5 April 2017

Crumbs & Doilies – Cupcake Extraordinaire


Cupcakes are still a thing, apparently. What was once deemed a noughties phase is here to stay, and who am I to complain? Miniature – and miniature miniature – cakes topped with perfectly piped buttercream are still as appealing as they were in 2003, and when flavours extend beyond vanilla and chocolate I am so there.

Outside of my kitchen (and a few friends') there isn't a single cupcake worth eating in Bristol, but wander a little further – London, to be exact – and there are delectable offerings on every street corner. 

Crumbs & Doilies has cracked the cupcake industry. I found them on Instagram, of course, where anything sparkly, bright and uniform goes. C&D's Insta following stands at 197,000 at the time of writing, and it's not hard to see why.

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With shades of unicorn and cute childhood favourites like bourbon biscuit and my personal fave, maple and bacon, the guys at C&D know how to grab your attention. But, more importantly, they know how to keep hold of it. Their variations are constantly changing, and it's a treat for the tastebuds (and eyeballs) of anyone taking a trip to their bakery in central London. Get your iPhone ready for a series of snaps worthy of the most beautiful Insta feeds – you're gonna get a lot of likes on this one.

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And who doesn't want to see rows of identical peaks of pastel rainbow puffs? It's magical, it's edible and it's 100% accessible. But the question I'm asking is why only in London? It can't just be the capital, and its tourists, that want cupcakes. We've got Millie's Cookies, Ben's Cookies, Krispy Kreme and so many others dotted around the rest of the UK, so where are all the good cupcake shops at?

Maybe it's just me, and I'm being totally ignorant (likely), but I can't be travelling all the way to London every time I want a perfectly formed red velvet cupcake, can I? If there are some in Bristol that I have just totally overlooked, where are they? Show me your beautiful sponges! Or, dear Instagram, sort your algorithm out, yeah?
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5 March 2017

Italian Brunch at Rosemarino – Bristol

Nothing beats a brunch-fuelled morning in Bristol. After a busy week I love waking up on Saturdays and spending my morning catching up with friends, indulging in something yummy for breakfast and sipping my coffee a little slower than usual.




Hidden among the idyllic Clifton houses is a little Italian restaurant called Rosemarino. It's unpretentious, homely and contemporary, and it's the perfect place to begin a slow, happy Saturday.


Jess was visiting a couple of weekends ago and we had a lot to catch up on. It was so nice to see her – the last time was when we were in New York! – exchange stories and reflect on the changes in our lives over the past year. Food and friends = perfect Saturday. 


Eggs benedict is a firm favourite of mine, but I often avoid it as most places serve it with ham and I prefer bacon. Rosemarino's take on this classic dish, however, involved speck, which is utterly delicious, so I had to have it.


Jess had the mushrooms on focaccia – would you just look at that sauce? Even if you hate mushrooms, let's just pretend for a minute that you don't because DAMN.

Rosemarino has the answer to all life's problems, I'm sure of it. Or maybe that's just how I feel after eating their food. Either way, I love the place. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food delicious and affordable. It's also pretty photogenic. What more could a girl ask for?


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14 February 2017

A Five-Year-Old's Valentine's Day

Flowers, chocolates, Krispy Kremes and a cheesy card… it’s 100% my thing. Even when I’m single, even when I don’t feel anything for anyone in particular, I love Valentine’s Day. I’ll tell you why.

My story begins on the 14th February 1998. It was a Saturday and I was in my parents’ bedroom when a card was delivered – a card for me! It was from my neighbour and school friend. I was besotted with him and even though he didn’t sign his name I knew it was from him. He had sellotaped a red-foiled chocolate heart to the inside of the card.

“It’s from him. It’s definitely from him,” I said.
“How do you know?” my mum said.
“Because he gave our teacher the same chocolate heart yesterday!”

I had observed that, and even been slightly jealous of our teacher. Now I was beaming.

He had signed it with a big question mark. Guess who?

Then, my sister, Emily, took me to the shop to buy a card and bag of white mice. I hid behind a nearby wall while she posted it through his letterbox, we ran home and it was never spoken of again.


All Valentine’s days since that one in 1998 have been like Christmas. I get an exciting, unexpected, magical feeling of the unknown.

What is the point in Valentine’s Day? Growing up I believed it to be a chance to tell the person you like that you like them without revealing your identity. That was the most exciting part of my first Valentine – the gamble of sending my reply to the right person. Wouldn’t you be thrilled to receive an anonymous love note through your letterbox today?

There are more upfront ways of telling someone you like them, but where’s the fun in that? Even after 36 years of marriage my left-handed dad writes his card to my mum with his right hand, and leaves it by the front door as if delivered by a secret admirer.

There are many other Valentine’s days I could recall, but this was the best, and the precedent for all the rest. I sound like a total dreamer, but it makes me glad I’ll never be someone who doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day. Aren’t there worse things to be cynical about?



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