Sunday, 7 December 2014

Introducing Hugo Ryan the French Bulldog Puppy

I would like to introduce to the world Hugo Arnold Ryan, my sister and I's amazing new French Bulldog puppy!!!


At 10 weeks old he is quite possibly the cutest thing in the entire world. Far from being a sleepy lazy puppy, Hugo has already began terrorising the other Ryan family dogs, poor George and Dillion the chihuahua's do not know what has hit them.



This little cutie has already started tearing the kitchen apart, however look at that little face and giant ears... I think he is going to get away with murder! 



Even Nick, who normally has a serious aversion to little dogs, is completely and utterly besotted with the little man...


However, even the most lively, loud and chewing happy puppies need nap time every now and then...



Thursday, 27 November 2014

How to make Game Pie

My favourite meal at this time of year is Game Pie. It is the best comfort food and is super yummy. Here is my super quick and easy guide to how to make the perfect Game Pie.

Before...

We started with around 750 grams of Pheasant, Partridge, Rabbit legs and Wood Pigeon. We chopped the Pheasie, partridge and Wood Pigeon into decent sized chunks, and left the rabbit legs whole...


I then roughly chopped and diced 1 large onion, carrots, parsnips and mushrooms. I am a big fan of judging by eye as opposed to specific weights however if you are one of those people, 110g mushrooms, 125g onion, 3 large carrots and 2 parsnips.

Dust the game in flour and brown in a large pan and season. Then add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and parsnips. Next add 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme, a sprinkling of rosemary and a bay leaf and cook for 5 mins. Following that pour in a good glug of red wine, boil to reduce by 3/4 and add in 1tbsp tomato purée. Then add in 300ml of vegetable stock and simmer the whole mixture for 40 - 50 minutes until the game is nice and tender. Then remove it from the hob and let it cool.

Next for the pastry...

I would love to say I made my own pastry, but I would be lying! 
Instead I rolled out some pre made pastry, placed it over the dish to make a lid, remembering to cut a small steam hole in the pasty lid. Then whisk an egg and glaze the pastry to give it a nice golden look when finished cooking. 

Place the pie in the oven, I use an Aga however I would advise heating the oven to 200 degrees. Bake the pie at this heat for 20 mins before reducing to 180 degrees and cooking for another 30 mins until pastry is golden brown. 

And that's it, a fantastic, hearty Game Pie, just serve with some potatoes boiled in their skins and peas for the perfect finishing touch. 

After...

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas is here with Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé

So the best thing ever has happened, Idina Menzel (my absolute idol and favourite singer ever) has released a christmas single with Michael Bublé and it is is none other than 'Baby It's Cold Outside'

Day, Week, Month, Year, Decade made!!!!! 

To see the super cute official video for the track see below...




Monday, 17 November 2014

Homemade Pizza Night

Tonight was girly night for my sister and I so we decided to make our own pizzas! I enjoy making my own pizza much more than buying it at the supermarket as I have complete control over the ingredients and know exactly what I am eating. Here are a few snaps of our yummy pizzas before and after cooking.



Anyone who has ever eaten pizza with me before will know that I am a nightmare pizza eater as I can't eat dairy. Therefore home made pizza is the best for me... Plenty of tomato and pretty much zero cheese.



To make the pizza sauce we added garlic and onions to passata along with a dash of salt, pepper, oregano, basil and paprika... really quick, simple and easy.



After creating the sauce we added the rest of our toppings to the pizza base. I went for salami and chicken with fresh tomatoes and peppers. Floss went for chicken, fresh tomatoes, peppers and lots and lots of cheese.

The pizzas then went into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees and cooked for 20 minutes. The result was beautiful crispy pizza. Floss ate hers as it came out of the oven and I garnished mine with a sprinkling of rocket.



So that was our Monday night pizza night, quick, easy, cheese free for me and super yummy!!






Monday, 10 November 2014

Remembering Rembrandt

This weekend I finally visited the 'Rembrandt The Late Works' exhibition at The National Gallery (my favourite place in all of London). Being an Old Master painting enthusiast I have been ants in my pants excited for this exhibition for months, and it was definitely worth the wait. 

The National Gallery, my favourite place in London.

The exhibition is beautifully curated and split between 7 different rooms each focussing on a different aspects and themes of Rembrandt's late works. My favourite painting of the whole exhibition was  Self Portrait at the Age of 63 as it demonstrates that even in the last year of his life, Rembrandt never lost the urge to experiment and and explore with different techniques and compositional elements. 

Rembrandt The Late Works Catalogue. Paper Back version £19.99
The National Gallery also has the most amazing Gift shop with beautiful displays, which are worth a visit in themselves. Warning - for those that love books/ beautiful ornaments/ smelly candles, you will leave having spent a small fortune!

National Gallery shop, items themed around the Rembrandt Exhibition
Outside, Trafalgar Square was a hub of activity. I love watching tourists snapping away pictures and playing on the giant lions beneath Nelson's column. Whilst I normally dislike the big blue cock that currently occupies the Fourth Plinth I couldn't help but photograph it as the colour looked particularly striking against the bright white clouds in the sky. 

Katharina Fritsch's Hahn/Cock, Trafalgar Square
Also present in Trafalgar Square was Paddington Bear, as part of the NSPCC's Paddington Trail. The Paddington outside of the National Gallery was designed by our brilliant Mayor, Boris and is called 'The Bear of London'. I think this is a great campaign to raise awareness whilst filling the streets of London with little pieces of art. 

Boris Johnson's 'The Bear of London' for NSPCC's The Paddington  Trail.
I was also lucky enough to see the moving Every Man Remembered sculpture, which is inspired by a brass bomb shell found by artist Mark Humphrey's Grandfather in the trenches in the Somme 1916. The sculpture will be in Trafalgar Square until 16th November, after which it will go on a four year tour of Briton. 

Mark Humphrey Every Man Remembered 
All in all a pretty cultural Saturday afternoon! The Rembrandt exhibition runs until 18th January. To visit the Rembrandt exhibition it is best to book online here: http://www.nationalgallery.co.uk/products/tickets/rembrandt_the_late_works/p_rembrandt_ticket




Friday, 7 November 2014

"Lost time is never found again"

Last night (6th November) saw the VIP launch of Salon QP one of the world's most important watch events, held at Saatchi Gallery. Salon QP brings together an impressive list of watch brands ranging from established grandes maisons such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier, to independent watchmakers such as Urwerk and Ludovic Ballouard. I had a great time, sipping free champagne and marvelling at the very best in luxury watches.


There were some beautiful time pieces with the most incredible attention to detail. Below are a small selection of my favourite pieces from the evening.

Sicis mosaic watch of Paris, part of their 'Grand Tour' Collection

The mechanics behind Ludovic Ballouard's 'Half Time' and 'Upside Down' Watches

The Leopard is back at Cartier
Sicis Mosaic Watch
One of the many amazing Hermes display cabinets
Auction houses were also out in force, with Fellows, Watches of Knightsbridge and Bonhams all exhibiting. Fellows were running a fun competition via instagram to win a £250 voucher to redeem at auction, who ever gets the most likes on the picture of their watch wins. 

My entry for the Fellows #mywatch competition

So if you have time this weekend, I would strongly recommend you stop by and visit Salon QP at Saatchi Gallery. 


And remember....  



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Day 1.

So here it is, the first blog post!

On the pages of this blog you will find posts about  Art, food, brunch and life in London Town... Enjoy!