Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bites and Bags

January is finally over. It always feels like the longest month, but now that it's finished, it feels like not long at all until Spring and then best of all, Summer. I hate the winter months, I detest having to wrap up like a sausage roll, with the cold inevitably getting in anyway. I hate that after Christmas, there just feels like there's no damn reason for it to be this cold. I hate being constantly hunched up from trying to keep warm against the bitterness of it all. In summer time I feel much more relaxed, my shoulders are less tense, I don't have to wear so much makeup. Last summer was a bit of a wash-out, but I am looking forward to this year's, I have high hopes for some real heat.

This Saturday my mum came to visit and I showed her the delights of North London. She was raised in South London and has been in Kent for most of her adult life so had never spent any time in the north of the capital. It was her birthday last weekend, so I took her to Ottolenghi for lunch, which was incredible. There was a bit of a queue, we met at about 11 at Angel and headed straight there for lunch as had seen the queue on the way past earlier on. We queued for about 20 minutes before we could be seated, and then were treated to an incredible feast. The lunch special comprised one main item with 2 or 3 salads at about £13 or £16 respectively. We went for the 3 option, so that we could sample as much as possible.I opted for the mushroom quiche with the famous broccoli (which I'd been curious about since I read Stella Newman's mention), Jerusalem artichokes and butternut squash, while mum had the beef with aubergine, maftoul and red cabbage and we each tried each others. Everything was sublime. All of it. We didn't have a drink, or any dessert as the meal was so filling, and surprisingly reasonable at the £16 each mentioned above. You can see the lunch menu here.

I'd advise turning up fairly early, while the queue moved fairly quickly on this occasion it can apparently get really busy later on. They were still serving breakfast alongside lunch, which also looked amazing. It was a lovely dining experience, and I'm popping all of the cookbooks on my wishlist so that one day I can achieve such culinary delights in my own home.
Those famous salads on display

We spent the rest of the day mooching around Islington and had a lovely time with only a small drama when I left one of my bags in Costa and had to run halfway along Upper Street to retrieve it. I got this New Look  jumper dress from the Cancer Research UK store for a princely £5.95. I debated whether it was too Christmassy (the Christmas jumper trend got quite ridiculous this year, with people seemingly chosing to spend their hard-earned on the ugliest things they could find), but decided that it was just Christmassy enough and if I had to endure another month or two of this cold, I might as well have a reminder of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Mum and I went to M&S, which is a place I rarely shop but recently have been finding more and more appealing. This time, the items that caught my attention were this bag and scarf.

Marks and Spencers
Orla Kiely
Whilst I was running along Upper Street, the strap of my blue leather satchel broke again which will have to be repaired. I love bags thought have managed to be quite disciplined in recent years and keep the stash to a minimum, but at the moment I have two bags that I can only use the hand strap on until I get them repaired, and I really am a shoulder-strap kinda gal. I've decided that if I get a bonus this month (it's the end of our financial year, but it's not been the best year so looks unlikely), I am going to treat myself to this Orla Kiely Caramel Mocha stunner. If I don't get my bonus, I'll settle for repairing my existing ones and console myself with the M&S number!

This week I've had the pleasure of going to a preview of a new comedy phenomenon, The Comedy Store: Raw and Uncut which is basically a series of Comedy Store stand-up shows, recorded and played in cinemas across the country from this month. I particularly enjoyed the performances of Addy Van der Borgh and Louis Ramey (who is a filthy, filthy man!), and will be seeking out more of their work. The whole experience of watching a stand-up show in a cinema was odd but not unpleasant, at times I nearly clapped and cheered alongside the crowd onscreen but managed to stop myself just in time!

I've just got back from seeing Hitchcock at the cinema, another preview screening. I really enjoyed the film, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren were both fantastic, even Scarlett Johannsson was pretty good as Janet Leigh (but that bloody D&G advert makes me want to stab myself in the ear). It's made me want to watch ALL of Hitchcock's movies and learn a bit more about him and Alma. It's in cinemas nationwide from 8th February. Enjoy!