Sewing Margot

So my first sewing project of the year was the Margot pyjamas from Tilly and the Buttons ‘Love at First Stitch’, and what a way to start – I am so pleased with these! These are the first trousers I’ve ever made, and they turned out so well! It was a great pattern to learn from, with clear instructions and diagrams to guide throughout. 

pyjamas

The decision to use the floral fabric from my stash was definitely a good shout for these pyjama bottoms. It was a real Goldilocks moment of it being just right. The material wasn’t slippy or stretchy which made it easy to work with, and they’re a good weight for wearing as multi-seasonal pyjamas. I got the fabric from The Man Outside Sainsbury’s (TMOS) for £4 a metre – such a bargain! I didn’t ask what it was (definitely something I need to start doing!) but I’d hazard a guess at a poly-cotton blend due to the satiny sheen on the right side. That could be a terrible shout, if you think from my description you know what it is, please let me know 🙂

fabric

pyjamas

I’m definitely going to use this pattern again in the near future. I’m already thinking about making a short pair in a bright summer floral, although that seems rather optimistic as I sit here writing this as Storm Doris rages on outside!

With this make complete I can tick off the first of my make nine – yay! I actually finished these in January, but I found taking photos of myself trying to show one of my makes quite awkward/cringey so put it off for ages. Hopefully that will get easier as time goes on!

Up next…my Great British Sewing Bee apron!

Dinerama

So I think it’s fair to say I’m a little bit in love with Dinerama right now. Located in Shoreditch and open Thursday-Sunday from noon til late there is no excuse for not popping along to this street food fest asap!

With 11 different food stalls selling a range of delectable street food treats that can be bought and then scoffed at one of the communal tables it’s a great place to take a group of friends who just can’t decide what to eat.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to try everything that’s up for grabs (or should I say ‘grubs’ eh eh? ) here are my recommendations of what to make a beeline for when you go…

Bao from Yum Bun

Oh my sweet Jesus are these things tasty! I could eat these all day everyday and would never get bored. Fluffy steamed buns with a choice of pork, chicken or mushroom filling, you can buy them in trays of one or two. 

steamedbuns

The slow cooked pork is fall-apart tender, cuddled up next to some cucumber and smothered in a fab hoi sin sauce – this one tastes comforting and indulgent, you just can’t go wrong! The fried chicken is equally tasty, and packs a bit more of a tart punch with it’s tarutaru sauce and chillies.

Crispy Duck Nuggets from Duck n Roll

Confit. Duck. Nuggets. I don’t really need to say more but I’m going to! Gah these were so tasty Matt and I fought for the last one. Tender in the middle, crispy on the outside and served on a bed of lettuce with a covering of chilli sauce these little beauties went down a treat!

duck nuggets

Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Cheeky Italian

Definitely one to share if you’re planning to try out a few different stalls as it’s quite a hearty portion and doesn’t leave much stomach room for anything else if conquered alone! 

Good old mac 'n' cheese has had a Shoreditch update with a topping of crab and spicy fennel pangrattato.
Good old mac ‘n’ cheese has had a Shoreditch update with a topping of crab and spicy fennel pangrattato.

This was the only dish we had that divided opinion, Matt felt that it was a bit on the salty side but I think that’s because he didn’t mix the crab and pangrattato in with all the pasta like I did, and would recommend! That way you get a good dose of crispy pangrattato and crab from start to finish – win!

Doughnuts from You Doughnut!

It’s very important that you leave a little bit of room for pud, because these are just fantastic! Fresh warm doughnuts covered in salted caramel sauce, almonds and pecans – heaven! A regular is 3, and a large is 7, so if you’re sharing but think 7 is a bit too much after the rest of the food you’ve eaten, opt for a regular with a scoop of cornflake ice cream – you just can’t go wrong!

salted caramel doughnuts

While you wait for them to be made, watch the doughnuts being cut out of the massive sheet of dough – it’s borderline erotic for a foodie and ever so mesmerising!

Have you been to Dinerama, if so what would you recommend?

Zoe

Dining at Haywards

Last Friday Matt & I decided to take the day off work and go and have a nice romantic lunch together. We hadn’t done anything on Valentine’s day, so we decided to treat ourselves and try out Haywards Restaurant in Epping. The plan was to drive there…but the car decided it too was having Friday off, and with no time to get a jump we had to quickly hop into a taxi to make our reservation.

Haywards is run by husband and wife duo Jahdre and Amanda, who run the kitchen and front of house incredibly well, so well in fact that the restaurant is well on it’s way to getting a Michelin star!

HaywardsLogo

We arrived for our lunch and were very easily persuaded into starting with bubbles. We opted for the english sparkling wine having heard how impressive it can now be on our recent wine tasting course. We drank Nyetimber which I would definitely recommend as it tasted divine! Not too sweet and not too bubbly – it was just right, and perfectly set the tone for the afternoon.

Having perused the menu we decided to go for the à la carte option. We had thought we’d go for the lunchtime offer but à la carte had a couple of dishes that neither of us could resist! One thing to note about the menu is that not all the ingredients are listed, so there’ll be a few extras on your plate – which is something I was totally ok with!

After we’d ordered we nibbled on warm onion and stilton rolls before being pleasantly surprised by the arrival of an amuse-bouche.

In the first bowl we had mushroom arancini with taramasalata on squid ink crackers to share…

AmuseBouche1

…accompanied by individual bowls of creamed pearl barley with mushroom and basil oil. The pearl barley was like a hug in a bowl, it was so creamy and comforting I wish I could have this whenever I come home tired in the evening!

AmuseBouche2

It was then time for starters. (And another helping of the bread because it was so tasty!)

I had the quail breast and confit leg with smashed swede and creamy leeks. It also came with the addition of a soft boiled quails egg. I couldn’t help but dip my roll into the yolk – it was the fanciest dippy egg and soldiers I’m ever going to have!

Quail

Matt went for the rabbit lasagne which was enveloped in a thyme foam. Although I wasn’t given the chance to taste it he said it was lovely and gamey, and perfectly complimented by the earthy flavours in the mushrooms.

RabbitLasagne

As we came by taxi we decided to make the most of both of us being able to drink and plumped for 2 large glasses of wine to go with our mains. Here Amanda helped us pair our wine with our dishes and our wine preferences. For example, I was having the venison so wanted a red wine, but nothing too smoky. I was presented a glass of Australian red and my gosh was it tasty!

Now, onto the mains!

I went for the venison loin with fermented cabbage, pear, and a lovely parsnip puree — the extras being a scrummy little venison sausage and some winter veg. They also grated 70% dark chocolate over the dish once served to bring out the flavour. I have to say I did think I was going to end up with chocolatey meat but as it was just a light sprinkling it didn’t overwhelm the dish. The only part of the dish I wasn’t 100% struck with was the cabbage, which was served cold and while it was executed well it just wasn’t really my thing.

Venison

However, it must be said that this venison was the most tender I’ve ever had, it was so good I would implore you to get this for your main when you go!

VenisonCloseUp
slightly blurry iPhone shot doesn’t do this super tender venison justice!

Matt went for the John Dory with cauliflower puree and a shrimp emulsion. No surprise that this also went down a treat! Matt loved the buttery, melt in your mouth texture of the dish – so much so that I wasn’t even allowed to try a mouthful…noticing a trend here?!

JohnDory

We also got the sides of buttered baby new potatoes, glazed carrots and broccoli, all were lovely and fresh and can be seen in the background of Matt’s main. I would say that 1 side would be ample, and two is good if you’re going for a full on feast. By the time we finished our mains it’s fair to say the belt had to be loosened!

After a leisurely afternoon of indulgence we decided to finish with a good old cup of tea. Matt went for peppermint and I stuck with the traditional english breakfast. As these were served we were surprised again! This time with petit fours, which of course we managed to find a place in our tums for. We had warm peach madeleines and dark chocolate truffles with a caramel centre – delicious! So delicious that I didn’t manage to get a snap of them before we’d scoffed them, luckily the restaurant shared one on their Instagram that I managed to poach for this post!

CaramelChocs

Now if this post hasn’t got your tummy rumbling I don’t know what will! My little tip for when you go would be to make sure you  have a peep into the kitchen through the window near the entrance – it’s great to watch the food being prepared!

Which of these dishes would you most like to try?

Zoe