Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sailing Away

19th July 2013

You might have heard already, but the weather’s been quite nice in England.  Last weekend, I jumped at the chance to get out of London and head towards the coast, in search of any kind of breeze.

My parents, along with some friends, had planned a little sailing trip – meet in Southampton, sail down to Lymington on Saturday and return on Sunday.

Sunshine, sea, sails…

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On Friday night we went to the Jolly Sailor in Bursledon, which is just outside Southampton.  It’s a pub that’s right on the water, with beautiful views.  To get there, you have to walk down a very long set of wooden steps, but it’s worth it.  Inside is cosy and welcoming, and they serve proper food.

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Sardines, butternut squash and onion croquettes, mezze board.

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Roast cod and chorizo salad, falafel and haloumi burger, fish and chips (with battered peas!)

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After dinner, I tucked into my cabin on the boat and went straight to sleep.  I always sleep really well on board – I love the sound and movement of the water!

The next morning we went for a spin in our friends’ power boat…

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and then returned to the yacht and prepared to set sail!

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Out into the Solent, and then away…

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Obviously I was hard at work…

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It’s the best spot!

We moored at Lymington Yacht Haven.

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Champagne on deck – before dinner at Haven Restaurant in the marina. 

The yummy mummies had their white skinnies on…

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I’m always scared the boats will fall off those big wooden stilts.

Luckily, we had the food to distract us, which was amazing.

Pan fried scallops with sweetcorn purée and curried pea fritter…

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Wood pigeon breast with rye bread and watercress salad with red wine dressing…

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Pan fried turbot fillet and Solent crab cakes

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I couldn’t stop raving about my main course: monkfish tail, with olive oil, mashed potatoes and clam sauce.  The clam sauce was a total dream, and went perfectly with the mash.

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All this, and a gorgeous view across the Isle of Wight – the clearest we’d ever seen it from here.

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Sunday dawned sunny (again!) and we made a relaxed passage back towards Southampton.  We anchored up for a long lunch – sunbathing and reading the papers.

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The skipper decided that swimming was on the agenda.  The sea… has not warmed up like everything else.  Let’s just say it was fairly refreshing.

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The sail home was calm, and I got the train back to London with salt in my hair, happy and tired.

What have you been up to in the sun?

5:2 Day – Smoked Haddock, Spinach & Poached Egg

17th July 2013

On Monday I was feeling in need of nutrients.  I had a flick through ‘The Fast Diet Recipe Book’, and decided on Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg.

B vitamins, iron and protein.  All good.  Even if you don’t follow the 5:2 diet (500 calories or less on 2 days a week), I recommend this recipe book.  It has lots of good ideas for healthy meals and if you’re not restricting calorie intake you can just scale up the portion sizes.

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I’m relaxed about diets – I think that everybody needs to find their own way to be healthy.  I have found so far that 5:2 has made me more aware of what I eat, prevents me overeating in general, and results in me eating loads more vegetables (which can’t be bad).  And of course, with a little planning, you don’t have to cut out restaurant dinners or your favourite treats – like cupcakes!

J came over for dinner, so I was cooking two portions.  The doubled up recipe is as follows-

  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • 150g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 480ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraÎche
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg

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The fish came as 240g, so I weighed my portion and served the extra to J.

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Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of salted water.  Season it with nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Poach the fish in the milk for about 10 minutes, and check it’s cooked through.

With poached eggs, I like to play it safe.  These poach pods are brilliant, and well worth buying to avoid faffing around with vinegar, swirling water or cling film.  You can buy them here (and get ready to feel smug next time you make Eggs Benedict).

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Crack the eggs into the pods, then pop them into a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes.  Remember to put the pan lid on.

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When everything is ready, serve the fish and spinach onto plates.

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Turn the poach pods inside out, and place an egg on top.

Garnish with the crème fraÎche and spring onion.  I sprinkled a little more nutmeg on as well.

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Each portion is only 211 calories.  Enough said really.

Burger & Lobster: The Lobster Roll

15th July 2013

Ok, so I’m not winning any races with this blog post.  Everyone who lives in London knows the Burger & Lobster story… 

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However,  a) not everyone who reads this does live in London and b) it was amazing and I want to tell you about it anyway.

After a day of birthday shopping with Mummy (lucky me), we headed to Mayfair for a late lunch at B&L.  The deal: choose Burger, Lobster or Lobster Roll.  Each one costs £20, and includes sides.  Beautifully simple, especially if, like me, you’re terminally indecisive.  I like to read a menu cover to cover, so not being given a menu nicely eliminates this task.

There is however a comprehensive drinks list with great cocktails.  We went for gingery, limey and refreshing.  

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We both chose the Lobster Roll (hence the post title).  I would be very happy to return and report back on the other options one by one – takers please?

The interior of the restaurant is sort of rustic and wooden, with an open kitchen front.  Diners eating lobster are given a fetching plastic bib – a definite plus.

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If you’re in a group and up for a challenge, you can order one of the bigger (to massive) lobsters to share.

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Although we certainly had enough to be going on with when our food arrived…

85Buttery, cooked bread filled with lobster – so, so good.

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Don’t look past the sides – the salad is well dressed and topped with parmesan.  The chips are really good chips.  Simples.

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I lined up the roll and went for it.  No cutlery needed.

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Something that really endeared the restaurant to me is their sauce policy – ketchup and mayo are out on the tables, in bottles.  No need to keep asking politely for another tiny ramekin over and over again.

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I was glad we’d finished shopping because I struggled to walk to the tube after we were done!

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You can’t book at the Mayfair B&L, but you can make reservations for large parties at their other restaurants (there are four in total).  Details are on the website.

If you haven’t been yet, go.  That is all.  (Even if you are late to the party like me!)

And thank you M for a lovely day.

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