Michelin starred lunch in Fera at Claridge's

Fera at Claridge's

Every year I have a special day out in London with my Mum in the summer. This year we booked tickets to see the exhibition of Her Majesty's dresses as part of the Buckingham Palace tour, and I had a look around for some tempting lunch offerings to book. Obviously after a morning at the Palace we would want to continue our elegant day of refinery so I was on the lookout for a luxury hotel or Michelin restaurant. I usually start with Bookatable to compare the various deals that are on, and through there booked a 3 course lunch at Fera in Claridge's. The offer I booked included a glass of champagne and three snacks for £45 per person. If you are wondering what a Michelin starred lunch in a 5 star hotel looks like then read on...

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Betty goes to a wedding

Handmade wedding guest dress

I could find nothing at all for the wedding I was going to in Italy. NOT ONE THING that fit nicely! Whilst bemoaning this fact to my husband he piped up that maybe I should make myself something. So I did. I always like a full skirted dress at weddings and decided to use the Sew Over It Betty dress pattern for my wedding guest outfit, as my previous Betty had gone together quite nicely.
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Spinach and ricotta gnudi

Spinach and ricotta gnudi recipe

You will be forgiven for wondering what on earth gnudi are. Everyone says to imagine spinach and ricotta ravioli without the pasta and I find that's close but if you then head a little more towards gnocchi you are pretty much there. I like them because they can be made with very little flour, so contain fewer carbs than my usual pasta fest (not that carbs are the enemy but every now and again it's not what you really need). This makes them light and perfect for a summer dish. Traditionally you find them served with a sage butter sauce and lashings of Parmesan. I've added some twists to the classic version by frying some, and by making a tomato sauce instead of a butter one. Frying the gnudi brings out the cheesy taste of the Parmesan. Try both versions and tell me what you think!

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Lace dress

 New Look 6261

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Sew Essential, the online sewing superstore. If you need anything sewing related, they've got it. I'm still discovering sewing suppliers so when they dropped me a line I headed over to the site and was surprised to see just how much there was in one place. Most of the sites I visit usually focus on beautiful fabrics, indie patterns and habby items to finish a project, but this one also includes a massive pattern database, pattern making tools and a range of machines themselves (including next on my wish list - an overlocker). There's also a haberdashery that contains things I didn't even know existed....water soluble thread for instance. I was looking to have a try at a lace dress to wear on holiday so was mainly concerned with finding a suitable pattern and reasonably priced fabrics. I decided that the New Look 6261 had all the key pattern features I was looking for, with lots of opportunity to vary the pattern depending on fabrics and occasions.

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Ice Cream Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester

Luxury afternoon tea in London at the Dorchester
Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection

Afternoon tea is definitely on my list of preferred activities when catching up with family and friends. Clearly I'm not alone as practically everywhere has some variation on offer. I have tried teas locally to where I live, but the choice on offer in London is by far superior. You can have tea in a renowned and luxurious hotel such as the Ritz, or a quirky affair such as the Mad Hatter's tea at the Sanderson. Though I enjoy and appreciate the unusual concoctions of teas like the Sanderson's, my heart truly lies with the tradition and grandeur of the luxury hotels. So, when catching up with my cousin (also a food blogger) recently in London, afternoon tea at the Dorchester was an instant yes for the pair of us.
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Speedy maxi dress pattern hack

Speedy summer maxi dress

Last summer I made a no pattern maxi dress that was perfect for my holiday. I received so many comments whenever I wore it that I thought I'd have a go at another one. This time around I was looking to make something

  • with straps, 
  • that could double up for day and evening wear at home as well as on holiday
  • would take a day or less 

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