Food

Amsterdam | 48 Hours

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Amsterdam in April, there was still blossom in the trees and tulips starting to fill bicycles and flower beds and boxes. We were celebrating both our wedding anniversary and 48 hours child free, we clocked up 60,000 steps, ate pancakes, the best ever apple pie, walked up and down nearly every canal, crossed all the bridges, visited the Botanical Gardens, peered into various hotels, found the plant and globe house and sat watching sunrise by the pool atop of Soho House Amsterdam. Here are our favourite images from our trip and our recommendations….

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WINKEL 43   I’d read about the apple pie being epic and we weren’t disappointed. It’s huge, with generous chunks of apple, layered high with copious amounts of cinnamon. The crust is brick thick and delicious. If you are going to eat a slab of pie this big you might as well accept the offer of cream too.

WINKEL 43

I’d read about the apple pie being epic and we weren’t disappointed. It’s huge, with generous chunks of apple, layered high with copious amounts of cinnamon. The crust is brick thick and delicious. If you are going to eat a slab of pie this big you might as well accept the offer of cream too.

DE WELDAAD   Just a few doors down from Winkel 43 is De Weldaad a stunning interiors shop which is just prop heaven. I found some lovely little ceramics that just fit in my carry on. Loved this find.

DE WELDAAD

Just a few doors down from Winkel 43 is De Weldaad a stunning interiors shop which is just prop heaven. I found some lovely little ceramics that just fit in my carry on. Loved this find.

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WILDERNIS   Plants, coffee and cake… what’s not to love. The interiors of Wildernis, is far more lovely than I’ve seen on Instagram. It’s filled with beautiful ceramics, plant books, gift ideas and of course plants - I wish there had been some way to transport most of this shop home.

WILDERNIS

Plants, coffee and cake… what’s not to love. The interiors of Wildernis, is far more lovely than I’ve seen on Instagram. It’s filled with beautiful ceramics, plant books, gift ideas and of course plants - I wish there had been some way to transport most of this shop home.

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SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM   We stayed at Soho House Amsterdam. As with all their houses, it’s more than a home away from home, no need to pack toiletries or hair straightners, the bedroom was delightful, the sheets and pillows as always so luxurious and waiting for you is the nespresso coffee machine and House Cookies in the cookie tin.  This site opened last year in the 1930s Bungehuis building, a huge art deco site, that until Soho House took it over, was inhabited by squatters. (I was told they have moved next door) The art deco touches are evident throughout, the members area is relaxing and stylish. The roof has fantastic views plenty of seating areas and a pool if you fancy doing some lengths! Cecconis is on the ground floor, if you don’t want to venture too far, I can recommended the Aubergine parmigiana!  *Our stay here was gifted as part of some work I did for Soho House last year.

SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM

We stayed at Soho House Amsterdam. As with all their houses, it’s more than a home away from home, no need to pack toiletries or hair straightners, the bedroom was delightful, the sheets and pillows as always so luxurious and waiting for you is the nespresso coffee machine and House Cookies in the cookie tin.

This site opened last year in the 1930s Bungehuis building, a huge art deco site, that until Soho House took it over, was inhabited by squatters. (I was told they have moved next door) The art deco touches are evident throughout, the members area is relaxing and stylish. The roof has fantastic views plenty of seating areas and a pool if you fancy doing some lengths! Cecconis is on the ground floor, if you don’t want to venture too far, I can recommended the Aubergine parmigiana!

*Our stay here was gifted as part of some work I did for Soho House last year.

street scenes

street scenes

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PULITZER   25 Canal houses have been woven together to create this unique collection of guest rooms, inner courtyard gardens, meeting rooms, cafe, restaurant and event space. We had a little peek and look around it is indeed lovely, you can feel the history and the past lives the houses have had.

PULITZER

25 Canal houses have been woven together to create this unique collection of guest rooms, inner courtyard gardens, meeting rooms, cafe, restaurant and event space. We had a little peek and look around it is indeed lovely, you can feel the history and the past lives the houses have had.

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The Dutch House with Globes and Plants!  This one pops up on Instagram all the time. Apparently the plants and globes have been here for 20 years, I couldn’t find out why or who owns it but I’m so glad it’s here. If you are looking for it, it’s on the way to the Botanical Gardens near Cafe t’ Hooischip.

The Dutch House with Globes and Plants!

This one pops up on Instagram all the time. Apparently the plants and globes have been here for 20 years, I couldn’t find out why or who owns it but I’m so glad it’s here. If you are looking for it, it’s on the way to the Botanical Gardens near Cafe t’ Hooischip.

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street scenes

street scenes

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HORTUS BOTANICUS   About a 30 min walk from our hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the botanical gardens, it’s fairly small so it was easy to fit into our limited time in Amsterdam. The orangery style green house is gorgeous and the gardens were just coming into bloom when we visited. The more traditional style green house is the hot house, exceptionally hot and filled with tropical plants and flowers.  ENTRANCE 9.75 EURO  Other   THE PANCAKE BAKERY   Huge sweet and savoury pancakes served in an old converted warehouse, we were advised to get their at 9am (we got there at 915am and there was a queue already) when we left the queue was so long! The interiors is bare brick walls, and as many dark wood tables they could fit in, it’s very dark so unless you fancy squeezing through the queue of hungry people to get outside to find some light, I’d suggest you enjoy your pancake and take pictures of other things. Good quality ingredients, interesting, extensive menu, quite expensive.   PLUK   A cafe and interiors shop, there were some very pretty ceramics and gift ideas in this lovely curated shop, we couldn’t stay to eat as the little restaurant was completely full but worth popping in if you are passing.

HORTUS BOTANICUS

About a 30 min walk from our hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the botanical gardens, it’s fairly small so it was easy to fit into our limited time in Amsterdam. The orangery style green house is gorgeous and the gardens were just coming into bloom when we visited. The more traditional style green house is the hot house, exceptionally hot and filled with tropical plants and flowers.

ENTRANCE 9.75 EURO

Other

THE PANCAKE BAKERY

Huge sweet and savoury pancakes served in an old converted warehouse, we were advised to get their at 9am (we got there at 915am and there was a queue already) when we left the queue was so long! The interiors is bare brick walls, and as many dark wood tables they could fit in, it’s very dark so unless you fancy squeezing through the queue of hungry people to get outside to find some light, I’d suggest you enjoy your pancake and take pictures of other things. Good quality ingredients, interesting, extensive menu, quite expensive.

PLUK

A cafe and interiors shop, there were some very pretty ceramics and gift ideas in this lovely curated shop, we couldn’t stay to eat as the little restaurant was completely full but worth popping in if you are passing.

Nomadic | A Woodland Dining Experience

On Saturday I was hired to photograph an outdoor event in Buckinghamshire, a private wood is host to Nomadic’s unique dining experience. Guests experience an immersive foraged feast surrounded by nature with dinner cooked by a talented chef. Each event differs, depending on the time of year, the chef and the weather. The chef creating Saturday’s feast was Chris Hruskova, a Danish michelin starred chef who now runs a bakery in London. It was a joy to photograph, something I just love shooting observationally, capturing events as they happen and this event gave me so much to capture. Thanks for having me Noah!

Disclosure, I was hired to photograph the event, I was not asked or paid to blog about the event. All thoughts my own I just wanted to share something I enjoyed here.

RECIPE Aubergine Curry

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Aubergine Curry

I made this simple but ever so tasty and nutritious curry that will see you through the dark days and cold nights, for the Laura Ashley blog. Usually made with Coconut Milk, swap it out with a plant based alternative; I used Innocent’s Coconut drink. Yes it will mean the sauce is a little thinner after reduction but you get that same, creamy indulgent tasting coconut sauce but with far less calories and fat. Perfect for January/February intentions without feeling like you are missing out.

You can find the recipe over on the Laura Ashley blog or below  

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Serves 2  1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (add more or reduce depending on the amount of heat you can take)  1 green chilli, sliced for garnish (optional)  2 garlic cloves  1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and chopped  1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger  1 tbsp. ground turmeric  5-6 baby aubergines cut in half or 1 large chopped  1-2 tbsp. olive oil  2 shallots, finely chopped  1 tsp. palm sugar  1 tsp. fish sauce  300 ml Coconut drink or canned Coconut Milk  200 ml vegetable stock  Bunch of coriander to garnish  Method  1. In a blender add the chilli, garlic cloves, lemon grass and ginger, pulse to make a paste, set aside  2. Rub the aubergine with the turmeric, heat half the oil in a frying pan, then add the aubergine, brown both sides then set aside.  3. In a wok or deep pan add the rest of the oil then cook the shallots for a few minutes, add the paste, palm sugar cook for another minute or two, then add the aubergines, the fish sauce, coconut drink and vegetable stock  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. The sauce should reduce but you don’t want the aubergine to go completely mushy.  5. Serve with rice, garnish with the coriander and the extra chilli if you want it!

Serves 2

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (add more or reduce depending on the amount of heat you can take)

1 green chilli, sliced for garnish (optional)

2 garlic cloves

1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and chopped

1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp. ground turmeric

5-6 baby aubergines cut in half or 1 large chopped

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tsp. palm sugar

1 tsp. fish sauce

300 ml Coconut drink or canned Coconut Milk

200 ml vegetable stock

Bunch of coriander to garnish

Method

1. In a blender add the chilli, garlic cloves, lemon grass and ginger, pulse to make a paste, set aside

2. Rub the aubergine with the turmeric, heat half the oil in a frying pan, then add the aubergine, brown both sides then set aside.

3. In a wok or deep pan add the rest of the oil then cook the shallots for a few minutes, add the paste, palm sugar cook for another minute or two, then add the aubergines, the fish sauce, coconut drink and vegetable stock

4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. The sauce should reduce but you don’t want the aubergine to go completely mushy.

5. Serve with rice, garnish with the coriander and the extra chilli if you want it!

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CLIENT | Soho House

Last year I had the pleasure of a working with Soho House and officially photographing at a number of their houses, from interiors, to menus to behind the scenes in their kitchens. It was a year long project and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The content I created was mainly used to top up their numerous individual Instagram accounts.

Each House has their own account and constant, creative story telling imagery is hard to keep up with in-house when I think there are something like 30+ accounts to manage.

Below is a collection of favourites

Cafe Boheme, Soho


Dean St Townhouse, Soho


White City House, West London


Electric Diner, Portobello Road

RECIPE | Hot Pot for Slow Cold Days

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I posted this image on Instagram and it had such a lovely response, probably because right now, it’s pretty cold with snow and sub zero temperatures forecast as happening imminently.

And no matter how positive I am about January - the reality is, it is still January - and Spring and warmth feels very far away.

This hot pot was made for an Autumnal Walk feature I did for The Simple Things magazine in their Nov 2017 issue, if you follow the link you’ll also find the recipe for the Mustardy Greens side dish to go with it!

I’ve posted the recipe below if you fancy making it this weekend.

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Lamb hotpot  A hearty casserole that deserves its place as a classic  Serves 6–8 2 tbsp plain flour 900g diced lamb 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 large onions, sliced 1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole 8 small shallots, peeled 500g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to garnish 500ml chicken or vegetable stock 750g Maris Piper potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 5mm slices 40g butter, melted  1 Tip the flour into a bowl, and season with a few pinches of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Add the lamb and toss to coat in the flour. Heat half the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the lamb (you may need to do this in two batches). Cook for 5–6 mins, until brown all over, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside. 2 Add the remaining oil to the same casserole dish and gently fry the onions for around 5 mins, until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a further minute before adding the shallots and carrots. Cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 mins. 3 Return the lamb to the casserole dish, and add the mustard and chopped rosemary. Season and stir well, before stirring through the stock. 4 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/ 350F. Arrange the potato slices on top of the lamb, overlapping slightly to create a lid for the hotpot. Brush with the melted butter, season with salt and black pepper, and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 11⁄2 hours. 5 Remove the lid or foil, turn up the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F, and cook for a further 30–40 mins, or until the potatoes are golden brown. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.  This recipe was created for  The Simple Things  magazine Nov 2017

Lamb hotpot

A hearty casserole that deserves its place as a classic

Serves 6–8
2 tbsp plain flour
900g diced lamb
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole
8 small shallots, peeled
500g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to garnish
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
750g Maris Piper potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 5mm slices
40g butter, melted

1 Tip the flour into a bowl, and season with a few pinches of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Add the lamb and toss to coat in the flour. Heat half the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the lamb (you may need to do this in two batches). Cook for 5–6 mins, until brown all over, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2 Add the remaining oil to the same casserole dish and gently fry the onions for around 5 mins, until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a further minute before adding the shallots and carrots. Cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 mins.
3 Return the lamb to the casserole dish, and add the mustard and chopped rosemary. Season and stir well, before stirring through the stock.
4 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/ 350F. Arrange the potato slices on top of the lamb, overlapping slightly to create a lid for the hotpot. Brush with the melted butter, season with salt and black pepper, and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 11⁄2 hours.
5 Remove the lid or foil, turn up the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F, and cook for a further 30–40 mins, or until the potatoes are golden brown. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

This recipe was created for The Simple Things magazine Nov 2017

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RECIPE New Year Thoughts & a Healthy Pizza

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I now know New Year Res’s are passé, because it’s all over instagram how people are not setting goals, intentions or words for the year. But here I am doing all three!!

For me, perhaps being Freelance, I get to the end of the year and I am on my knees. I am exhausted and there’s so much to cram into December, not just the flurry of last minute jobs, which as always I am so grateful for, but the school commitments, getting ready for Christmas and to top it off (or what pushes me straight over the edge) there’s two birthdays to plan one on Boxing Day and one on the 3rd January and because these days are so awkward there’s 2 parties each to plan on different days!! One family, one friends.

Did I mention December exhausts me?

The thing with being Freelance is that you are pretty much always working, I personally find it so hard to switch off, I can’t miss that email or turn down that job because who knows when the next offer will come in!! Or so it seems.

The only time the world stops for me is during Christmas, the only time I can put my OOO, stop Instagramming and put my phone away is Christmas Eve to January 3rd. This time for me is my time to reflect and recharge and regain my sanity because I tell you I feel very close to insanity come Christmas Eve. It just so happens to tie in with all the New Year stuff that is now so unpopular but for me there is no other time. No other time to scribble incessantly in notebooks, stay in my PJs, watch back to back movies, hang out with my kids so intensely we end up calling each other ‘shadow’. (I’m very much missing my shadows now they are back at school and nursery).

This time finally gave me permission to ‘put my oxygen mask on first’. I read that in Denmark (I think it’s Denmark) they live by this phrase. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. I’ve spent so long thinking this is so selfish, that of course everything and everyone comes first and over the last few years, the few things I did for myself that were, I see now, keeping me sane and happy, got eroded or eradicated as I should be working or doing things for the family. Exercising used to be like breathing, I’ve been sporty since I could walk, an athlete (100m sprinter don’t you know), gymnast and when I grew far too tall to be considered for any kind of gymnastic team, a passionate yogi. In 2018 I went to precisely 3 classes. 

Mid December, Michael said to me I think you need to do yoga or something, I think him mentioning it made it finally click that it’s ok to do this! It’s not a weight thing for me but totally a mental one. It rea;;uy does make me happier.

By the end of December I’d joined this cheap, new no frills gym that’s 5 mins walk from home, that has early morning classes which is, I figured out, all I want, I actually don’t care what the class is, it just has to be under an hour, close by and be done before everyone else wakes up. What I need is the happy hormones that come from doing something/anything. Four classes in I already feel happier (and have beaten 2018s record!)

During this time the word Expand started to pop into my head and every time I think of it I take a deep breath, 2018 was good in many ways but looking back it felt like a lot of head down, running around or lurching from thing to thing. Not really thinking things through. Not really asking if this lurching was the right thing to be doing.

I want to Expand but slow down, think before doing. I want to Expand our horizons, be that travel further afield but also Expand our immediate world. I am happy in my own company but I realise too much isolation is not good for me or my guys. I often reply, when people ask what have you been up to? Oh all I do is work, so nothing.

So EXPAND is my word for the year. I’m going to prioritise my health and keep adding little things daily to continue feeling a little happier. Work is going to be more mindful, I don’t have to say yes to everything. Travel is a must, near and far, just keep broadening the horizons. Planning, I often become indecisive before something big is happening, then the details are all crammed into the last minute and are pretty stressful. I already have ideas how to do Christmas/Birthdays better this year and I feel relief already having a plan to follow!

I have other work and personal things I want to achieve and I may share them in a future post.

But for now, I’ll leave you with this pretty healthy new year pizza recipe. It’s Gluten Free, Sugar Free, topped with as many veggies as the base will hold, sure there’s cheese – you can swap it with a vegan alternative (you will also need a vegan egg replacement if you make the dough), top it with a low fat pesto or leave it out altogether. I’m going with all that veg cancels out the cheese!

I used the Panasonic Breadmaker I was gifted to make the Gluten Free Dough (this blog post isn’t an ad or sponsored by them) but here is the link https://www.theideaskitchen.co.uk/recipe/2441/ to the recipe if you have a breadmaker. Alternatively I’ve copied it below

GF Pizza with Roasted Vegetables | Recipe

For the Dough

90 ml water

60 ml olive oil

1 egg

1 egg white

450g GF flour

7g yeast

1 tsp. salt

For the Sauce

1 tin of plum tomatoes

Fresh Basil, torn

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp. heaped, Sundried tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste 

For the Toppings

2 peppers, deseeded and sliced

1 small Aubergine, sliced

½ Red Onion cut into wedges

1 Mozzarella ball, torn

50g Cheddar, grated

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Handful of Olives

Handful fresh basil to garnish

 

Method

1.     Make the dough according to the breadmaker instructions which are to place all the ingredients in the order written into the breadmaker. Set to the Pizza Dough Setting (mine is setting 17 for 45 mins)

2.     Whilst the dough is being made, pre-heat the oven to 200C (Fan assisted) then start making the sauce as it needs about 45 mins to thicken and reduce. In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes be careful not to burn it. Add the tin of tomatoes, sundried tomato paste and salt and pepper.

3.     Keep on a low heat for about 45 mins, stir occasionally

4.     Add the torn basil about 25 mins in.

5.     When the sauce is taking care of it’s self get the veggies roasting. Add the peppers, aubergine and onion onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 mins turn once mid way. When done set aside.

6.     Prepare 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

7.     When the dough is ready, flour a surface and remove the dough with a floured hand. The dough will make two large pizzas, you can split it in two and freeze half or as we did split the dough into four and made four individual pizzas. Roll and shape your dough into rounds.

8.     Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.

9.     Remove from the oven, spread the base with the tomato sauce, add the torn mozzarella, then the roasted veg, olives and sprinkle over the cheddar cheese.

10. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the base is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Add the basil leaves, serve immediately.

If you got this far, thanks for reading and happy new year to you! xx