Saturday, 30 April 2011

All hail the Duchess of Cambridge!

I am too excited! Kate will be known as the Duchess of Cambridge. Eady and I called Cambridge home for a few years so we have a very soft spot in our hearts for it. Infact,  I am sure this means that Kate and I are practically related, us both having the Cambridge connection in common now - me having once lived in Cambridge, Kate now ruling over it. Perhaps next time I visit, we could have afternoon tea together (with extra clotted cream on skinny-minny Kate's baked scones!).

Oh but Kate, hasn't she done us former Cambridgeshire residents proud! I couldn't really picture what sort of dress she would wear but as soon as I saw her beautiful Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress I thought it was THE most perfect choice for her.  Whilst there have been comments from some corners that it was a wasted opportunity and hardly exciting or dramatic enough to have really justified being designed by Sarah Burton, I  think it was the perfect choice for a Royal-to-be. Certainly, for me there were subtle signs in the silhouette and structure of the dress that highlighted the design aesthetic of McQueen but at the same time, the dress was very appropriate to the occasion. So beautiful and I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it more every time I see it!

Pippa Middleton was gorgeous in her dress and dare I say it, nearly outshone the bride. Seeing her from behind made me wish I had of layered several pairs of spanx under my pyjamas whilst watching the telecast...

I loved the outfits worn by Mrs  Middleton and Camilla - I always love a skirt that finishes just below the knee. The muted pastels they both wore were just divine.

I liked the Queen in yellow. It was a lovely understated shade that was perfect for such a happy occasion.

Such a gorgeous day for the happy couple and for Eady and I too. It was lovely watching the festivities curled up beside him on the couch laughing and reminiscing about memories from our own special day...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Love is in the air and it sure smells delicious!

So with the television tuned to the BBC wedding broadcast, the crystal champagne flutes Eady and I were given as a wedding gift filled to the brim with Piper, my Royal Albert Moonlight Rose dinner setting (a present from my parents for my 21st birthday) laid on the table and lots of candles scattered about the place, the mood was set for our Royal Wedding celebratory dinner.

First, we started with oysters with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Notice the dried beans I have used to hold the oysters in place? It was a little nod to the Brits love of a curry.

Then we had my 'specially created RW oyster shooters featuring a single oyster topped with a splash of red wine vinegar, a splash of sweet sherry, a splash of warm water and some finely chopped shallots and chives.


For main, a hearty winter beef and stout stew accompanied by yorkshire pudding. I hadn't ever cooked yorkshire pudding before and was not convinced by the whole plain flour/rising to triple the pre-cooked height equation but you know what? It worked a treat and was a bit of carboliciousness amongst all of that protein!

For desert we ate treacle pudding served with fresh egg custard. This picture shows the pudding just out of the oven after it has been skewered in several spots and a delicious concoction of melted golden syrup poured over to then seep into the pudding.

To finish off the evening, I made a chocolate biscuit slice that was based on a recipe that was served at the actual RW accompanied by a glass of deliciously syrupy sherry.

It is probably a bit of an understatement to say that our digestive systems were put under a bit of strain after all of that. However, for us, it was the perfect way of celebrating the wedding of Wills and Kate.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Woo hoo, one more sleep to the RW!

Just one more sleep to the Royal Wedding and by golly, is there a lot of excitment in the K house about this! For me, I can't wait to coo over the dress and flowers worn by the lovely Catherine as I am sure that whatever she wears, she will look absolutely beautiful. As for Eady, he is very excited at the thought of my British inspired menu for the night. Once I decided that we weren't going to attend a Royal Wedding party (God forbid I miss a single second of the telecast by having to be social), I began mulling over what I would cook in honour of the big day. It needed to be reminiscent of the time we lived in good old Blighty yet be ritzy enough to make Eady and I feel like we are celebrating with Wills and Kate despite sitting on the couch in our flannette pyjamas on the other side of the world. So that ruled out bangers and mash. To help with the decision making I turned to a quaint cookbook called "National Trust Recipes" which was given to me by our lovely Scottish friends on our move back to Australia some 5 years ago. The book is a collection of recipes that are served in various heritage listed properties across England and Wales. So after much debate I have decided to start with oysters (Cornwall), proceed to Stout and Beef Casserole (York) before sweetening up with treacle pudding and egg custard (our desert of choice at our local in Cambridge). Earlier tonight I made a chocolate slice that is rumoured to be Will's childhood favourite which I will serve with some sherry tomorrow night a la The Queen. I have warned Eady that he might want to limit his food intake during the day in anticipation of this monumentally stodgy calorific feast but he is pretty confident that he is up to the challenge...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

One Fabulous Dress

You know it's going to be a great day when a courier arrives on your doorstep at 7am with a box addressed to you. And what a great day it was - my new winter dress was finally delivered! I have wanted a long sleeved, merino wool, knee length dress for the last 2 winters but just couldn't find the right one...until last week that is. In a quiet moment during my working day, I decided to have a quick peak at the website of one of my absolute favourite New Zealand brands, Moochi. There I quickly fell madly in love with the appropriately named "The Fabulous Dress". It had all of my afore-mentioned requirements plus the added extra benefit of being an empire line (fitted under the boosies with a flowing skirt that graciously hides a tummy that has been filled with my own body weight in easter eggs, twice over, since Sunday). It was perfect in every way, right down to the sheer panels on each side of the skirt which made it just that little bit special. Me thinks that this dress is going to get me through the coming winter with great aplomb even if I do say so myself!

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new dress.

Infact, it is probably safe to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about the Moochi style and asethetic. I discovered the brand on one of my many work trips across the Tasman, the store in Auckland is right across the road from my regular hotel. So convenient - why thank you Moochi! Such is my obsession that before they opened an online store, if I wasn't going to be in Auckland when new stock arrived in store that I desperately wanted, I would put in requests with my colleagues who were already there. Nuts I know, but love makes you do crazy things

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Goodbye Farm, Hello Sydney

After a wonderful long weekend away it was time to pack the car, give the horses one final apple and get back on the road to Sydney. Luckily we timed our departure well as the traffic and the weather made for a pleasant trip back. It is good to be home primarily so the preparations for my Royal Wedding soiree this Friday night can begin again in earnest!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

My Easter Bunny, what big paw prints you have

As Easter Sunday dawned on the farm with another glorious day weather-wise, it seemed like the perfect morning to have a champagne breakfast. The sparkling wine purchased from Hungerford Hill a few days earlier nicely complimented the hot cross buns from the famous artisan bakery from the nearby riverport town, Morpeth Sourdough. Now, I am quite a hot cross bun eating machine with an uncanny ability to practically inhale them whole in the blink of an eye. However, this being Easter Sunday, I decided to embrace the Easter spirit and share my bun with a well-mannered magpie who delicately plucked pieces directly from my hands, discarding any unwanted Sultanas as elegantly as if he were a diner at Nobu who found a stray bone in his miso-marinated black cod. If only those pesky Indian Minors back in the big smoke had such gracious manners, I would probably be far more tolerant of them...

Friday, 22 April 2011

A very good Good Friday

After embarking on a mini road trip early yesterday morning to avoid the Easter traffic leaving Sydney, we arrived at our destination in the Port Stephens hinterland, a couple of hours north of Sydney (plus extra time for the obligatory stop at Hungerford Hill winery to purchase weekend refreshments). Eady and I, along with my in-laws, have rented a farm house over the Easter. So far it has proved to be a very relaxing place with a few beers and the odd glass of bubbles enjoyed on the balcony whilst taking in the view. Even better, Eady's beloved Saints also had a badly needed win against the Lions in round 4 of the AFL season last night, their first win this year. Yay, all signs point to a lovely weekend ahead!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Zara hits Sydney

I must seriously be the only female in Sydney who is not hyperventilating with excitement over the Zara store opening in Pitt Street Mall today. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it as a store, but it is not the sort of brand that gets me all hot and bothered. I feel about Zara the same way I do about Country Road, that it is good for basics and the odd piece every now and again but probably not the first store I would rush into on a big day out of shopping. Perhaps this is because online purchasing has stolen my heart over the last few months, perhaps a holiday in Hawaii last year opened up my eyes to shopping the American way or maybe I just don’t get the whole Zara phenomenon. Even when we lived in the UK with a Zara store down the road, I wasn’t a convert. Other Spanish brands I could get excited about, Mango, Massimo Dutti and Custo, but never Zara. Still, the curious part of me is suggesting a visit may be on the cards once the hype dies down a little, just to see what all of the local fuss is about.

Seems though, that my non-excitment might be shared by a small minority. General Pants in conjunction with everyone’s favourite bad boys of denim Ksubi, launched their new collaboration today called “Sex & Fashion”. A rather risqué front window in Pitt Street mall featuring barely clad models seen through a giant key hole is sure to grab some of the attention away from Zara. Although I might be slightly older then the target demographic of this range (yet the perfect target for Zara just by being a living, breathing female with a penchant for shopping), I did have a good chuckle over the tongue-in-cheek badges General Pants produced especially for this day of big lanuches: “My Mum loves Zara”. Ah, you just gotta love a cheeky slogan

And so it begins...

My first foray into the blogland. It is something I have thought about for a while now. A place for me to ponder out loud (well, in writing over the internet) on the things that interest me or are important to me or  where I just feel the need to say something. I have no idea of where this will lead and I don’t have any plans other then taking it day by day so we will see how it goes….

So who am I? Cole, a Sydney girl now after years of flitting around various locations around the globe. Married to Eady who is an absolute darling and an amazingly cool dresser to boot. No babies, no pets (unless you count the exotic African fish that Eady keeps…I don’t) but a nice life that makes me happy. Outside of work, I love cooking, dining out, afternoon teas with cucumber sandwiches, delicate cakes and a lovely glass of bubbles, cupcakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and finding a wardrobe must-have that feels as if it was made for me. I have an interest in psychology and self-development and love the way exercise makes me feel. Wow, this feels like an job interview or an ad on RSVP! Anyway, at least that gets some of the basics out of the way so I can move on to the big stuff for my next post.