How to make your new home your own in 5 easy steps

It’s been a month (give or take a couple of days) since we moved into our new flat.

And god, has it been a journey!

How to make your new home your own in 5 easy steps ● Cake + Whisky

As for any new house, there were rather big challenges –why don’t London landlords put any shelves in their wardrobes again?– and a billion of little intangible things that needed taking care of.

But here we are one month later and it finally starts feeling like home, thanks to a few tricks that really helped us (and can help you!) getting settled!

1. Get the internet set up

Home is where your phone connects automatically to the wifi. Plus, getting this done early will save you SO MUCH money on roaming charges. Money you’ll probably need for you know, food and bills and stuff…

If you already have a contract for your internet connection, get in touch ahead of time so they can transfer your account on the very day you move. Trust me, NOTHING beats collapsing on a sofa with Netflix and a nice take-away after having spend the day carrying boxes down and up stairs.

How to make your new home your own in 5 easy steps ● Cake + Whisky

2. Furniture that’s adapted to your needs

So, that’s where it gets tricky.

Most places in the UK are rented furnished and yes, it is convenient that way. But sometimes, said furnitures are anything but adapted for the space and the use you’re going to make of it.

So if you’re planning on staying in your new home for a significant amount of time, it might be worth investing some money into buying things that really work for you, be it a good sofa bed if you host guests regularly (we invested into this one and we LOVE it!), or solid wood kitchen cabinets to make all your kitchen dreams come true!

3. Frame and hang prints as soon as you can

Nothing to make a house feel more like home than having your favourite prints hanging on the walls.

Not in the poster taped or blue-tacked to the wall sort of way though! For it to truly work its magic, you’ll want to frame things up and hang them properly.

And if you can’t hang things to the walls because, well, you probably want to get your deposit back at some point, Command Strips work really well (get the biggest ones you can)…

How to make your new home your own in 5 easy steps ● Cake + Whisky

4. Let there be light!

Lighting is usually another challenge, because one lone lightbulb attached to the ceiling is never going to give you all the cosy home-y vibes.

That said, that’s an easy one to solve. A few selected small lamps and a loooooot of candles are all it takes to create softer, muuuuuch more flattering & relaxing light sources!

5. Actually spend time at home!

This one might sound like a no-brainer. And yet, when there are piles of boxes to unpack and so much cleaning to do, it can be SO tempting to avoid the problem by going out instead.

But the truth is, nothing makes a home more than the people that leave in it.

Forget about the mess and focus on what makes you feel most at home, then do exactly that.

Watch TV, fill the fridge, cook meals, take a bath… Before you even realise it, all your boxes will be empty and all your things -and you!- will have a new home!

What’s your top tip to settle into a new house and make your new home your own?

*This post was written in collaboration with solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk but all words, pictures and pile of boxes left to unpack my own!

Advertisements
How to make your new home your own in 5 easy steps

The Palomar revisited

I love Easter Monday.

All the tourists that flooded to the capital are on their way home, the Londoners that were clever enough to escape the egg-hunting crowds aren’t back yet and unlike Christmas week, all every store and restaurant worth their while are open for business.

Which means it’s one of those few magic days (together with tube-strike days) where you can get a table pretty much anywhere you fancy.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect opportunity to -finally- (re)visit the infamous, impossible-to-get-into-unless-you-book-a-table-2-months-ahead Palomar.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Grab a couple of seats at the bar and forget all you thought you knew about Jewish food.

Serving up what they describe as “the food of modern day Jerusalem”, The Palomar is all about twists on the classics and loads of fresh, punchy flavours.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Point made right from the start with the restaurant’s signature Kubaneh, coming to the table in its own tin and served pipping hot with tahini & velvet tomatoes.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Dense, buttery and fluffy, this Eastern Mediterannean brioche is made to be dipped so make sure you order the burnt courgette tzatkiki too!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Add a couple of perfectly mixed cocktails and you’re all set to peruse the rest of the rather unortodox menu…

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Beef Tataki Damaskus gate style with crispy Jerusalem bagel, tahini & spicy tomatoes

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Must-order Shakshukit (deconstructed kebab with minced beef & lamb, yoghurt, tahini, cured lemon & harissa)

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Quite simply life changing – No matter how good/needed they are, you’ll never look at kebabs quite the same way after that!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Siske Pork Belly with Ras el Hanout, dried apricot, glazed carrot & celeriac cream.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Sweet, sticky, indulgent, absolutely not kosher-friendly but well worth every transgression!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And then there’s this cute little pan, filled with the best dish in the house, no less!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Super creamy Josperised Aubergine under a blanket of creay feta emulsion, crispy shallots & pine nuts.

Aubergenius.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

All polished off with your pick from the sweetest of desserts menus…

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

As long as your pick includes the Malabi, that is.

A rose-scented milk pudding, raspberry coulis, coconut meringue pistachio crunch, fresh raspberries & kataifi, it is perfectly balanced and my Mr. simply won’t leave The Palomar without having it.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

That said, the Jerusalem Mess (labneh mousse, almond crumble, strawberries, lemon cream…) isn’t too shabby either. And the fondue-style chocolate crémeux is every bit as good as it sounds too, so you can’t really go wrong.

Just make sure you go early (or book a table), go hungry and leave plenty of room for pudding…

Which I know is difficult when the whole menu looks So-ho good!

The Palomar, 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN

No tables available at The Palomar? Try one of those nearby restaurants!

Jen Café, Chinatown

Chick ‘n’ Sours, Seven Dials

The Barbary, Neal’s Yard

The Palomar revisited

Classic chocolate mousse

When it comes to food, I don’t have many pet peeves.

Want to re-invent a classic by putting a massive twist on it? Go ahead (and let me know how it goes). Craving your favourite summer dish in the middle of winter? By all means, switch up ingredients to create some more seasonally version. Allergic to this or that ingredient? Trying to avoid gluten/dairy/fat? Your call.

Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe ● Cake + Whisky

But there is one thing I simply cannot allow and that is anyone trying to pass off any- and everything, and especially not cream-based recipes, as chocolate mousse.

Of course, there is a time and place for cream and chocolate to come out and play together. And that place would be in a ganache, or a crémeux, or a pot de crème even. Not in a mousse.

Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Because, and trust me I have eaten my way through many a so-called ‘mousse’ before I came to this conclusion, there is one way to make a proper, classic chocolate mousse. And that is with chocolate and eggs.

It’s better for you (less fat, more protein), it’s A LOT less fussy to make and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER.

Point, set, match and end of the debate.

 

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:10]

 

Classic chocolate mousse

How to have the perfect night in on your own

There’s something about getting (just a little bit) old that makes you loose any interest in going out and become obsessed with nights in.

How to have the perfect night in on your own ● Cake + WhiskyHow to have the perfect night in on your own ● Cake + Whisky

Because really, I don’t care what you say, high heels and minis, eye-wateringly overpriced pints at the pub & vodka at the club and the mother of all hangovers the next day have nothing on a night spent cuddling up on the sofa with a cup of tea bigger than my head and something nice on the telly.

I do hate myself a little bit for sounding like an 80-year-old, but then again, nothing says self-care quite like a solo night in… Fellow introverts, follow my lead!

How to have the perfect night in on your own ● Cake + Whisky

Step 1: Pyjama time!

Well, that’s a no-brainer isn’t it? To be comfortable, you have to be, well, comfortable! And as far as I’m concerned, nothings quite beats PJs for that.

I have a burger-printed Primark pair that I wear every opportunity I get, but I’m not saying I won’t try to get my hands on those mermaid leggings soon…

Step 2: Comfort food

As far as I’m concerned, that means pasta (probably some sort of carbonara spin off or my fave vegan coconut & tomato recipe).

But then again, to each their ways with comfort food and if salads or dips & chips are more your thing, go ahead (and maybe pop a lil’ invite in the mail for me next time?)

A small sweet treat (chocolate and cookies at the ready!) and many a biiiiiiiig cup of tea absolutely compulsory (the new Hampstead Tea herbal range is perfect when you just want to put your feet up and relaaaaax)!

Step 3: No work, no chores, no social media.

Put that phone down will you? I know it’s tough, but disconnecting will do wonders for your brain and stress levels.

As hard as I find it to do so, stepping away from social media and the internet always helps me get back down to Earth and get the creative juices flowing again.

Step 4: Mini pamper

While you’re at it, take this opportunity to let your skin breathe. That means, make up off, face mask / face oil on!

And if you can  bring yourself to it, maybe a little mani/pedi work too? (Since I started using this, I actually find doing my nails relaxing!!)

Step 5: Fun times!

You can’t go wrong with a little bit of TV (both Chef’s Table and the newest season of Grey’s Anatomy are current faves of mine!), a good book (if you’re into crime novel, The Girl Before is the best thing I’ve read since Gone Girl… #justsaying) and a little bit of adult colouring quality time!

What are your top tips for the perfect night in on your own? Anything I must try next time?

How to have the perfect night in on your own

BRGR.CO, Chelsea

I love a good burger.

That’s hardly a secret to anyone anymore, is it?

I have strong London favourites (anything from these guys + Shake Shack’s Shroom burger, in case you were wondering), but I keep trying new ones just in case.

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

I had heard great things about BRGR.CO, and had meant to visit for a proper taste after trying their Founder special at an event.

But girl gots many a burger to try, and it’s taken me until now to get my butt down to their Chelsea branch.

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

And holy cow, was I glad I finally did!

Because 1. The decor is the absolute cutest. I mean, just look at those gorgeous wooden painted ones hanging over the tables!

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

And 2. They serve the BEST MAC ‘N’ CHEESE EVER!

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + WhiskyBRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Creamy, cheesy, a little bit spicy, all sorts of dreamy and absolutely addictive!

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

But then again, any place that serves a burger with guac’ is always going to be a winner in my book.

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

The vegetarian falafel option isn’t half bad either…

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Though I would recommend you add some cheese on it and maybe skip the bun for that one!

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

One thing you do not want to skip though are the fries.

Drizzled in truffle oil and topped with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, they absolutely unmissable.

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

While you’re at it, you might as well get a portion of the super-light, super-crunchy onion rings as well…

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

And some decidedly American-inspired drinks.

BRGR.CO Chelsea ● Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Shake hands over an excellent order, and tuck in, before shaking it all off with a bit of shopping and culture on the King’s Road! Just the way to hamburgled my heart!

BRGR.CO Chelsea, 127 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4PW (they also have a Soho branch)

More great London burgers?

Islington – Lucky Chip

Spitafield – Bleecker Burger

Oxford Street – Patty & Bun

*I dined at BRGR.CO as a guest of the restaurant but all pictures, opinions & mac’n’cheese addiction my own.

BRGR.CO, Chelsea

Spring Gnocchi with Tomato and Wild Garlic (V)

Easter this year was a very casual affair.

No big family lunch, no big egg hunt, no roast lamb… Just the Mr. & I in our lovely little central London flat, a little bunch of white daisies, a couple of Hot Cross buns for brekkie, and the simplest, most spring-y of gnocchi dishes for lunch.

Spring on a plate: gnocchi with tomatoes and wild garlic | Cake + Whisky

Potato gnocchi, boiled then pan-fried with fresh cherry toms, wild garlic and finished with a sprinkle of feta and scrummy crispy onions… Delicious and ready in just 10 minutes, this combination is definitely a good egg!

Spring gnocchi with tomatoes and wild garlic | Cake + Whisky Spring on a plate: gnocchi with tomatoes and wild garlic | Cake + Whisky

Because after all, that’s what a hoppy Easter (and a delicious Spring) is all about. Good food, good people (and a suitable amount of chocolate, of course)!

Spring on a plate: gnocchi with tomatoes and wild garlic | Cake + Whisky Spring on a plate: gnocchi with tomatoes and wild garlic | Cake + Whisky

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:9]

More Spring dinner inspo?

Spring Potato Salad (Vegan, GF)

Super Breakfast Pots with Paleo Granola (V, GF)

Kale & Rice Salad

Spring Gnocchi with Tomato and Wild Garlic (V)

Brighton Mini Guide

Aaaah, Brighton!

There’s just something about seaside cities that makes my heart sing. And if said city happens to also be home to amazing independent shops, cafes and restaurants, I might just never want to leave.

About 65 minutes from London on the train, it’s the perfect weekend getaway.

And there’s so much to do! You’ll aready know about the Pier and the beach, of course, but if you’re after less obvious things to do in Brighton, listen up!

See

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + WhiskyA mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Brighton Pavilion

Now this one is hardly a secret to anyone, but it’s still very much worth seeing! Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, this exotic palace is an icon of Brighton.

A Western interpretation of Oriental archicture, this spectacular palace combines a romantic, Indian-inspired exteriors and opulent, ‘Chinoiserie’-focused interiors. Unfortunately, it’s not allowed to take pictures inside but if you can save a couple of hours, go! I promise it’ll meet your high expectasians!

Do

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

The La(i)nes

Don’t confuse The Lanes -a collection of narrow lanes famous for their small shops and narrow alleyways- and North Laine -the former slum area turned bohemian and cultural quarter- but definitely visit both!

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

The Lanes are home to many a jewellery store, beautiful home stores and chip-as-chip traditional pubs. Oh, and some really excellent ice cream parlours too (more on that later).

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

North Laine on the other hand is the place to go for anything vintage, the city’s best independant stores and some truly incredible indie food!

Definitely worth waiting in Laine for!

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky
Picnic in the parc/on the beach

When the sun’s shining and there’s sea bream in the air, nothing’s better than a little impromptu picnic. Especially if said picnic includes some of Silo‘s amazing sandwiches…

Eat

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Boho Gelato

Another paragraph, another sea side cliché. Expect not quite.

Forget Mr Whippy and its 99 Flake. With 20-something creative flavours in store at any given time (thing carrot cake, popping candy, avocado…), making a choice at Boho Gelato is hard.

But then again, you’d be NUTS not to go for the (vegan) peanut butter and salted caramel because it’s the BEST.

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Larder

Now, Brighton must be the best city in the UK for vegetarians and vegans to eat out. And this unassuming little vegan café is amongst the very best in Brighton, which is really saying something.

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

But then again, they do beautiful buddha bowls and avocado toasties.

AVOCADO TOASTIES GUYS!! Life changing.

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Gelato Gusto

Disclaimer -half of what we ate in Brighton was ice cream and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Gelato Gusto is somewhat more traditional that Boho Gelato in terms of flavours, but oh boy, their sorbet selection is dreaaaaamy!

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Plateau

When Ophélie & I were making plans for our Brighton city breaks, we had all those crazy plans about having cocktails every evening.

And then we got there and stumbled across Plateau (a small wine bar specialising in natural wines) and the rest is (white wine-fuelled) history.

Shop

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Present in the Laine

The most gorgeous homeware, local designer jewellery and the cutest selection of gifts for the little ones – just take all of my money already!

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Bluebird Tea

Spreading happiness one cup at a time, Bluebird Tea is a tea store like no other. Forget the usual suspects – here it’s all about creative, out-there blends.

Their range is currently 80-something strong and includes all-year-round favourites such as Birthday Cake, Cherry Bakewell and Earl Grey Cream as well as seasonal limited edition blends. Which currently features a carrot cake tea.

Yes you read that right, yes it’s available online, and YES! you need it in your life.

A mini guide to Brighton ● Cake + Whisky

Photomatic

You know what they say. Time comes and goes, but polaroid pictures are forever!

Ready to go on another adventure?

Mini guide to Dublin

5 top tips to plan a city break

Copenhagen 3-day itinerary

Brighton Mini Guide