Every now and again us blogger types decide to indulge ourselves and our passions by taking the liberty-cuz we can- and spill everything on this endlessly scrolling page. Today happens to be one of those days! Lucky for you or…. maybe not! If you are short on time, do take in the yummy healthy recipe and bookmark this fabulous visual tour of London and happenings for when you have time for a cup of tea perhaps! If you have time for an indulgent few minutes to peruse, well… do enjoy!!
It was Holly Becker and her first ever book launch that prompted the trip, inspiring me to travel to London. She’s become a special friend and I really wanted to see her shine with her wonderful success after years of hard work, blogging her heart out and now styling and editing this marvelous book called Decorate. But before I ended up in London I took in a perfectly inspiring weekend in Orlando with Jaden of Steamy Kitchen who rounded up a roster of talented folks to share their wealth of knowledge to many of us new to blogging folk that have lots to learn and experience as we journey down this exciting path. Jaden really out did herself as the event was a phenomenal success leaving us all ready to go and conquer the blogging business world.
The Food Blog Forum was sponsored in part by Whole Foods with an evening of mixing and munching at a Whole Foods Market, one of my favourite grocers, that I wish was in my neighborhood or on my island for that matter! It’s a ferry sailing away thus I rarely venture there, so instead I make the most of my chance visits to Whole Foods and this time enjoyed perusing the healthy aisles with a new kindred spirit, Aggie, of Aggie’s Kitchen ooohing, aaahing and whining just a bit cuz I can’t easily access the special items she introduced me to. Funny how it used to be a night on the town that got me jazzed, now it’s the aisles of the grocery store, hmmmm……how life has changed! Is this you too or am I the only crazy one?
After my very inspiring Orlando experience I flew to London via Dublin. It was lovely to see the Irish country side from the air, sooo gorgeous, and green…. my favourite colour, and the new terminal was fantastic to spend a few hours in-note to self-must return and see more than airport! After the red eye, during which I never, ever can catch a wink, I was in real need of a green juice so I headed off to The Natural Kitchen just down from my hotel, The Mandeville-which was very stylish I might add- I chose this location in Marylebone cuz I love the high street and from my previous visit, I knew I could find a perfect green juice each morning without dragging my juicer in my suitcase! It was just sooo perfect to have this option that I promised I would share with you in case you find yourself in London needing some healthy juice.
I was inspired by how The Natural Kitchen folks created my daily juice by juicing most of the veggies and then blending in the rest. So I had to try my own version of the Natural Kitchen juice that I knew you would want to try in your own kitchen. It turned out quite delish and I bet you’ll love it. It’s kinda like a fresh juice and a smoothie combined. This is an excellent alkalizing recipe for when you are doing a detox day or if you just like veggies for breaky like me! It tastes rather like a sunny morning so I photographed it with soft yellow, fragrant hyacinths… and I did another mood board for you to ‘set the veggie morning mood’. Basically, it’s a sneaky way to inspire you to WANT to add lots of veggies to your morning routine. Is it working for you?? I hope so:)
Creamy Avocado Breakfast Juice
Yield: 4 cups
1 long English cucumber
2 stalks celery
1 lemon peeled
2 thumbs of fresh ginger (more if you like it hot like me)
1 firm green pear
10-12 fresh spinach leaves
1/2 crown broccoli
3 drops liquid stevia, optional
In a Juicer, juice the cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger and pear. Pour this juice in a high speed blender with the spinach, broccoli and avocado and blend til creamy and smooth. If you wish, sweeten just a tad more with a few drops of stevia. Enjoy with a straw and share or pack the 2nd glass for mid morning or for lunch. *note: If you can learn to enjoy the green juice without the pear or stevia, this is ideal for alkalizing and is mandatory for anyone who is not well and is working to eliminate symptoms.
Because this has part juice and part blended veggies you are able to quickly assimilate the concentrated vitamin & mineral rich juiced veggies and yet the blended fiber will keep you satisfied a little longer than juiced veggies will. As for your body, it will LOVE you as you’ve just made it’s job easier by mincing up the veggies so you won’t spend precious energy breaking this down, yet you will be fully energized to begin your day. Not that veggies take a long time to digest as they are quick to process especially leafy greens but you will preserve energy for other activities, like ‘super brain power’ as you begin your day. I rather think this is a pretty good pay off for having to rinse out a juicer AND a blender in the morning as well as the fact that you will feel superb compared to sluggish after having had something like eggs & bacon for breaky!-and the greasy mess from this preparation is 10x’s worse to me, don’t you agree?
Are you ready? Cuz I can’t help it, I’m an Aries and I have to share everything I do, taste, see, experience, find AND everywhere I go AND the special folks I meet! Do you do this-are you an Aries too? If so, I want to hear from you so I don’t feel soooo alone in my craziness! This last trip to Orlando and then on to London was filled to the brim with wonderful people, and places, with soooo much to share. I’m terrible at editing out cuz I don’t want you to miss a thing! If I could have taken you with me, you’d have experienced it all, right there with me, but since I couldn’t do that, these collages of photos should do just the trick! On the other hand, if it’s a bit over kill, I apologize, I can’t help my snap happy self with a camera and I hate to see these fun shots hiding in my photo library! So here goes it, a rather big glimpse of my trip, including Orlando, and mostly London thru the lens of my camera & my iPhone!
Here we have the highlights of Food Blog Forum. Jaden is pictured at the mic inspiring us all while special recipes were created on site for us to try by the Whole Foods chefs. The brie wedding cake was gorgeous even though I’m not a cheese girl! I met fellow NYC blogger Asha Pagdiwalla of Fork Spoon Knife, as well as Helene Dujardin of Tartlette who shared her wisdom on photography-she’ s soooo clever that I am taking her up coming class in Santa Fe soon-and BTW she just published her first book too!-Plate to Pixel. The special desserts were so beautifully put together I had to take a snap shot of the chocolate tea cup presentation, so cute! For more highlights on the FBF check out the attendees links at the bottom of this post, Food Blog Forum.
Below is my much needed, energizing, green juice moment! The Natural Kitchen boasted healthy options from produce, to grocery basics, and delicious deli salads chalk full of fresh veggies, prepared daily. It was a hubbub of activity with communal tables for quick stops or an option for table service upstairs with a menu of goodness offered. One could even find gourmet gift items like special olive oils and gadgets, downstairs, for those special foodie types-kinda like me!
After declaring that I would be thrilled to blog about their fabulous business, the owner and the staff didn’t mind me shooting the veggies-my favourite subject!! I guess I’m not the only one that loves this place. I woke up this morning to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter in my inbox-love her stuff- with tons of London places to DO -you must her check out her site- and of course she’s highlighted The Natural Kitchen and a few places I managed to get to. But now I need to go back though cuz there’s sooo much I missed!
Then came the big event that everyone was waiting for, fluffing for, travelling for, the elegant book launch at the coveted Liberty of London location. No one has book launches here, no one…. except the famous Holly Becker! She asked for the moon and she got the stars! It couldn’t have been more perfect for her. A sold out crowd and copy after copy signed and sold! She presented with grace and sincerity. Her book launch utube story is here if you are keen to take a peek for just 2 minutes–see if you can find me–kinda like Where’s Waldo! Holly was like a kid in a candy story as she curated from Liberty’s incredible retail collection, a display of wonderful items reflecting her ‘Decor 8′ aesthetic for the event, with the the help of some friends below.
I met Sania Pell, the author of a wonderful book The Handmade Home, who’s home was featured in Holly’s book Decorate (actually on the US cover). She is pictured with me below, in the first photo, top left. She assisted in the styling and set up of the event along with Leslie Shewring, a dear friend of mine. Together with Holly, these ladies created magic to feast our eyes upon during this special presentation. Holly features more of the event and the lovely displays here on Decor8 - some fabulous interior pages of Decorate are here.
The group shot below is of all the gorgeous Morocco gals!! We all met in Marrakesh back in October and got to have a nice little reunion in London. During my visit I chummed around with Tiffany Kirshner Dixon, The Fancy Farm Girl (my new fun friend and photographer), on the far left and Jo Packham (a dear, dear friend too) on the far right, Publisher of Where Women Create, Where Women Cook. Jo is also the Founder of the upcoming event in September, The Creative Connection in St. Paul-I’m teaching there-yay!- can You come too? Together we shared many, many laughs all week long! Some of our Morocco friends couldn’t be there but we really missed them.
At the bottom right is Amy Butler and I–pinch me! I had the surprise pleasure of meeting her as she signed her books just after Holly’s event (I’ve always adored her vibrant fabric patterns). Tiffany and I shared a little time one morning with her, getting our Natural Kitchen fix as we headed to Portobello Road which I’ll share shortly. Leslie is with me top right and with Holly bottom left. I didn’t get a snap shot of Carolyn Robb, the chef to Princess Diana and Prince Charles -pinch me again!- for 13 years but it was an absolute delight to meet her and her precious daughter. A group of us enjoyed lunch together getting to know her a little more. She brought us lovely chocolate cake treats (they were to DIE for), her own handmade of course, beautifully packaged as a token of appreciation for taking time out to inspire her with our own blogs as she ventures into a new business TasteBud with her florist partner Sarah Champier. Jo Packham just featured her in the recent issue of Where Women Cook.
As fun as seeing, tasting and finding cool stuff in London was, it’s really the people that you meet and spend time with that make it MOST special. All the gals I met are amazing women with BIG hearts, doing what they are passionate about which makes them soooo special and inspiring to be with. I miss you all and wish the miles between us were zero since none of us live anywhere near the other! Thank goodness for the internet & blogs, which really brings us back to how we all met in the first place!
So next you have my photographic extravaganza showing the food we saw, some of which we ate, the places we drooled over and the flowers and veggies I wish I could shop from every single day! Oh London, how I miss thou!
Ottolenghi is where the photos above were taken. If you haven’t been, then get a ticket to London fast! OMG it is to die for! Other wise, order Yotam Ottolenghi’s books Plenty and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook so you can make some of these divine recipes yourself and receive raving reviews! The salads are all vegetarian and rotate weekly based on what’s in season. And the baked goodies, well…. if you were ever going to Zig and Zag….. this is the place to do it!
As for the flowers, I just can’t get enough of pretty blooms and London was just brimming with them. Outside Liberty’s front doors was a stunning florist’s collection that Holly, Leslie and Sania got to play with for displays too-so envious! My retail merchandising passion is flaring up again!
This muted collage is just a glimpse of London sights that caught my eye along with the Liberty Print Nike high tops that I am coveting, aren’t they great?-love them! They have a few patterns available, some are limited editions that are available here. The next few collages are a feast for the eyes- everything you missed by not by not tagging along with me to the Portobello Road street market. Oooooh if I could only return with a personal caddy and a huge shipping container to stuff full of fab finds! Take a drool now!
There’s even a little Will & Kate going on here! Had to pick up a special momentum for a dear friend who is a royal fanatic! Only one more sleep for Kate before she’s a true princess! In the center there’s myself, Amy Butler, Holly Becker, Tiffany Kirshner Dixon and bottom right is Thorsten Becker, Holly’s hubby, in his element, buying vintage books, probably to inspire his own blog, Alternate Words! But just look at the stuff you can find here, it makes me lose my everlasting mind! I especially loved the aluminum suitcases, and those floral picthers were really lovely! Sigh…wish I were there again!
And the veggies, oooh the veggies, my heart was happily dancing as I zoomed in on gorgeous rhubarb, artichokes, kohlrabi, garlic, you name it they had it, deliciously displayed! I was in my happy place alright!
A market with out flowers would be wrong. But this one was over the top gorgeous. Boohoo that I can’t source weekly bouquets here! And the enormous bunches of tulips, sooo stunning!
And then there was the Steam Fair, Tiffanny’s great idea …..Need I say more? By the photos you’ll see how lovely it was to photograph and even more so to take part in with two fun loving companions, Tiffany and Thorsten. Unfortunately my camera battery died-but thanx to my trusty iPhone I still had fun shooting this wonderful outing! Check out the video of the Wall of Death, you won’t believe your eyes what these dare devil motor cycle riding dudes do! My favourite ride as a child was always the slide, so Tiffany and I HAD to slide, in fact we had to go twice! It was sooo fun sliding all the way down the outside of the lighthouse on our jute mats! We were big kids again! We even witnessed the sword swallower!!-but No photos were allowed! If you are ever in the UK when this fair is touring, you must check it out!
Phew, glad you made it way way down here and I hope you enjoyed the scrolling! Perhaps I should have hired an editor for this post, sorry! This could have been a novel! Thanx for taking it all in, I really appreciate you stopping by! Have a fantastic week and be sure to do something that you are passionate about!
Now, I have to ask….
1. How do You incorporate veggies into your breakfast routine, or do you?
2. What’s your favourite subject to photograph?
3. Your favourite place in London is……? or your favourite ride at the fair?
4. What’s your alkaline health goal for this week? More water, extra fitness, big salads….please share:)
Sooo many questions…. but I’m all tuckered out from writing and I’d love to read your stories now:)
pssst….one last thing…. If you felt inclined to vote for our site, We are honoured to be one of 6 finalist’s in the Best Special Interest Blog category for the Saveur Magazine’s Best Blogs of 2011- Yippee! and the link is here. You do have to join to vote but you can opt out after you vote if you so chose, but Saveur is a wonderful site so you may not need to! The voting is open til May 12th. THANK YOU!
My Style Props this week are..
Glass Jars w/ Lids Muffet & Louisa, Sidney B.C. This was an in-store item but perhaps they could still ship it.
Plaid Linen, Cath Kidston, London, England
Heavy Cotton Gauze, Purl Soho, NYC