Thursday, 20 December 2012

Stanley's Under The Tree Again

This year we decided to put our Christmas tree on a table in the hope that Stanley wouldn't continually crawl straight up to the tree and pull the whole thing down.

Unfortunately he now has a new favourite spot - right under the Christmas tree table. Oops!

I love our tree this year. Maybe it's because it's Stanley's first Christmas, or maybe it's just because I can drink Baileys and mulled wine in excess unlike last year when I was pregnant, but I'm extra excited about the holidays.

We decorated this year's tree in all our favourite baubles and added thin tinsel, (I've only ever seen this in America), which I love, as it picks up all the lights on the tree and adds an extra shimmery glow to the scene.

 Merry Christmas everybody xxx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Weekend in Paris

My lovely, long weekend in Paris as told in photos. I even got a night out with friends and a whole four hours shopping on my own thanks to a doting grand-pere.

Café crème in the Marais:

Mont Blanc at Carette, Place des Vosges:

Window shopping:
Le Petit Dejeuner:

Steak Frites:

Merry Christmas:

Happy New Year:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A Very British Breakfast: Jordans

Two great things happened this morning:

1) I fired up a pot of Peet’s coffee that my Mom brought back from San Francisco.

2) I sampled a bowl of a new Jordan’s cereal - Super Berry Country Crisp

The new cereal is a blend of blueberries, cranberries and blackcurrants mixed with clusters of baked oats. It was sweet and delicious although I still felt like I was having a relatively healthy breckie and when I eat oats I always feel like I’m getting a good source of energy from them – setting me up for the day.

True to the packet’s claim the baked oat clusters stayed ‘crunchy to the last bite’ and the mix of fruit has left me feeling – dare I say it – a little festive. Still maybe that’s just my mood anyway.

Jordan's: A Very British Snack Bar

Later I tried one of Jordan’s new Luxury Absolute Nut Bars – a mix of almonds, hazelnuts and pecans together with sweet wholegrain oats. Again, I felt a good energy surge from this gained from the mix of oats and large pieces of nuts. This is definitely something I’d buy for when I’m out on the run and haven’t had a chance to have breakfast which is often the case having a small baby at home.

Here’s Some More Great Things About Jordans:

·      *They care about British countryside – all cereals they use come from farmers who manage at least 10% of their land so the birds and the bees can thrive

·      *They support the Prince’s Countryside Fund – working towards a sustainable future for British farmers

·      *All their cereals are wholegrain and processing is kept to a 

·      *Jordan’s is free from all artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives

·      *They’re a 100% British brand

Visit the Jordan’s website:

Anyone else tucked into a good breakfast recently? What’s for your breakfast tomorrow?

*Foodie Mom in London was sent complimentary samples of these new Jordan’s products

Monday, 10 December 2012

HKK – 15 Course Chinese Banqueting Menu? Oh, Go On Then

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the brand new HKK restaurant with my blogger bezzy @HungryBecs (seen on the left with some crunchy jellyfish).

The flash Chinese restaurant that offers just one daily-changing 15 course banqueting menu is the latest from Hakkasan group. We paired our Cantonese feast created by Michelin-starred head chef Tong Chee Hwee (formerly at Hakkasan Hanway Place) with wine, tea and cocktails.

I won’t witter on about each course in detail but I do want to tell you a bit about the highlights:

HKK: Lychee Wood Roasted Peking Duck

Any restaurant that uses an entire Peking duck, roasted in a special wood oven and then carved in the centre of the restaurant for each diner, is clearly trying to impress and impress they did.

We were initially a bit alarmed at the potential waste of decent duck but the manager assured us although not used anywhere else on the menu, that the rest of the duck did indeed go to a good home…basically the staff eat well at Hakkasan Group.

To simply call this a mere duck pancake would be an injustice. A ready rolled duck wrap came served on a plate, (at £95 a head it would be rude to make us roll our own), alongside what can only be described as a little slice of heaven. It was served alongside a crisp square of fatty duck skin and a dipping sauce of rich hoisin and herby sugar. Wow!

HKK: Osmanthus Flower Jelly, Water Chestnut Cake Served With Da-Hong-Po

Designed as a mid-meal palate cleanser we agreed that this fried water chestnut cake was not unlike a donut – a damn tasty one though. This was served with a softly scented jelly and a fabulous Da-Hong-Pao tea.

HKK: Dim Sum Triology

Purely for aesthetic reasons, this was my third favourite dish. HKK has really gone to town on its crockery. Beautiful white, black, grey and marbled, round, square and oblong dishes kept arriving with each course but the dim sum won hands down as it came with its own paintbrush for you to paint on your own soy sauce! As I am allergic to squid and prawns, the kitchen made me a special vegetarian medley version.

What also topped this dish was that it was paired with a mini fluorescent coloured cocktail – Bitter Fortune (Tanqueray 10, rhubarb liqueur aperol and grapefruit).

Best of luck to you HKK.

Visit the website:

Hkk on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Help My Baby’s Crawling

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more tiring, Stan’s started crawling. Not just shuffling around in circles and cruising on his belly - that went on for a few weeks and was do-able as I just had to scoop him up and point him back into the middle of the baby mat - but really CRAWLING.

Now when I put him down, he makes an immediate and fast beeline for the most inappropriate thing in the room. It’s like he has a sixth sense for danger.
In a matter of seconds I’ve turned around to find him:

1) Sucking on a shoe
2) Licking the floor
3) Trying to climb up a chair leg
4) Trying to get out after jamming himself in between the table leg and chair
5) Trying to launch himself off his toys
6) Trying to launch himself off his toy box
7) Trying to eat a bottle of cleaning fluid
8) Tying to eat a tube of 'butt paste' – this is genuinely its name, it was a gift at my US baby shower

And that’s just 24 hours!

Why can’t I have one of those babies that doesn’t crawl but just sits. I’ve seen them. They exist!

I won’t even go into detail about the joy of trying to change his nappies now he’s on the move.

Right that’s it I’m off to bed. It’s eight thirty and I’m knackered and I need to store up some energy for tomorrow.

Jo xxx

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Guest Chef Menu at Benares – Bryn Williams

This week I have been mostly eating….

Anyone with a small child at home will know that long, leisurely meals are a thing of the past. In between pureeing Stanley’s meals from scratch (damn you Annabel Karmel), racing home to defrost his lunches and feeding him whatever choice mush of the day is on the menu – there’s not much time left to make and enjoy my own food.

So I was very excited this week when I was invited to try Bryn William’s guest chef menu at Benares, a chance to hopefully have some decent food, in a setting as far removed from baby bibs and beakers as I could get.

Dining at the Bar in Benares

Benares is a longstanding luxe Indian restaurant in Mayfair headed up by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar.

There’s no doubt that this ‘Chef Season in the Bar’ is a clever PR rouse. Guests of the Benares bar are treated to changing tapas-style menus where Atul has included some dishes, the guest chef has added their own contributions, and a couple of signature cocktails have been dreamt up to match.

Benares Chef Season With Bryn Williams

Sitting at a low bar table lit by a Tom Dixon candleholder, with my first cocktail of the evening in my hand (Bryn’s Penderyn Whiskey Sour), I was already starting to get into the wealthy Mayfair vibe. Baby at home? What baby?

Bryn’s dishes came first and we chomped our way through some delicious snacks. Seared scallops with confit chicken wings and Jerusalem artichoke puree was my favourite by far and braised pork cheeks & ginger carrot was cooked to soft, sweet perfection and swimming in a moreish sticky glaze.

Atul Kochhar’s Dishes – Guest Chef Menu at Benares

Imagining there was some sort of MasterChef battle going on in the kitchen, Atul’s trio of dishes were served up next.

We were informed later as we toured the restaurant and peered into the kitchen through the window of the spectacular chef’s table that Atul had in fact flown to India for a family event so wasn’t in the kitchen at all. All the same, his capable kitchen staff had turned out more great mini meals:

Fennel lamb chop with pickles; stuffed tandoori potatoes; and a beautiful dark green stuffed spinach patty with apricot and yoghurt arrived. The soft hints of spice running through all three dishes were just the right accompaniment to our second cocktail – Benares’ signature Tea Martini (made with black tea, Beefeater gin, lemon juice, egg white, syrup and a spice mix of cardamom, black pepper, star anise, cloves).

It’s unusual for me to rave about desserts but on this occasion it was Bryn’s final punch – a warm rice pudding with prunes and caramelised walnuts – that won the day. It was warming, wintery and filled with sweet spices that mirrored the Indian dishes that had come before. It was the perfect thing to send my on my merry way back home.

* Foodie Mom in London was invited as a complimentary guest to try the Guest Chef Menu at Benares.

Benares on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 15 November 2012

#1 Crush Of The Week – Advent Calendars

I plan to make the 'crush of the week' a weekly feature of this blog thus the #1. I know it’s a bit early to be talking Christmas, but I figured as it’s an advent calendar that I wish to wax lyrical about, I can get away with it. It’s mid-November already people so it’s high time you picked up your countdown to the big day, and, if you’re into Christmas and all its accessories, these two options below are mighty fine:

Prestat’s Magical Advent Calendar


This pinged into my in-box and I thought it was so irresistible; I couldn’t help but give it a mention. Prestat is a classic London chocolate shop that dates way back to 1902. A favourite of Her Majesty and the late Queen Mother, no doubt Wills and Harry will have a Prestat calendar or two knocking around the palace.

Designer and illustrator Kitty Arden has created the front illustration depicting the three wise men and underneath, each new day reveals a different Prestat choccie including flavours like sea salt caramel in dark chocolate; white chocolate truffle with ground pistachio praline and new heather honey truffle.

Prestat Advent Calendar £30
Visit the website:


Ciaté Mini Mani Month Calendar

How frigging cool is this? A manicure calendar from British nail fashion brand Ciaté. Behind each door is a different nail polish ranging through their bestselling mini paint pots, caviar blends, and three exclusive paint pot glitter shades. It’s so popular it’s currently sold out online so check back soon.

Visit the website:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Design Crush – Timorous Beasties

Seeing as Timorous Beasties' wallpaper is set as the background to my blog, I though it was only fair that they should be one of my first posts.

I heart Timorous Beasties. They make the most awesome patterns. The London Toile is what you see on my blog.

I also have the green version of this across one wall in my house. I could look at this wallpaper forever and not get bored. From a distance it looks like an old-fashioned wallpaper pattern but when you take a closer look you see urban scenes and London landmarks. It also makes a great background for portraits as seen modelled by a one of my friends here.

And their greatness doesn’t stop at The London Toile. They also have brilliant psychedelic patterns and insect motifs.

Have a flick: Visit the Timorous Beasties website

Timorous Beasties – I salute you.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cute Baby Booties from Oliver Bonas

Stanley has about 70 aunts and uncles. This is because all of my friends are now referred to as 'Auntie' this or 'Uncle' that. My sister India is Stanley’s only real auntie on my side. It seems so weird to think of my lil’ sis as an auntie. It’s such a grown up sounding name.
Auntie Kristen (not real auntie) just bought Stanley the cutest ever winter booties from Oliver Bonas and I thought they were worthy of a post.

Oliver Bonas Baby Booties

The baby booties are lined with a really cosy cream faux fur and made from real leather on the outside. They lace up at the front which really helps with getting on to small wriggly feet and also helps prevent those small wriggly feet kicking them off again. Such a great Christmas present for a baby!
I tried to find these on the Oliver Bonas website but couldn’t see them. I have just come across these equally snuggly Oliver Bonas Baby Felt Fox Baby Slippers though. Cute!
Thank you Auntie Kristen. xx

An Ode to Abel & Cole - Lentil salad with beetroot, sweet potato and feta

I love Abel & Cole! I started getting their organic fruit and vegetables delivered soon after Stanley was born. Each week a big brown box arrives at my door and it’s like I’ve been sent a lovely organic present. I get the small mixed fruit and veg box which seems to be enough for me and the hubby and it’s also great to be able to make baby Stanley pureed meals that are 100% organic.

The boxes contain weekly recipe cards encouraging you to try new recipes with your produce and the different variety of fruit and veg inspires you to experiment with your meals so much more.

Hurrah for Able & Cole

Abel & Cole are like my big extended family. Whenever I’ve spoken to them on the phone, (as well as the time I harassed them on twitter to find out why I hadn’t won their jam recipe competition), they’re always nice and they even gave me a big bottle of olive oil for referring a friend once.

Disclaimer: I have not been endorsed by Able & Cole to write this post I just happen to think they are awesome (genuinely). If you do sign up make sure you let them know I sent you : )

Lentil salad with Abel & Cole beetroot, sweet potato and feta

This week my box had some lovely beetroot in. Beetroot is one of my all time favourite vegetables and is just fantastic when roasted. I used these for the basis of my salad.


1 cup of green lentils
1 dash red wine vinegar
1 dash balsamic vinegar
1 chopped fresh red chilli
½ lemon squeezed
Handful of fresh chopped mint
Handful of nut – pecans or walnuts
Feta (crumbled)
A bunch of salad leaves including rocket
2 x beetroot
1 x sweet potato
Teaspoon cumin
Teaspoon chilli powder


1) Boil the green lentils until soft
2) Chop and roast the sweet potato and beets with chilli powder, cumin, oil, crushed sea salt and pepper
3) Once the lentils are cooked, add the red wine and balsamic vinegar, chopped chilli, mint and lemon. Cook on a low heat for a further five minutes to infuse and then remove from heat and season to taste

4) Add the lentils to the roasted vegetables and serve on a bed of leaves, (I used Able & Cole’s mixed leaves with rocket), and top with crumbled feta and walnuts

Monday, 5 November 2012

Welcome to My New Blog - Foodie Mom in London

Previously found blogging at Foodie in London, in 2012 I had a baby and to coincide with this life-changing event, it seemed my world of blogging needed an overhaul too.

With less time to get out and about in the evening currently, this blog will be a mix of food, motherhood musings and a handful of London restaurant reviews thrown in (the child friendly ones anyway). I’m half American and following in the footsteps of my dear old mom, I kind of think of myself as ‘Mom’ too now, thus the blog name.

I hope you like my blog. ☺

Here's a photo of my little pumpkin Stanley at Halloween:

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