Sunday, February 17, 2013

Living For The Weekend

Since T has been buggering about with the Army all week, and I haven't seen them since Christmas, this weekend I've been North to visit my parents. Thankfully 'North' is only Cambs these days, but it was still rather nice to get out of London.

I was, as seems at present not to be so infrequent, spoiled by my parents, with food galore. If you follow my Instagram, you'll know what I've been up to, but here's the run down.

Kings Cross was it's usual joyous self, except I've never noticed the coloured light before, which was kinda cool.

My arrival seemed to roll back the clock for Monty, just like I was never gone. 

I also got to scoff this. And by this, I mean a rather nice rabbit pie. Oh yes, yes I did. 

Another day, another lap to cruise, after a long day relative visiting (and maybe making a little purchase with my mum), Monty still seemed to be glad to have me home. 

And then he got turfed off so I could eat this. ALL of it. And it will be worth every KM I have to do on the bike next week. 

And after a beautiful sunny weekend, this happened. You'd never know that Citi Bank and the rest of Canary Wharf are behind all that mist. 

I have often spoken of my parents on Chloe Likes To Talk, n ot only have the been fabulously supportive of everything I've done, we're also incredibly close, having lived and worked together for a fair period of time. It was super good to see my parents this weekend, because whilst I enjoy my life, and maintain that I'd not have it any other way, I miss them. I miss taking the piss out of my dad, mercilessly. I miss talking wardrobe with my mum, I miss being able to get snarky about Saturday night TV with a glass of wine, with all of us on the sofa, and Monty lap cruising. For me, home will always be wherever my parents are, where we can be a family and be comfortable together. 

Family is precious, however crazy they drive you, and this weekend was, aside a chance to eat a whole load more than I really should have, a chance to remember just how fortunate I am to have not only a family that loves me, and who I love, but a family who make me feel comfortable, as I am. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

I love Chinese food. I really really really love Chinese food, so when a Groupon recently came up for a Chinese member's club with a restaurant and cocktail bar, I leapt upon it. Friday night saw T & I hitting up Cornhill (EC2) to visit Peony to enjoy Dim Sum & Cocktails for 2 for £15.

Turns out their menu is pretty damn good, so we had more than just Dim Sum (and more than just one cocktail).... It was inevitable I suppose.

What was left after we made a start on the Dim Sum. Super tasty.

Even more tasty salt and pepper calimari

Wind Shelter Bay crab, messy but OH. SO. GOOD.

One of my Cocktails- Blushing Geisha

I won't lie, this is not a cheap restaurant. Our bill, for the post-Groupon goodies was not a small one. But the food was some of the best I've had in a very long time, except one slightly sullen waitress towards the back end of our evening, the service was absolutely impeccable, rarely have we been so well looked after in restaurant. In fact, we had such a fabulous evening, that we're heading back to Peony very very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more yummy goodies. 

Also, a belated Happy Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the snake, which is the year that both T & I were born into, so we're both feeling a teeny bit... old. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

On Yer Bike!

I do have a love hate relationship with exercise. It makes me feel great when I find something I love and get over the initial hump of having to motivate myself, conversely, finding something that suits, fits my schedule and doesn't damage my already battle-scarred joints and limbs can be an absolute bitch. Having done no proper exercise for a while (read: piled on a few pounds) and realising that running isn't working for me, I set about finding something that would.

Meet my new baby:

I am deeply fortunate that I live quite close to my work place- I usually take the DLR directly, and including a walk to the station, the whole trip takes roughly 40-45 mins of a morning. I am also lucky that London has upped it's game when it comes to cycling networks. There are currently Cycling Superhighways which run into the centre of London from various places including Barking. I actually work in the opposite direction, but nevertheless, having a designated cycle route that runs almost all the way to work, and being able to find routes which are cycle-friendly and parts of the overall London Cycle Network was a huge deciding factor in the purchase of my bike. It's 10 years since I last got on one, I really didn't want to be in the Bike v Vehicle smash I've seen enough times before... 

Another concern for me was time. I want exercise that will fit into my life, and cycling to work takes roughly the same time as it would for me to do my usual DLR journey- meaning that I get up at exactly the same time as I would anyway. I leave the house earlier, but that's because I change and put make-up on at work rather than before leaving, so it all evens out. 

The details, for those interested- My bike is a Raleigh Chiltern ladies bicycle. Raleigh is a British brand btw, so hands up for supporting our own economy with a well known classic brand. I bought it second hand via eBay and it cost me £80, and I went to collect it from the very lovely seller. 

Cycling is something that I've come to appreciate as a city thing. I lived in the Lake District for 15 years, and never really saw cycling as feasible- main roads are not designed to be cycle friendly, things are often a lot further apart, the weather is dire, and the landscape (hills...) mean you'd be a sweaty mess before you got anywhere, and if there were to be no shower available, you'd be screwed. It works in London because the distance fits, because I can take it easy enough to just need to wash (cheap face wipes from Lidly- HELLO FRIENDS) before changing, and whilst the cycle network in London isn't perfect, it's pretty damn good. We're getting there. 

As with a lot of new pursuits, I'm sure it would be easy to go crazy on extra's. Specialist clothes... shoes... etc. I chose not to. I cycle in whatever is most comfortable- just at present that's a loose hoody, leggings and plimsols with a 'work-out' (cheapo from Primark...) waterproof over the top. The only things I feel you *really* need to spend on (and folks, this is NON NEGOTIABLE) are a decent helmet that fits you properly, more kudos if you can find one that's high-vis, and lights to attach to the front and back of your bike. I bought both these items from Sports Direct, on sale, for about £22. Ah- and then there's the least fashionable thing I've *ever* bought... all in the name of high vis...

So a bit of a share from me, not an awful lot else to add at this point, except, that if you live in a city give it a go! 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

Sometimes, I rather like to remove myself from the kitchen, and have some fun. Recently, we purchased a Groupon voucher for Steak and cocktails at the Marco Pierre White grill at Stamford Bridge.

I'd love to show you pretty pictures of the rare steak with Bearnaise sauce that I shovelled down on Friday night after a crazy day at work... but.... er.... I was too busy eating it.

I also had rather a lovely apple martini with a dash of cinnamon through, which went down a treat. And T had this rather attractive cocktail...

In the absence of pretty food pictures, I'll leave you with a little review. 

Marco's is a nice Friday night restaurant- the food was fabulous, our steaks were cooked to perfection, the chips were to die for, and my spinach side was virtually butter itself. The staff were friendly, we were well looked after, and Groupon vouchers. The only slight negative is that sides were not included with out voucher- literally just the steak, sauce and garnish, and boy does Marco know how to charge. That said, we also moved on to a rather nice bottle of Tempranillo post cocktail, and it was pretty reasonable, for a restaurant bottle of decent quality wine at £18.50. 

So all in all, a very nice Friday treat. I'm not sure I'd recommend it on full price, but we certainly enjoyed it for a decadent treat.


Saturday, February 2, 2013



My aunt, Dyelma, has discovered Words with Friends. She is a sore loser. 

Keeping me going at work, hot, caffeinated and HUGE

Trying out the Models Own Mirrorball collection- pretty, but not durable.

Working late only made tolerable by my cat highlighters and proper tech. 

Grown up business cards, and my *ahem* not so grown up lanyard for my work ID pass

Clothing at Tesco dress, Primark studded belt, Kelly Brook for New Look chained boots. 

The East End was a bit white in Januart. It was pretty, if lethal.

Friday night, T having been away all week. Soppy, yes, do I care, no.