Six days to Chrimbo and I cannot waiiiiit!!! Just imaginging all the yummy food my mum and brother are planning to make... oh the excitement. I am looking forward to maximum food consumption without the stress of preparing it. There's a full blown, three-day, multiple course extravaganza in the making and it will be so good. As usual I've been scouring Pinterest for plenty of food inspiration and these four recipes have been my favourite of late.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


I feel like I've lost my mojo a little... the cooking hasn't been coming that easily (hence the lack of posts), it feels like there are never ending chores and little jobs to be done and the takeaway menu has felt like a good idea a little too often. Also Mat is such a good cook... just saying! Isn't it so much easier to just chill out on the sofa with a nice G + T and have your dinner served to you ;)

But then I remind myself that cooking is what I do (apart from designing), cooking is what I love doing and that I need to make that little bit of an effort again.

So here is an easy one... I mean super-duper easy. It is just as tasty and the perfect winter warmer dish. You can use any veggies you have in your store cupboard, it's a great way to use anything up that needs to be eaten. The ingredients below are what I used for our meal.

Hope you enjoy.

Etta xo

COOKS 45mins

  • 2 potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 2cm chunks
  • 1 beetroot, scrubbed and diced into 2cm chunks
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into battons
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2tsp Caribbean curry powder
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • 4 eggs, soft boiled and peeled (the perfect soft boiled egg here)
  • lime pickle to serve

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C.
  2. Place all your veggies into a large baking tray. Drizzle the oil over the veggies, sprinkle the curry powder over it and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix up the ingredients until all vegetables are well coated in the spices and oil.
  3. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, tossing the veg half way through.
  4. Serve with the soft boiled eggs and tangy lime or mango pickle on the side. Oh and if you need something to cool down add a dollop of natural yoghurt and of course an ice cold glass of beer.


... that made me smile and is oh so true! Well, I'm off now to go and work on my tact ;) 
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Etta xo


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I have a massive crush on anything black and gold at the moment. It sort of adds a warm festive feeling to my current obsession with blacks + whites. Here are a few of my current favourites.

What's your go to colour combo at the moment?

Etta xo


I absolutely adore autumn dishes. There is something so beautifully comforting about the richer, aromatic ingredients of the colder months. My mum and I are planning our Christmas menu and I am scouring the old Pinterest and my vast library of cookery books for foodie holiday inspirations. But before we go all christmassy, here are a few of my favourites to feed us this November.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here.


October has been a true wow month - absolutely full of celebrations and emotional roller-coasters. My lovely work colleagues spoiled me with the most beautiful birthday presents and the rudest scrummy cake. Mat took me to Copenhagen and I fell in love with the City, its people and culture so much more than I thought I would do. Susie threw me the perfect surprise do - champagne, burgers and all my lovely friends included. And all in all we cocktailed, cream-tead, danced, dined and got blown away by a very stormy Monday. 

Hope you all had a lovely October and here's to this very cold and dark November and a countdown to Chrimbo.

Etta xo

ONE - Beautiful Copenhagen - the Black Diamond library
TWO + THREE - Nicole + Cat's October Birthday Shenanigans (blurry I know... I still love those pics)
FOUR - Lovely birthday prezzies from the best work colleagues ever. [cake has been censored}
FIVE - Celebrating the big 3-0 with the boy...
SIX - ... and enjoying the absolutely best cocktails and mind-blowingly delicious birthday dinner at GEIST in Copenhagen. This place is a must-go! When I say it was the best meal I've ever had - I mean it!
SEVEN - Finding new breakfast eats in our little town. Yummy bacon, goats cheese, beetroot and spinach club sandwich at Raggio's.
EIGHT - Being organised old-style and getting some inspiration to help me with some resolutions.
NINE - THE worst afternoon tea ever! Trecked to the outskirts of Croydon (yes Croydon has outskirts ;)) and were soooo disappointed - followed by plenty of G+Ts, just to make us feel better about the dreadful tea.
TEN - Storm
ELEVEN - A cold and blowy visit to Knole House. Make sure you go on a sunny day, as their lighting is awful and the bit I therefore enjoyed the most was the old office ;)


I haven't posted for way too long. October is almost over, my birthday came and went, we traveled to Copenhagen and the pile of posts I want to share with you is getting bigger and bigger. There's lots of yummy recipes, travel stories, things I've found on and off the web and much, much more. But then I just haven't been able to get organised or get my act together these past few weeks. So just bear with me for the time being... I will be back soon :)

Etta xo


A couple of years ago I made fresh tuna fishcakes and they were raaaank. So I stayed away from any fishcake adventures and stuck to the occasional M&S smoked haddock fishcake. Those are delicious and of course how much can go wrong if you just need to turn on the oven, place fishcake on tray and bake for twenty minutes.
More recently Mat has been in charge of the shopping/food plan list and surprise, surprise he planned Smoked Fish and Crispy Bacon Fishcakes...because I need more fish in my life... and I was like "Oh ok?!"

But they were soooo worth it. In true Jamie Oliver fashion, we ended up using every single pot and pan and baking tray we own but had enough to make seven big fishcakes which essentially would feed seven people. So four of them are living in our freezer at the moment waiting for a lazy, "I don't want to cook tonight" evening.
All you need on the side is a lemony rocket and watercress salad or a tangy savoy cabbage slaw.

Etta xo

MAKES 7 fishcakes
COOKS 20mins

  • 2 leeks
  • 1 knob of butter
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 500g potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 240g smoked trout and smoked haddock, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 1 lemons
  • 6 sprigs of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • a few handfuls of plain flour
  • 6 slices of white bread, crust removed
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • olive oil
  • 7 rashers of smoked bacon
  • watercress, rocket or savoy slaw with a lemony dressing to serve

  1. Top and tail the leeks, halve lengthways, remove the rough outer leaves, give a thorough wash, then finely slice. 
  2. Put the knob of butter into a large pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the leeks, a sprinkle of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently with the lid on for about 25 minutes or until the leeks are soft. Stir every now and then to stop them catching. Then take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
  3. While your leeks are cooking, peel and halve your potatoes and place into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and mashable. Once cooked, drain them and mash until smooth with a few chunky bits remaining. Leave to cool.
  4. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl, saving one egg yolk. Mix the yolk into the cooled mash. Add the leeks, two-thirds of the parsley, the smoked fish and the zest of one lemon and the juice of half to the mash. Mix thoroughly and set to one side.
  5. Whisk the remaining egg and place into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a plate. 
  6. In food processor pulse the bread and chilli with a small glug of olive oil until you have fluffy bread crumbs, then mix in the remaining parsley. Tip the crumbs onto a plate. 
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C and leave a good size baking tray to heat up in the oven. Divide your fishcakes into 7 balls and dust each one in flour (you might need to top up the flour on your plate. Do a little at a time). Flatten the dusted fishcakes balls into patties (approx. 2cm) then dip into the whisked egg and let any excess drip off. Now roll them in the breadcrumbs until well coated. 
  8. Lay the bacon rashers out side by side on a chopping board, cover with cling film and flatten with a rolling pin or a bottle, so they are longer and thinner.
  9. Wrap one bacon rasher around the circumference of each fishcake and secure with a cocktail stick.
  10. Place the fishcakes you wish to eat on the hot baking tray. Wrap the rest tightly in cling film and refrigerate or freeze for another day. 
  11. Roast the fishcakes in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. 
  12. Serve hot alongside a lemony watercress or rocket salad or a simple savoy cabbage slaw.

    FOOD ENVY #02

    My first Food Envy post was there to share food I wanted to cook but didn't have the time to. Then I continued browsing Pinterest and fell in love with so many beautiful recipes and photographs of pure yumminess. Really how can I not share these with you? So lets try this food envy thing for a little longer, it might turn into a series it might fizzle out (like some others ;)) but at the moment I am loving it.

    So here are four of my current favourite foods for you to enjoy. 

    1 // 2 // 3 // 4

    For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


    I don't even know what happened in September? Wasn't it just August? It definitely has gotten colder. I've got the parka and the wooly scarves out, went more radical on the haircut and generally have not wanted September to end. I guess it's mainly because the big 3-0 is just around the corner (and I am dreading it a little). But then there is a lot to look forward to: The boy is taking me to Copenhagen shortly and I am over the moon. That is one place I can tick off my dream destinations list. Then there's meet-ups with friends I haven't seen in a long time and lots of lovely creative projects both in our home as well as for some of my favourite clients. So here's a few bits from my September, stay tuned for October... I think it'll be a good one.

    ONE - Went to see Ben Kenney at Barfly in Camden. Our first gig in a loooong time and we definitely need to make this a more regular occurrence again.
    TWO - Burgers at Street Kitchen - The Hatch in South West London. Sooooo good! Really! And G+Ts from the Doodle Bar (Standard is a double. Just saying!) oh and they have massive black boards you can doodle on.
    THREE - Mat made the best pie I have ever tasted... yes ever and he bought the cutest vintage pie dishes. Recipe coming soon, you will love it.
    FOUR - There is a Hotel Chocolat right on the doorstep of our new office. Isn't their packaging just amazing?! Oh and so is their coffee and their mochas... I feel there is a new (expensive) habit in the making.
    FIVE - Yes it is finally cold enough to enjoy a dinner of cheese, homemade chutney and port. I have a soft spot for port.
    SIX - We finally moved offices last Friday. The space is amazing, the look is industrial, we have a roof terrace and we celebrated with champagne. It was a good day.
    SEVEN - ... and then the cookie monster came to visit us.


    1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

    Here's a little autumn deko inspiration to end the weekend. Don't you just love the mix of warm whites, blacks and geometric shapes? Happy Sunday eve everyone, I'm off to have a cup of tea and enjoy my weekly dose of Downton Abbey now.

    Etta xo


    Oh hello colder season with all your earthy yumminess of beetroots, pears and figs. I do like you!
    I like you because you let me turn a fine dining dessert into a super simple dinner for four. I mean who doesn't love a sticky, sweet and piping hot tart tatin with a creamy dollop of bourbon vanilla ice cream on a cool September evening? But even better (well just as good) is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Baby Beetroot Tart Tatin. It's buttery and sweet and earthy and so, so  yum with it's tangy shallot vinaigrette and a generous crumble of feta. 

    It's one of those dinners you make to impress but is super simple and fairly quick. 

    Etta xo
    SERVES 4 (as a light meal)
    PREPARATION 10mins
    COOKS 1-1.15hr

    • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
    • 25g butter
    • 500g baby beetroot (no bigger than a golfball), scrubbed
    • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 250g ready made puff pastry
    For the vinaigrette
    • 2 shallots really finely chopped
    • 1 tsp English mustard
    • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
    • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
    • 70g feta to crumble

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C. 
    2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 5mm. Take an ovenproof frying pan (or tart tatin dish) roughly 20cm in diameter, pace it upside down on the pastry and cut around it. Wrap the pastry disc in cling film and place it in the fridge.
    3. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottom, oven-proof pan large enough for all the beetroot to sit snugly (approx. 20cm). Add the beetroot and toss to coat in the oil and butter. Add the sugar and vinegar, season and taste, adjusting the vinegar and sugar if necessary.
    4. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the beetroot are tender.
    5. When the beetroot are cooked remove from the oven and arrange the beets neatly in the pan.  Carefully place the pastry over the beetroot tucking the excess pastry into the pan. Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden and puffed up. 
    6. Make the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients in a clean jam jar and give it a good shake. 
    7. When the tart is ready remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes. 
    8. To serve place a large plate over the pan and carefully, but quickly, turn upside down, remove the pan, crumble the feta on top and pour over the vinaigrette. 
    9. Enjoy with a lovely green salad and a strong red wine.


    More recently I have developed a bit of an obsession for the monochrome, alongside my love for Skandi design. With autumn finally here IKEA have hit the nail on the head with these beautifully styled photographs. While blacks and whites are always a winner with me I love how the use of natural materials, woods and brown papers adds just the right amount of warmth.


    When I think of funfairs at home in Germany, I think of crazy roller-coasters, of cotton candy, cheesy music, "Lebkuchenherzen" and sugared almonds. Oh it's sugared almonds every time! Lets just dream about German Christmas markets for a little bit, where there's stalls covered in heaps and heaps of sugared almonds. Still hot, they come in large paper cones and you munch on them alongside a steaming mug of mulled wine. Good right? It makes you not feel that bad about summer being over.

    Oh and then I came across the lovely Jessica's Sugared Toasted Almond cupcake recipe and I was sold! Only waited for an occasion (my boss Dave's birthday!) and of I went to my little laboratory that is my kitchen to do some yum, yum baking.

    You all know I am not a big icing fan, but oh boy this one is out of this world.

    Etta xo

    PS Jessica mentions the sponge being quite firm and if you guys love Hummingbird and Buttercup cakes then absolutely use her recipe. They are a little dense for me so I decided to use my classic vanilla sponge recipe next time. 


    MAKES 12 cupcakes
    PREPARATION 10mins
    COOKS 30mins


    For the sponge
    • 110g soft butter
    • 110g caster sugar
    • 110g self-raising flour
    • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
    • 1-2tbsp milk
    • 1tsp vanilla extract 
    • 1tsp almond extract
     For the icing
    • 170g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 220g icing sugar
    • 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed
    For the sugared toasted almonds
    • 40g sliced almonds
    • 2 tbsps brown sugar

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases (use cupcake cases not muffin cases).
    2. Cream the butter and sugar until well combined, fluffy and pale (for about 5 minutes). You can either use a whisk, hand mixer or kitchen machine for this. 
    3. Add the eggs a little at a time and mix until you have a smooth batter. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.
    4. Fold in the flour. Once combined add the milk a little at a time until your batter is of a thick, dripping consistency.
    5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, making sure it is distributed equally.
    6. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Once done check whether your cakes are cooked by piercing with a cocktail stick. If it comes out clean the cakes are done. If the batter sticks to it, bake for a couple more minutes. Leave to cool completely.
    7. Heat a small pan over a medium heat and add almonds. Toss and stir constantly and toast for 1-2 minutes, just until almonds start to brown. 
    8. Reduce the heat to low and toss in sugar, stirring to coat. Stir constantly and cook for another minute, then remove and place almonds in a bowl. After a few minutes of cooling they will harden and you can break them apart.
    9. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugar and cocoa powder with the mixer on low, speeding up once combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium, scraping down the sides if necessary, for 2-3 minutes. If your frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of milk at a time, beating for another minute or two to smooth it out. Repeat if necessary. If frosting isn't thick enough to be spreadable, add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar while beating until it thickens. Frost and top with sugared almonds below.
    These are amazing!! You have to try them. You could make a whole cake of this, just make sure you bake it for about 40 minutes (depending on the size of your cake tin). 


      Malala Yousafzai, 2013 // Portrait Study (Dennis Hopper) 2005
    Erin O'Connor, 2005 // Kevin Spacey as Richard III, 2011

    A few years ago I worked on the design of the National Portrait Gallery's book 500 PORTRAITS - BP PORTRAIT AWARD. I was absolutely thrilled when, after a lot of discussions and toing and froing we settled on a clean white jacket displaying Jonathan Yeo's portrait of Erin O'Connor. Yeo is known for his paintings of celebrities as well as of fellow artists such as Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry and I am a big fan of the way he manages to capture his subjects' persona while still maintaining his unique, artistic style. I absolutely adore his use of negative space, bold brush strokes and the revealed pencil sketches and grids that peak through the layers of paint.

    Yeo currently has a display on at the National Portrait Gallery which runs until 5th January 2014. Go and check it out. Read more here.

    FOOD ENVY #01

    I haven't had any time to blog, to cook, to plan meals or to start enjoying autumn's beautiful ingredients. Life on the work front has been so, so busy - which is good, because after all I love what I do tremendously.  I might even be sharing a bit more of my designy stuff on here in the future - you never know.

    For now I have been working hard and have been incredibly grateful for a boyfriend who has been rustling up and feeding me the most delicious dinners. If I am lucky I manage to sneak in a minute or five every evening to browse through my Pinterest and dream about all these beautiful autumn/winter dishes that scream yummy comfort food.

    Here are a few of my current favourites.

    1 // 2 // 3 // 4 


    I just came across this when browsing the Kinfolk Magazine website and I could not be more excited. Yup it's a cookery book and just look how beautiful it is. I absolutely adore Kinfolk's ethos and aesthetics and can't wait what recipes they have come up with. All this across 400 pages. The book is out 15th October, so head over there and pre-order.

    Etta xo


    Do you guys like Pizza? Oh what a question, who doesn't. Even better if it's homemade, right? But then you face the whole dilemma of kneading and proofing and kneading and things turn out to not be a quick 'n' easy dinner solution. And then you end up grabbing the phone and ordering Papa John's or venturing out to Pizza Express and your wallet hates you a little more.
    Oh trust me I know this feeling all too well. All those times we have called Papa John for 2 for 1 delivery (millions of calories included) and I disliked myself a little afterwards.

    As so often, Good Housekeeping comes to the rescue here with their incredibly delicious Blonde Pizza. Yes blonde... no passata here my dears. Pure squidgy mozarella, courgette and garlic goodness.

    Make some extra dough and keep it in the freezer for a quick and healthy pizza dinner.
    Of course you can substitute the toppings with anything you like.

    Etta xo 

    PS Excuse the lousy pictures. The camera died and the iPhone had to do. :(

    SERVES 4
    PREPARATION 10mins
    COOKS 30mins


    For the base
    • 125g strong white flour, plus extra to dust (or 65g wholemeal flour and 60g white flour)
    • 75ml warm water
    • ½tsp fast action dried yeast
    • 4tbsps olive oil
    • 1tsp salt
    • any herbs you want to add to the dough
    For the base
    • 1 garlic clove crushed
    • 3tbsps olive oil
    • sea salt
    • 1 courgette thinly sliced with a peeler
    • 1 red chilli 
    • 1 red onion finely sliced (if you have a mandolin slicer, use it ;))
    • 2 balls of mozzarella
    • salt and pepper
    1. Put the flour, yeast and 1tsp salt into a large bowl. Quickly mix in 75ml (3fl oz) warm water and 4tbsps of the olive oil to make a soft, but not sticky, dough (add more flour/water as necessary). Tip on to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead for 5mins (or use a kitchen machine with the hook attachment). Form into a ball, put back in the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 15min (I heat my oven to 40˚C and place the bowl there. Next to the heating is good too.)
    2. Preheat oven to 220°C. Mix the 2tbsp of olive oil, crushed garlic clove and a generous pinch of sea salt in a bowl.
    3. Flour a large baking tray (you can also use polenta/corn meal). Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to make a rectangle roughly 20.5cm x 30.5cm. Transfer to the prepared baking tray and brush with the olive oil garlic mix.
    4. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook in the oven for 5min until the base is just beginning to dry out.
    5. Take out of oven and lower temperature to 180°C. 
    6. Top with toppings the mozzarella, courgette and chillis, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Return to the oven for 15-20min until pizza is golden.
    7. Enjoy with a green salad.  


    I look forward to August every year. Every year it is busy, verging on the stressful, filled with a ridiculous amount of birthdays, but when it's over I look back on it and think - yes you've been good August, we've made some memories worth remembering. So here are a few little snaps from my August. I hope yours was a sunny and happy one. Welcome September, I wonder what you've got in store for us. A big move for sure and some exciting creative projects.

    Etta xo

    ONE - Bank holiday Monday in Brockwell Park, just chilling with the girls, sipping on Gin and Tonics, munching on Nachos and tanning those pasty legs.
    TWO + THREE - My sunny commute over the Thames and past Bayswater.
    FOUR - Drinking the craziest Cocktails at the Blind Pig at Social Eating House in Soho (Cereal Killer this concoction was called and included Coco Pops milk - yup you heard right). Read Alice's review here. 
    FIVE - Recovery strategy to cure the pains caused by our night out at the Blind Pig. Big BYRON order all around.
    SIX - Yup I did it, chopped my hair off again and couldn't be happier. Alexia has once again done a brilliant job. 
    SEVEN - Flowers from my best friend Susie, just before she went off to enjoy the rest of her summer in Berlin. I miss her terribly!
    EIGHT - We've really been into Bloody Maries recently. Secret ingredients: chilli vodka and lots of lemon juice. Recipe to follow soon.
    NINE - Spontaneous breakfast dates with the boys. Travelling all the way to Earlsfield for some serious Eggs Florentine and Hash Brown goodness at Mel's Vintage Beats & Breakfast.  
    TEN - Late night walks home.
    ELEVEN - Some exciting branding projects going on here. There is still so much more to do but this project has been a true labour of love. Check out my friends at 37thState's blog here.


    I am a little sad about our trip to the Alma in Crystal Palace last Sunday. We've been to this pub several times in the past and while it never really blew me away, I always felt it was a nice pub to go to and meet up with friends. The food is nice and the atmosphere, while airy, still terribly cosy. It's located conveniently in the middle of Crystal Palace and is the perfect place to go to after a stroll through the park or a rummage through the numerous antique and second hand shops.

    Last Sunday my friend Anette was over from Newcastle and because it's her birthday on Friday, we thought we'd treat her to a relaxed Sunday lunch at the Alma.
    Our French waitress was a little dappy but sooo friendly, made us feel extremely comfortable and moved our booking to the sunny beer-garden without any problems.

    The Alma is currently serving both their regular menu of Sunday Roasts, Burgers, Pies and your usual pub grub as well as a lovely BBQ menu which includes a selection of starters and mains.

    We all shared a starter of Halloumi with caramelised onions and a balsamic vinaigrette, which was very yummy indeed and a great way to start our meat feast.

    For mains we had: Hereford Beef Burger and Chips, which was tasty, well cooked and seasoned but nothing special.
    The pork steak with herb butter, coleslaw, chips and apple sauce was meant to come with crackling but unfortunately there was only a fat rim on it (tasty nevertheless). The coleslaw was a little warm for my liking but tasted ok and the chips were a little undercooked but tasted nice. Oh and what was going on with the apple sauce. Definitely jarred, I am certain that this was meant to accompany a dessert and not a pork steak (cinnamon overload is all I am saying).
    And then there were the Beef Ribs... which were absolutely huuuuuge and smothered in copious amounts of BBQ sauce!! Again, tasty but extremely difficult to cut and slightly on the tough side (little tip here, pre-boil you guys!).

    We washed down our meal with lager shandies, ciders and bitters which were all very nice and then it came to paying. Our bill came to just over £100 which is a little on the expensive side considering the food was good yet nothing special and we only had two starters among five of us and no desserts. But what really put me off and ruined this lunch for me was when I inquired about the fact that I had been charged for a full Heineken while I only had a shandy. The fairly snappy answer was that all pubs have started doing this and that they didn't charge us for a lemonade (yes but you charged me for a full pint of beer when I only had half). At £4.20 for a Heineken shandy I am more than disappointed and will definitely start ordering half a lemonade and half a lager from now on.

    Please don't think I am being tight, I have no problem paying a fair share if I am offered quality but it makes me sad to see all these nice places open in new and upcoming areas and justify their prices and mediocre quality with nothing really but the fact that they are "trendy".

    Rant over!
    I am still encouraging you to go to the Alma as it is a nice pub with a good drinks and food selection.

    Rating 5/10 (it would probably be a 6/7 if it wasn't for their pricing)
    95 Church Rd,
    Crystal Palace
    Greater London
    SE19 2TA


    Sometimes it's hard to come up with recipes and meal ideas that are that little bit different. I am sure you have noticed a bit of a re-occurrence when it comes to roast veggie recipes (yup, I luuuurve my roast veggies). While things can get a bit boring on the culinary front in Etta's home, I really don't want to start posting overly complicated dishes. The odd 100% effort roast dinner or Christmas meal is ok but in general I am all about simple, delicious, easy and healthy meals. I want you guys to be able to come here and pick a recipe that you can easily throw together in an evening without cursing me afterwards.

    For simple meals like these Good Housekeeping Magazine and Skinny Meals in Heels are my saviours. Naturally when I came across this veggie filo tart I thought it was going to end up being a messy, difficult affair. I couldn't have been more wrong. So for something a little different which is great to serve at a summer picnic or for a light dinner try this.

    Etta xo
    SERVES 4
    PREPARATION 10mins
    COOKS 40mins

    • 2 medium eggs
    • 300g creme legere
    • 150g broad beans, frozen
    • small broccoli (approx. 150g) cut into small florets
    • 75g sun-blushed tomatoes, sliced
    • 100g feta, crumbled
    • small handful of fresh mint, chopped
    • 6 sheets of filo pastry
    • sunflower oil to brush
    • salt and pepper to season 

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper. 
    2. In a separate bowl, lightly mix the broad beans, broccoli, tomatoes, feta and mint. Add 3/4 of this to the creme fraiche mixture.
    3. Brush the top of one filo sheet with oil, then lay into a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin, letting the excess hang over the sides. Repeat with the remaining sheets, overlapping the sheets slightly each time (there should be no gaps). Pour in the creme fraiche mixture, then scatter over the remaining vegetable mix.
    4. Crumple the overhanging pastry down the inside of the tin (above the level of the filling) and brush with a little more oil.
    5. Put tin on a baking tray and cook in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is set and the pastry is golden.
    6. Serve warm or at room temperature with a green salad.
    Recipe taken from Good Housekeeping-Simple Suppers and adapted by Etta.


    Oh wow you guys... Last Thursday things couldn't have become any better as far as food goes.
    The WTF + HBO crews went out for some serious steak and cocktail business at MASH in Soho. Truly my dream meal and the excellent company and beautiful surroundings made it even better. Read my full review of MASH here.


    Can I just say I am usually not one for home made beauty products. I don't believe they work as well as shop bought ones, there's no nice packaging (hellooo... Boots is one of my favourite places to shop) and it's just too much hassle. And not to forget the time when I was a teenager and my mum got me to use cider vinegar as toner and olive oil as face cream. Yes I smelled like a well dressed salad.

    Last weekend Susie came round for a girlie afternoon. Initially we were meant to go for pedicures in town which then turned to pedicures in Croydon and ended up being pedicures at home (mainly due to me being too unwell to leave my house and secondly we really didn't want to dish out £40 for a mediocre pedicure by a trainee beautician). 
    So Susie arrives with all the necessary bits for a home pedicure aaaand a bunch of mint, a bottle of olive oil and a bag of brown sugar. She announces: "We're making our own foot scrub!" Errrrm ok?!?

    It looked gross... but smelled amazing. And oh my am I converted. My feet are the softest they have been in a long time. Forget all those shop bought scrubs. The coarse brown sugar is the perfect exfoliant and the mint is beautifully cooling. It all takes five minutes and will nicely keep in your fridge. 

    Try it, it's amazing!!!

    Etta xo

    MAKES 1 jar
    PREPARTION 5mins
    KEEPS about 1 month in the fridge

    • large bunch of mint, finely chopped
    • 200g coarse brown sugar
    • 150ml olive oil

    1. Mix the mint with the olive oil. If you have a food processor just whack it all in there and pulse until well combined.
    2. Add the sugar. Thoroughly mix together and transfer into an airtight jar.
    1. Ideally sit on the edge of your bath. Get a washing bowl or large bucket with warm water ready. 
    2. Take a generous scoop of the scrub and massage into your feet rubbing until they start to tingle a little. 
    3. Rinse off in the bucket of water and dab dry. Caution: Your feet will be a little oily so be careful you don't slip. 
    4. If you plan to use nail varnish straight after, make sure you acetone your nails or wipe them with pure alcohol so that the varnish sticks better.