Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cox Cookies and Cake + HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’m really not a big fan of the hype surrounding neither cupcakes nor New Year’s Eve. But I think I’ve found the perfect cake for that last night of the year…and it’s a cupcake.

Last night I walked past this blingy, shiny multi-coloured shop front in Brewer Street in Soho and was nailed to the ground, hypnotised by all the bright lights.

This cupcake and cookie shop is called Cox Cookies and Cake and it’s the brainchild of Canadian-British designer & shoemaker Patrick Cox and master patissier Eric Lanlard and it’s nothing like your average cutesy and cheerful pink cupcake shop.

Oh no, this place is like a psychedelic stripper cave, filled with neon signs, skull-clad cakes and handsome staff wearing studded leather aprons.

Mesmerised by the interior I decided to pop into the shop today and try one of their crazy looking cakes.

I took a long hard look at the different choices: should I choose the Pop Cake – a vanilla cake with a blueberry compote centre, vanilla frosting and decorated with a chocolate Marilyn Monroe? Or maybe the Bling Cake – A raspberry cake with raspberry compote centre and decorated with pink icing and sugar diamonds?

Nah, too ordinary. I left the shop with this one:

The Black Skull Cake. A triple Valrhona chocolate cake with goth black frosting and a dark chocolate jewelled skull. This is one of the shop’s special cupcakes that cost £4 (yes I know, that’s bloody expensive), the classic ones cost a more reasonable £2.50.

But this one was actually worth the money. The cream cheese based frosting was perfect and the skull made of bitter dark chocolate. Even the normally boring sponge cake base was lovely. I’ll definitely be back for more.

So with that last blingy picture there’s just one thing left to say:

A very happy new year to all my dear readers. I hope 2011 will be a good one!

13 Brewer Street
Soho, London

Copenhagen’s best shawarma

I’m slowly…..very slowly coming out of my Christmas holiday/energi-sucking winter blogging-hibernation. And today I want to point you towards THE best place to fill your stomach with comfort food in Copenhagen.

Because that’s what your body screams for, when it’s cold outside, isn’t it?

When I’m in Denmark, it’s become a tradition that I meet up with my good old friend Tine at Shawarma Grill House at Strøget. (There’s another similar joint a few metres down the street, but it’s nowhere near as good as this one).

Here we choose between lamb or chicken (lamb is best) which has been marinated in a secret spice mix and is served up with salad and yoghurt dressing in home-made pita bread. The shawarma menu also gets you fries and a soft drink for 67 DKK (£ 7.70).

Then we head towards the kitschly decorated first floor, clutching our precious meal. We find a window seat near the gleaming red neon signs and chat and eat and occasionally look down at all the people running past on the busy shopping street.

Fast food doesn’t get much better than this! Even our eerie former Prime Minister loves this place (click and scroll down for pictures).

Damn, now I really feel like eating one again…

Shawarma Grill House
Frederiksberggade 36
1459 Copenhagen K

The red vintage coat, milkshakes & burgers + a very MERRY Christmas to you!

It is Christmas after all. And as the 24th is the big day of celebration in Scandinavia I decided to be a bit festive and dig out my red vintage wool coat.

I bought it many, many years ago in one of my favourite charity shops in Copenhagen and paid around DKK 200 (£22) for it.

I don’t wear it that often as red is not really my colour, but today it felt perfect. I took it for a little excursion to Wardour Street in Soho where I met up with the dear husband and one of his colleagues for lunch.

During our stay in Denmark we’ve been gulping down what feels like 10 kilo of traditional Christmas fare. Pickled herring, warm liver pâté with mushrooms and bacon, ham, grønlangkål (curly kale), sausages, sylte (brawn), roast pork etc etc.

You name it, we’ve eaten it.

So today we both craved something completely different and headed straight for Byron Burgers on Wardour street. (Read my review of it here). I decided to go Full Monty, it is Christmas after all, and ordered a vanilla milkshake to go with my juicy cheeseburger. Yummy.

And not we’re back home, relaxing while looking at our non-existing Christmas tree (well, we do have a couple of fairy lights dangling here and there).

Husband is chopping away in the kitchen, preparing one of my favourite pasta dishes and we have two movies lined up in front of the DVD player: The Last Exorcism + American, The Bill Hicks Story. Now that’s my idea of a cosy Christmas 🙂

And now there’s only one thing left to say: MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!


Warm and fuzzy feet – last minute gift idea

Are you still running around looking for that last Christmas present for the person who has everything – with terror in your eyes and cold sweat trickling down your back?

If so here’s an idea. My mum gave me these softer-than-soft lambskin slippers when I was in Denmark and they’ve been glued to my feet ever since (when I’m indoors that is). I haven’t had a pair like this since childhood but boy have I missed them.

You can buy similar ones at Skindhuset in Copenhagen (or in most Danish shoes stores and even supermarkets). The non-Scandi version looks a bit different and you can find them here.

My new practical black boots

The last couple of years I’ve realised that I’ve become an old woman, – at least when it comes to footwear.

When I was in my 20s and living in Copenhagen I was armed with a bicycle and able to run around in high heels most of the time. My closet is still filled with 30 pairs of pumps and stilettos from that period, as I would stock up on them every time I spotted a great pair in a charity shop.

But fast forward to today and these lovelies hardly ever see the light of day or the pavement. The distances are so much bigger here in London and my poor feet would be torn to shreds after an hour in high heels.

Lately I’ve been on the lookout for practical, simple and comfortable boots to supplement my Carvela wedges in these shoe-abusing snowy times. I’ve had a hard time finding boots like that in London as most of them are too high, flimsy or filled with ugly shiny buckles and zippers.

Luckily the Scandinavian designers have a knack for making minimalist boots in sturdy and downplayed designs. I instantly spotted these Shoe Biz leather boots while in Copenhagen last week. Shoe Biz is Danish shoe brand Gardenia’s younger and cheaper range that focuses on wearable and comfortable shoes.

I’ve been wearing them ever since, through sleet and snow and they’re just perfect. The fit like a glove, are easy to walk in and I love how the subtle rubber wedge adds a bit of height. Price 799 DKK (£90). Buy them here.

Cold Christmas Copenhagen by night

The cold Copenhagen weather has turned evil and given me a bad cold. Add to that my constant running around town to catch up with good old friends and the poor blog has had to suffer a bit.

But I have four new Denmark-themed posts in the pipeline. One about my new practical black boots, another about where to find Copenhagen’s best shawarmas and then two about my favourite cafés.

But today I’ll leave you with a few pictures of cold, cold Copenhagen by night.

Snowed in

We arrived in Copenhagen yesterday and this morning I woke up with a sore throat only to be greeted by this Winter Wonderland outside the windows. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

It’s THE perfect weather for cosying up on the sofa with chocolate and a cup of hot steaming tea. Not so much for venturing out. Oh well, at least the Metro is not far away…..

Southbank Christmas Market

I really thought I wouldn’t like it. Because seriously, can it get any more touristy-tacky than a fake German Christmas market in the middle of London?

I don’t think so. But then as we crossed Embankment bridge and turned left I saw myself getting magnetically drawn towards the many small tree huts hawking everything from photo opportunities to Spanish churros with chocolate sauce (yum!). I even found a liquorice stall selling the salty Scandi version.

We walked for a bit but then decided to head back towards London Eye and Big Ben. As we walked under the bridge a seductive smell lured us forwards and onwards.

With eyes wide open we passed a cosy moose-clad stall selling mulled wine. But that was not what we could smell.

And another one, where the men were busy grilling juicy burgers. But that was also not what we were after.

But there it was! The bratwurst/currywurst stall. Nothing beats a sizzling hot sausage on a cold winter’s day.

I of course had to go Full Monty and order the cheese sausage (the one where you squeeze and cheese oozes out in the middle) as I hadn’t had one of those since the 90s. What a trip down memory lane that was.

After the sausage orgy we continued along the Thames, past merry-go-rounds and highly inventive street performers.

And ended up with these views of London Eye and Big Ben. Not the worst way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in London.

You can find the Southbank Christmas Market between the Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall and London Eye along the River Thames. Until December 23rd.

Opening times:
Monday to Thursday 11.00am – 8.00pm
Fridays / Saturdays 10.00am – 10.00pm
Sundays 10.00am – 8.00pm

From Finland with love

Apparently it’s Hug a Finn Day today.

Sadly I don’t have any Finns close enough to hug them today but I did hug two of them last week, when Sam’s cousin and her boyfriend visited us.

And they brought us the loveliest presents, all made in Finland of course. First up are these fabulous Iittala tea mugs. This series is designed by Klaus Haapaniemi and called Satumetsä which means “fable forest”. I just love the fairytale’esque design.

And then there are these Moomin pillow cases. I think it’s the nicest ones I’ve ever seen and am sure I’ll sleep even better when I rest my head on this sleepy Moomintroll (I’m glad it isn’t angry Little My on it, as I’m sure I wouldn’t sleep as well then).

Finlayson makes a lot of different Moomin duvet covers and pillow cases etc. Check them out here.

Oh, and we also got some Karl Fazer milk chocolate. So much better than Cadbury. They’re quickly disappearing and even Sam, who normally hates milk chocolate, has been seen eating them.

The perfect breakfast

Tadaaa, may I present to you the yummiest (and healthiest) breakfast I’ve had in a while:

Sam has been off work this week and this morning I woke up to this bowl of goodness. Porridge with yoghurt, fruit and pecans. Omnomnomnomnom.

I know whipping this together is not exactly rocket science, but here goes: You just make a normal porridge (1 cup oats per 4 cups of water + a pinch of salt, boil for around 20 min) and pour it into the bowls.

Then add a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt. I always prefer to eat my porridge with a bit of yoghurt as it makes it more “fresh” and less stodgy.

Add whatever fruits you want. We used bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Add nuts for a bit of crunch, we used pecans (which are even more yummy if you roast them first).

Last, but not least: pour some maple syrup on top and you’re ready to go 🙂