Sunday, 19 July 2015

Kate Doran, Homemade Memories

A few weeks ago this book landed on my desk at work, and if I'm honest I've become slightly obsessed. After constantly telling the girls at work how much I loved it, I thought I should get in contact with the author herself, Kate Doran. For those of you who love baking (and who doesn't?!) this book is a real treat! Full of amazing recipes and gorgeous photos by Helen Cathart, it's one of the best cookbooks I've seen in a while. So I caught up with the author, blogger and baker extraordinaire to find out a little bit more... 

caterpillar cake
You've recently just published your first book, homemade memories. How was your writing experience?
Writing a book has been such a fascinating journey. With the blog I can write whatever I want, with no real word limit whereas for the book the recipe introductions would be set in stone so I wanted each one to be perfect. While I’ll test recipes for the blog roughly three times, I tested some of the recipes for the book up to twelve times to make sure I was completely happy with the results!

What's your favourite recipe and what's the one people mention to you the most?
People seem to love the jaffa cakes which feature on the cover. I think there’s that childhood connection and they’re also so simple to make. Can I have two favourite recipes? For sheer nostalgia and deliciousness, I love the chocolate caterpillar cake. I’m also really happy with the malted milk chocolate ice cream balls – like an ice cream version of a Malteser.

You have your own blog, The Little Loaf. What bloggers do you love?
Where do I start? I must be subscribed to about 100 blogs and there are so many talented and brilliant bloggers out there. Some of my favourites are LondonBakes, NotWithoutSalt, Green Kitchen Stories, Smitten Kitchen and The Vanilla Bean Blog.  

helen cathcart homemade memoriesHomemade Memories Kate Doran

What first attracted you to baking?
It gets said a lot but baking is a real therapy. There’s something wonderful about relaxing into the process and spending time in the kitchen. I’d say greed also played a part!

Why did you settle on a recipe book full of memories?
These are the recipes which I’ve loved to make throughout my life and which seem to resonate most with readers of the blog. I wanted to share my happy childhood memories and tastes with other people.

What was your favourite thing to bake as a child?
Every year, my brother and I would make our own birthday cakes so I think I’d have to say some sort of chocolate birthday cake. There’s a simple one bowl chocolate cake and a chocolate honeycomb biscuit cake in the book, both of which are adapted from those childhood favourites.

Do you have any baking top tips?
Always read the recipe instructions thoroughly. Try to be precise, but also trust your instinct. And have fun!

When you're in London what foodie places do you like to visit?
Restaurant-wise, I adore The River CafĂ©, Spring – Skye Gyngell’s new restaurant – and Moro. For cakes and treats, Ottolenghi is pretty awesome and I recently had an amazing afternoon tea at Sketch.

Victoria Sponge Kate DoranHomemade memories Kate Doran

You have a whole section in your book dedicated to drinks, is this something you'd like to explore further?
There were a number of drinks I had to include in the book, most of which I’ve adapted with a little grown up twist, such as a slush puppy of sorts made with prosecco and lemon sorbet. And hot chocolate of course, which is the ultimate childhood comfort. I’d definitely like to include more drinks on the blog going forwards.

If you were only able to eat three things for the rest of your life what would you choose?
That question is way too hard! If I have to answer, maybe ice cream, crusty bread and seafood. But I’d need some vegetables in there somewhere too – it’s all about balance!

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
Continue doing what I love. Develop and expand the blog. And hopefully write another book – watch this space!

Click here to buy Kate's book Homemade Memories or visit her blog, The Little Loaf!
All photos by Helen Cathart.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Abbey Clancy for Matalan

Abbey Clancy for MatalanKurt Gieger Gallop tan heels
kate spade bracelettortoise shell round sunglasses
Abbey Clancy for Matalandaisy kent blog
One of the few reasons I haven't published a fashion post recently is that I've simply been enjoying the sunshine during my weekends off from work. It has however given me the time to really relax and spend time with my family and friends, and that’s what summer truly is about. Whilst enjoying the sunshine I felt a sudden pang of excitement for my holiday in September to Barcelona. It seems like every blogger is going the Barcelona, it’s obviously the place to be this summer! So with a little help from Matalan I've put together the perfect look for an evening out, something a bit fancy but still comfortable enough to wear when it’s hot. After deciding on a 60s/70s inspired number from the Abbey Clancy range I teamed it with a pair of vintage style sunglasses from their holiday shop. This dress is totally out of my comfort zone and something that I would never usually go for because of the high neck. But, I decided to bite the bullet and be a little adventurous for once and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually suited me! Finally, adding my new favourite pair of heels from Kurt Geiger and my D bracelet from Kate Spade to complete the look. 
P.S Some of you long time readers might recognise my background as I used to shoot my outfit posts in my garden for such a long time but left as I found a new spot. However I decided to bring it back for this post and I quite like how it's turned out, what do you think?

*This post was created in collaboration with Matalan 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The shoe edit.

I absolutely love shoes. I think it's something I've learnt to love from a very young age as my mum used to be a footwear designer. Despite never wearing heels I have 15 pairs, which is a rather impressive collection for someone who wears them about three times a year. However this still doesn't keep me looking for the next best pair, one day I'd love to have a go at making and designing some myself! Like many bloggers my favourite shoe designer has got to be Charlotte Olympia, I just feel like she can read my mind when creating her wonderful shoes! I recently got to meet her at an event I was working at and I had a little fan girl moment, it was pretty exciting! However on the high street Kurt Geiger create some pretty amazing footwear for a fraction of the designer price. Although, I'm not happy with them completely ripping off Sophia Webster, but I guess I can let it slide... So, I've cobbled together twelve of my favourite pairs of shoes available on the web, from Topshop to Jimmy Choo, shoeaholics I hope you truly enjoy! P.S If you're unable to see the images below turn off your google ad blocker, it tends to block this widget.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lunch at Cannizaro House, Wimbledon

Cannizaro parkCannizaro House Wimbledon
amazing caprese salad
Lunch at cannizaro house

As last weekend was my birthday weekend, I decided to treat myself to a rare Friday off from work and booked myself and one of my good friends in for lunch at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon village. Wimbledon is only 15-20 minutes away from where I currently live and is practically my second home. I lived  there (for 11 years), went to school in the area for the majority of my life and I'm always popping into the town center. However June is my favourite time to visit the SW19 postcode as it means one thing, Wimbledon tennis. It reminds me of summer time at school when myself and my friends would leisurely walk down the hill home, and end up in the bustling town full of tourists and tennis balls galore. So I was super excited to see Cannizaro House decked out with all things Wimbledon. My friend and I particularly loved this purple and green flower display in the foyer. 
Whilst enjoying the sun (a little too much, as someone got a bit burnt...) we decided on what to eat and drink. I went for the caprese salad with chips (of course) which is one of my favourite things to eat in the summer as the vine tomatoes just taste so warm and fresh. We decided to really go all out and order a tropical pavolva each for pudding as it was my birthday weekend after all. Following few more hours filled with sun, giggles and chats with what we were planning to do this summer we decided to say good bye and head home. But first, an impromptu photo shoot of course! 

wimbledon tennis flowerslondon lifestyle bloggers
i am daisy-alice blog
daisy kent and jess bowers
What I'm wearing: