Friday, 27 April 2012

Holiday -1

No idea if the heading is correct, but I'm going to Japan tomorrow. Hurrrraaaaaaaaay!!!! Cannot wait to get on that plane. Well, get off the plane.

I am well prepared and even got me a swell pair of compression socks. Look at me, getting old and all. Also got a new backpack as the old one had its bottom ripping off. I got the same one again, just in a different colour. North Face Isabella. It's so light and fits plenty of stuff without being super bulky.

In other news I have effed up my laptop. Doesn't want to boot anymore. Sigh. Wanted to buy a new one anyway, but would be nice if I could recover my photos and some documents. Ah well. Won't worry about it now. Will enjoy my holiday...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Loooooooooong week over!

Feel like I just survived my first crazy week at work. It was London Book Fair. Even though I only attended one day and one party I felt absolutely crushed the rest of the week. I was there on Monday standing for the most part of 5 hours. I don't know about you guys, but standing is the worst. Walking is fine. But standing around just makes my back hurt. The party afterwards was fun, but more standing!

When I came to work on Tuesday my body was really telling me that it should be Friday or at least Thursday. Everyone at work felt the same. But of course we had a book launch that day, so more drinking in the evening!

Wednesday was pretty quiet. I like quiet days. But I had my Japanese class in the evening. So didn't make it home before 10pm either. 

Thursday I met up with a friend for dinner and drinks. She is here on a visit from the States for our graduation weekend. We went out for Asian food. I had this beauty: Tamarind aubergines:

I was so happy when it was finally Friday. I was supposed to go for drinks on Friday as well, but was so tired that I went straight home to sit on my beloved couch. Yay!

Saturday was shopping day. The bf and I went out early so we could have breakfast first. I went for French Toast. I was delicious, served with yogurt, bananas and berries.

BF went for English breakfast:

And I had a nice smoothie:

After we started shopping. Which was a complete fail. Every item I wanted they either didn't have in my size or it was gone from their line. Urgh. Should not go shopping with specific pieces in mind. But I did go to the optician and complained about my new glasses. Everything is blurry when I look through them and I have to tilt my head back for things to come into focus. They checked them and sure enough they put the most focused spot on the glasses about half a centimetre too low. Sigh. Now I'll have to wait for them to order in new glasses and cut them to my specifications. Which means I won't get them before my holiday. But the nice things about this is that the holiday is coming on super quickly. Squeaaak!  Less than a week to go. I feel like I should make more plans than just having a guide book. hmm, I'm sure we'll find something to do once in Japan.


Monday, 16 April 2012

My new love

I'm not sure why  but recently I have started to crave ginger. In any shape or form. A few weeks ago, when we went for Chinese tea I had a ginger beer at the pub we were waiting at. I loved it! I think that must have started it. When I went into our local health store, what do you know, they carry it! So I got myself a bottle and enjoyed it in the sun! Ginger and sun. What a perfect combination.

I also enjoyed some of these fab cookies and the ginger & lemon tea. I put a box of it to work as well so I can have some in the afternoon (tea, not cookies). It's a great pick-me-up when I want to fall asleep at the end of a work day.

Sorry for having been quiet last weekend. Me and the bf went home to my parents for Easter. We did the whole thing: Easter fire, BBQ, egg colouring, egg breakfast. It was basically three days of eating. I loved it! And I got to meet most of my family. My brother's little boy is growing up so quickly. Back in November he was such a tiny little thing, always sleeping. Now he was wide awake and checking everyone out. Unfortunately he hates me now as my brother unceremoniously dropped him into my lap. Gave the little one a little shock and he started freaking out. Had to give him back to his mummy. Ah well, the next time he sees me he won't even remember me. New start! I think he is also in this phase where he is suspicious of any strangers. He kept checking that mommy and daddy didn't wander off too far and preferred staying with him in the first place. Oh boy, but he is such a cutie. He has the biggest smile. The bf adores him. Kept talking about him. Hmm, somebody in this household likes babies. And it ain't me.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Chinese tea

This Saturday I had a table reserved for the bf and I at a Chinese tea place. Because of some football game going on in the area we ended up getting there about an hour early. There was a lovely pub close to the tube station where we disembarked. We shared some nachos and had a couple of beers. Well the bf had beers, I had some cider and ginger beer. Ginger beer just screams summer/spring to me so I had to get some.

So after we spent just over an hour getting slightly tipsy we moved on to Chaya Teahouse. It was easy to find, but I was very glad for the directions we received from the owner. The tea house is tucked away in a residential area. In fact, I think the guy who runs it lives upstairs and has the tea room on the ground floor. It is one large room. In the back there is a kitchen, just like you would find in any other house and then there are four tables across the room. We picked a low table with a couch. And this is what greeted us:

On the left you can just make out an electric kettle that looks like a teapot. It would reheat itself whenever the temperature dropped below a certain point. After we had chosen a tea (a red variety) a red clay pot was placed on the wood tablet. It contained the tea and was filled with the hot water. After the lid had been placed on it some hot water was poured on top of the clay pot. It only sat for about a minute and then was poured into one of the white cups. Where it would sit. From there it was served into those two tiny tea cups that are on either side. They didn't contain more than a shot. Made us drink the tea very slowly. And there is a certain way you are supposed to drink the tea. You take hold of the cup with your thumb and finger next to it. Your middle finger then supports the cup underneath and tilts it when you want to drink. Very clever.

The little tray right in front of us contains cards. One for each tea variety they serve. As you can see we picked a red one. The menu next to it contains all the food items. We ordered one of each. First we were served two savoury dishes:

These dumplings were delicious. Everything was prepared freshly and neatly arranged on little plates and bowls.

The rice parcel was especially good. It was very spicy without being hot. I had a bit of trouble eating with the metal chopsticks. The rice would just slide right off it. 

 This is lime sorbet with tea jelly. Usually I am not a bit fan of jelly, but this was very good. The combination of sweet with sour worked.

All of these were heavenly! The marshmallows were so soft they melted in our mouths. Unbelievably good.

The scones were probably the most 'traditional' tea item. The jam was made from rose petals. Gave it a nice twist.

Here is the menu we were served. It changes every weekend. I think they are only open on weekends and you need to reserve a table. It's really worth it. We spend £20 altogether. Which was absolutely worth it. Try it out if you get the chance.

tea pâtisserie; sweets
tea savouries