Parade 2015 NYC | Cake + WhiskyPrice Parade 2015 NYC | Cake + Whisky… just like every single person who took part in the parade earlier! We left the tempting sweet treats and devilishly long queues behind and went for a walk through the small streets of the Village instead. 
NYC The Village red brick building | Cake + WhiskyWe zigzagged through the area for a long while but we failed to find the Friends buildings despite all of the efforts we put into this quest.

As the sky tuned pink, we decided to call it a day and were considering our dining options when we came accross Dos CaminosDos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyWe managed to get a table on the sun-filled terrace and admired the light go from white to golden while perusing the menu. Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyWe started things off on a high with the Bacon and jalapeno guacamole.Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyDid I mention there was pork crackling onthere as well? #BorderlineGenius
Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyFrom then on, it only when from good to best with the Chorizo Mac n’ Cheese (a personal favourite). Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyMore cheese than mac, just as it should be! Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyDos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyWe also shared a plate of the goat taccos which were the juiciest taccos I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant NYC | Cake + WhiskyThe accompagnying rice & beans were delicious as well but made us achieve satiety a bit quicker than we had expected.

We skipped dessert and walked home with very full bellies and a big smile on our face, chatting happily about the great day we had just had and how excited we were for the next one… before falling in a food-induced coma the second we passed the doors!

NYC Day 2 – Walking the Highline (+ Pride Parade 2015)