Secret dinner club – 1

So.. its been a while, we have two new things.. tea and baking (also which tea goes with what food.. mostly cakes) but also secret dinner club.____

This started last night for us.  It all started because our friend Johanna realised that I had never tried Japanese food.  Sonja quickly joined in saying that I needed to try it and Andrew was intent on me trying new things so it seemed like a good plan, whats the worst that could happen… outside of the fact I don’t like fish.

Johanna suggested that we go to the following place  http://www.sushihiroba.co.uk/ in Holborn, London as its the best place she has been to.  I have to admit it was rather ace.  The service was a little slow but it was rather busy however Johanna said this wasn’t normal.

I ordered chicken teriyaki, a normal safe kind of dish I think, again it was rather ace. This mixed with a very well made and bottomless green tea was perfect.  Add the sake and the conveyor belt sushi thing that was next to our table it was exciting.

We started me on the cucumber maki which I believe is called kapa, kind of bland with hints of seafood but im mostly sure that part was in my head.  We also added in some dumpling type things into the mix, something with crab in it which didn’t taste fish like at all (thankfully for me!) and roe which is fish eggs.  All I can say in the last part was that the texture was a lot like bubble wrap, it was very odd.

Everyone else had a mix of food and some of the sharing plates as well, we also followed it up with ice cream (more on that later).

The overal cost was about £20 each by the end of the night including ice cream which works for the budget and for experimenting.

The food was also totally worth it  and a great experience.

8.5/10 I think, good starting point 😀

 

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Tea Tuesday

Golden Snail is one of those wonderful hand crafted black teas made in small production lots by a farm family in the mountains of Yunnan province.

Golden tippy leaves are curled into little spiral shapes, hence the name Golden Snail. The aroma is magnificent, and the tea liquor is rich and smooth. You can enjoy this tea at any time of day.  I don’t get a sweet chocolate taste at all but more of the dark cocoa flavors bring to mind un-sweetened chocolate, but at the same time there is a lingering sweetness. This only confirms and continues my general adoration for black teas…Especially bold ones.

Tea Tuesday

Hi, welcome to the first of many ‘Tea Tuesday’ blog posts, in these posts I am going to review a different kind of tea that I have tried during the week and hopefully encourage people to try new tea flavours.  I would also like people to recommend different flavours for me to try and also to share their tea experiences/favourites with everyone else.

The first tea we have is one that surprised me greatly its called Keemun Tea.

Keemun tea is a black tea is one of the most popular teas grown in the Anhui province in Central China. This tea produces a lovely bright red infusion and has a soft and mild taste with a delicate aroma.

To me it has a much softer taste than many black teas i have tried and is very easy to drink in the early evening or late afternoon.  It has an almost wine like flavour to it with bittersweet elements of the best dark chocolate, a light tannic bitterness and hints to warm spicy sandalwood notes, there is also the merest edge of cloves and juniper, similar to that in mulled wine which makes a beautiful relaxing drink.

To create the perfect cup use one teaspoon of loose leaf tea per person and as this is a black tea you use boiling water and leave it to brew for 4 mins exactly, anymore will create that horrible bitter taste in tea not create a stronger brew – a common mistake!

If you have tried it let me know what you think! Personally, I adore it!

Helen

xoxo

Tea Tuesday

White Peony with Pink Rosebuds is a blend of the finest white tea and whole pink rosebuds. It has a mild, refreshing, delicately rose-scented taste.

Authentic White tea is only grown in the Fujian province of China, where the delicate buds and leaves can only be picked for a few weeks each year.

*One of Vogue’s top gifts for hostesses and The Daily Telegraph’s top gifts for Mother’s Day*

This tea is so light, floaty and delicate its great for something refreshing without requiring an ice tea.

Exhibitions, Arles and Tea

So, things have seemingly been pretty quiet recently.. this would be true had I not been in Arles for the les rencontres d’arles festival for a week, had to put up a degree show, plan my London exhibition all along with having a full time job at a tea shop in central London.

First things first, degree show.  I have recently finished my degree in Photography (my results are out on Friday) and as part of my course (and with all art courses) we had an end of year final degree show.  My work was based around the exploration of the human form and how sexuality is defined.

I used pins to pin my work to the wall which helped create an even deeper visual element as it mirrored the tension created by the corset strings.Image

Image I also adore this dress, it cost me £30 from Asos and well its pretty.

Overall the exhibition went very well although it was a pain trying to organise 30 something people and all their work so they were happy with their space, now the next challenge is the London show which is taking place next week at the Rag Factory.

Arles on the other hand was insanely warm, on average about 30c and rather humid.  I did stay in my first youth hostel ever however which was a lot of fun.  We also managed to have the city nailed in about two days which meant although carrying portfolios and cameras everywhere we didn’t have to worry about maps.  The mosquitoes on the other hand were a complete nightmare, even through jungle strength bug spray 3x a day.  These photos are by Alex and Pedro.  I will add mine when I have a moment to go through them.

ImageImage im the one in the pattern dress and with red hair 🙂Image

one of my favourite photos, thanks to Pedro for this one x

 

Image im the one in the black lace.. of courseImage Nica handbags are ace although im really not pro having my photo taken I do kind of like thisImage best moment ever, turning up to your hostel 3-4 hours before it opens after walking from the station for 45 mins in 28c heat

 

ok if you are still with me this bring me onto tea..

Now, some of you may know that last year I discovered that tea was on of the best drinks on the planet.  I have mostly stuck with Jasmine tea and Cinnamon tea throughout this time although there have been hints of trying new flavours with Earl Grey cupcakes and peppermint tea for example.  Over time I have thought how amazing tea could potentially be and well this had lead me to getting a job in a tea shop in London.  We do however only sell loose leaf tea not serve it.

I have to say this has certainly been one of my best choices to date, I am learning to much and the people i work with are amazing. Not to mention there is something to be said for being able to your rent two weeks after you have finished your degree.

Its funny because someone I know turned around to me at the weekend and said what on earth are you working in a tea shop for you don’t like tea.  I thought this was partly rude as they haven’t been in touch in a  long time but also people change.  Since starting my job I have tried so many different flavours of tea its unreal (on average 6 tastings a day although these are small) and I have begun to learn that there are so many different kinds of tea out there especially ones that I enjoy.

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I think I am going to start adding ‘Tea Tuesdays’ to my blog now where I review a different kind of tea every Tuesday and people can share opinions/recommendations on what they enjoy.

Don’t worry photography will still be around but since my degree its taking the back burner a little bit while I have some me time.. or rather me and tea time 😀 haha, ok, that was bad.

 

Hope all is well with everyone, I promise to keep up with everything a lot more

xox

Steampunk Prada

So its taken a couple of days for me to put this up here but its true, Prada are doing steampunk menswear!

Now I think these clothes are fantastic, not sure I would define it as steampunk more victorian gentleman  meets air pilot but then steampunk has been creeping more and more into the main stream even with the alternative scenes.  At least its not just got cogs stuck on it which tends to happen a lot.

So guys take a look and let me know what you think

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Sunday musings – gay marriage

Hi there,

So what I want to talk to you about today is still wedding related but not something as simple as with dresses, venues or photography.  I want to address a debate that has been going on in the wedding world and has been in the headlines a lot over the past few years.

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photo by Getty Images via http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9129750/Poll-suggests-70pc-oppose-gay-marriage.html

Gay marriage, not just civil partnerships (which are completely legal here but don’t have the standing as weddings, or thats what my research has led me to believe) have been under debate recently.

On one side there is the church who say that a marriage is between a man and women for the purpose of making children and on the other people who say if two people love each other they should be together forever in a way suited to them.

My own view on this is that if two people love each other and both are religious in whatever ways suits them (they don’t have to be hard set christian just some belief in God or a God type form works for me) then I have no problem with them getting married in the traditional sense.

I know a lot of people, especially those that are not of my generation (I am only 23) this seems rather insane, I know a lot of my friends parents disagree with my views and thats ok because its their opinion and although I don’t like it I am certainly never going to stop anyone having their opinion on a matter.

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Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/aug/04/proposition-8-gay-marriage-california

The one thing I think people tend to forget with something of this nature is that although marriage is a sacred act the amount of people who are having church weddings because they feel thats what they should do as opposed to what they believe in or what they want.  With this in mind if there are people (who may or may not admit it until long after) who are choosing to get married in this way why should we not allow people to get married in the eyes of their God, being gay or bi-sexual or whatever-orientation I don’t know about out there should have nothing to do with it.

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source: http://markusisthedrug.onsugar.com/tag/Gay-Marriage

They say that bible says that you are not allowed to be gay.  This is true, it does say this however it also says you shouldn’t have sex without a condom, catholics should eat fish on fridays and that you shouldn’t have tattoos.  Suddenly perspectives change a little when you put things like this in the spot light.

My opinion is that even if the bible says things like this they are moral guidelines written 2,000 years ago, things change every year, every decade and every century so how much have things changed in 2,000 years? Also how many christians have apparently broken rules by simply having protective sex as they don’t want a lot of children but for whatever reason are not on the pill (I am also pretty sure the Pope was saying any form on contraception but we will go with this for now).

With this in mind I would like to point out how many things have changed over the years, we no longer have capital punishment for one as it is seen as against human rights and old fashioned, we have changed our methods of warfare hundreds of times, we no longer hunt for sport, we take antibiotics, we have painkillers instead of having a drilling a hole in our heads if we have a headache and not to mention clothing fashions change every few months!

So, everything changes, yes the bible is a good basic moral guide but people have to realise that opinions and situations change with each passing year so to condom something important to someone simply because it doesn’t fit in with a box I don’t feel is fair.

As I said this is only my opinion, I have a lot of gay friends and some of those are christian.  It simply makes me sad that they can’t get married in a way that they feel is right for them, which is in the eyes of God.  After all does God not see us all as equal and understand everything in our hearts? If he does then surely he understands that love is love no matter where it comes from, especially if a gay couple want to adopt (or any other means available) children isn’t that getting married in the eyes of God for love with the idea to start a family?

One last thought, I saw people protesting who said that a child needs both a mother and a father.. I grew up as an only child to a single parent and I have been fantastic for it, I could not imagine it any other way  so all these arguments based on what a child needs I think are void, a child needs love and support it doesn’t matter what the source is.

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David Shankbone via: http://blog.shankbone.org/about/