Wednesday, June 19, 2013

San Salvatore

My husbands parents normally come to Italy for 6 weeks in the spring staying at their home in Liguria, and then again in the autumn and every year we say we're going to make it down more, and every year the time runs away with us and we have a made rush to get there before they's so beautiful and relaxing once we are there, just to be near the sea has the sense to make everything calmer.
The garden looked amazing the scent & colour from the pale pink climbing rose set against the blue sky was so beautiful. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Great Barrington & the Berkshires

The highway that takes you from Boston to Albany is nothing to right home about, but once you get off at and head into the Berkshires you you get the feeling you have slipped back in time or forward 40 years to your retirement, everything is a little slower and calmer.

:Briar cliff motel welcomed us to Great Barrington, our hosts were fantastic as is their lovely Motel ,especially the fresh breakfast pastries and the proper British teabag!
:Friday night was spent enjoying the local brews & food at the  Barrington brewery
:Saturday we enjoyed a drive through the berkshires stopping off at a great store LOCAL picking up some beautiful locally produced items
: The sun shone for Nic & Giulia at route 7 grill where we enjoyed the sunshine and the beautiful Berkshire view as well as celebrating with all their friends & family, whilst enjoying a hog roast and dancing the night away.

Great Barrington, MA
Great Barrington, MA

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


We just got back from a fantastic trip to the US visiting my big brother and sharing in two our very good friends promise to share their lives together.
We headed up to Maine from Boston with a lunch stop off in Freeport, then on to Arcadia National Park & Bar Harbour.
What a fantastic week we had exploring bays, eating fresh seafood and relishing the absolute unspoilt natural beauty of this area. It didn't disappoint as to why we (brother & I) wanted to return with our signifcant others to show then why we fell in love with Maine in 2008. Slow down get a beer and basket of crab claws and enjoy the view, whilst trying to keep a 4 year old entertained!
A few of highlights from our trip...

:: Day After Thanksgiving Sandwiches from the Downeast Deli in Bar Harbour
:: Fish Cakes and Fresh Crab Claws.
:: Waiting for lowtide so we could walk across to Bar Island
:: Getting soaked from head to toe and using my niece as protection at Thunder Hole

...there's so much more to see and do, we will definitely be going back...there's the whole world of junk shops to explore yet...

Arcadia National Park, Maine
Bar Harbour, Maine
Bar Harbour, Maine
Booth Bay, Maine
Portsmouth NH
Portsmouth NH

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Noodle Extravaganza

It's so good to be home, I needed a rest from all the eating I'd been doing last week...
with 4 days in Tokyo followed by 3 in China I'm well and truly noodled out!
It's been nearly 3 years since in was in Tokyo last, so I was super excited to see what was going on in the stores and get my chopsticks into some yummy food.

Tokyo doesn't have a great choice of hotels, we wanted to stay at the The Claska but the location for us for work was a little out of the we ended up at the Excel which is directly opposite Shibuya train station, a great location for shopping and getting around the city.

Loft  - you can lost in here choosing which pen, notebook or lunchbox you want to take home.
Tokyo Hands - is of a similar genre although not quite so well presented as Loft.
Marunan - We can then get lost in here deciding which Quilting thread colour you can't live without.
The location is next to Shibuya Station with blue awning (very close to Hachiko exit).
Parco Part 1 For japanese magazines and books head to the of basement of Parco Part 1.

Apart from the jetlag...and not having a great appetite eating is always a pleasure in Tokyo, with only 3 nights we managed to get in 3 food types Sushi, a traditional Raman and a Japanese pub style Izakaya.

If you love vintage and japanese style fashion you cannot miss Kapital, it's one of my favorite places to hide away for an hour and believe I can get away with Japanese style and generally realise when I get home this is not possible on a 5ft 9 frame, I can only accessorize.

China was all about working & eating, Dalian is not the prettiest city, but we certainly ate well.
Bypassing the dog & serpent restaurants, they really do eat everything in this city, but being on the coast gave huge influence to the seafood. A highlight for food was definitely the white tuna sushi - I know we'd just come from Japan and I was eating Japanese in China...but we spent a wonderful evening at a teppanyaki restaurant trying everything from sea cucumber to frog.

Chinese Fondue...YUM!!
OD'ing on Dumplings.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Farinata Ligure

As an add on to a previous post, I've decided to add the Recipe for the Farinata di Ceci pictured in the Easter Weekend...

::Farinata di Ceci ::

400 gr chickpea flour
4 tbsp EVO
1.5 ltrs water

Place the flour and mix with water into a bowl 
Add salt and let stand overnight.
A foam will form which must be removed with a slotted spoon.

Put oil in a pan and pour in the batter, mixing well, until it has absorbed the sauce.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with pepper and serve it to pieces.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Is it really Spring?

First weekend back to the allotment in a very long time, we were so eager and ready to get back even the soggy wet ground & grey skies couldn't keep us away two Saturday afternoons ago.
Surprisingly there was very little to do, before the planting of the seeds, a slight Mint take over which has now been cleared back and I have a lovely jar of fresh mint in the kitchen.
We got some potatoes in the first 3 banks, planted some Beetroot, onion, carrot & spinach seeds. The peas are coming through as is the garlic.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Weekend

The weather was less an inspiring, but we'd been planning to get to the house in Liguria for we were going!
As always when faced with bad weather the first thing that comes to mind is to hide away in restaurants and watch the world go by...which is exactly what we did.
Liguria, as I have said so many times before has some of the best food in Italy, suffering the bad  weather has it's upside.

:: Saturday ::

: Aperitivo
: Lunch
: Herb & Flower market
: Walk along the seafront.

:: Easter Sunday ::

: Aperitivo in Sestri di Levante
: Lunch in Ne
: Walked up to San Salvatore cemetery to visit my husbands Aunt you passed away this winter, the sun was shining.