At the end of the summer holidays, Minx and I took a trip to Berlin and stayed in the beautiful property that is Das Stue.
Originally built in the 1930’s, Das Stue’s diplomatic legacy is evident in the heritage building’s stately architecture and modernist façade, designed by German architect Johann Emil Schaudt (1871-1957) and inspired by Danish classicism.
Das Stue really does invoke a calming ambience, with its open spaces and contemporary minimalist design. It is classy, unfussy elegance.
The two restaurants are headed up by Paco Perez, who has earned 4 Michelin stars in his two restaurants in Spain, and “Cinco” the fine dining restaurant at Das Stue gained its first Michelin star within its year of opening. The breakfast selection at Das Stue was the best I’ve ever experienced in any hotel. Every dietary requirement was catered for be it vegetarian, kosher, gluten free, dairy free and more. There was no limit to how well we felt looked after there.
So, I went to Le Pain Quotidien as is my usual Sunday breakfast spot, to be seated “just the one thanks” on the large table in the middle where I’ve come to find all the “just the one thanks” people are sat. Me with my book, a girl with her paper, a guy on his phone, you get the picture. A sweet waitress asks if she can take the spider out of my hair, I now feel like one of the Twits and struck with the realisation that perhaps the future me is destined to be the lady with the whiskers sat in the corner with her shopping trolley.
It’s National Vodka Day in the United States today! Embrace the autumn evenings with this warming and ever so simple cocktail.
2 cups (500 ml) apple juice (use the cloudy type if you can)
2 cups (500 ml) cranberry juice
100 ml vodka
2 cups (500 ml) ginger ale
Ice, to serve
Place the apple juice, cranberry juice and vodka in a blender and whizz until pale pink and frothy. Pour into a large serving jug, add the ginger ale and a good handful of ice. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of What Katie Ate
I don’t know about you but as summer fades so does the condition of my skin. My face looks visibly dry and fine lines don’t look so fine. Finding the right daily anti-aging and firming cream is an expensive business but when you do find it you won’t want to be without it.
Embryolisse Crème Anti-Age Raffermissante is that cream for me. It works on the premise that to reduce wrinkles you need to firm up the skin. Packed full of collagen and hyaluronic acid, this little miracle in a pot firms your skin as soon as you apply it.
On first contact it has the feel of a high-end cream. My face felt refreshed and nourished. For me though, the test is how long that feeling lasts. I’ve tried many products that feel wonderful at first but I’m dry again within an hour. Embryolisse kept me hydrated throughout the day and took away the tiredness from my eyes that comes with being a poor sleeper. Brownie points earned.
So what about those fine lines and wrinkles? I’ve been using the product morning and night for just a week and there is a visible difference already. My skin appears brighter and smoother. The early signs of crow’s feet are now barely noticeable. I’m impressed.
The ultimate test of any high-end beauty product is value for money. I’d say that Embryolisse delivers. It provides all the benefits that I expect from an anti-aging cream, suited my sensitive skin and you only need to use the tiniest amount.
It’s National Rum Punch Day! It’d be rude not to…
Serves 8 – 10
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups grenadine syrup
2 cups Jamaican white rum
1 cup light rum
2 cups fresh pineapple juice
2 cups fresh orange juice
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Orange slices, for garnish
Pineapple slices, for garnish
Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with orange or pineapple slices.
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay, www.foodnetwork.com.
I don’t often write about things that are personal to me, yes places I ‘personally’ recommend be in your little black of contacts but not of matters close to the heart. I haven’t written much this year at all in fact, but now I feel I’m able to share why.
Last autumn I lost two close friends within six days of each other. Lara had been fighting cancer for over two years and I am grateful that I could say my goodbye ten days before she said hers. Of course, I didn’t believe in my heart that that was my last physical farewell to her and went straight into a rehearsal of a show I was performing in at the time to try and distract myself from the pain of seeing someone I love being so brave.
As summer fades, the comfort food cravings begin. Try this wonderful little fusion of sweet and salty and you’ll forget about the nights drawing in.
- 1 recipe Butter Pastry (recipe follows)
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Preparation: Line bake sheet with parchment paper. Heat oven to 400/350 degrees F.
- Prepare butter pastry. Let pastry stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until pliable. Position Rack to in lower third oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.2.
- Lightly flour surface and roll pastry out to an 1/8 inch thick. Fold pastry in half and transfer to a parchment lined bake sheet. Unfold pastry. Loosely fold and roll edges to form a rimmed crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes or light golden (crust will be a little raw inside).
- Meanwhile place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50 percent power (medium) about 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring frequently and until melted; set aside.
- Place egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar in mixer bowl and beat on medium to high speed until soft peaks from. Gradually add sugar and and salt and beat until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Add chocolate and nuts(if using) into beaten egg whites; fold until just combined.
- Remove pastry from oven. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Spread chocolate filling over partially baked pastry. Bake about 10 minutes more until surface looks dry and slightly cracked (filling will be fudge inside). Remove from oven and place bake sheet on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner and shaved chocolate.
TO MAKE BUTTER PASTRY:
Place all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl stir to combine. Add in butter, using a pastry blender cut butter to pea size pellets and blend into the flour mixture. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water over flour mixture; toss gently with a fork just until moist enough to hold together (if needed add an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons of cold water). Gather flour mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of www.bakersroyale.com