Date Day in London: The Mae Deli and a Hyde Park Ramble

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sometimes a date day in London can be a bit overwhelming.

What to do? The theatre? A museum? One of the bazillion restaurants? With so much choice comes the pressure to HAVE FUN because we're in LONDON and IF WE CAN'T HAVE FUN HERE CAN WE EVER?!?! (Sorry for all the caps, but such choice can put on just weeny bit of pressure, right?). To avoid organised, pressure-induced FUN, Jack and I like to keep date days in London simple.

We love a little window shop, a spot of lunch and long ramble talking about whether or not Jon Snow is dead (we say no way hose, by the way). Last month it was my turn to choose the lunch spot and I plumped for Deliciously Ella's The Mae Deli, which I'd wanted to try out for aaaages. After I assured Jack they sold brownies there, he was on board too. Come along for our date day below. Spoiler alert - there's alottta food.

If you want to replicate this date day youself, I suggest starting your date on Regent or Oxford Street with a window shop (and treating yourself to a little summin' summin' from The Body Shop, I reckon) before making you way to lunch and Hyde Park.

The Mae Deli, tucked away behind Oxford Street, is all sorts of super cute. Full of mason jars, blackboards, exposed brick and fresh flowers it's an instagrammer's dream. But it's also, reassuringly, packed making it a food lover's haven too.

We arrived at about 12.30pm and it was buzzing, but luckily we were seated straight away. Jack got to ordering whilst I, well I took photos of the place from top to toe.

But let's get to the nitty gritty - food. We both went for the Mae Bowl (a combination of four different dishes of your choice), but Jack plumped purely for cold dishes whilst I had a hot dish too.
The choice is massive and it takes some will to just choose four dishes. Heres what we went for, pictured below - Mexican style roasted veg, maple roasted sweet potatoes, falafel, grilled broccoli beansprout salad, beans and salsa verde, quinoa salad and thai green curry!
Our winner? The broccoli! So delicious. And the maple-roasted sweet potatoes that we've been recreating at home ever since.

We were both fit to burst after those mega bowls plus smoothies (my green one was delicious, but Jack's peanut butter a little disappointing. Better made with a load ice cream, I reckon). However, I'd promised Jack brownies so we nabbed a Peanut Fudge Slice (on the left), and marched off to Hyde Park in an attempt to walk off our mega lunch.

I love spending time outdoors and sometimes in London it's tricky to find a patch of fresh air. Luckily, Hyde Park is a great place to stretch your legs and conveniently located in the middle of the city. We took to the grass with a spring in our step.

Jack made room for the brownie of course, and I had a nibble too. Super fudgy, so very dense and crazy filling. Clever Deliciously Ella, how do you do it? And that was that! Followed by a nap on the sofa it was pretty much our perfect day.

Take selfies and be merry, kids. And happy dating!

Lottie Loves

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Instagram of the week: You can't beat an easy weekend breakfast, with extra maple syrup ofc. 

1. Hi pals! Shall we all have this Smoky White Bean Shakshuka for breakfast eeeerryday?
2. Love podcasts? Try one of these 4 episodes for some mega inspiration. 

3. Not sure where to start with smoothies? Check out this Layering Guide to a Better Smoothie

6. This 20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken recipe looks like it could be an absolute winner. 

7. Live in a match box? These Small Space Secret Storage Ideas might be super helpful. 

8. This Pear and almond frangipane tart looks just so lovely.

9. Looking to give your blog a bit of TLC? Check out these 5 Things To Do For Blog Maintenance

10. Um? Can I just live in one these, pls. 7 Magical Airbnb Treehouses To Stay In

Have a happy weekend, friends! x


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Hi friends! Hasn't March been busy? Packed with Easter, and Mother's Day and the start of Spring to boot. Here's what I've been up to over the past month. What have you been doing? 

Reading: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and I loved it! It's a book that demands attention and your engagement, but it really is fascinating. If you're at all interested in the history and development of humans, then read this book.

Watching: 10 Cloverfield Lane - just a little bit terrifying, I nearly pinched Jack's nipple off at one point because it was just so intense. John Goodman is brilliant, I love him more with every film. Midnight Special - this was an Odeon Screen Unseen film. The idea is you buy a ticket for a fiver and go and see a secret film. It was syfy-ish, but cool to watch a genre of film we don't often go for. Song of the Sea - my goodness this film. It's my new favourite animated film by a mile. Just gorgeous, GORGEOUS animation, sweet characters and a magical storyline. It was nominated for an Oscar a couple of years ago and by jove it should've won (side note: apparently I say by jove now). House of Cards - this was a binge-watch. We watched the whole series in less than a week. I don't think it was quite as good as the last series, but it's still a whole load of Underwood goodness and I can't say no to that. Plus Masterchef - because well, John and Greg are mega babes.

Eating: Hot Cross Buns, Easter Eggs and a lot of falafel. It feels like Easter was an age ago now, but I'm still working through my Easter eggs. Poor effort, I know. I've also been working on a green, super herby falafel recipe that Jack and I are loving at the moment. We usually serve with mashed avocado, grated carrot, red cabbage and beetroot, halloumi, sumac yoghurt and spinach. It's pretty damn delish, I hope the recipe is coming to the blog soon.

Visiting: family! All over the shop. We've hardly been in London over the past month and have spent every weekend away from home. It's been so lovely to visit everyone and get in a load of cuddles, laughs and meals together, but we're looking forward to a quiet weekend in a couple of weeks.

Deciding: To get a Fitbit. We'd pondered on the idea for a while, but I'm naturally just a liiiittle bit thrifty. Then we saw my sister, who had just bought one and we were sold. And I'm so glad we got them. It's been brilliant to track how much exercise I'm doing a day and it's encouraging Jack and I to go outside and enjoy the lighter evenings with a run round the park or a game of tennis. If you're undecided, all can say is take the plunge!

Making: strides with my novel. I've been tooing and frowing with my protagonist, but I've finally decided on the direction I want to take her. Now just to dedicate some time to writing the thing.

Struggling: to make time for weekly blogging. I'm sorry! It's been a hectic, hectic month. I'm trying to get my blogging schedule under control and write more posts in advance. I have so many recipes I'm loving at the moment anw ant to share. I will get round to it. Promise, boo.

Trying: to perfect a nighttime routine. I've recently encorporated 10 minutes of yoga before bed time and a seriously dedicated moisterising routine (I've nearly run out of my Emma Hardie though, pray for me). It seems to be helping me get a better night sleep and I'm enjoyingthe methodical, calming process.

Wearing: Less layers! How gorgeous is this weather? However I've realised my Spring wardrobe is just my summer wardrobe with tights. I realise this is a ridiculous first world probelm, but I'm craving some light trousers, cute tops and some sassy sandals.

Loving: The lighter evenings. This means I take at least five photos on my walk home and annoy all the busy commuters trying to get places. Sorry, guys, I get distracted by all the pretty.

Wanting: a little more time at home. We're such home birds its strange to be out of our little nest so often. We're hoping this next month will be a little calmer. Now if all our friends and family could just move down the road, that would be fab.

Saying: Hi my name's Lottie and I'm a writing mentor. Yup, that's right. I'm training to be a writing mentor for a group in Hoxton. I'm super excited to be working with children again and diving into some creative writing sessions. Hurrah!

Have a great April guys!

Lottie Loves

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Instagram of the week: Browsing the Moonlight supply at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

1. Now THIS is my kinda smoothie bowl. Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl.

2. This couple's road trip gives me serious wanderlust.

3. Can I live in this brunch platter please?

4. How Hannah edits her photos on instagram. Always worth a nosy.

5. How to Spring-clean your house (and keep it clean). I feel like a Spring clean is imminent.

6. Struggling to keep track of your week? Read Emily's tips on how to map out a successful week.

7. This lovely Spring weather has me in the mood to make this Lemon Chicken Risotto. And go on holiday, pls. 

8. I love these tips on how to throw a dinner party in an hour.

9. 8 savoury and sweet bread recipes. Because carbs are forever and for always.

10. How about a trip to Austin? This blog totally sold me on it.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Waffles

Friday, 25 March 2016

Sup players, fancy some brunch?

I'm a real brunch convert. Holding out just a little longer on breakfast (although I have been known to have a pre-brunch-breakfast, which may or not defeat the point?) to go to town on a delicious pile of brunchy goodness is just the bomb diggity. Brownie points for mimosas and mac n cheese on the side. Y'see, breakfast is so often too functional (sup, slow release engery porridge) and lunch an afterthought (sandwich again? Maybe pasta?) but brunch - brunch is always a meal that demands to be delicious.

So yeah, you can see why I'm down for brunch. And as much as I love making my way into town and discovering a new delicious brunch spot, my bank balance is all hold up girl, your trainers are falling apart please stop buying brunch and go and get some new shoes. Real talk. So today, we're talking about making blow-your-socks-off delish brunch at home. Stuff of champions, thing of legend.

But this waffle recipe manages it. It's thick, fluffy and laced with sweet vanilla. Plus it's packing a punch of dark chocolate chips that say THAT'S RIGHT I'M EATING CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST, WHAT OF IT? It's full of sass, full of flavour and makes sure that brunch at home is done right. Want to grab this recipe? I wrote all about it over on Wayfair's blog, so go and grab yourself the deets and get wafflin' this weekend.

Lottie Loves

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Instagram of the week: A weekend visit to the Mae Deli. Our visit made me want to 1. recreate every dish at home and 2. open a deli of my own.

1. Hi! Let's talk about this Green Goddess Mac and Cheese pls? Delish.

2. How to do a killer flatlay. Key advice, folks.

3. Sign me up for these 7 salads that are anything but boring. That Mean Green Detox one looks just incred.

4. 23 free workout plans. YUP, let's do this.

5. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart is something we should all make now.

6. Where to find affordable art. Express yo'self!

7. This recipe for Soda Bread with Milk Chocolate and Salted Honey Butter looks like the only thing I want to eat in the near future.

8. Birthday coming up? 25 homemade cakes that will make you look like a pro.

9. 15 secret spots to visit in London.

10. And finally - a little summin' summin' for Easter next weekend - Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf. Aah yes please.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Date Night in London: Homeslice Neal's Yard

Friday, 18 March 2016

Jack and I take it in turns to plan date night. On his last turn, he hit it out of the park.

Y'see, I'm the kind of girl who isn't polite about pizza. You know if you order a couple with a group and everyone politely holds back? I don't. Nope. Never. I will continue to eat the pizza until I physically can't lift my hands to my face anymore. Yeah, I'm that person. I struggle to understand anyone who is indifferent to pizza. What's not to love? Carbs, cheese, toppings of every variety under the sun. Pizzas, in my opinion, can't be big enough. 

Jack knows this. And with this knowledge he led me along to Neal's Yard to grab a table at Homeslice, who are renowned for their 20 inch pizzas. That's right, people. TWENTY INCHES. If you're in London and your girlfriend/boyfriend/best friend loves pizza, make them happy and take them to Homeslice.

We didn't get a table when we walked in (the place is popular and it was a Saturday, no biggie), but instead of making their punters queue around the block (we're all looking at you, Bao), Homeslice take your number and give you a call when your table frees up. So you can go off and frolic in Covent Garden rather than stare at a wall outside. Little touches like this make me feel so affectionately towards this place. 

When we got in we discovered that the pizzas, besides being massive (hurrah!), are also delicious. And, unlike other pizza joints, branch out with genuinely mouth-watering and imaginative toppings. I'm talking from Anchovy, Caramelised Onion and Kalamata Olives to Mushroom, Ricotta, Pumpkin Seed and Chilli. I mean, I need to go back at least several times to sample them all.  

(Please appreciate the picture above of hangry Jack eye-balling the next-door table whose pizza just arrived).

We plumped for a split pizza, half classic margherita (I mean you can tell what a pizza place is made of by the quality of their margherita) and half Goat Shoulder, Savoy Cabbage and Sumac Yoghurt and a couple of beers. Please see 6ft Jack for scale.

We tucked in, and had to keep reminding one another to pace ourselves. Enjoy the amazing pizza, dammit! We can inhale our food and not talk to each other at home!

 Pls do not disturb:

We loved it. Jack and I take our pizzas seriously and we really can't fault this place. Huge and UH-mazing pizzas, delicious on-tap beer (and bubbles!) and such lovely, considerate service. If you're looking for a date night idea in London and your boo loves a slice - GO.

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