Monthly Archives: March 2011

Wahaca – modern Mexican market food

I have this weird relationship with Mexican food. And when I say Mexican I refer to the Tex-Mex Americanised version….ooooh how I have fond memories of eating huge burritos with guacamole & tortilla chips while sipping from huge jugs of frozen margaritas in a rainy New York.

It’s sloppy comfort food and I like the idea of it more than the actual food (which often turns out to be pretty awful).

I have a similar thing with horror movies: the concept and anticipation of snuggling up on the sofa while eating popcorn and watching a horror flick is often so much better than actually doing it, as 9 out of 10 horror movies are crap.

But back to Mexican food – the problem is you don’t feel too hot after swallowing tons of melted cheese and refried beans.

So the next time you’re in the mood for an inexpensive, non-grease-dripping Mexican meal, I suggest you try the restaurant chain Wahaca, that specialises in modern Mexican market/street food.

They have restaurants all over London, but I’ve only been to the new(ish) one in Wardour Street in Soho.

You often have to wait a bit for a table, but that’s no problem as the friendly staff hand you a buzzer and send you downstairs, where you can kill time with a drink in the big colourful bar.

The food is lo-key and you can either go for one big plate or several smaller ones. You eat the smaller ones tapas style and order around three each.

If you can’t be bothered to browse the menu, just go for the Wahaca Selection; a selection of the restaurants most popular plates for two people to share (costs £20 for two).

That’s what we did, as we were a bit indecisive. Five minutes later the first dishes started to appear. We had everything from vegetable tacos….

to chicken taquitos.

And some pork pibli tacos (slow cooked pork in Yucatecan marinade).

The food is good, although it doesn’t blow your mind. But I’ll still recommend this place because of its friendly staff, upbeat atmosphere and very reasonable prices.

And the food is not too greasy or covered in 10 cm of processed cheese.

Wahaca, 80 Wardour Street, Soho
(See website for more locations)

Baby socks

I was doing some washing today and had to pause for a moment to contemplate these tiny socks.

Sometimes this whole baby thing can still feel a bit unreal (although he’s making himself noticed by kicking me all the time now) but standing with this little blue sock in my hand suddenly made it very real.

A little chubby foot is actually going to wear this one in July. Can’t wait.

No7 concealer and triple protection tinted moisturiser

Just wanted to share these two fab beauty products with you.

The other day I used the last tiny drop of my YSL Touche Eclat concealer and decided that there was no way I was going to buy a new one, a) because they’re too damn expensive (£22-25) and b) they aren’t really that great. If you’re after some of the big brand concealers I’d rather spend my money on those from Estée Lauder or Lancôme.

But I wasn’t nowhere near a shop that sold Estée Lauder or Lâncome. I was standing outside a Boots, so I decided to take a chance with Boot’s quite brilliant own range No7 and their Radiance Concealer. It cost £14 but I had a £5 off voucher and paid £9.

And I really like it. I think it’s about as good as the Touche Eclat and so much cheaper.

When I bough it the cashier handed me yet another £5 off voucher, so of course I had to run back in and buy what proved to be the piece de resistance, the No7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser.

I’m not a big fan of traditional foundations as many of them are too heavy and give my skin a fake and very made up look. So I used to not use anything. But with age your skin tone become less even, and pregnancy isn’t really helping either as I’ve started to get these darker pigmentation spots. They’ve decided to make their first appearance on my nose, of all places.

So the much lighter tinted moisturisers are my way forward. I guess you’re supposed to use this instead of your daily moisturiser but I prefer to moisturise as well. It’s so easy to apply and evens out the skin tone in the gentlest way possible. £12 (£7 with the voucher). And it contains SPF 15!

Dressing the bump – Japanese polka dots

I had a dinner date with some friends in East London last week. And with all the young hipsters running around in that part of town old Mette kinda felt the pressure to retro-dress-up the bump a bit.

Looking in my closet the options were very limited, but then I remembered this dark blue polka dot dress with puff sleeves, which has a very high waist. I bought it ages ago in a second-hand shop in Japan for around 3 pounds.

But the big question was: could I squeeze the bump into it?

I could. So I chose to ignore the fact, that it’s made from 100% polyester and left for a lovely dinner at one of my favourite East London restaurants, Lennie’s Snack Bar.

Here I’m wearing it with a pair of studded ankle boots from Topshop to make it less dressy.

Habitat sale – shopping spree 2.0

Well. Apparently the Habitat sale doesn’t end until NEXT Sunday. So I had a second go in the one at Finchley Road.

The Dachshund pillow was nowhere to be seen, so instead Sam chose this cheerful one with pears. £10.

We also bought some ecru Thea towels w. gold details. £30 15.

I couldn’t resist the playful colours of this Madras table-cloth (180×270 cm), £30 15. I also bought 6 matching napkins £2 1 each.

 

Last, but not least: I’ve been going on and on about wanting to get an atlas/world map shower curtain. So when I spotted them on sale in Habitat, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

Before:

After:

The Mappa shower curtain costs £22 11.

And, as alway, there was a further 10% off on check-out.

habitat.co.uk

The Coffee Tree in Maida Vale

After having moved from Randolph Avenue to Elgin Avenue we’re now a tiny bit closer to Shirland Road.

So when local tweeters Lord Elgin and Alex mentioned the opening of a new coffee and pastry shop next to a hardware shop I decided to combine my hunt for a new broom with a caffeine & cake fix.

This charming coffee shop is tastefully decorated with raw wood panels and bright red lamps and a small selection of Italian coffee, olive oil etc. on display. A very welcome addition amongst the street’s Lebanese restaurants, Indian take-aways and run-down fastfood joints.

I ordered a large latte to go (£1.90 – double shot doesn’t cost extra) + a brownie (£2) and the friendly owner threw in a mini-muffin when he found out that I was a local blogger. Or who knows, maybe he just gives them out to all new customers…

As soon as I saw the lovely leaf-shaped pattern on the coffee my expectations rose and I half expected something along the lines of the wonderful flat whites they serve at Flat White in Soho or at Kopapa.

I must admit I was a bit dissappointed. The coffee was too watery and didn’t taste of a whole lot.  I’m not sure what to blame: the Danesi beans, the machine or maybe the fat content of the milk? Still better than Starbucks though.

But the pastries were to die for, especially the brownies. I haven’t had a brownie as good as this in a long time. Moist, heavy and dark, rich chocolatey.

So while the coffees leave room for improvement, the cakes and the friendly service are definitely worth the trip to Shirland Road if you’re in the area.

The Coffee Tree
215 Shirland Road
W9 3JP London
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Today’s view from the balcony…

Brownies and muffins for lunch. What more can I say….

The cakes are from a new local place in Maida Vale called The Coffee Tree. More about that later.

Australia?

Sam snapped this photo of me yesterday after I fell asleep on the beloved new sofa, my head resting on the just as cherished huggable planet.

I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something?

The snuggliest of dressing gowns for a soon-to-be desperate housewife

As you might have noticed, the fashion content on this blog has been sliding downhill like a growing snowball for a while. Comfort has won the battle against vanity. And second-hand shopping is no fun when nothing really fits the bump.

And here is what it has finally come to, in the grey shape of my latest buy:

A velour tracksuit/dressing gown combo!

I had no idea this mutant existed before I found myself fondling the soft miracle in good ol’ Marks & Spencer. I had been looking for a more traditional frotté dressing gown/bath robe but decided that I was sick and tired of their bulky shape, not to forget that annoying belt that always seems to come undone.

No such problem with this darling as it unzips from both ends. There is simply nothing better than jumping into it in the morning + after a long day wearing uncomfortable tights.

And for some reason I feel more “dressed” in this than a traditional gown, it might be because of zipper and the sporty hood. Fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t be too embarrassed if I had to answer the door wearing this.

Have you decided that you just can’t live without one of these? Good, then go ahead and buy it here (where it has received raving reviews). It also comes in navy blue and you have to choose between two lengths. Mine is the long one. Costs £35.

And it’s perfect for lazy weekends. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Habitat spring sale, here I come!

The always cool Habitat stores are having a great sale on at the moment. Furniture, cushions, bathroom accessories and many more products are discounted with 50%…..and you get a further 10% on everything at checkout. Last day is Sunday.

Habitat sales are known for being pretty great, and with the discount their prices are shot down to the same level as cheapo IKEA’s = a win/win situation, as Habitat’s quality and designs are just so much better.

So I popped by their store on Tottenham Court Road yesterday to check it out.

I left the shop with a bathroom mat, a stylish toilet brush (oh yes, you just can’t live without one of those!) and this grey Foxglove cushion, £35 17.50. It’s big and fluffy and stuffed with feathers. So much nicer than the ones I saw in IKEA.

I also stocked up on towels. This pack with 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels cost £20 10. The “soin douche extra pure rose” from Savon de Marseille was £9 4.50.

Oh, and then there was of course another 10% off the prices above.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

And I might just have to stop by again today as I have my eyes on this cute Flipnfriends jigsaw puzzle. Aren’t those eyes just begging to be bought? £25 12.50.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

And I need another cushion. I hope I can track down this turquoise Dachshund one £10 5.

If not I’ll have to bite the dust and pay full price for this charming Joane “Love” cushion, designed by Ella Doran. £20.

Photo via habitat.co.uk

All items can also be bought via habitat.co.uk