Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Weekend in Paris – Valentine’s 2013

Brunch at bookshop/cafe and ultra cool store Merci

Shopping at boutique children's store Bonton

Huitres at Les Petit Celestine

Spotting my father in law's book in the bookstore window. Buy Les démons de l'île Saint-Louis on Amazon.

Steak dinner at Le Royal Turenne, Marais

Lunch in the Jardin des Plantes

Coffee at La Favorite - sister engaged. Yes that is an engagement ring!

Knackered out on the Eurostar. Bye, bye city of love.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Spice Market Raw Bar at W Hotel, London

Hallelujah. Praise the lord. Big in the scene, etc. etc. After a year and four months at long last I HAVE AN I-PHONE AGAIN.
My last one vanished somewhere between the sofa and the corner shop when I was pregnant and the f**king insurance w**kers, f**ked me over and I have been using an old knackered blackberry ever since – and as you can see I am still not over this.
So obviously on my first evening out in town with my new phone clasped firmly in my hand (you’ve heard about the masked bicycle phone thieves right?), I got snap happy while on my way to the launch of Spice Market’s Raw Bar.
I walked through Trafalgar Square and the fountains were lit up and looked so pretty:
Looking up at the colossal W Hotel on the corner of Leicester Square:

So What Exactly Is The Spice Market?

Spice Market is an Asian-fusion restaurant at the W Hotel, sister to the Spice Market in New York’s Meatpacking district. The menu is inspired by legendary French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s travels around South East Asia and the street food scene he encountered there.
Over here though, it seems executive chef Peter Lloyd is in charge of the kitchen and he has developed a new ‘raw bar’ menu that is made up at the bar in front of diners and is based entirely out of raw ingredients. Shaved rare tuna with chilli tapioca and Asian pear; salmon ceviche with avacado; and beef tartare with pickled cucumber were some of the canapés we sampled. All of the dishes are citrus-filled, fresh and zingy with barely a carbohydrate in site.
Happy raw bar chefs hard at work:
The medley of cocktails on offer as we entered the restaurant:
I'm keen to return to the Spice Market and sample the raw bar dishes in their entirety as I must admit after the canape-sized portions my journey home was via a takeaway pork bun from Chinatown. Finally, below, it just goes to show that even with today’s state of the art technology there is still some skill involved in good photography. Apologies to those at the Raw Bar as this photo is not the remnants of my Saturday night kebab but is indeed a Raw Bar salad. Don't worry it tasted better than this looks.


More from me on The Spice Market's Raw Bar  


Spice Market RawBar on   *Foodie Mom in London was an invited guest to Spice Market Raw Bar launch  
Spice Market on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Maternity – A Look Back on A Great Year

As my days of maternity are drawing to an end, (I start work again on 4th March), I’m beginning to look back and reminisce.

I read an article in Stylist a while back titled Power Maternity, which is all about people re-inventing themselves while on maternity.

Read the Stylist Power Maternity Article

While I may not have launched a new lucrative career this year, I have had a really special 11 months. Aside from the obvious, giving birth to a healthy, happy beautiful little boy, it’s been a time to be me again.

Ok, it’s not all been glowingly positive, there’s definitely been the lows – cleaning sweetcorn poo off the floor (sorry too much information), sobbing with pain while breastfeeding, trying to bounce a baby off to sleep on an exercise ball for hours at a time, but in addition here’s what I’ve gotten up to:

Maternity Checklist

• Launched a new blog: Foodie Mom In London

• Launched a second new blog (for baby pics): 52 Stanley Thursdays

• Started writing for the local NCT Tower Hamlets magazine

• Joined a local am dram group – I’m Jessica in the Merchant of Venice and we’re performing in March.

• Met lots of new mothers and babies at The Idea Store’s Story Time, the Museum of Docklands soft play, through my lovely antenatal NCT group and Water Babies gang

• Still kept up with freelancing for, and

• Spent time making home-cooked food

Maternity Leave - A Time To Be Me

I have always loved meeting new people but what’s been extra special about this year is I’ve been able to meet people on my own terms, just being me. No work formalities, no one to impress or be nice to unless I want to. It’s been refreshing and I already know I’ll look back on this time with great, warm memories.

If you’re reading this and you’re just about to start maternity, I hope you have a great year. My advice is get out and about as much as possible and make the most of your time.

Now, maybe it is time to start planning baby number two after all ; )

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