Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Day At The Races

Last weekend a few of my closest university friends got together for a birthday celebration for Becca at Ascot Racecourse, a day out that's a bit different to a usual birthday and so much fun.

Here's a photo diary of the day with a bit of my commentating throughout (ha, get it!)

So here we have the birthday girl, Becca on the left with Sophie watching her opponent closely as she over-takes, in the race to arrive at Ascot. Becca has her eyes on the prize (a glass of Rosé of course) as she keeps up the pace.

I'm keeping hydrated with an appropriately named bottle of Smart water. How fitting.

Reaching the entrance gates at the same time - it was a close call! It seems only fair we all treat ourselves to the prize glass of Rosé while we wait for the others to catch up.

The real racers are walking around the green, warming up for the races ahead.

And here come the other race-goers; Beth and Paris on the left. What slowcoaches!

Here's Carla getting in a quick selfie before the real race starts - who, by the way, managed to win on some of her bets later on in the day! I knew I should have copied her bets...

Becca with her winning prize of Rosé and her fellow contestant, Paris, who didn't make it to the finish line in time to get herself a glass too! Paris thought ahead and decided to seek some advice from the tipster, Michael, before she put her money on a horse...

...I'm sneaking in to hear what advice Michael has to say to Paris about the next race. I. Must. Win. Something.

Ready, Set, GO!
Are we going to win?

No winnings for us - not even a penny. Better take a quick selfie to cheer us up!

Becca on the other hand decided to take it out on good ol' Michael by stealing his hat!

None of that, Misses! It may be your birthday but Michael wants his hat back!

Sophie - ASOS
Me - Oasis
Paris - Zara
Christie - Zara
Becca - Missguided

Here's all of us together after all the races were over. With the addition of Christie, who must've been strolling behind to have not got in any of the previous photos! 

What I want to know is how did she manage to get the winning prize of Rosé if she came last?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

What Are You Grateful For?

We need to talk about Cafe Gratitude. I discovered this place when I was in Los Angeles last week and I fell in love. Literally fell in love with Cafe Gratitude.

I popped along with Marcus, Jim and Tanya to the Venice branch on Rose Avenue. Being vegan, I was excited about visiting this place but Marcus (not being vegan) was a little apprehensive as to whether he would like it.

I am telling you now, it was only after eating the food that everyone remembered it was vegan! If I could make this kind of food at home everyday, I swear I could convert everyone I know into vegans! Not that that is my aim of course.

From the minute I looked at the menu, I knew I was going to love it. Every dish has an uplifting, positive name such as 'Liberated', 'Divine', and 'Opulent'.  We started with a smoothie each - Tanya said her chocolate milkshake was better than any she had ever had, and it was made with 100% natural and healthy ingredients, mainly from homemade cashew coconut ice cream. 

'Fruitful' - my smoothie.

To silent our hungry bellies, we ordered the 'Community' to share before the rest of the food arrived - or maybe just an excuse to try as many things on the menu as we could!

It's a spinach and artichoke dip served with crostini and buckwheat crackers. We scraped every last bit of it up. It was a good job our mains came out then otherwise the waiter would've found us licking the bowl, it was so good!


I don't think there was one thing on the menu that I didn't want to order, so you can imagine how hard it was to pick. I asked the waiter for his recommendations and he said the 'Whole' bowl is the best. He certainly was right. (Although I may have to go back to try every single last thing on the menu to make that statement!) 

It was a mixture of kale, quinoa, beans, yams and many other things. Just take a look at the picture below and make your own judgement! My mouth is drooling, is yours?

Marcus and Jim both ordered 'Mucho', a Mexican bowl of beans, guacamole, and cashew cheese (YES CASHEW CHEESE)! Tanya ordered 'Transformed', a vegan quesadilla that looked delicious but I must've eagerly started and tucked into my food before remembering to take a photo of hers.



After sitting back and agreeing that that was possibly some of the best food we had had, it was time to peer through the glass fridges at the desserts full of protein balls, cakes and bars. The boys took home some of the chocolate macaroons and energy bars for later.

I eyed up this coconut cake called 'Irresistible' but I was so full that I decided to take it away - until the waiter advised me that it would melt if not kept refrigerated. I couldn't take it because a) we were heading to the beach for a few hours and b) I didn't have a fridge. I was so upset!

However, it did mean there was an excuse to go back the next day with Connor and Troye... and yes. I did get that irresistible cake and yes. It was irresistible.

So, what are you grateful for?

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Good Life

I have found a new favourite place in London; The Good Life Eatery.

I know, I know - I am painfully slow to jump on the band wagon. I have seen all the tweets, articles and instagrams of varying celebrities visiting this place over the past year or so, so I finally got round to trying it out.

Tanya had been raving about this place to me, so we popped along together so I could see what all the fuss was about. You know how healthy I try to be and at the same time I love food with a passion? Well this place is literally that. Healthy yet absolutely delicious. 

The food is everything I would make myself at home (but tastier and more adventurous) and the juices are similar to the ones I make in my blender (but, again, tastier and more adventurous)!

I am trying out being vegan (nearly 3 weeks in and still going strong), and there were so many options to choose from, which seems like a rarity from what I have experienced as far as London restaurants go. There are plenty of other options too that include salmon and chicken, so don't be put off!

The interior is small with wooden tables and chairs tightly packed creating a laid back, casual atmosphere. Just be prepared to queue outside to get a table; being one of the only healthy food eateries in London you can imagine how popular this place is!

We each ordered a cold-pressed juice while we waited for our food, which were to die for. Why don't my juices taste this good at home?! Then for food - I ordered the Goodness Bowl, which I would happily eat every day! I can't remember exactly what was in there but I would highly recommend it if you visit.

My only wish is that I'd left some space for the cake that we spotted on our way out! I guess that's just an excuse to visit again soon.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Playground Fun In Our 20's

Following on from my previous post, here is how we spent the rest of our weekend in Norwich for Tanya's birthday.
You'll know from a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago when I last visited Norwich that I fell in love with a restaurant called The Hoste, so of course we had to take Zoe there.

We ordered delicious quinoa salads and as it was Tanya'a birthday, we just had to order a desert! How incredible does her cheesecake look!

After lunch, we got into our car to head to Holkham Beach. On our way there we noticed a sign for Holkham Hall so we decided to have a quick adventure to see what was there. As we drove in, we realised we were surrounded by deer! As soon as we stopped the car they ran away, do I didn't have a chance to get a very good photo. Always the way! There's something quite magical seeing deer in the wild.

Before we'd even reached the Hall itself, we discovered a playground park with a zip wire! We had so much fun spending hours flying from one side of the park to the other and climbing across all the bridges to get to the top of the 'castle' as we called it.

We eventually decided to leave the playground, exhausted from acting like 5 year old, and finally arrived at Holkham beach just in time for the most beautiful sunset. A perfect weekend.