Discovering: Flat Lays! Oh my goodness… the flat lay style of photography is so addictive. Suddenly, I’m wondering what everything in my entire home would look like in a flat lay! I’m using them for Instagram (HERE) mainly and at the moment just arranging complementary products or items by colour but there is a real art to storytelling with serious flat layers. I really am a bit obsessed with them and I’m studying techniques and styles. There’s a great article about how to Flat Lay like a pro HERE, but mainly I’m watching other Instagrammers to see how they do it so well.
Watching: The Judge. This is a real Sunday afternoon-in-bed-with-the-iPad kind of film. Starring Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, it explores a father-son relationship through a legal crisis narrative.
Baking: Choux Pastry. Before Christmas we had a big group of friends over to dinner as we always do. I was slightly overwhemed work-wise and didn’t want to resort to buying a pudding (Mr BBB does the main), so got a very talented friend to make me a huge pile of profiteroles. They were so delicious, it kindled an interest to try choux pastry for myself and it’s so easy! I made eclairs over the weekend and showing you the picture so you can have a chuckle – I somehow didn’t factor in the ‘puff’ element sideways (I did realise they’d rise UP but not ACROSS as well) so they came out guinea-pig sized! Nobody complained though, and once I’d filled them with whipped cream and poured chocolate sauce over them, they were delicious. That’s the thing with baking – you don’t know what you can do til you try and mine were very far from perfect but tasted great and I know for next time to size accordingly. I used a James Martin recipe (HERE) but don’t use double cream, use whipping.
Reading: Honey & Co. Cookbook. I got given this for Christmas because I love middle eastern food. Think salads, mezzes and delicious almond biscuits. We’ve tried the Peaches & Goat’s Cheese Salad with Roasted Almonds and Tomato & Za’atar Fatoush Salad and they were both amazingly good! The book is unlike any other in that many of the recipes have a little story attached to them which allows you to get to know the authors, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (who are married and run a same-name restaurant in London – hard to get into, apparently) a little better. The photography is beautiful and makes all of the food look tempting. I think I’ll use it more in summer than in winter, but next up on the list of baking is their Marzipan Cookies. The book is HERE.
Eating At: Bronte, The Strand. I’ve eaten at the relatively new Tom Dixon designed restaurant, Bronte, several times now and really enjoyed it. The location isn’t great – it’s on The Strand, just off Trafalgar Square, and as any Londoner will tell you, that’s serious smog and traffic jam territory. They have an outdoor terrace (lovely, with heaters and blankets) and I guess you don’t really notice the traffic once you’re cosied up under a blanket with a bottle of wine! The food is really good – Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian with standard steaks and meat dishes if you’re not feeling adventurous. Mostly what I like about it is that everyone is really friendly, you’re very well attended to and never rushed (or not so far). If you live in London, you’ll know that offering customers a table for 1.5 hours is not unusual so as many sittings can be served as possible, so it’s very nice to be left in peace and not hurried out. Bronte is HERE. 1-3 The Strand, WC2N 5EJ.
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That cookbook has gone straight onto my wishlist. Just the sort of food we love to eat. Thank you for the recommendation.