A Bank Holiday Tragedy

Sunday, 31 August 2014

On your marks, get set, go!

As soon as summer hits London Town, it's a mad rush to visit every thing mentioned in Time Out, eat at all the pop ups, dance at all the festivals….the list goes on and on so it can be blooming difficult to fit it all in. 

Last weekend I introduced Lizbit to one of my favourite summer events in London; The Globe on the South Bank to see one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, King Lear. 

The Globe

Lizbit was very keen for some Bank Holiday culture, but first we went for lunch. We are both forever hungry scavengers who are unable to function without full stomachs so we knew we'd have no fun without some food. We met up at the Swan at the Globe for a pre theatre nibble and catch up. Lucky for me the Bodington sisters were in tow. 

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at the Globe has a prime location, as its joined to the theatre offers fantastic views of the river and St Pauls. We were seated in the first floor dining room, which we loved.

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

 The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

 As it was bank holiday we decided that we'd be allowed a treat of just ordering starters and desserts. 

Plus some wine and olives of course.
The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

One rather fancy looking prawn cocktail.
The Swan at The Globe

And three chunky minestrone soups. Can you guess who had food envy at this table!

The Swan at The Globe

One Bodington sister loving her wine.....
The Swan at The Globe

And another loving her soup!
The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

Next it was time for desert.

Strawberry ripple shortcake with parfait glace and Gariguette strawberries. 
The Swan at The Globe

An amazing raspberry creme brulee. Creme brulee is my all time favourite desert so I was in my element with this one! 

The Swan at The Globe

The bill presented in "The works of Shakespeare". 
The Swan at The Globe

On the way out we spotted this table of treats and then we didn't want to leave. I hear that they do afternoon tea at the Swan so I'm sure to be back!

The Swan at The Globe

The Swan at The Globe

After lunch, the Bodington two left their oldest sister to be culture-fied by me and they trotted off to Covent Garden. Every time I walk into the Globe I am wowed. The huge centre stage is hugged by rows of rounded benches seating an excited, chattering audience.

The Globe

The Globe

I managed to get a few photos for you before I got told off.

The Globe
And even got papped myself! 

We had the cheap tickets in the yard which are a bargainous £5 each. This is mostly because of the fact that you have to stand, which is great as you get up close and personal with the actors but also means that as there’s no roof you are likely to get wet. Luckily we’d chosen one of the rare sunny days so we were very happy theatre goers.

The Globe

Our Shakespeare play of choice was King Lear and it was wonderful. The actors are fantastic, and unlike at school when you had no idea what was going on, they act the scenes so well and with such passion that you can actually understand what is happening. This was no easy feat as the main cast of 8 actors played around 17 roles between them. 

The standing does get tiring as the plays can be long, with King Lear being full 1 ½ hours each side of the 15 minute interval. Standing isn’t for the weak hearted. We were clinging on to the stage by the end. 

The actors clearly love their jobs and their skill has you laughing out loud at one moment then moved to tears the next.

The performances from King Lear played by Joseph Marcell and Cordelia his loyal daughter, who also played the fool, played by Bethan Cullinane are worthy of special mention and if we weren’t already standing then we’d be jumping up to give them a standing ovation.

The Globe

Such a fantastic day out.

Get this one on your summer bucket list for 2015 pronto!

Little London Girl x


Bikini Body Guide - week 4!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

If you are doing Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide then I bet you spend a lot of time staring at your stomach in the mirror, staring and willing the definition to appear. I’m right, aren’t I!? Don’t worry we’re all at it……first thing in the morning, after a workout, quick peek in the loos at work! Who knows when they might arrive….!?

So far mine definitely aren’t here but we’ve still got another 8 weeks to go so it’s ok. I am noticing that my arms and legs are getting toned but still all I care about is my stomach. I must persevere; those crop tops won’t wear themselves!

This week I had a new addition to my life in the form of these bright beauties. 


I now power walk to work with a skip in my step and grin on my face because I’m in love with my trainers. What a loser I’ve become! They were a real bargain too.

It’s been a tough week in my workout world as Catherine abandoned me (harsh!) to go on holiday and I’ve been left training solo. I need a bit of competition when I’m working out otherwise I can be lazy so it was a real mission to even get myself to the gym. 

Luckily Jane came along when I did the final workout of the week so I put in some serious effort, and then we went home and stuffed our faces with avocados and chocolate mousse (don't tell Kayla!!)  

Here's one of my favourite after-gym dinners as its REALLY quick and fills you up!

Avocado on toast
You'll need:
Avocado
Red chilli
Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Bread


Slice your avocado in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Then grab a potato masher and give it a good beating. 

Chop up your chilli into small pieces (I usually use half). Then add to your avocado, with a squeeze of lemon and lots of seasoning. 


Mix it all up.  

Add your avocado to some toast, a bagel or rye bread if you are being healthy. 

At the weekend, I'll be naughty and add a poached egg and a few rashers of bacon. Yummy!


Enjoy!

Little London Girl x

Little Smith's Chicken Noodle Soup

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ok we’re all getting a bit obsessed, there are 5 of us doing Kayla’s bikini body workout now and it’s literally all we talk about! We refer to Kayla as if she’s one of the gang and constantly say things like “oh god Kayla would be so mad with me”, or “do you think Kayla would be happy with you drinking that? You know she doesn’t drink ANY alcohol?”

Help! We need to setup a support group.

Even though we are all equally hating the workouts the end goal of potential ab definition is keeping us going. We are a pack of dedicated saleswomen, encouraging every one we meet to join in too! Let’s just hope all the hard work pays off.

This is week 3 and has been much better; we’ve all upped our game with healthier diets and lots of walking. On weeks 3 and 4 you repeat the workouts from weeks 1 and 2 so you’d hope that it would be easier as you are getting stronger but its not. Oh well!

As part of our healthier diets we’ve been trying to stick to carrots sticks as snacks instead of Doritos! Here’s my go to dinner when I’m trying to be well behaved, if I’m feeling a bit poorly or if it’s pelting with rain outside and I need a warming dinner to cheer me up. It tastes great and won’t ruin your diet. 

Little Smith’s Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 2)

Chicken Noodel Soup

900ml of chicken or vegetable stock
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
Noodles
Vegetables of your choice
Bean sprouts
Soy sauce

Chicken Noodel Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chuck your garlic, chilli and chicken in the stock and leave to boil for 20 mins, until the chicken smells delicious.

Remove the chicken from the broth, grab 2 forks and rip it into small bite size chunks.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Return the chicken to the stock and add all your veg, leave to simmer until your vegetables are cooked to your liking. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Pop the noodles and bean sprouts in for the final few minutes.

Chicken Noodle Soup

When can’t wait any longer…..grab a big bowl, add a glug of soy sauce and sluurrrrrrppppp away!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is great as you can add anything lying around in the fridge, try broccoli, sliced mushrooms, spring onions…..whatever takes your fancy.

Enjoy!

See you next week for progress from week 4 – plus I’ll have new trainers to break in!

Little London Girl x 

Fika's Forest

Monday, 18 August 2014

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise……

We didn’t exactly go down to the woods, but we did go to somewhere a little special in the heart of Shoreditch.

It was time for dinner club with the girls and Helen was in charge of choosing. I was very excited to hear that we were heading off to the cosy Scandinavian restaurant, Fika, and then even more excited when I read that they are in the middle of a 3 month summer pop up – Fika’s Forest.

Fika London

Fika London

The forest concept is all about celebrating Scandinavian folklore and after my trip to Stockholm last Christmas where I heard tales of trolls living in the forests I couldn’t wait! 

Fika London

Fika London

Fika (pronounced fee-ka) basically means coffee break, usually with something sweet on the side.
Fika London offers delicious looking cakes sat temptingly in the window to steer passers-by through the door and away from their diets. 

Fika London

They also serve a lunch and dinner menu with a range of Scandinavian fare, using ingredients scavenged by the little foragers.

Fika London

When I arrived, a menu was thrust into my hands by the gang of hungry girls waiting for me. Luckily I’d already been snooping on Fika’s website and knew tonight was going to be all about the meatballs. It seemed the girls all had the same idea! 4 portions of meatballs, 1 salmon and 1 chicken skewer.

These hardworking girls can't wait for their dinner without a snack so we decided to give the goats cheese and black pepper popcorn a try. It was a mixed jury, some loved it and some were vaguely reminded of cheesy socks. We gobbled it all down anyway!

Fika London

The staff at Fika are lovely, literally the most hardworking and friendly people around. There was a busy team of 2 taking orders and dishing out Scandinavian delights to a very busy restaurant but they remained calm, polite and always smiling.

While we were waiting for our food, I filled the girls in on my Scandinavian folk tale research:

Firstly Trolls aren’t quite the cute little guys with “there’s something about Mary”, multicoloured hair that you’ll remember as a child. They are actually quite terrifying and should be avoided at all cost!

My favourite of the folk tales are the Nisse, here’s me with one in Stockholm!

Fika London

 In the Scandinavian Christmas tradition, there is no Santa in the shape of a fat, bearded guy who lives at the North Pole. Instead, the myth is that we each have our own Nisse, living in our home, who acts as a guardian for the household. These cheeky guys are typical pranksters, but can easily be befriended, and around Christmas they sort out the presents as Santa would in the UK. I want one!

Anyway.....on to the food.

Fika London

Swedish meatballs – Homemade Swedish Meatballs with crushed skin on mash and red wine sauce. We ate them as the Swedes do with a side of lingonberry jam which was delicious! I’ll be buying some from Ikea to serve with my Christmas turkey this year.

Fika London

Flash Seared Gravadlax – Thick cut cured salmon served with hand cut oven baked potato wedges, fresh dill yoghurt with mustard seeds.

Fika London

Elderflower Chicken Skewer – Sweet marinade of elderflower, sprinkled with chilli flake and lime, serviced with salad.

The food is delicious, we were all very pleased with our choices. Guys may find the portions a bit small but for us they were perfect, plus it means you can squeeze in a dessert too.

As we’re all trying to be on a health kick at the moment, it was a round of juice for us. Usually a lack of wine at dinner club makes me sad but today I didn’t mind it as the juice was so tasty.

Fika London
 Elderflower and apple juice.

Fika is the cosiest little restaurant I have been to in a long time. There’s a relaxed atmosphere with cute little tables hidden away in corners and mushrooms "growing" on the wall for a forest vibe. The music choice was everything I could hope for; Of Monsters and Men, Little Dragon, Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard….I was one happy customer.

Fika London
A secret little table hidden away for romantic date nights or grabbing a friend and stuffing your face in private! 

Fika London

Fika London

Fika London

Fika London

On the way out I had a sneaky peek at the rooftop terrace and fell in love. It’s a secret haven in busy Shoreditch with twinkly lights and blankets for cold wintery nights. We’re planning to come back in the autumn and test out Fika’s hot chocolate snuggled under a blanket.

Fika London

Fika is a great little restaurant, the staff and food were perfect. We’ll be back for sure!

Fika London

Fika
Cost: £15 p/head for main and soft drink
Food: Scandinavian fare
Address: 161 Brick Lane, E1 6SB
Type: Dinner with friends / date night / coffee and cake

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Little London Girl x

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