No. 131

Sometimes, you just need to get away, even if it’s only for one night. The day before Christmas Eve, I traveled to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire to stay at No. 131, a restaurant and bar with 11 bedrooms, attentive and kind staff, great food, and the best bathtub I’ve ever had the pleasure of soaking in.

There are three types of rooms: “Cosy”, “Very Good”, and “Excellent”. Prices increase according to which room you book, and vary depending on the time of year. When I arrived, a member of staff checked me in and informed me that I’d been upgraded to a “Very Good” room from a “Cosy” one. I’d been excited about staying at No. 131 ever since I made the booking, but when I saw my room, I squealed (after the super nice woman who showed me to my room had gone, obvi). It was so. Pretty.

I stood there for maybe 5 seconds, drooling, before racing all over the room to take pictures of everything. Yes, the bathtub is in the bedroom. It was the most beautiful, insanely deep tub I’ve ever seen. I sat in it with my clothes on and felt like I was in a space ship. I actually giggled. I ran into the bathroom, which was just as nice as everything else. I looked out of the window in front of the tub and got a view of the street out front. On the bed, there was a hot water bottle, and an envelope with my name on it.

Inside the envelope was a lovely note from the management welcoming me to No. 131 and wishing me a pleasant stay. Boom. I was completely sold. Upon opening the wardrobe, I found more to delight and amuse. In addition to a place to hang my coat, there was a cute little tea set, a selection of teas, coffee, sugar, and a mini bar.

I had a few hours before my dinner reservation, so I made some tea, poured myself some water from the large bottle they’d left for me, put on my pyjamas, and relaxed in the squishy comfort of my bed with the TV on.

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Right before dinner, I ventured down to the basement bar. Like the rest of the building, it’s lovely, but since the lights were dim (and since I was enjoying myself so much) I didn’t get any pictures of it. It was chilly outside (December, duh) but I sat in their outdoor area with my pint anyway. It’s a cool atmosphere. Groups of friends were out there laughing beneath the heaters. I sipped my beer and watched the world go by a bit before heading back inside.

I reentered the building from the front so I could take a couple of snaps.

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I had dinner in another dimly lit and beautiful space. Several groups were happily chatting away around me. I ordered the devilled crab on toast as my starter, the braised ox cheek with horseradish mash as my main, and an autumn fruit crumble for dessert.

It was a delicious dinner, and I left the restaurant stuffed.

Among the extra services offered that you may recognize (like in-room massage) there are unique complimentary ones which add to No 131’s already considerable charm. The woman who showed me to my room gave me the option of accepting these services, one of which I enjoyed after dinner. While you are having dinner in the restaurant, a member of staff will leave cookies, and hot milk in a thermos with chocolate stirrers in your room so you can make hot chocolate. You better believe I took them up on it.

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Unfortunately, since I’d already stuffed myself with food downstairs, I couldn’t manage the hot chocolate AND both cookies, but I made a good go of it.

Before bed, I luxuriated in a nice looooooong bath in that glorious tub, which was perfectly positioned so I could watch CSI and the first episode of Sherlock as I sank into the bubbles. An interesting thing about No. 131 and the other venues in The Lucky Onion group is that all food and products are locally sourced, including the organic bath products by the brand 100 Acres, based in the Cotswolds.

After my bath, I slept well…until the fire alarm went off. Apparently the fireplaces cause that from time to time. Continental breakfast is available, but you also have the option of having pastries and juice left at your door in the morning to enjoy at your leisure as an alternative, also complimentary. Why not? I went for it. If given the choice, I’ll always take more sleep and bumming around the room in my pjs to getting dressed and dealing with other humans in the morning. Maybe it’s the crotchety grandma in me. *Shrug*

My stay at No. 131 was so relaxing. It really made me see the value in taking a bit of time away from the city. I can’t wait to go back and take advantage of more of their offerings. I also hope to do some exploring around Cheltenham next time.

What’s the best overnight trip you’ve taken?

Happy Tuesday!

P.S.
RIP David Bowie, you king, you.

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Christmassy evenings.

I’ve fallen into a new routine.

I bought a desk for my bedroom. As soon as I put it together, I started doing all computer-related activities in there, neglecting my poor, poor, little living room. But now that the Christmas season is upon us, it’s gotten colder outside, and the winds are howling like the demon hound of the Baskervilles, I’ve started doing that thing where you hover by the window being grateful you’re not outside getting blown into a fence. What is it about enjoying bad weather from the comfort of your warm, dry home? Whatever it is, I dig it. So now I’m spending more time in my living room, cuddled up near my bay window, listening to the wind blow.

Of course I have to set the mood before settling in. I’m not just gonna crouch in the dark with a blanket around my shoulders, peeking outside like your creepy neighbor down the street (you know the one) who in their spare time is probably a witch living in a seaside cave. Nope. Firstly, I turn the heat on because my flat can get mighty frosty. Then, I light a candle or two. My current fave is this one, by Canova (which I bought from a local shop):

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It burns well, and it’s easy to light despite being in a can. I hate when you’ve got, like, a week’s worth of candle left to burn but you can’t get to the wick because your lighter won’t reach. That shit is the stuff of nightmares.

Then, I switch on my Christmas tree! I bought a tiny one, perfect for me and the fuzzballs. When I went home last month, I dug through some of my boxes and found the ornaments I bought for my first Xmas tree in England before I moved here. I don’t remember why I left them behind. Probably something to do with the weight of my suitcase. Luckily, this is my first English Xmas tree (didn’t get one last year), so I hadn’t missed my chance to use them! I’ve bought more ornaments since I’ve been here, too. Right now, I’ve got just enough to cover the visible sides of my lil’ Charlie Brown tree. 🙂


And with the lights out, I’ve got my own personal rave plant.

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Where have fibre optic trees been all my life?! And in case you’re wondering, that large dark space that looks like a black hole is where my big ole Queen of Hearts ornament is XD

With everything else in place, all that’s left is to do is get comfy on my couch and gaze out into the night.

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And of course the cat-monsters come in and get cozy with me, too 😀

How do you enjoy the holiday/autumn season at your house?

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

Scrapin’ Cheese

Whyyyyyyy is it so hard to go back to doing something after you’ve taken a break from it? WHY?

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OK. Deep breaths… Alright, cool.

Have you ever tried raclette? No, that’s not a fancy name for eXtasy. It’s two things (according to Wikipedia): 1) a type of “semi-firm cow’s milk cheese” whose surface you melt and scrape off the larger mass of cheese onto other unsuspecting foods (or maybe just onto a plate), and 2) a dish with French & Swiss origins which involves the heating and scraping of cheese onto foods which traditionally include small potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, and dried meats. Either way, there’s scraping involved.

Last week, I went out with the super amazing trio of Frankie, Flick, and Sophie to try raclette for the first time at the lovely Truc Vert in Mayfair. It was the day after I’d flown back into England, and the jet lag struggle was too real. I was the laziest food-eater/cheese-scraper/blog person ever (Flick side-eyed me in a major way when I wiped my phone’s camera lens with my finger. SO tired, y’all…). An interesting, double-decker contraption was in the middle of the table. The first level looked like two grills flanking a smooth granite rectangle. The level underneath had individual, triangular trays for heating our cheese slices. The four of us examined our cheese trays and poked at the cooker like a bunch of toddlers. I don’t think any of us had tried raclette before; it was all pretty fascinating.

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After bringing us a bottle of the house white wine, our friendly servers brought over all the accoutrements: the potatoes, the gherkins, the pickled onions, the platter full of mouth-watering meats, stacks of bread, and the star of the show, sliced raclette cheese for melting. This is when my curious foodpanions went into serious blogger mode with their awesome cameras clicking away. Me, I took a few lame-o shots with my finger-smudged phone camera (cuz deep down, I’m just a 5 year-old who’s hungry AF).

Observations:
1. Pickled onions make everything better. Where have these sweet, tangy lil bulbs of deliciousness been all my life?!?!?!

2. Trying to eat more than 2 melted slices of cheese (as in melting more than 2 slices at the same time and trying to eat it) is no bueno for me.

3. If #2 is true of you, too, it’s a good idea to eat with at least one cheese champion, like Flick, who’ll eat the melted cheese you don’t eat b/c you’re being a candy ass.

4. No amount of bread is ever enough.

5. Raclette is tasty and fun!

If you’re looking for a cool social eating experience, give raclette a try. And if you need somewhere to try it, Truc Vert’s a great place to lose your raclette virginity. Do it.

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Thanks for inviting me along, Frankie! And thank you to Truc Vert for being such awesome hosts 🙂

Pre-departure Montage

What up?

I’ll be heading back to the good ole US of A tomorrow (EDIT: for the holidays; not permanently!) and am STILL preparing, so instead of a week of normal posts, I’m going to give you everything at once. I’ll be visiting with loved ones until the end of the month, so I’m not sure if next week will be back to normal posting or if I’ll just take that time to be away from my computer completely; we’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a week’s worth of posts in one!

Treat Yoself Tuesday: Brunch @ Darwin Brasserie

Susan and I went for the All Day Sunday Brunch at Darwin Brasserie, one of three eateries at the Sky Garden (which is inside the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street). Walking into the restaurant, you pass a full to bursting cold buffet table with tons of eats, including salmon, bread, prawn salad, deli meats (prosciutto, ham, salami, and the like), fruit smoothies, and a dessert table covered in creme brulee, jam and chocolate-filled donuts, blueberry cheesecake, and other lovelies. In addition to taking your pick from the buffet table, you have a Bloody Mary bar (which we took advantage of — traditional for Susan; oyster & Chinese chili for me), a “milkshake” bar, a juice bar, and a hot dish of your choice from the kitchen. I went for the Beef Hash with fried egg; Susan went for the full English Breakfast. Susan enjoyed her full English (except for the black pudding). I would have enjoyed mine if not for the brown sauce mixed into the dish. They gave me a dish of brown sauce on the side in addition and honestly I would’ve preferred to just have it on the side — that way I could choose how much I wanted to use. Other than that though, the food was fantastic, and the after-brunch-views were of course spectacular. I’d love to go back to check out the garden more closely some day soon.

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Writing Wednesday: What I’ve Read Lately

I have a habit of reading several books at once, but since I’ve only just had my Confirmation, I’ve only just started reading fiction again. As such, I’ve only finished 2 books so far.

Less Than Zero is Bret Easton Ellis’s first novel. He started writing it while he was still in highschool; finished it in college. He grew up in the Valley with rich friends who lived in the Hollywood Hills, so this novel about jaded college freshmen from LA with too much of everything definitely has details scoured from his own experiences (at least as far as the indiscriminate sex and drug use). For me, this book hit a little too close to home, not that I know what it’s like to grow up with rich, film industry big-wigs as parents in a Beverly Hills mansion; but it did remind me of what it can be like to be young in Los Angeles… in this case, not necessarily a good thing. Clay comes home for his winter break from an East Coast college and pretty much falls back into the life he had with his friends before he left. But his mindset’s shifted slightly, so the things his friends do (which escalate from “Oh, they’re just young” to “WTF?!”) don’t always sit well with him, especially as they get more and more outrageous. This is not a book for the faint of heart.

If you’ve read The Bone Clocks, the events of this story will be somewhat familiar to you as they take place within the same universe. This story has at its center a mysterious residence which becomes something different depending on who visits. The people in charge of it want one thing in particular, and will do anything to get it, including manipulating reality. I can’t say too much without giving vital things away, and I think the less you know going in (excluding what you may have gleaned from The Bone Clocks) the better.

As for what I’m in the process of reading, there’s The Loney (Andrew Michael Hurley), The Road to Little Dribbling (Bill Bryson), Lunar Park (Brett Easton Ellis), Never the Bride (Paul Magrs), and various comic books and graphic novels.

Travel Thursday: Heading “Home”

I told you all that the concept of “home” is sort of complicated for me. Well, I’m going back to the country of my birth this week XD Hahahaha. Sounds so formal and dumb when you say it like that. I’m going to a couple of cities to see some of my favorite people. The thing I’m looking forward to most is having an early Xmas with my mom 😀 (since we can’t spend the actual holiday together) We’re gonna eat everything in the world on Thanksgiving, watch our favorite movies/TV shows, decorate her tree, and exchange gifts. I’m super excited to give her her presents (and to eat her cooking again)!

The last time I visited the US, it felt really weird. Every morning I woke up anxious, thinking I had to get to work, before remembering that I don’t live there anymore. It’s f**kin weird going back to a place where you had a life when your current life is elsewhere. And it’s so easy to fall back into the same routine. Going to your favorite restaurants, watching your favorite stuff on TV, hearing people speak the way you remember (and regaining your accent for a while). But there’s also this feeling that everything you’re experiencing is somehow new, even though it isn’t. It’s crazy.

OBSESSED: “BMO Noire”

I love cartoons. A lot. One of my favs is Adventure Time. There’s one character that’s a computer — his name is BMO. He can walk around and talk and think independently. Recently, I fell back in love with an older episode where BMO has his own story apart from Finn and Jake. They go to a party and leave BMO home on his own. Finn’s pissed b/c he can’t find one of his socks, so BMO spends the whole episode pretending to be a Raymond Chandler-esque detective who finds out what happened to it. The voice actress who does BMO’s voice is Korean and she keeps her accent when she does his voice; his dialogue in this episode is also full of  misinterpretations of American/Western phrases from old detective novels. It’s hilarious and adorable. The video above is a preview of the episode from when it first came out. If I could post the episode in full, I would. But I can’t. So you should find it and watch it.

So that’s everything. I’ll probably say hello at some point while I’m away — on Twitter or in a post here. But for now, I’ll say: Have a great week, y’all!

Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s

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At first I held off on making this declaration, but I think I should just go ahead and admit it: I had the best afternoon tea of my life at Claridge’s. Afternoon tea at Sketch is a verrrry close second, but Claridge’s wins overall.

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Every inch of the place is beautiful, including the bathrooms where a polite attendant sets out a hand towel for you to dry off with after you’ve washed your hands, and offers to take your coat to the cloakroom. Even though I was early, they seated me right away (unlike the disappointing afternoon tea I had a couple weeks ago where I had to wait for a table despite having a reservation). The maître d’ kindly took me through the menu before leaving me to settle in.

I was reading Less Than Zero. Not exactly fancy tea reading, but there ya go.

I was reading Less Than Zero. Not exactly fancy tea reading, but there ya go.

A string duo (pianist and cellist) provides the soundtrack for what is ultimately a very relaxed atmosphere. Yes, people are well-dressed (I honestly would’ve felt like crap if the floral centerpieces had looked better than I did), and the place is pretty fancy, but here’s the thing: it’s not snooty. No one at Claridge’s makes you feel bad for not being a duchess or an earl. You’re spending money there — a hefty chunk, I might add — and they respect that. And you. I also wasn’t treated like a freak for dining alone (which can sometimes happen).

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My dinner-jacketed server arrived after giving me an adequate amount of time to choose from their selection of teas, of which there’s a good variety available. The server then explained that he would be refilling my tea cup by cup. From then on, he continually refilled my small teapot with piping hot water, instead of leaving me a larger pot full of tea that would eventually grow tepid over the course of my meal. Smart idea.

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The sandwiches I had (which are slightly different than what’s currently listed on the Claridge’s website) were Burford brown egg & watercress on onion bread; English cucumber, buttermilk and sorrel on white bread; corn fed chicken, thyme and cep mayonnaise on rye bread; Severn & Wye smoked salmon, whipped brown butter with lemon and samphire on malt bread; Dorrington ham, celeriac remoulade, smoked tomato chutney on white bread; and a piece of Quickes cheddar quiche with pickled walnut.

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Biting into each sandwich, I could tell that every ingredient had been chosen with care. The bread, the spreads, and the fillings all went together so well. My favorite sandwiches were the salmon and, surprisingly, the ham! Usually the ham sandwich is the throw-away that nobody cares about, but this one was fantastic. After finishing the first round, I was offered another plate of sandwiches, which I gladly accepted. I love that at most afternoon teas, you’re offered seconds.

The string duo played “Here Comes the Sun”, bits from the Harry Potter score, the theme from Goldfinger, and “Kiss From A Rose”, among other things. It was cool to hear so many songs I recognized being played live in a simple string arrangement.

At my server’s suggestion, I switched from green to black tea in preparation for the sweets. The scones at Claridge’s — one raisin and one plain — are smaller than I’m used to. They’re just the right size to stuff into your mouth alongside a plate of gorgeous pastries, on top of 2 plates of sandwiches.

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The pastries I had were a coconut frangipane tartlet with toasted meringue, pineapple & tonka; a hazelnut choux pastry with praline ganache, candied pink grapefruit & vanilla; a lemon & crème fraîche mousse with blueberry & violet; and a Kalingo chocolate brownie with raspberry cremeaux. None of the desserts were overly sweet, and each had subtly complex flavor and texture combinations. My favorite was the lemon mousse — it was covered in a granulated violet-flavored coating that went beautifully with its smooth insides.

I must have spent about 3 hours at Claridge’s. I relaxed, I read, I ate, and I had fun. No one rushed me out so they could give my table to someone else. I was left alone to enjoy myself, but never neglected. It was lovely. Without a doubt, I’ll be going back.

The Classic Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s is £55 per person, plus a 12.5% service charge. If you’d like to feel a little buzzy, there’s a Champagne Afternoon Tea option from £65 pp. And if you want to take your mini-me along, Claridge’s does an afternoon tea for children from £25 per child (which looks super cute).

Definitely treat yourself to afternoon tea at Claridge’s at least once. You deserve it.

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Treat Yoself: Halloween Edition

Halloween is less than a week away!
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So, the only thing to do (of course) is to make all my posts Halloween-themed this week.

You heard me.

You heard me.

To kick things off, why not treat yoself to a Halloweeny afternoon/evening complete with spooky movies/tv and seasonal snacks? Like, while you’re watching The Nightmare Before Christmas for the 10 billionth time…

I watch this movie even when it's nowhere near Halloween OR Christmas time...

I watch this movie even when it’s nowhere near Halloween OR Christmas…

You could pull a Hobgoblin beer out of the fridge. Or a Pumpking. Or a Black Wych. They’re all made by Wychwood Brewery, so take your pick!

I like having choices :D

Each of these beers is on the bitter side (which somehow seems fitting for a ‘dark’ and ‘spooky’ time of year).

And you can munch on some “zombie fingers.”

I love how all they did was slap a different name on the bag.

I love how all they did was slap a different name on the bag.

You could also be interesting/un-lazy and make something really cool, like Ashton’s (of Something Swanky) Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes.
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Or, something kinda gross-looking (but all in good fun 🙂 ) like Witch Finger Cookies.

“Blood” oozes from beneath almond “fingernails.”

You can throw on my most FAVORITE creepy cartoon ever, BEETLEJUICE!

I used to wish with all my tiny heart to be Lydia.
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Don’t forget to light your Candy Corn and Witches Brew candles.
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And carve a pumpkin or two…
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And wear something awesome because you’d never do fun Halloween stuff with people who’d judge you.
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But whatever you do (or watch, or make, or eat, or drink, or wear), have fun!
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Scare and be scared.
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Just don’t get carried away…
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Treat Yoself: The Little Viet Kitchen

**Wednesday’s post is now below this one. Apparently something weird was going on, so I re-posted.**

This post was originally going to be about my most recent afternoon tea adventure, but that turned out to be my least favorite of the afternoon teas I’ve had so far. The sandwiches were uninteresting and kind of dry, two of the three desserts were overly sweet (one, I couldn’t even finish). I also had to wait an inordinate amount of time before one of many quick-footed servers whizzing past my table actually paid attention to the pleading expression on my face and brought me my bill. Not the best. But there’ll be others!

Instead, let’s talk about the best Vietnamese meal I’ve had in a very long time. Possibly ever. Let’s talk about Little Viet Kitchen.
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Little Viet Kitchen’s coziness charmed me as soon as I stepped through the door. The person who greeted me was also the one to wait on me, and she was super polite and attentive. In fact, every member of staff that I interacted with (at least three) were great to me from when I walked in until the moment I (reluctantly) left. Their menu isn’t an endless, overwhelming list; I was content with their small variety of permanent choices, plus three specials (1 starter; 2 mains). As far as I’m concerned, that’s all they needed.

While I decided what to order, the waitress brought over a jug of cucumber lemon water for me to sip on.

Mega refreshing.

Mega refreshing.

After browsing the cocktail section, I couldn’t say no to the Pineapple & Lemongrass Fizz. It came to me very simply garnished and with just the right amount of color. I felt kinda sophisticated, not gonna lie.
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As for the food, I chose the Fried Spring Rolls as my starter,

Pork, mushroom, and sweet potato served w/ sweet and sour chilli sauce.

Pork, mushroom, and sweet potato served w/ sweet and sour chili sauce. YUM!

and the braised pork shoulder and golden egg special for my main.
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It came with the perfect portion of rice.

It came with the perfect portion of rice.

Oh. My. GOD. First of all, the spring rolls were beautifully crispy on the outside, and the texture of the combined ingredients was complimented well by the tangy sweet & sour sauce. For the main, shredded braised pork sat in this gorgeous sweet & spicy broth with a few chili shards that spiced it up just enough. And the rice, without a strong flavor of its own, was the perfect neutralizer for the flavor bomb that was the pork shoulder. Hnnnggg. I want more. NOW.

After a crazy delicious main, I sat and admired the low key, intimate atmosphere,
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before choosing the perfect end to my perfect meal. I went with the Chili Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream (decorated with what looked like saffron) and mango salsa.
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The “cake” is more like a brownie in taste and texture and SOOOO GOOOD. I actually prefer brownies to cake (as much as I lurrrve cake) so this was a nice surprise. The rich chocolate flavor, smooth, cold vanilla ice cream, and tart mango salsa married wonderfully together. As a good friend of mine says when she has no words for how amazing something is, Wooooooooshhh!

Little Viet Kitchen is a gem. You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, you’re evil and should be shot into space. Just sayin’.
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Luckily, I had a reservation — I watched more than a few people get turned away because the restaurant was thoroughly booked. So make sure you reserve a table before showing up.

Little Viet Kitchen can be found at 2 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ.

Happy not-Tuesday!

Treat Yoself: Uppity Crisps

I recently saw something on Buzzfeed about 24 of the most “middle-class” crisps you can buy. The post is full of instagrammed potato chips in… interesting flavors. The funniest ones to me are the pics accompanied by captions that first complain about how pretentious the crisps are…then admit that they actually taste pretty good.

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I’ve gotta say, most of them had me on the edge of hanger.

Most appealing:
M&S brand Winter Berries & Prosecco flavor

Bubbles? Berries? Salty & sweet? What’s not to like? (There are even edible gold stars on them XD )

Tyrrell’s Lemon Cupcake flavored “Poshcorn”

There’s already caramel popcorn, chocolate drizzled popcorn…heck, plenty of cinema-goers mix candies in with their popcorn like it’s nothing. So why not combine popcorn with one of the best foods in the world — cake? Let’s all have a sleepover, wear our hair in ponytails, and eat this stuff forever. (And yeah, I know popcorn doesn’t count as a crisp, but it was on Buzzfeed’s list, so I’m including it in mine. Also, cupcake-flavored food. That’s really the only reason I need.)

Gressingham Duck, Plum Sauce, and Spring Onion flavor

Duck is one of my favorite meats to eat (it’s also one of my favorite animals, horribly enough).

I'm sorry! I still love yooouuu!

I’m sorry! I still love yooouuu!

Add in some plum sauce, spring onion, and noodles, and you’ve got the makings of a great meal. This snack version (minus the noodles) doesn’t sound too bad either.

Smoked Paprika, Porcini, and Garlic Butter flavor

Even the person who did the Buzzfeed post had to admit these sound pretty dang delicious. If this is what pretension tastes like, I can’t say I mind too much.

What I do mind, however, is this:

I don’t like mince pie, and I doubt I’d like it any better in crisp-form.

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Have you tried any of the crisps on Buzzfeed’s list? Which sound tastiest to you? Are there any others I should keep an eye out for?

Let me know!

Later, y’all 😀

Treat Yoself

It’s Tuesday!

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Like I said yesterday, I decided to theme each weekday in order to better organize this blog. The theme for Tuesdays is actually the title of this post. I know Travel Tuesdays is a thing — and I am an expat — but I’ve decided to make Tuesdays about indulgence (I’ll be doing travel-related posts on a different day). Mostly, Treat Yoself Tuesday will deal with food, because…food.

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But there are days when it might be about a different nice thing you can do for yourself (like spending ALL your rent money at LUSH for example. Please don’t do this). I’ve got a lot of afternoon teas planned, for instance, because it’s one of my favorite English things to do. I love it so much, I want to high five the skeletal hand of the dead genius who came up with it (there’s a bit of dispute over who deserves my posthumous high five, but I’ll get to the bottom of it one day). However, because I also love theatre, and spas, and markets (wait…that still kinda has to do with food, doesn’t it?), and clothes, and any form of enjoyable niceness, I won’t ONLY be posting about afternoon teas here, so don’t fret.

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Today’s Treat Yoself Tuesday is gonna be super low-key, but it’s about something I think everyone should know about: Banana Bread Beer.

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I’ve actually been buying this beer since well before moving to England. Back in Charlotte, I had to go to Whole Foods whenever I wanted some because no one else sold it. When I first moved to London, went into my local Morrissons and saw that they not only carry it, but they carry gi-hugic bottles of it, I experienced Disney-level happiness.

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I love, love, love this beer because the banana bread flavor (well, its essence) is spot on. This is the only beer I pair with sweet foods.

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Like Kimberley mallow-filled sandwich cookies biscuits 🙂

Do yourself a favor and try it. The beer, I mean. (If you haven’t tried the biscuits, do that, too. But mainly the beer.) Unless you hate banana-flavored things, in which case, don’t bother. It’s beer, so the banana flavor is more of a phantom presence than a full-on syrupy takeover in your mouth, but I know some people can’t stand even a hint of the foods they dislike most. So don’t force it on yourself.

See you back here tomorrow!