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    Monday, 24 September 2018

    MY FAVOURITE SPOTS IN COVENT GARDEN

    I’m on a bit of a mission to make more of my weekends at the moment. You might have seen Tom and I have set up a ‘date jar’ recently in an effort to get us out and about more and we're trying to make sure we plan in some kind of activity for the two of each weekend.

    One of our favourite things to do is simply get the train into London and spend the day exploring some of our favourite places in the capital. I’ve always had a bit of a soft-spot for Covent Garden so when Hotels.com got in touch to challenge us to spend a day there, I couldn't think of a better spot!

    I always think Covent Garden gets a bit of bad rep for being too touristy – but there’s so many fantastic places to eat and drink – and I mean where else in London can you literally watch a show in the middle of the street?! So if you're planning a day out there soon, I've rounded up some of my absolute favourite things to do in Covent Garden below:
    STROLL AROUND THE MARKET
    Probably the most iconic part of Covent Garden is the piazza located right in the middle. It used to be home to a fruit and veg market but has since transformed into a retail hot-spot with loads of little cafes, shops and bars. It's well worth taking a stroll inside and depending on which day you visit, you might also get the chance to explore the various market stalls which pop-up selling incredible vintage jewelry and retro furniture. 

    WATCH A SHOW FROM PUNCH AND JUDY
    Covent Garden is infamous for its street performers - did you know it's the only place in London where street performers are granted licences? If you want the best vantage point, head to Punch and Judy, a pub located on the second floor right in the middle of the market, where you'll get a birds eye view of the performers down below. It's a great spot for people watching and is steeped history, having been built back in 1787!
    GRAB A BURGER AT SHAKE SHACK
    There are SO many restaurants around Covent Garden (Flat Iron, The Ivy and Petersham Nurseries to name just a few favourites) - BUT for somewhere casual, tasty and super affordable; it has to be Shake Shack. I've declared my love for Shake Shack on the blog numerous times - they do incredible burgers, fries and frozen custard desserts (or Concretes) in the most relaxed, laid-back setting. It's a great place to grab a quick bite to eat and there's plenty of outside seating so you're pretty much always guaranteed a table!
    GET YOUR SUGAR FIX AT MILK TRAIN
    After you've had your burgers, you'll want something sweet right? Well, look no further than Milk Train. Now you MUST have seen this place on Instagram? It's an ice-cream shop, famed for encasing it's cones in candy floss! You pay £3.50 for a standard ice-cream then 50p per extra topping and a quid to have the whole thing wrapped up in the candy floss (which is the only reason anyone goes right?!)
    There's usually a HUGE line outside but if you pick the right time or weather you might get lucky! As soon as you've got your cone, go find yourself a spot to get that Insta shot before tucking into your ice-cream! You'll need to move quick those and these things melt FAST and are notoriously difficult to eat!
    What I'm Weaing: Jumper / Trousers / Bag / Shoes

    COCKTAILS AT BLAME GLORIA
    Brought to you by the same team as Tonight Josephine, Blame Gloria is the perfect spot for a few drinks! They do KILLER cocktails (I'm looking at you XO Espresso Martini) and play some incredible tunes over the speakers with everything from Busted and Spice Girls to Drake and Beyonce. You can reserve tables down the back so you've got your own room to dance - or just head down to the bar for drinks. I couldn't think of a better place to finish off the evening!
    Have you spend much time in Covent Garden
    Where are your favourite spots?

    * My spending money was gifted by Hotels.com
    All opinions are my own

    Thursday, 6 September 2018

    RECIPE: THE PERFECT SHAKSHUKA TO SERVE WITH YOUR MORNING BREW

    How is it September already? No. Really? How? I'm sure it was June about a minute ago - it's almost as if I blinked and completely missed July - and don't even get me started on August? Not that I'm complaining mind, because I bloody love autumn. I love dark evenings and snuggly mornings, big duvets and comforting food - and that's exactly what I've got for you in this post!

    Yep, I've teamed up with one of my favourite coffee brands, Lyons Coffee, to share my absolute go-to breakfast recipe: Shakshuka. It's the perfect 'throw it all in the pan' dish, ideal for those mornings when you stumble downstairs, bleary eyed and looking for something delicious to start the day...
    But first, coffee! If you're anything like me, you can't function without that first, delicious cup of coffee in the morning. Now I'm no coffee snob, but I do appreciate a good cuppa, which is why I adore Lyons Coffee Bags. You'll remember I've used them before and I've been an absolute convert ever since!
    They look just like tea-bags but they actually contain ground coffee. Genius, right! I like to think of it as a step up from Instant but without all the faff of grinding your own coffee beans! Way less mess but absolutely all the premium taste.

    They have a whole range of blends from light & smooth, to rich & full-bodied or Dark & Intense. Plus they work out at just 14p per bag - so they're a bit of steal!
    Now you've got your cuppa sorted - and your head screwed on - you're gonna need something tasty for brekkie, right? This recipe is super simple but super tasty AND you can pretty much tailor it to whatever you've got in the fridge. Couple of courgettes? Throw them in! An aubergine - great! Honestly, there's so many flavour combinations you can make, but this one is my go-to!

    What You'll Need
    2 Eggs
    1 can of tinned tomatoes
    1 red onion, finely diced
    2 cloves of garlic, chopped
    1 red pepper
    1 red chilli (or you can use chilli flakes)
    Handful of mushrooms, sliced
    Spinach
    JalapeƱos
    What You'll Need to Do
    1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan with a little oil and fry off your onion, chilli and garlic until softened
    2. Next add the peppers, mushrooms and jalapeƱos and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200 degrees.
    3. Add your tinned tomatoes to the pan and give it all a good stir to combine the ingredients
    4. Next make a couple of wells within the mixture and crack an egg into each.
    5. Pop the whole pan into the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the eggs are set.
    5. Take out the oven, being careful to use oven gloves, and serve with a few slices of crusty bread and a nice steaming hot cup of coffee! Absolute perfection!
    You can pick up Lyons Coffee bags from all major supermarkets priced at £2.60 for a box of 18

     * This post was sponsored by Lyons Coffee