Entries Tagged as 'Favorites'

Super, Pretty, Funny no 35

1

05.4.14

I haven’t pulled one of these posts together in months. And I usually publish them on Friday but life has been mental and I am running behind. That said, there was simply too much goodness out there on the internet not to share it. So without further ado, here is a new Super, Pretty, Funny roundup.

Super

Ellen invites the Target photo-shopped model to stop by her show… as only Ellen could.

Alternative endings to How I Met Your Mother

The British Library

Web-docs such as this one by The New York Times on Highrises or this one by NPR on the Mexican-American border. Such a great new approach to sharing information. Its like choose your own adventure for grown-ups.

Pretty

The wickedly talented Alison writes a love letter to Belgium

A charming little film about JCrew’s colour schemes (featuring Luigi).

What a Wonderful World with David Attenborough

Julia Hofmann’s photography on safari in Botswana

The Scottish Highlands by Cereal

Funny

Mindy Kaling doing anything. But especially when she visits Vogue.

The Les Mis showdown on The Actor’s Studio

Photo by JessonThames – taken a few weeks ago at Kew Gardens.

The best Eton Mess in London

2

02.4.14

Full disclosure: I have only had Eton Mess – that quintessential English dessert that looks like a chef went finger painting in a kitchen with some strawberries, cream and crushed meringue – a few times.

But I may have just fallen in love. With the Eton Mess at Bob Bob Ricard in Soho.

My dinner buddy and I were talking about the differences in dining in a city like London compared to smaller European cities like Brussels. Brussels has wonderful, affordable restaurants with great food from all over the world (ahem…except for Mexican – I will continue to gripe until it gets some.) But London has a dining experience factor that is hard to rival. The decor, the presentation, the little gimmicks, the service can be incredible.

And that’s what it was like walking into Bob Bob Ricard. The staff looked like they belonged in a Wes Anderson film. The cocktails were perfectly mixed and presented with a flourish. The menu was supposed to straddle luxury English & Russian cuisine (I don’t even know what that means… I did see lobster macaroni & cheese on the menu however which I don’t really consider to be either).

But then… the Eton Mess came out.

OK, this is isn’t a picture of the Eton Mess. But it is very similar! Eton Mess usually looks (fittingly) like a mess. This was gorgeous. A pinkish ball perfectly placed in the centre of the plate, with little strawberry cubes and tiny fresh mint leaves scattered across the plate. They pour a strawberry and cream sauce over the top. And when you crack it open, whipped cream, mixed bits of fruit and sorbet are waiting for you on the inside. It was heavenly.

I’d heard of Bob Bob Ricard before because the booths have little buttons in them where you can press a button for champagne. Due to an early start the next morning I couldn’t take advantage, but I can attest to the fact they make a mean Black Cherry Amaretto Sour…

To be repeated.

Photography by Paul Winch-Furness for Bob Bob Ricard.

Strawberry Hill House

12

28.3.14

When I was little, my best friend and I used to sneak into construction sites in new housing developments and imagine what we would do with the houses if they were ours. This should explain a lot about the next few posts where I obsess over historic English Country Houses.

Over the last few weekends, I’ve embarked on a tour of estates that are easily reachable from London (and open – seeing as most large estates are closed over the winter months until March 29th). The first of these was Strawberry Hill House (it was the name… how can you not want to explore a place called Strawberry Hill?)

I took the train from Waterloo down to Strawberry Hill and exited into what looked like suburban London (just outside Twickenham to be precise). After navigating a few tree-lined streets of brick houses – I had obviously found the place. It never fails to surprise me how some European landmarks have stood the test of time as the world grows up literally all around them. This was certainly one of those cases.

The story behind the house involves an English Prime Minister’s son and his fondness for Gothic architecture. Horace Walpole, a bit annoyed at modern trends having strayed away from the gothic style, set about rebuilding a house on the sight in 1749 and continued changes until 1776. He used the house as a sort of treasure trove for objects he collected over 4 years of travel across Europe and wanted the rooms to change along with the feeling for the objects he brought back.

I usually like to wander around a site and take it all in for myself. I have a tendency to avoid tour guides. Maybe its that I’m getting a bit older or maybe its a bit of English charm, but in the UK, I am loving stories guides have to tell in places like this. And Strawberry Hill honestly has some of the best. Every room had a guide with an additional story to tell and a flair for telling it.

My favorite tale was that one of the maids of the House figured out that she could earn a little extra money by charging interested tourists who wanted to see the house for little glimpses inside. It got so popular at one stage that items were being stolen or broken. Walpole eventually found out and decided to open the house regularly to the public, even writing an extensive guide book to the collections to be found inside. But the smart man had a plan. He purchased a smaller house across the street and would escape there when the crowds came – so he could watch the circus at his house go by in peace and quiet.

True story, I had such a lovely time listening to the stories at Strawberry Hill that I didn’t even make it to the last wing of the house (I entered quite late in the afternoon, but still.) A bomb apparently fell on the house during the War – did not get to see the room where that happened. And I wanted to hear more about Walpole’s collections – many of which are apparently now in the V&A.

I got one recommendation from a guide – so well embellished – that it determined my following day’s activity: a trip to Richmond and a visit to Ham House. Next time on the blog.

Strawberry Hill House is open March 1 – November 9th but is regularly hired out for weddings and special occasions.

Check out their website before you go to be safe.

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