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Spring Harvest Holidays

11 Dec

So now you have a general idea of what I got up to with the family, it might have given you some ideas of what to do with the kids next summer. This article is about Spring Harvest Holidays at Le Pas Opton where we spent the week. Continue reading

Far from the madding crowd

23 Jun Brown Hart Panorama

If there’s one thing I love about London, it’s the nice surprises you find right in the centre of all the chaos. A tweet from Benugo led me to the Brown Hart Gardens, a place that can only be described as an oasis of calm. Continue reading

Making soup exciting again

17 Jun Soup can make you thin

You wouldn’t have thought soup recipes would be appetising at any other time than winter but the moment I opened up Soup Can Make You Thin – The Cookbook, I had a sudden urge to go out and buy a new pot. Continue reading

The price of getting involved

10 Jun toddler crossing

I mentioned in my last post about Benugo at Waterloo that I do like to get involved in things I care about. I’m about to add road safety to that list. Strange topic for a petrol-head like me, but then again, is it really? Continue reading

Worth waiting for – Benugo’s mocha

7 Jun benugo lamb wrap

I’ve been told recently that I love attention, I disagree (of course) but if that’s true I’m probably going to be the last one to know aren’t I? In my mind however, I like to think of more along the lines of getting involved. That’s one of the reasons why, if I really like a place – and yes we’re talking coffee here – I get involved.

Continue reading

No socks please – we’re coffee drinkers

4 Jun Is Fathers' Day some sort of consolation prize or compensation granted to dads for the trauma caused by making  breakfast in bed for the missus for that one day in the year?  I've wondered about this for a few years now, about the differences between the two days. On Mother's Day, the idea is mum gets a break from cooking (how 20th century is that?) then we all pile in the car and drive off to an overbooked restaurant for a meal. Gifts are chosen with care to make mummy smell nice, look younger, feel younger and chillax. Depending on the age of your children, you in your capacity as dad, get to fork out for the presents, meal and provide the cab service. As if that's not enough you would've had to go through intense and high level negotiations on how these celebrations will pan out. Will you be visiting her mum as well as yours? See, Mothers' Day isn't just about your partner but everyone else in the family who might lay claim to the title. Fathers' Day? Pretty similar, we get breakfast in bed which doesn't feel as special as it does for mum because we hardly get a look in at cooking on most days (yes I know things have changed, just roll with me on this one), then it's off to a restaurant and yes you guessed it, Daddy drives and pays the bill. Must be something to do with keeping our manliness I guess, not letting anyone pay our way. Gifts? Invariably something to make us smell nicer. Oh! I just twigged why we always get socks; the ones we already own must pong something special. In my case I often get coffee (who knew) but hardly ever get anything to make it with, the result of an incorrect assumption that the missus has allocated space for such a device to reside in our kitchen. Well I'm using this article to drop an very large hint so if you're stuck for something to get dad, and he's a gadget mad coffee drinker, you can thank me later. Lavazza are currently doing a special on their A Modo Mio espresso and cappuccino makers between now and the end of June (that's not an excuse to give your dad an IOU just because it lasts till the end of the month) with £50 off most machines in the range. The machines come with a 24 capsule starter pack so that's like coffee straight out of the box! The A Modo Mio Favola and Favola Plus come with a frothing wand so if your dad fancies himself as a bit of a barista he can froth his own milk. The footprint is small, just 228mm x 246mm so it might get some allocated space in a kitchen cupboard or if he's really lucky, even a space on the worktop! The Favola is the entry level machine and will reduce your pocket money by £99 (was £149) whilst the Favola Plus is only£129 (was £179). They come in a range of colours including a limited edition Wimbledon Favola Plus sporting (see what I did there?) the Wimbledon purple. The Favola Cappuccino comes with its own milk frothing unit (handy if dad isn't feeling confident about steam wands). Yes it takes up a bit more space but mum might be swayed by the fact that she could make her lattes and cappuccinos in-house and perfect everytime. This model will set you back £179 but again it represents £50 off the original price of £229 and you can't say us dads don't deserve it for all the socks we get. You can get yours, I mean his, from www.lavazzamodomio.co.uk

Is Father’s Day some sort of consolation prize or compensation granted to dads for the trauma caused by making  breakfast in bed for the missus for that one day in the year?  Continue reading

Stir it up!

3 May

I’ve been sent a pack of Marley Coffee for my sins (read ‘love of coffee’) to try out and whilst I wouldn’t normally drink anything I didn’t see ground before my eyes I thought I might give it a go. Continue reading

Where to find proper coffee in Nigeria – part 2

21 Apr Oga Simon

I did promise you a second part to this topic and never let it be said that I’m not a man of my word. So we continue our coffee pilgrimage in South West Ikoyi at:

Oga Simon

Oga Simon at the Jazzhole courtesy of John murrayglobal wordpress

The Jazz Hole, Awolowo Road, SW Ikoyi

I do love this place but sadly, not for its coffee. The setting however, makes up for it. The Jazz Hole as the name implies is a music shop that sells CDs, books and vinyl of mainly jazz and what some would call world music (I don’t get it either; I just call it music). I’m guessing it’s been around forever as I remember walking past it on my way to school many moons ago when Ikoyi still had trees, houses were houses and not boutiques. Continue reading

Where to find proper coffee in Nigeria – part 1

17 Apr latte

If you’ve read the ‘about me‘ page or if you know me then you’ll understand why I just had to post an article about coffee. I promise I won’t bore you to death with nothing but coffee posts, I thought this might be particularly useful if you ever find yourself in Lasgidi (Lagos to the uninitiated) or Abuja in Nigeria. OK then, I’ll even add other details that make these places worth a visit. How does that sound? Continue reading

That’s a sandwich? Seriously?

15 Apr sapori

Working around Millbank does have its downsides when you’re looking for an interesting place to eat within a one hour lunchbreak. It’s not exactly Shoreditch with the range of ‘world food’ on offer from the Truman Brewery or Spitalfields food market (what’s left of it). Borough Market with its duck and venison sandwiches isn’t round the corner and don’t get me started on finding decent coffee.

So that leaves the sandwich bars and cafes on Horseferry Road where come lunchtime, they get overtaken by all the civil servants and Channel 4 staff in the area. Sapori‘s is an interesting cafe just across the road from St John’s Gardens, which does quite a wide range of food from pastas to sandwiches and wraps and a carvery. Continue reading

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