Halloween is coming to town

The spookiest night of the year is only a few days away! How exciting!

I’m not usually one for skulls, witches and ghosts, but Halloween‘s almost there and it was about time I (and this blog) got in the mood (board) for it!

Halloween Inspiration | SkullsHalloween Inspiration | Dia de Muertos Sugar Skull make upHalloween Inspiration | Pineapple Jack O LanternWitch from The Cherry Blossom GirlHalloween Inspiration | Snow White Poisoned AppleHalloween Inspiration | Gingerbread skeletons from Donna HeyMummy from The Cherry Blossom GirlHalloween Inspiration | Spider web + witchHalloween Inspiration | Halloween cocktailHalloween Inspiration | Adams FamilySretsis-AW13_Backstage14-682x1024Halloween InspirationHalloween Inspiration | Bat

Do you guys have any exciting plans this Halloween? (mine definitely include eating too much candy, watching spooky movies and reliving my Hallow’s Eve childhood memories!)

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Halloween is coming to town

Rabbit restaurant, Chelsea

If there is tapas made anywhere in London, it’s likely you’ll find me somewhere around some time soon.

So after visiting one of the most fantastic exhibitions of the year, we went down to the woods and stumbled upon Rabbit on the way.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Opened by three brothers who grew up on a farm in Sussex, the small restaurant makes for the most charming rural spot right in the middle of Chelsea (oh, the irony!).

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + WhiskyRabbit | British tapas | Cake + WhiskyRabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

With its wood and stone walls, its subtle natural tones and its decidedly bucolic decoration, Rabbit offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of London’s metropolitan life.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

And how cool are those antic-tractor-seats-turned-chairs? They definitely give you a sense of that farm-to-table business rabbit is all about!

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Definitely not cool enough to divert my attention away from the food though!

Especially when the mise-en-bouches look as good as those!

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Pretty-as-a-picture Beetroot Crisp, Goats Cheese and Blackberry Jam.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Hake Rillettes which remind me of summer holiday picnics.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

And my favourite of all: the glorious Confit Rabbit and Tarragon on Parmesan Sablé.

So good I could have eaten dozens of those.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

But it was a good call to keep some stomach space for one of Rabbit’s signature dishes: Chorizo and Labneh.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Studded with crisp bread shards and incredibly morish kale crisps, it has almost nothing in common with the Spanish sausage dish but is equally delicious!

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

The Lamb Chips disappear so quickly I barely had time to click a picture.

Another of the restaurant’s signature dishes and an absolute must-order in my book (and I’m sure anyone else’s).

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

The prettiest of all plates came in the form of a lot of cauliflower.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Rainbow Cauliflower, Smoked Onions, Rocket and Almond Pesto.

Just as delicious as it is pretty and the kind of dishes I hoped we’d see more of in restaurants.

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

Another winner was the Duck Liver, Radicchio, Chives and Golden Grapes.

Deeply umami and a game changer (see what I did there?)!

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

The Wild Mushroom Ragu is a strong favourite amongst the restaurant’s patrons.

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Crispy sage leaves, creamy celeriac mash and some of the best (and most truffled, in the good sense of the word) damn mushrooms I’ve ever had!

Rabbit | British tapas | Cake + Whisky

I’m quite demanding when it comes to pudding, but I might just have found my new favourite.

Honeycomb, dipped in chocolate and served atop dollops of vanilla mascarpone.

Basically heaven in a mouthful and a combination I fully intend to re-use very soon!

And all together quite representative of the food at Rabbit: simple, sophisticated and just right. Everything good food should be.

Rabbit, 172 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UP Rabbit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rabbit restaurant, Chelsea

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery

Two Cs are always better than one, so Chanel is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to haute couture.

Creating one icone after the other, all stamped with the brand’s double C logo, the French fashion house is one I’ve always been fascinated about.

So after watching hours of documentary and movies, there was no way on Earth I’d miss the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Early on Saturday morning, I met my friend Ilaria on Sloane Square.

Coffee in one hand and smartphone in the other, I was ready for a journey through the origins of Chanel‘s creations.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

My jaw dropped as we entered the building and pretty much stayed down there the whole time.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The enchanted journey through the house’s creativity first took us through a reconstitution of Coco Chanel‘s iconic apartment and shop of 21 rue Cambon.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In the next room, black and white drawings give some insight into the brand’s first steps.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

From the world-famous logo combining two interlaced Cs and a wheat pattern…

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

…to Mademoiselle Coco’s inspiration for the sportive, casual chic clothing she was the first to make popular.

Quickly after this, the brand grew in popularity and turned towards high fashion, but Chanel’s influence quickly extended far beyond couture clothing.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In 1920, Gabrielle Chanel commissioned the creation of a perfume to Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Mademoiselle Coco always had potent association for the number 5, so when presented with small glass vials containing sample scent compositions numbered 1 to 5 and 20 to 24 for her assessment, she chose the fifth vial and decided to let this sample number five keep the name it has already “for good luck”.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Chanel no. 5 has been chosen as a signature scent by millions of modern, elegant women ever since.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

In 1932, Coco Chanel also designed her first and only jewellery collection, “Bijoux de Diamants“.

My favourite part of the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition though? The one focusing on the the House’s essential symbols.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Camellia flower and the pearls.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Venitian Moor.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Black Line.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The Wheat.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The golden chain and, more recently, Greek pop.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Just as iconic are Chanel’s signature ‘petite veste’ tweet and knowledge of tailoring.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

But the part all of London’s fashionista made a beeline for?

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

The gorgeous gowns of course!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

Rows after rows of sublime, black lace creations.

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With a bit of bling and feather here and there…

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

And how gorgeous is this hand-embroidered beauty? ?

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

It was only fitting we finished our visit by paying our respect to the very people who created that golden wonder; the Ateliers Lessage.

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + WhiskyMademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

We didn’t get to experience their know-how first hand but spend quite a while starring at those who did!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery | Cake + Whisky

If you’re as interested in fashion and its history as I am, you absolutely MUST go see Mademoiselle Privé. It’ll be at the Saatchi gallery until November 1st and it’s every inch as classy and fabulous as it says on the box!

Mademoiselle Privé at the Saatchi Gallery

Winter Chai Rice Pudding

There’s nothing quite as depressing as how shorter days get this time of the year.

So I try to cheer myself up the best way I know how: with gallons of pumpkin soup and a generous sprinkle of winter spices in everything else I cook.

And rice pudding is no exception!

Combining traditional Indian chai flavours with the warmth of traditional European winter-y spices, this super-comforting Winter Chai Rice Pudding is my new go-to dessert!

Winter Chai Rice Pudding | Cake + Whisky

Winter Chai Rice Pudding (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 1 small glass of Arborio rice, 2-3 pints of whole milk, 3 cs of runny honey, 1 vanilla pod, 3 slightly curshed cardamom seeds, 1 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan

2. Cook on low heat stirring regularly until the rice is no longer crunchy (about 30-35 min)

3. Serve warm or cold (and with some red berry coulis if you’re feeling so inclined)

What’s your favourite recipe to beat the winter blues? 

Winter Chai Rice Pudding

Honey & Co, Fitzrovia, London

I had been meaning to visit husband-and-wife run cafe Honey & Co since the first day I came back to London, over a year ago.

Famous for their apparently excellent bruch (which I am still to try out), their delicious cakes and their modern takes on Jerusalem food, it has everything for me to fall in love.

And indeed in love I fell.

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

One thing that was not on the “list of reasons I’m probably going to love this restaurant” were the cocktail but after a sip of the OB Gin & Tonic, I’ll most definitely add it up onthere.

If you like orange blossom as much as I do, make sure you give it a go very soon!

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

It is a well-known fact that warm bread is one of life’s great pleasure, so ordering the Bread selection was obviously an excellent call.

The homemade pitta bread was delicious and light as a cloud, but the slightly crunchy potato loaf and the brioch-ey challah bread definitely stole the show!

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + WhiskyHoney & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Red falafels are one of Honey & Co’s signature dishes and combine the usual chickpea-based mix with sweet red peppers, enhanced by the punchy accompagnying garlic yoghurt.

A classic well worth ordering!

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

My favourite dish was without a doubt what seemed to be the simplst of them all on paper: Crisped cauliflower with tahini, parsley, crisp pitta & Legbar egg.

It was however much more complex once on your fork.

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

And look at that perfectly soft-cooked egg! #Fodporn at its very best!

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Crispy quail in sweet spice is another highlight of the new Autumn Menu.

Think what you want (including that quail are the most annoying thing to eat EVER!) but there truly is a subtlety and a sweetness in quail you won’t really find in any other bird.

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Even better though was the accompagnying Whole wheat, grapes, pinenuts & herb salad.

This one’s definitely going to become a new feature of all of my Autumn menus!

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Puddings are often given as one of Honey & Co’s strength.

Which you can probably tell just by the look of the Marzipan cake with caramelised figs and custard.

But the true star of the show?

Honey & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + WhiskyHoney & Co | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

This INCREDIBLE Coconut, plum and pistachio cake.

A truly magnificient (and slightly psychedelic) thing worthy of the best GBBO’s bakes.

Which definitely make me want to go back, if only to try more from the cake counter!

Honey & Co 25A Warren St, London W1T 5LZ 

Honey & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Honey & Co, Fitzrovia, London

7 Silver Linings to Being in a Long Distance Relationship

Last week was a bit tough on me as I had to say goodbye to my boyfriend who is going away for a few months.

Let’s get this right: being in a long distance relationship SUCKS. Unfortunately, I know far too much about that already.

Long Distance Silver Linings | Cake + Whisky

It sucks that you can’t go out for dinner together, that you don’t get to see each other every day, that you might not even be able to talk as often as you might want to. It sucks that you no longer get to do all the little things.

But there definitely are some silver linings as well…

1. Goodbyes usually come with a side of really, really good food.

Long distance relationship silver lining #1: goodbyes usually include really really good food.

Best bread I’ve had in a long time. Well played @mobalondon!

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Dinner in your favourite restaurant(s) and enough chocolate to last you until Christmas are only the beginning. But more on that later this week…

2. All the presents!  Goodbye presents, Welcome back presents… Basically like Christmas but better!

Working from home with this little fellow by my side. And by working, I totally mean trying to find the perfect name for him… What do you reckon? ?

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I mean just look at him, isn’t he just the CUTEST?

Found my cryptonite. Somebody please take those away from me. ??

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Also, those! ❤❤❤

3. Not going to the restaurant that often anymore might actually be a good thing for your ongoing “healthy eating” plans.

Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad

Sure, I’ll probably miss having fries three times a week but it probably is better that way. Vegetable and nice home-cooked meals FTW!

4. Nobody’s judging your poor TV-choices.

Gossip Girl GIF

Gossip Girl marathon? Disney movie sing-along? America’s Next Top Model binge-watching? Yes, yes and YES!

5. Sleeping in the middle of the bed.

‘No sleep. I go days without sleep.’ #whoamikidding #sleepyhead #disneyquotes

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Guest who doesn’t have to keep pulling on the blanket all night?

6. You can eat whatever YOU want for dinner.

My favourite squash soup recipe | Cake + Whisky

Helloooooooo pumpkin soup and bread roll! I know I probably shouldn’t be that excited but that’s what living with someone who doesn’t consider soup an acceptable dinner will do to you!

7. Buying Christmas presents is MUCH easier when you’re not together 24/7.

Somebody get me these socks!! #Christmas @johnlewisretail

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So maybe this year I WON’T give away too many clues and it will ACTUALLY be a surprise!

8. Making plans for when you next see each other is simply THE BEST.

Yes the best thing about not being together is definitely seing the light at the end of the tunnel and making plans for when you’ll next get to spend time together. #duh

Speaking of which… any absolute musts besides Champagne and chocolates? 

7 Silver Linings to Being in a Long Distance Relationship

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse

The first time I bought chocolate with sea salt in it, I was more than sceptical about whether or not I would like it.

But the second it touched my tongue, I was in love and blaming myself for not having guessed I’d love it. I mean, I’m SUCH a sucker for anything with salted caramel in it, so it only made sense, didn’t it?

And with this Sea salt & Milk chocolate mousse, I took the whole shebang a step further by adding yet more salt to my favourite Green & Black Milk chocolate with Sea salt.

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

The result went beyond everything I could have ever hoped for; what I got was perfectly balanced, sweet, salty, almost caramel-y airy and light mousses.

Trust me on that one: take a few minutes and make this tonight. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and did I tell you those were only about 180 cal each… #JustSaying

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

Sea salt and Milk Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (serves 4): 1 bar of Green & Black Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt (100g), 2 big eggs, a good pinch of salt flakes 

1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.

2. Separate your eggs so you have the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.

3. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.

4. Add the egg yolks and the salt flakes to the melted chocolate and mix thouroughly (you might want to add a few spoonful of hot water as well if it gets to thick).

5. Fold the chocolatey mix through the eggs whites.

6. Divide the mixture between small glasses/cups and pop in the fridge for at least two hours for it to set.

Sea salt Milk Chocolate Mousse