Sunday, 31 August 2014

London Borough Market - #Foodporn

For me, there's really nothing nicer to do on a lazy Saturday than head to Borough Market. Stall upon stall of gorgeous street food and drink - it's such a nice casual date. Last Saturday was a Bank Holiday and marked the start of two weeks off for me. My boyfriend had just run a 5k and so we felt we deserved a treat!

Delicious curry... 

Bread, cake and chocolate...

We picked wraps, incredible toasted cheese sandwiches and hot dogs... 

And ate outside with diet coke in the sunshine, shadowed by the cathedral. 

Finishing off with milkshake...

Before skipping off for drinks at the nearby Anchor pub. 

A perfect start to the Bank Holiday! Oh, and I have pink ends! What do you think? I wish I could keep it forever but it's just temporary sadly! I think I look like a My Little a good way!


A Tale Of Two Burgers: Shake Shack vs Honest Burger

A while back, I wrote a post comparing GBK to Byron Burger. It was a pretty even fight, and in the end I couldn't really pick between them! Since then, I've seen a hundred other blogposts on burger places that I wanted to visit, but I work full time and most of them can't be booked - I don't know about you but I, personally, don't want to waste 45 minutes of my precious Friday nights in a queue for a burger! Although I'll be honest, I might have to queue again for this...

Honest Burgers 

Anyway, last week I finally had some time off so I decided it was about time I tried out some of these hyped up burger joints, so I could give my honest opinion. Wednesday was National Burger Day, after all. We started the day before at Shake Shack in Covent Garden. 

I have read so many reviews about Shake Shack and I was really excited. What none of them had told me, however, is that this really is just an upmarket fast food joint. Maybe that's stupid, maybe it was meant to be obvious, but I'd expected a restaurant. In actuality you queue up, pay an extortionate amount of money, and then are given a tray. It's left to you to find a seat, and even on a Tuesday lunchtime we had to wait while the cheese on our chips congealed in front of us. It's all just quite a lot of hassle - you order, pay and collect at three different stations - and it's eye wateringly expensive for what is, in my opinion, a hyped up McDonald's.

Yeah, I'm sorry, I said it. We had a Smokestack burger, which was nice enough, in a cheap-patty-with-melted-cheese-on-it type way, and chips with cheese. I'd been so excited about these but like I say, mine were congealed and cold by the time we sat down. They'd have been better fresh, I imagine. My milkshake tasted like liquidised strawberry ice cream, which isn't a bad thing, but isn't wildly exciting either. 

Mostly though I was just taken aback by the price. It was over £30 for the two of us - I nearly passed out. Go to McDonald's and save your time!

The next day I felt a little bit put off burgers, but it was after all National Burger Day and we were in Brixton Village, and so I was compelled to give Honest Burgers a chance. It's very small, a quaint little restaurant with a chalkboard menu and lovely, friendly staff. My boyfriend ordered the new special burger, whilst I went for a classic Honest burger. They come with rosemary fries included.

I mean, come on. Just look at it. 

This was quite possibly the tastiest burger I have eaten. Huge, perfectly cooked medium with salty, tangy bacon, sweet caramelised onion and molten cheese. The bread was sourdough perfection. The chips, which were plentiful and piping hot, were to die for - I've never considered putting rosemary on chips before, but I will in the future!

My boyfriend, who has eaten a lot of burgers, described his special as 'potentially the best burger I have ever eaten.' It took ages to eat, partially because we were savouring it but partly because the portions were so generous.

The restaurant is all bare wood and jam jar glasses - Pinterest perfection. AND it was a good £5 cheaper than Shake Shack. Sorry, can we just look at it again please? 

So unlike my last burger-off, this one is easily won. Maybe it isn't fair to compare fast food to a gorgeous little place like this - but at the end of the day, if they don't want the comparison, Shake Shack shouldn't price themselves at the level of a proper restaurant. If you've been checking out burger places on blogs and you're not sure which one to go to, make it Honest Burgers - trust me, you won't regret it!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Instagram - Follow Me! (Again - please!)

Okay first of all, the main point of this post is to ask all of you to follow me me on my Instagram - username catscruse - I want lots of lovely bloggers to follow!

Okay a bit of explanation time...I did initially set up an instagram in the name of my blog, but it turns out running two Instagrams is difficult and time consuming and I basically couldn't keep it up. So I've decided to merge the two, and now everyone is welcome to follow my personal Instagram - if you want to see more photos of food, views from balconies (my life is a series of views from balconies, honestly) and photos of my face!
Hope you're all having a lovely Friday, and follow meeee! 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Little things making me happy right now

Nail art - my Cath Kidston nails were actually inspired by my pyjamas, but I found a tutorial here. The gold tipped pastel manicure was inspired by Jenny Fox (blog post here) - I think I'd do it with lighter colours next time.

My gerbils – these naughty little guys have actually bitten through our telephone cord and broken it! But you can’t get mad at these little faces.

If you’re going to have a bubble bath, it should really be pink. I picked up this Raspberry & Rose bubble bath, as well at a strawberry bath and shower gel, at Waitrose, and they make me feel so girly and happy.

Giraffe onesie. Speaks for itself really.

The view from my balcony just never gets old. Having a glass of wine on a Saturday evening is just my favourite thing to do.

Making the most of the tail end of summer with pub lunch outside with my boyfriend.

Finishing with an Eton Mess sundae as big as my head. We shared it. Sort of.

Wandering in our local area and visiting the animals in the park. This sheep looked a bit mad, he’d been segregated from the other sheep! And obviously, everyone loves a random llama.

Wahaca. I've been twice in the last two weeks. Their quaesdillas are to die for. (Spelling?)

Reese's Pieces. Someone brought these in from their trip to America. Peanut buttery chocolatey perfection. 

New summery clothes - I utterly refuse to accept it's Autumn and I am still living in florals. Maxi dress from Missguided (in the sale), skirt from Primark, shoes from New Look. 

Finally, a new favourite blogger, Milly - She just got married, she's beautiful with an amazing fashion sense and her Instagram is just to die for. Goooo check her out! 

What have you been loving lately? 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Shoreditch – Pizza East and the Crown & Shuttle

I live in East London and Shoreditch is an area I frequent a lot. Often when I’ve been hurriedly scurrying along Shoreditch High Street on my way to some bar or other I’ve glanced up at the wooden windows of Pizza East and jealously watched people eating pizza in the cosy looking interior. Somehow, I’ve never got round to going – or every time I’ve tried, it’s been fully booked (which just increased my desire to go all the more!)

On Friday, one of my best friends returned from her holiday and we decided Pizza East was a good place for a catch up. We persuaded them (literally) into giving us a table (at 6pm! Madness) and I arrived early, ordering the wine.

I love when wine comes in a carafe and it was gorgeous – crisp and fresh, it reminded me of the sort of wine you’d get on holiday in Europe. So that was a great start.

Unfortunately, it all went a bit downhill from there. I ordered a pizza with burrata, Swiss chard and roasted chilli. The base of the pizza was absolutely gorgeous – perfectly cooked and so tasty…but the toppings were a bit of a let down.

There was some other random vegetable on the pizza which didn’t taste of much, the Swiss chard and chilli were sparse, and the burrata just tasted like cheap mozzarella – none of the richer flavour I expected. It was all just a bit bland.

I don’t know…I don’t know if it was because the waiters were so blank and impersonal (plus so deliberately hipster, as if to work there you had to have 3 months’ waiting experience and a beard or piercing), or because they slapped a £10 service charge on a £40 bill, or because they kept reminding me we only had the table booked for an hour and a half when the restaurant was still half empty, or because the food just wasn’t that great. All I know is that I was a bit disappointed and I wouldn’t be back in a hurry.

Afterwards we went to the Crown & Shuttle for drinks. It’s a weird place – it’s kind of what the Light Bar used to be (before it closed down to be turned into flats, a fact that still devastates me – let’s not even talk about it ). It’s like hipsters vs suits. It’s so close to the city but still in Shoreditch that it’s this weird hybrid place. It’s quite nice because it means nobody feels out of place, no matter what they’re wearing!

It also means it’s very busy and we stood up all night. But the garden is so pretty, with it’s smattering of fairy lights and canopies, that I didn’t really mind.

Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area – but give Pizza East a miss! 
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