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    Sunday Brunch at Kopapa

    To round off the weekend, brunch was arranged with a new friend at Kopapa. I have to confess, we definately were keen to check it out, not only as the reviews are great and chef is Kiwi Peter Gordon; but also as afghans, good coffee, date scones and spirulina were calling – a varieties of good Kiwi fare.

    We really enjoyed it; great food, good company and all out of the pouring rain.

    Hearing so much about them, I couldn’t not order the ‘Turkish eggs’ from Changa restaurant in Istanbul – 2 poached eggs with whipped yoghurt, hot chilli butter & flat bread. Delicious. I liked it so much (in between gossiping), I made my Mum try a mouthful over the table. Though not to her taste, I loved this twist on poached eggs. You dip your spoon into this warm concoctions of lovely oozy-ness, the chilli not being too hot but just enough for a zing (I don’t think I’ll ever be a food writer!).

    Sumptious Date Scones – the winners of the day – piping hot from the oven. These were like mana.

    And a divine Spirulina shake. Spirulina, oh, how we’ve missed you! I’ve now found a couple of recipes and will be trying to recreate these little green machines.

    The rest of the table ordered various forms of fry-up which were very much enjoyed – reviews were simple, delicious and great flavours; but possibly needed a wee bit more substance to be a ‘proper kiwi fry-up’?

    I must say I’m intruiged by Spiced banana French toast with grilled bacon, orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish & orange vanilla syrup and will definately have to go back soon to try it.

    As an ex-hospitality worker, the service at Kopapa was great in some respects – the manager caught one of our table sadly eyeing a table empty of Date scones and nipped over to reassure us that more were in the oven; but patchy in others, being a little slow and the server getting one of the orders wrong and not being too happy. It’s so so busy in there with hungry brunchers it can be forgiven to some extent, but it let down an otherwise delectable dinner. If you want to go for brunch on the weekend, pre-booking is pretty much essential.

    The decor is very modern trendy, but fairly clean; and suits both brunching and evening soirres – and we were eyeing up their champagne cocktail list.

    I love that the below greets you as you walk in – people gathered at the breakfast bar, drinking lovely flat whites, eating eggs, reading newspapers and generally catching up.

    Right, I’m off to the gym now – I’ve got some work to do to make up for this weekends indulgence!

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    Posh Afternoon Tea

    Saturday was lovely. Champagne, tea, dainty treats and a lot of laughter (excuse the blurry photos, I didn’t want to get my camera out as I felt enough of a berk with my phone on the table…)

    Afternoon tea was a last minute decision, and as they go, sometimes they can be the very best. My mum and I have been saying for a long time that we should treat indulge ourselves. Through a series of tough eliminations (read: a quick read through website listings) we decided on the Reform Social Bar & Grill, in Marylebone Village.

    The “50 Shades of Earl Grey” cocktail we were greeted with consisted of an Earl Grey tea infused bitters and sloe gin topped up with Champagne and elderflower. Oh my. Subtle, sweet and lucious.

    We then picked Tea from the large range of loose leaf teas – Mum ordered the Whole Rose Buds Tea, and I opted for the Black Vanilla. Thankfully this was the hardest portion of the evening – deciding which Tea you had to leave off trying.

    So, armed with individual pots of tea, our slowly disappearing cocktails and very refreshing champagne, we settled in for the afternoon, nattering and catching up. A really lovely Mother/Daughter afternoon – still buzzing about the musical we went to last night.

    You are offered two menus – the Vintage Afternoon Tea Menu, and a Gentlemans Afternoon Tea Menu. As we are ladies of a delicate sensibility (and didn’t fancy the idea of the hanger steak & Herefordshire snails sandwich which comes with the Gentlemans’s Afternoon Tea) we picked the Vintage Afternoon Tea. Quite simply delish. After a wee delay much to our servers dismay and apologies (honestly we didn’t mind as we had unlimited Champagne with our Afternoon Tea deal) came out the following lovelies.

    Favourites you ask? The Salmon Sandwiches on Pink bread were scrummy and not just because they were on pink bread, the quintessential Cucumber sandwiches and the scones. Just delicious – so simple and presented so sweetly, what more could you want? Mum loved the Battenburgs, the wee Apple Pastry & the Scones.

    We also made a couple of new friends – two lovely ladies whom I will definately remain in contact with. We ended up chatting so much, we scooted our tables together in order to speak – the only complaint I have about the restaurant was about halfway through our afternoon tea, the music was turned ona wee bit loudly – and you know ladies, we like to chat but we struggled to hear each other a bit.

    I simply wanted to share what an awesome time we had, two Kiwi lasses on the lash in fashionable Marylebone. We had a lovely time. Great staff – attentive, friendly but not hovering, delicious food, flowing champagne and lovely surroundings. I will definately be back.

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    Musicals

    One of the things I love the most about London-town is the sheer opportunities that present themselves to you – growing up, as a family we have always loved musicals. I grew up on a diet of Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, South Pacific… which has fed my love and obsession with Musicals in the West End – we’ve been to Phantom, Les Miserables, Jersey boys (an amazing jem) dreamboats and petticoats (a bit meh) and loads of others (including Terry Pratchetts’ Mort :))

    We have also always loved Jesus Christ Superstar. We aren’t religious family at all, and bar the religious overtone to it, adored the music. It’s such a powerful score. When it was announced that Andrew Lloyd-Webber was going to launch Jesus Christ Superstar, I actually booked tickets the day that they were released.

    It was amazing. Tim Minchin absoloutely stole the show, Mel C did really well (with a few OTT breathy phrases), Chris Moyles did a great job too. Bar the sound being a little bit loud, I loved the modern setting of the show, setting it in a modern world of rioting and social media.

    There are much better reviews but we really enjoyed it. At the end of the day, the incredible music shone through and the voices of the performers were the real star of the night. We didn’t realise that we were at the premier night of the Arena tour until Sir Lloyd-Webber came onto the stage after the actors took their bows and told us “I have waited 42 years for this to happen. 42 years for our work to be shown in a Rock venue”.

    Excuse the bad image – I was rather excited and camera-less.

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    This week has been preeetty boring

    I’ve got to say Day Time TV is the best medicine for being ill. It’s the pits. You want to get better just to get back to work. As I’ve been stuck at home for most of the week with a throat bug, this week has been fairly lame, but very cosy with the Cat loving a warm lap that’s keeping her company.

    Lovely store-made Chicken Soup, heated with lots of love by my lovely hubby. Not sure why I bothered asking for bread though – it was like eating gravel.

    No concept of gravity whatsoever…

    There have been a few lovely suprises though – my Foodie PenPals’s package being one of them – luckily delivered one of the days I was at home. And my Foodie PenPal agrees that Chocolate Pop-Tarts ARE Medicine. As long as two of us agree, that’s enough to be a medical opinion, right?

    YesterdaysWorkout: Getting out of bed. Today, prancing to a musical. Yeah baby!

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    American Dreaming: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

    I love Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, and have gone to many lengths in the past to track down Libby’s Pumpkin Puree, last year making a Pumpkin Pie (which I adored and hubby liked). I don’t what it is that first attracted me to Pumpkin; we’ve always loved at home in New Zealand, it’s a particular childhood favourite, and when I heard that you can make a dessert out of it, I had to try it and was hooked. The only downside is an old boss of mine found out that I loved it, and used to make mini-pies for me when she wanted me to work a particularly long or awful shift.

    There is something subtle and rich I like about the taste; mellow and lovely.

    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe

    When I saw that you can make a smoothie at home, I had to get out my smoothie maker and have a try. I made a couple of amendments to it; adding Oats to it to make it into more of a breakfast item, adding more Cinnamon and Nutmeg and substitute ice cubes, as I didn’t have any, for frozen Mango Chunks.

    Feel like treating yourself for Breakfast? It’s actually rather OK Kcals-wise if you use yoghurt instead of Whipped Cream; though you could do that too as a sumptuous pudding or dessert.

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    3/4 cup vanilla yogurt or Greek yoghurt (with half a tsp of Vanilla Essence)
    50g plain porridge Oats
    60ml milk
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    1 tsp. sugar
    4 ice cubes (or in my case 50g frozen Mango Chunks)

    1. Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
    2. Pour the smoothies into small glasses (this drink is rich) and garnish each with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped topping.
    3. For a fun touch, add a pinch of cinnamon or a few colored sprinkles. Serves 2.
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