Monday, 25 June 2012

Posh Pub Grab | Episode Two

Fish 'n' Chips
Another nifty recipe given from the minds behind Waitrose.

Recognised as one of the nations most simple but favourite of dishes, Fish and Chips bears no resilience to willpower with its tempting humbleness and undeniable deliciousness. 
Frequenting the Hampshire shores as often as I can manage, it is somewhat difficult to avoid the fresh and local produce that's always on offer and what with the Sea produce being so available from door to door, it's terribly hard to resist. 

I won't write up the 'exact' recipe measurements for you because they differ for each and every person. I tend to wing it and neither I, nor my guinea pigs have been thus far disappointed by doing so. However, what you will need...

 - Potatoes
 - Sunflower Oil
 - Paprika
- A fish of your choice. Preferably a meaty, white fish like cod or haddock is ideal due to the range of taste and flavours that the dish contains.
 - Milk
 - Cheddar Cheese
- Breadcrumbs
- Creme Fraiche
- Butter

- For the chips, i've used the same recipe as is used within this post. They take an average of 30-35 minutes and should be shuffled half way through. Simply cut the potatoes into wedges, sprinkle with paprika (as to your own personal taste), add a dash of sunflower oil and shake together in a covered bowl/pan/dish so that everything is coated evenly. Throw in the oven and forget about for 20 minutes before checking and shuffling. 

The fish is also quite easy to do once you know how. 
Start off by placing the fillets in a frying pan with around 150ml go milk. This won't cover the flesh but it is only to encourage certain flavours. Leave this to simmer for roughly six minutes meanwhile mixing some cheddar cheese with a handful of breadcrumbs. Use this mixture to coat the fillets surface after having simmered on the stove, then simply transfer from the frying pan and into a deeper dish for another eight minutes before serving. 
You can then create a light sauce to match just by adding hints of butter, creme fraiche and chives to the used milk. I left mine to simmer for a tad too long and as you can see, it turned into more of a dip than anything else. Still, it's something that I can learn from for my next venture. 


Dinner is served.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Le Mans 24 Heures

Le Mans 24 Heures
Danny Watts, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane

Not only did this year see the 80th edition of what many unitedly call 'the greatest race in the world' but it also paid witness to the first time attendance of the girl and myself. 
In the midst of men, motors and competition we had the very best of times. 

In every other sense we acquainted ourselves with all of the unwritten codes that stand for those who should attend, all but for the little matter of where to accommodate oneself. 
Contemplating the ideals of camping for only a mere moment, we came to the unanimous decision that a 'top secret' location, hidden away in the village of Loire would probably be better suited for us girls. With hours to spare until check in, we grazed through traditional streets and picturesque cafes. 
The architecture is wholly admirable and their simplistic way of life is somewhat desirable. We couldn't help but smile as we strolled past the local artist with their paint, canvas and overalls.  
How Parisian. 

Having succumbed to the world of poison early, we continued as we meant to go on throughout the 'long weekend'. 
Arriving at said accommodation by six, we were greeted by all sorts of animals, racing fanatics and cold beverages. The location was more than ideal and the company, homely and heart warming. 
We've made our reservation for next summer. 

Saturday saw the start of the race, by which point we had decided upon our somewhat biased number one. Audi were not only expected to win but they happily obligued with all four of their machines having topped the competition within the last few timed hours. Despite this looming outcome, we flirted with the ideals of number 21 and Strakka Racing. Racing around the eight mile track in a HPD ARX 03a Honda, Danny Watts, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane did us proud. Hiding away during the first hour, the Strakka team made their way into the top ten, pinning down eight position within the 20th hour. Sadly for reported 'water pressure,' the GB team had to pull back into their pit stop for safe keeping until nearer the end when they could guarantee a run across the finish line. 
Fingers crossed for next year boys. 

As a treat to the engine enthusiast, it's ordered that all pit stops will be open to all ticket holders the day before the big event. Papa A said that this would be our only opportunity and so we should take full advantage. 
Now, in all my efforts to oppose a certain level of smugness from within, I'd like to inform you as to how number 21 came to our attention. 
Saturday morning and us girls were told that we would be accompanying two gentlemen as they also made their way to said destination. As these things go in all variations of tall tales and storyboards, we were more than delighted to find our that these two chaps just so happened to be the father and brother of one Danny Watts (scroll to the top of this post and I promise that you'll catch on). 
They really were just the nicest boys that we could have possible bumped into. As any gentleman would, they insisted that a sneaky peak into the Strakka garage was necessary and it would have been oh so rude to resist... 
...wouldn't it?

I have to admit, my butterflies would not go to bed as we shared smiles with the minds behind the mechanics. Nor did they settle as we made our way past the tried and tested tyres, the anxious monitors or the qualified engines.
He said he was only pleased for us and that jealousy doesn't come into it but we know that in all his years of membership and attendance he's never come as close. Poor Daddy Austin. I'd like to say that I would have switched position with him if it were possible but in all honesty, I couldn't say that I truly meant it. You boys gave us such a wonderful time and we really couldn't be any more grateful. 
We're sure that you'd be biased too. 

Our memories of Le Mans are grand. Let's hope they continue to grow as the years go past. 

Here's to seeing you next summer, 2013.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Day Three at GFW

Tuesday at Graduate Fashion Week

With my third day at Earls Court vastly coming to an end, I eagerly took to theatre A with my last and final ticket clenched in hand. 
Overcome with joy as a voluptuous crowd began to form 30 minutes prior to 'doors opening,' I looked on with a sense of pride and amusement as I patiently waited to be seated for the debut of Epsom's 2012 graduates. 

As with my last post, I've been introduced to so many fresh young talents and yet again I can only do a handful of them justice. I suppose that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
Anya Edwards was first to take to the floor with this stunning collection of pretty pastels and dainty fabrics. Enchantingly girlish in all manner of bo peep, the young models twirled and curtseyed to  B.J. Thomas's 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.' Wholly heartwarming and childishly tempting. 

The Ulyana Danyleyko collection was something that I may have overlooked whilst flicking through the stylishly simple Epsom look book. My mother however jumped on the Danyleyko bandwagon almost instantly after having been faced with the full skirts and other striped designs that were documented on my canon camera. She said they reminded her of giraffes but you know, in a good way. 

This is James Walker. 
Above all collections that i've seen over the past few days, his ensembles were exactly my cup of tea. The beaten up leathers, the country tweeds that were effortlessly entwined with the essence of old fashioned train stations, aged woods, raw engines and but of course, the glorious English weather. 
James Waker, hats off to you. 

With GFW sadly behind me, I'll just have to flick through my trusty Canon camera so as to relive the countless efforts and the innovative fashions that is great British fashion. 
 - I would also like to note that if you're at all interested in visiting for yourselves next year, be sure to snap up a ticket for the presentation of the UCAs Epsom campus. It was most certainly my favourite show above all others but then again I suppose I am a little bit bias. 

Here. Here.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Day Two at GFW

Monday at Graduate Fashion Week

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jamie Lang and Francis Boulle, the tone set at Earls Court today had somewhat changed since Hilary Alexander was sauntering around the exhibition hall just yesterday. That being said, it was just as I had predicted in my last post. Equally as fun and ostentatiously eventful. 
Day two of Graduate Fashion Week marked my appointment with the Nottingham Trent show at half past five in the afternoon. 

Once again, there were so many innovative young designers that anxiously unleashed their collections among us. Of course I would love to sit here and talk you through them all but then it would seemingly take the edge off of my top three talents.
With that thought in mind, I would like to introduce you to Florence Bridge. Her effortless ensembles had me in raptures over  the sun kissed beaches that I could happily graze along in her embellished vest or water splashed gown. I'll be looking out for this girls name in my summer time essentials next year. 

This snap shot is of Dae Byn Lee. Another one of those specials that I could just pin pick off of the catwalk and throw over my back. The various pinks, oranges and yellows that should have shamelessly clashed only seemed compellingly grown up whilst the attached lengths of decretive fabrics felt outspokenly necessary. One of those priceless outfits that you can quickly throw on and sharply run out the door in. It sounds perfect to me. 

Last but not least I would like to give you Lily Mason. A girl whose collection defines my ideal home time wardrobe. Quintessentially Country, her woven fabrics were belted to reveal a feminine silhouette which hand in hand with widely framed spectacles gave off a rather sexy and somewhat secretarial appearance. 
A toast to all smart girls. 
Dressing for comfort should always come first with style and individuality coming in as a close second. For that sensible reasoning we should give thanks to the innovative and practical designers like young Mason. It is after all such a pleasure to find such spoken of garments that unify these two traits perfectly. 
Lily Mason we salute you.   

Monday, 11 June 2012

Day One at GFW

Sunday at Graduate Fashion Week

Today saw the unveiling of this years University graduates and their individual collections and contributions to fashion. Ever the lucky girl, I've been asked to accompany Phoenix magazine as a contributing journalist whilst the United Kingdom oversees what 2012 has to offer. 

In typical English fashion, the weather would have you believe it was February or October. Despite being June, the English have been left with their thick coats and their waterproof boots on. I therefore left this morning with my NEW coat from All Saints, my H&M fur and these lovely little boots from Topshop. Sadly they're another example of prime shoe candy that actually belongs to the girl, thankfully she loves me enough to let me borrow them from time to time. 

The other interns and I were all overcome with sheer excitement when asked to attend certain scheduled shows. The Northumbria University and I had a date. 

To my surprise and delight, all guest were left a little handful of goodies on their awaiting seats. A look book, a schedule and a candy striped package containing a pair of Gilly Hicks undies. I managed to get my claws into two pairs of undies as my companion didn't think they were quite his style. 
 - Brownie points to Northumbria.

As part of the press I managed to grab a chair that was just forth row from the front. Sadly these pictures don't really do the collections justice. That being said, I am happy to announce that the Northumbria University should have been standing up proud as  their graduates made a lasting impression. 
Here are just a few that made me sit up and take note...

Womenswear designer Rebecca Byers unleashed 'Erosion's Discrete Beauty.' A six ensamble collection that consist of luxurious fabrics, collapsing structures and hand crafted accessories that 'reflect a lady of elegance, riches and beauty.' If only I could be seen in one of Byers' beautiful maxi dresses, I would really feel like the cat that got the cream. 

Amelia Smith on the other hand caught my eye for two reasons. The first being that her designs reminded me of those created by the talented Mary Katrantzou. Familiar but not the same.  The second reason being that her designers were worn by what appeared to be a six-piece collection of 'Russian Dolls.' Complete with Russian hat, white tights and heavy black boots, the girls on show had their femininity emphasised through the over structured silhouettes built by Smith. Throughout this collection there were so many items that could easily be found within my wardrobe.

With the Northumbria show under my belt, I am eagerly anticipating the remainder of GFW and any other shows that I will hopefully be asked to attend. 
Today was the most fun possibly imaginable but I've got a niggling feeling inside that tomorrow is going to be just as good, if not even better. 

I'll Keep you all updated.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Gromit Mobile

This is the Gromit Mobile

- So called by each and every person that has thus far sat in the A35's driving seat.

This 'brum' is most certainly part of the family as it is a little Austin itself after all.What was rotting and rusting away in one of the back barns has unseeingly been transformed into this outspoken and vastly admired automobile. 
Unveiled to the girl and I just mere weeks a go, Papa A has pulled some strings with the folks behind the insurance desks and has made us two chicks co-drivers of this fine van.
...ludicrous, isn't it.

So, after a afternoon of trial and error we came to learn that whilst the steering is (thankfully) as good as gold, the breaks leave far less to be desired. After negotiating our way around the nearest car park, we made the decision to tempt fate by making our way over to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu for their 'vehicles of the 1950s' event.  

The girl really played her part in all manner of hairstyles and make up. As my nearest and dearest I can only but emphasise how seduced she is by the renowned glamour of said era. Rollers are a necessity and there will always be a elegant lick of liner and a carefully blotted red lip in tow. 

Aside from our green mini machine, there were some other fifties wonders that had been buffed up and put on show by their proud owners but as lovely as they cars were, the Beaulieu bus is the one which never fails to tickle my fancy. As you can see, she was all dolled up in honer of Her Majesty.
... I hope you all had a wonderful Jubilee weekend. Lots of pimms, union jacks and cupcakes in the rain i'm sure.

After giving the van a run around the track, the girl and I took a turn around the glorious manor and all its splendour. It's so easy to lose track of time whilst simply admiring the greenery, the surrounding water and of course the estate itself. The monorail is perfect for exploring the grounds whilst never leaving the comfort of ones seat.
Moving from one means of fun to another, yes I am certain that the fun fair was meant to distract the under 14s and yes I did ignore said implication. The merry-go-round is an old childhood memory that still lives on. 

The last treat that Beaulieu currently has on offer is an interesting display of sculpted beings. Notably, some of which may be a required taste but that is the wonderful thing about forming ones opinion. This is 'Reggie' by Margaret Samuel. The girl took to him instantly and if it weren't for the price tag, i'm sure we would have snapped him up. 

This last snap shot is my favourite. 'Trust me' says the fox whilst the duck has been rightly labelled 'naivety.' It just tickles me.

I'm fairly lucky in the sense that the Motor Museum is quite local. They always have a wide range of shows and events that come hand in hand with exhibitions, fun fairs, gardens, the manor house and above all things coffee. Even if engines don't quite float your boat, there's so many other things that you can busy yourself with. I promise.
Go on a sunny summers day and you'll be sure to see the widest spread rhubarb ever imaginable.

...I don't actually even like rhubarb. I just felt it should be mentioned because it really does make me go 'ohh' each and every time.