Monday, 28 May 2012

Chocolate Workshop

This weekend I went to a chocolate workshop at Chocoholly, mostly to celebrate my sister's birthday! It perhaps wasn't the best idea on the hottest weekend of the year so far but never mind. Me, my mum and sister really enjoyed ourselves!

After a fun quiz and a lesson in chocolate tasting, we were shown how to make ganache. Then the fun started! We were given a stick of ganache, and shown how to make, dip and decorate our truffles. There were plenty to choose from including sugar strands, raisins and rose petals.

I also got to try out chocolate transfers which give a really nice effect that I hadn't really seen before.

We were then given other goodies like pretzels, candied orange and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate.

Then we were shown how to make other chocolate shapes like hearts and buttons, although mine all came out pretty wonky.

Once the chocolate had set, we could package them all up beautifully to take home.

It was much easier than I expected to make the truffles, and they taste lovely. I'm keen to give making them another go (maybe when it's less hot!), as they would make pretty nice presents. I might even have a little experiment with flavours...

Chocolate workshops are run pretty much every weekend at Chocoholly, check them out at

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Foodie Festival

Me and the man are big food fans. So it seemed only right that we should visit the Foodie Festival this weekend. I forgot my camera (for the first time in a long time!) so you will have to put up with phone pics instead...

 Why not have a bus that is also a bar? The seating area was the top deck.
 Or a beach 30 seconds from the actual beach? You could sit here and enjoy live music and/or make sandcastles.
 This cute little tent is a cider bar, complete with hay bales to sit on.
 Fudge Kitchen sell possibly the best fudge I have ever tasted, it was flying off their stall. Those boxes at the front are drinking fudge. How amazing does that sound?!

 No food festival is complete without a hog roast!
 I'm not a massive fan of oysters but this was a really popular stall all afternoon.
 I decided to go with Mediterranean vegetable paella for my lunch, after much deliberation. 
 And the man went with this from a French cuisine stall, which smelt amazing.

 But I sort of regret not having anything from this stall. Their savoury muffins and strudels looked so delicious.
And this was definitely the most unusual, selling wildebeest burgers and llama sausages amongst other exotic meats.

The festival was lots of fun, although you had to pay to get in pretty much every stall was giving away free tasters and samples. From memory we managed to try chicken katsu curry, fudge, cheesecake icecream, loads of dips and sauces, bruschetta, cheese and sausages. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Roll Up, Roll Up, The Circus Is In Town

I'm making an extra special effort this year to try things I haven't before. So when I saw the Moscow State Circus was coming to the park literally just down the road, how could I resist!

It was perhaps the most bonkers and most entertaining date night we have ever had.

The acrobatic displays were incredible. I felt a bit ill just looking at high they were going, let alone what they were doing while hanging from the roof/on a tightrope/swinging through the air.

The clowns were pretty funny too, pretty glad we were sitting too far back to get roped in to any audience participation.

The photos aren't the greatest as I wasn't allowed to use the flash. And I kept getting distracted by how brilliant it all was!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Dress of the Week: Forever 21 Vibrant Feather Dress

This week's dress is this summery number from Forever 21. I actually intended to show a dress I bought recently but got distracted by the bright feathers.

I am starting to dream of festival outfits already, I could totally team this up with wellies!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

I'm still experimenting with my new loaf tin, so I thought it was about time I tried a loaf classic (and favourite of mine), lemon drizzle cake.

I still need to work on my quantities, I have a funny feeling my tin is slightly bigger than standard as my cakes are always a bit small. 

 The cake looked super yummy once I had poured on the glaze of lemon juice and sugar while it was still warm.

I was really happy with the crunchy topping once the sugar and lemon glaze had soaked in and almost set. The sponge tasted really lemony but probably could have been a tad lighter. Definitely be having another go soon!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Middle Street Synagogue

As part of Brighton Fringe Festival, Middle Street Synagogue was open for tours. It's a beautiful building and I was curious to see inside, especially as it is listed as one of the best in the country.

The synagogue isn't used for religious services anymore, apart from the occasional wedding. They are raising money for the restoration, and hope it will opened for full use at some point in the future.

The guides were so helpful and informative. They were obviously very passionate about the synagogue and it's future.

 It was very interesting to hear the history of this great building, including it being the first synagogue to have electric lighting. And a strong connection with the Rothschild family (several of the windows are dedicated to them), along with the Sassoon family.
I could have taken 1000 photos, there were so many details! This window was one of my favourites, it depicts the Jewish months (which have striking similarities with the zodiac calendar including twins and a scorpion)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Summer is here (maybe)

This weekend it finally feels like summer is here. A little windy, but oh so warm!

I finally got a chance to wear my new mint jeans (yes, the coloured denim obsession is continuing) I didn't want to wear them with any chance of rain.  

And for a change, I wore my hair in it's natural state rather than straightened into submission. Please focus on the hair not the dodgy face...

 Down on the seafront there is the Brighton Fishing Museum, tucked away under the arches. I have probably walked past it a thousand times and today, on a complete whim, we went in.

 It was a lovely little place, packed full of information about the industry that started my little city, back before it was even known as Brighton.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Dress of the Week: Topshop Crochet Shirtdress

This week's dress is this pretty little offering from Topshop.

I adore the colour and it's the kind of dress I could wear for work or play. My only concern is the top looks like it could be a bit see through...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Westfield Stratford - Olympic Park

Last Saturday, me and my Mum went off to the new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, home of the Olympic Park. We got there mega early, so it was really quiet when we first arrived. By the time we left several hours later, it was heaving!

There's a really nice mix of high street stores and more designer places. I couldn't resist a wishful look around Mulberry! But all the stores look really great, and seem to be much more impressive than other branches. I think it probably helps they are all brand new!

But one of the highlights is being able to see the Olympic Stadium from the restaurants level. I only had my phone with me so photos aren't fabulous, but it was a pretty good view. We had a walk down to the gates a bit later to get a closer view as well.

We were also there for the opening of the Gilly Hicks store. Think lots of guys dressed as lifeguards and screaming teenagers! Inside the store is very obviously part of the Abercrombie family but the outside is pretty impressive, with giant screens showing Bondi Beach.

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