Saturday, 27 November 2010

all I want for christmas

It's less than a month until Christmas, so I thought I'd share all of the lovely things I hope are waiting under the tree for me on Christmas morning - not that I'm a greedy girl of course! some of it might give clues to the kind of things I'm planning for my loved ones.
Clockwise: Creative Spaces, Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators; Dream velvet sofa from Graham and Green; framed print of my Julia Boggio vintage boudoir session; Richard Ardagh Pop Goes the Weasel print from Nelly Duff gallery; Eames chairs by Vitra; vintage bus shades from Pedlars; stitched throw from Graham and Green.

Monogrammed drawer of fresh couture chocs from Artisan du Chocolat, Sea salt chocolate wafers from Rococo, Sucre from Laduree.

New London Style; A Perfectly Kept House is a Sign of a Misspent Life; Shutting Up Shop - The Decline of the Traditional Small Shop; Ladies, A Plate; The Domino Book of Decorating.

iPad, Nikkor 24-70mm lens.
Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel; Aubin and Wills Ashwicke snood; Lanvin silk travel set; See by Chloe Monster tote; underwear by 3.1 Phillip Lim; Brian Atwood Balleto shoes.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

bonfire night

I'm rather late in posting this, but as most of you will know the weekend before last was bonfire night here in the UK and Mr LROC and I went to stay with his mother in the countryside - in Matlaske in North Norfolk to be more precise.

There's an event locally called the Corpusty Bonfire, it's a massively well known night in the area and is a free firework display and a massive bonfire, lit following a procession of people dressed in an array of ghoulish garb. There's a proper ol' Norfolk boy who acts as a compere, and countryside themed covers of Jonny Cash songs. Generally it's all a bit odd but it did give us chance to get out into the country, sleep somewhere with no light pollution (if only it were the case every night) and for me to run down country roads with a grey hound and take some pics.

I took pics of the fireworks, which are blurred but have a nice feel to them, and even videoed some of the display but I can't work out how to get it from iPhoto to YouTube..

Bonfire night montage
Norfolk skies
Norfolk skies
autumn trees
autumn trees
Matlaske church
Matlaske church

People say that one of the best things about Norfolk is that the skies go on for ever - having seen the skies across the fields from my mother in law's house I think I'm inclined to agree.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

london burrito bars

The rise of the burrito bar in London has been slow but stealthy over the past few years and a rash of them has been spreading over the capital. Although I'm late in celebrating it I'm enjoying this Cali-Mexican inspired fast food revolution not least of which because there's finally something for the veggies to enjoy. I'm also trying to convince myself that the blend of roasted peppers, coriander rice, beans and salsas isn't wildly unhealthy although add lashings of sour cream, guacamole and cheese and the sheer size of the things and I think I can assure myself that they are not waistline friendly.

Anyway, the reason I've held off for so long, apart from not being able to get any decent images of the tasty sloppiness, is that last night I finally visited Benito's Hat who have a new-ish branch in Covent Garden and my word, it was good. See the thing is that the quality can be variable - with no love in the ingredients the flavour suffers. Witness the poor attempt from the new Daddy Donkey stall this weekend which was a flavourless and over-hot mass of white rice, beans and sour cream. A serious lack of love, Mr LROC informs me that his braised pork version was better.

Similarly disappointing was the offering from Chipotle, an American chain import with an outlet on Charing Cross road. The store itself had a bland corporate interior, the burrito was good enough, but for a store named after a flavoursome smokey chilli, to not offer anything with actual Chipotle in, not a marinade, not a salsa, was beyond disappointing. The staff didn't even seem to know what it was.

Meanwhile, my personal favourites include Chilangos on Upper Street, whose marinated peppers are delicious and customer service are top notch, taking time to reply to comment cards personally. I also love their colourful and engaging interior - it feels like Mexican food when you're surrounding by vibrant images of 'the DF' and listening to their upbeat tunes.

Another special mention goes to Benito's Hat - having tried them yesterday I have to say I think they're the pick of the bunch. Fresh and tasty ingredients, friendly staff, a great atmosphere and the most tasty guacamole ever. The good news is that I might be a little closer to their Goodge Street branch more often, the bad news is that I don't think it's going to help with the diet.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

pretty things

Recently I bought a copy of a magazine called 'Better Photos Now' which has actually given me some helpful insights into some things I had no idea about on my camera - changing the metering type, suing long settings and various other bits and bobs that have been a mini revelation. To that end I assembled a little selection of plates, bowls and various pretty packaged soap, got out my tripod and remote and had a bash at capturing them in natural light. I even made a bit of a DIY reflector with a plate and some tin foil to bounce back some of the light.

My only complaint is that my 50mm 1.8 lens never seems really sharp - maybe the 1.4 is better?

Anyway, I discovered that my dressing table is actually an excellent place to take pics as it's one of the few places that actually seems to have some light coming into it. The plates and bowls have all been bought with a view to using for cake photography, but they do look sweet in their own right.

I've edited the photos to give them the right kind of look and feel - but it would be nicer if the colours were a bit fresher overall. Below is the image pretty much as RAW out of the camera, a bit more punch and it could be there...

It would also be great to have some willing 'victims' let me take their picture - Mr LROC hates having his picture taken so no guinea pig there....


Friday, 5 November 2010

a cakey hiatus

I don't know how they do it - other food bloggers seem to be naturally slim, beaming and gorgeous but this blog has made me fat. I don't know if it's the fact that I've been using it as an opportunity to chow down on anything sweet and cheerful looking but I'm nearly a stone heavier than a few months ago. This is not a good state of affairs.

Any food bloggers reading this - tips on how not to be huge would be greatly appreciated but to that end I know I need a bit of a cake hiatus - more accurately a diet. This is a depressing thought but it basically means that I need to watch what I eat for the next month in a fairly extreme way so I can fit into the party dresses I have outlined for Christmas.

So, cake fans, look away now, come back in a month, unless you want to hear tales of quorn'n'veg dinners and long gym sessions. Those that are interested in my meandering tour into photography and like the oft-missing Fancy Friday features you're in for a treat - because it will be the only material I've got!

Meanwhile, as mentioned above, tips on keeping trim and eating heartily much needed.

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