22 February 2016

North East - Revisit to The Post Box - Ponteland

Yesterday I went back to a lovely cafe - The Post Box, Ponteland I discovered last June, I had been meaning to go back, but it is 30 minute drive from where I live so I combined it with a breezy walk around Northumberlandia with my boyfriends family.  The Post Box doesn't disappoint, with fabulous service and yummy food to offer.

This local vibe cafe looks gorgeous from the outside and equally on the inside. I love the history of the previous post office coming out in the decor, with red accessories and themed menu - breakfast dishes are called 'All day deliveries'. The jar lights in the window and the village post box sitting outside really makes me smile.

I pre booked the table via twitter earlier in the week as there was 6 of us and I know it can get busy. The team came back to me really quickly - what a great service!

We turned up 15 minutes early for the table which was no problem and we had the lovely large dining table that fitted the 6 of us perfectly. The table was decorated with postcards and seasonal flowers - a mix of tulips and daffodils. 

The choice of all day breakfast, burgers, soups and light bites does make it perfect for everyone, including the great kids menu which was a great hit with one of us.

I tried to choose something else but I did end up ordering the Post Box Rarebit which comes with a portion of salad, I did really fancy the pancakes and all day breakfast too but I enjoyed the rarebit so much last time it was hard not to order it again. 

The attentive service really makes the experience enjoyable, plus with a buzz of constant activity makes it a perfect location for family time and relaxing with friends.

The selection of cakes on offer were super and included an option for gluten free customers. We all decided to get a fruit scone - we were just being greedy but we just couldn't resist.

If you are visiting Ponteland or looking for somewhere new to try, I can highly recommend The Post Box, I am already thinking when can I go next.

View my previous post June 2015 - The Post Box - 1st visit review

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12 February 2016

Food | Gluten free brownies

Last week I had some girlie friends round for dinner and I wanted to make a dessert everyone could enjoy so I chose a Nigella recipe for gluten free brownies.

Table setting for my dinner party

Can't go wrong with Prosecco & Chambord

When choosing something I didn't want to use Gluten Free flour as I haven't had much success as it doesn't rise so I was really pleased when I found this recipe.

I bought all my ingredients from my favourite supermarket Lidl, this is not an advertisement.. I am just obsessed with the amazing quality and price, I will do a review of why I like it so much next week.

What you need (Based on Nigella's)
  • 225dark chocolate - 70% cocoa solids
  • 225g unsalted butter 
  • 2tsp vanilla extract 
  • 200g Caster sugar 
  • large eggs (beaten) 
  • 150ground almonds 
  • 100chopped walnuts 

I am so impressed with this 70% cocoa dark chocolate from Lidl for less than £1, the gold foil and the embossed pieces make it look much more expensive than it is. 

To make the brownies first of all you need to break up the chocolate and place it in a non stick pan - (large pan as you will be mixing all your ingredients in here).

Add the chocolate and melt on a low heat.

Add in the chopped nuts, vanilla essence and ground almonds then mix together - Next time I make this I will probably add some more mixed nuts and dried fruit.

I didn't seem to have the appropriate tin, so I greased 6 mini loaf tins and then I could split them into two pieces.

This worked out really well as they cooked through well. I baked mine for 30 minutes at 180c but it would be safer to set the timer for 25 minutes then just keep checking them. 

They still didn't look fully cooked but they were hard on top so I thought I would risk it. 

I don't have a picture of them cooked :-( but luckily my friend Miss S remembered to take a picture of hers before she ate it so here it is..... I served half a mini tin with Carte D'or Cafe Latte ice cream (amazing) and some raspberries.

Perfect treat to make for a valentines meal for 2!

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9 February 2016

Style | Jolie Papier haul

I love paperchase, but now I think I have found somewhere I LOVE more...

I am a sucker for stationery which can be an expensive habit but there was a flash sale last Saturday at my new favourite stationery store Jolie Papier, my closest store is Newcastle and absolutely everything including sale items was 50% off. 

**Updated 21st Feb 2016 - Really sad news this store has closed down :-(

This resulted in a haul of note pads and Kate Spade merchandise....

Paris or New York? There is no need to decide with this double covered notebook I love fashion illustration and this has inspired me to start doing some more doodles.

When I buy a notebook I try to think what I would put in it, sometimes it just for popping on my desk for general notes.. this .next one definently wants some fashion planning. 

I also picked up a Kate Spade stripe book. It had green interior.. no further reason.. except it was £6 instead of £12. I have already put this to use and I am doing a full audit and log of my makeup.

JP stocks alot of Kate Spade merchandise, cups, shopping bags, stationery accessories like cute paperclips, luggage labels and cards.

I picked up this polka dot cup which is perfect for having on your desk to make sure you are drinking lots of water.

Last of all I saw these Kate Spade 'holiday cards' before christmas but they were £20 for 10 cards so way out of budget. I picked these up for £6 which is much better price and I have sent out a couple already and they are so beautiful. Pink cards with gold foil letters plus white envelopes with gold stripe interior is just gorgeous!!

This store is next to Michael Kors and White Company in Newcastle City centre, make sure you pop in next time your looking for a gift for women, they have so much stuff they would love - perfect for Valentines! I love everything and flash sales are totally up my street. 

I have tried to track this down online, but as it is a sister brand to Clintons, it auto diverts you to their homepage and you are not able to browse their products as you could not find a brand so different to Clintons.

Kristina x

2 February 2016

Food | Miss K's special Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my fave desserts, finding the perfect recipe is a bit of a challenge as nothing will taste as authentic than eating it in Italy which I have been lucky enough to do.

Quite alot of recipes for tiramisu contain raw egg which i am not a bit fan of but the recipe I found doesn't so let me share my favourite recipe.

If you want to make a giant one like I did which serves 12 portions double up the following ingredients:

250g Marscapone
3 tbsp Amaretto (or Tia Maria)
150ml cold black coffee
4 tbsp icing sugar
150ml single cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
18 savoiardi biscuits (trifle fingers)
cocoa powder or chocolate decorations of your choice
serving dish of your choice - you could even do individual ones if you prefer

1) Mix the marscapone, icing sugar, cream and vanilla extract 

2) Add in amaretto and 50ml of coffee into the mixture - you will need the other 100ml of coffee next

3) Once all of your mixture is ready you can layer up your tiramisu

4) Dip your biscuits one by one in the cold coffee (add a splash of extra booze if you wish) and cover the bottom of your chosen dish - then add a layer of mixture, repeat this until you have used all of your biscuits and mixture up ending with mixture so you can then coat with cocoa

You can make this a day head just cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge. 

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