Regrow your own food

Hello,

They say Spring has arrived, but with all this cold weather, I’m yet to be convinced.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been conducting some gardening experiments, so far successfully growing basil and spring onions.  Not from seed, or from plants purchased from the garden store. The source of my vegetables were from my kitchen, via the supermarket.

Basil cuttings - day 1

Yes, I’m growing my kitchen scraps!

Check out the infographic below, to find how you too can grow food from your discarded groceries.

 

I will keep you informed of my gardening plans over the coming months. It’s such a nice feeling to grow food this early in the gardening year, especially when the source would have usually end up on the compost heap.

What are your gardening plans for 2016? Have you started drooling over the seed catalogues yet? Please share your thoughts and comments on all things gardening in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

Saatchi Gallery - Revelations: New Work by Aidan

International Women’s Day

Hello all,

Looking for something to do to celebrate International Women’s Day? Like the idea of spending a cultural day in London?  I can recommend a fun filled afternoon at the Saatchi Gallery, where there are currently no less than 3 exhibitions. Last chance to see, as they all end tomorrow.

Champagne Life

Well an exhibition called Champagne Life could not be missed by this website! And it didn’t disappoint. An inspirational and thought provoking collection of art pieces which challenges the notion of ‘what is art’, and it’s role in our society. Featuring an all-female artist collective, this collection has something for everyone, and of the 3 exhibitions, this is my favourite.

Revelations: New Work by Aidan

With sculptures that wouldn’t look out of place on a Star Wars film set, this is a must see exhibition filled with drama and atmosphere. The artist showcases multi media art pieces which portrays the veiled female figure and celebrates female hegemony and self-sufficiency.

Saatchi Gallery - Revelations: New Work by Aidan
Aidan – Black robbed figure white fabric panel Picture Source: http://www.saatchtigallery.com/current/revelations.php

XX: A Moment in Time

Described as an exhibition of new works by contemporary female street and graffiti artists. The showcase includes the work of prominent artist such as Mademoiselle Maurice, Elle and Aiko. Over the next few weeks my ‘Artist to Follow’ series will highlight some of the achievements of the artists featured in this and other exhibitions held in London.

So for the cost of a travel card, you can enjoy 3 free art exhibitions, in one venue, at fashionable Chelsea. As a deal, that is pretty hard to beat.

But what do you think? Have you had a chance to visit any of the exhibitions mentioned above. What are you planing to do to celebrate International Women’s Day?  Please comment below with your thoughts and recommendations.

Thanks for reading.

the potato project cafe and takeaway

The Potato Project – Review

Hello everyone,

Another food review for you to digest! A small group of us searching for a healthy snack on our way home from shopping, discovered the new eatery The Potato Project. Based in Soho, the cafe and take-away on Noel Street, boasts a menu of tempting baked potatoes, with far from usual toppings.  With sweet potatoes also available as an alternative to the humble spud, it makes a change from deep fried chips and calorie laden pizza slices usually on offer, after a full day’s gallery visiting and shopping.

the potato project cafe and takeaway
The Potato Project, Soho, London

Not wanting a huge meal, I plumped for Spicy Wedges, Sour Cream & Crispy Onion for a very reasonable £3.50.  I also tried an orange drink, which I will review in a separate post.  The range of drinks was impressive as were the prices charged. The total cost of was the princely sum of just £5.

While the cafe is well laid out, the staff kind, friendly and helpful and the general atmosphere welcoming, there are a couple of issues I have with this cafe.  It is very small, and while the owners have made the most of the available space, it was difficult for the group to eat our meals with comfort on the tiny tables. It would be near impossible for people with mobility difficulties to move around the cafe. It’s difficult to imagine how a small group of friends could pack themselves in during the busy lunchtime rush – with the minimum of baggage, let alone loads of shopping.

The main problem I have however, was that the wedges I had were over cooked.  The mixed spices used were lovely, the sour cream and crispy onion delicious, but the wedges themselves were burnt, leaving an acrid after taste.  A pity, because apart from that, everything else was pretty much perfect.

potato project

My friends had baked potatoes and the toppings looked and from their accounts, tasted great. I suppose I was just unlucky with my choice.

To be fair, we rocked up about 40 minutes before closing time and it was clear that we were consuming the last of the day’s stock. Service was quick and efficient and this new eatery on paper, has all the makings of a success.  The prices are reasonable and the menu exciting, but food quality control needs addressing, especially at the end of the day.

With reluctance, I can’t give The Potato Project the high rating I wish I could, but I continue to have high hopes for the future for this eatery, because the concept is simply brilliant.

Rating: 4 out of 10

The Bloggers’ Market #3: Review

Hello,

Blog Mkt pic
The Bloggers’ Market

Living and working in London has it’s benefits, one of them being the Bloggers’ Market.  Yesterday was the first time I had attended the event, held at the Apartment in the Hoxton Holborn Hotel, and I’m pleased to say it exceeded all my expectations.

Beautifully laid out with dedicated sections for clothing sales, tea time treats, (which were free if you were happy to tweet!), and a studio to practice flatlays of purchases with props provided by Oliver Bonas and flowers by Blooman.

3rd bloggers' market, holborn, london

The Bloggers’ Market #3

The cakes and biscuits were provided by Afternoon Crumbs and I have to say, they were delicious. Well made, well presented, well yummy! I managed to take a few snaps, before they were woofed down.

cakes by afternoon crumbs, bloggers' market, holborn
Afternoon Crumbs cupcake

There was a wide selection of preloved apparel and other items for sale ranging from high street to high end, all at ridiculous bargain prices.  I purchased a Jimmy Choo coffee table book for £5 from Kristabel of ‘I want you to know’.

Sadly I missed the Instagram workshop, run my Carrie of ‘Wish Wish Wish’, and had to leave before I had the chance to have my portrait drawn by Maëlle of Cirque de Papier.

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A lovely, friendly and fun atmosphere, I only wish I could have stayed longer.  I’m hoping that there is another like event soon.  While the market has been organised by bloggers, there was definitely something for everyone. I can not praise this The Bloggers’ Market highly enough and I hope that if any of the organising team are reading this, they take the subtle hint and run the Bloggers’ Market again very soon.

Subtle? OK, more of a massive hint.

Did you attend the Bloggers’ Market event? What did you think of it? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading!

tea room, william morris gallery

Tea Room at the William Morris Gallery – Review

Hello,

Well it’s been a busy time here at Champer’s HQ, so it was nice to take some time out and visit the William Morris Gallery. To make the visit extra special, we though we would treat ourselves to an Afternoon Tea at the on-site Tea Room.

So it was with great disappointment that at 3.50pm, the billed Afternoon Tea, which many fans of this meal know is traditionally served at 4pm, was no longer available. The only viable option left for us, was a pot of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge.

Vicky Sponge Wm Morris

The cake, as Victoria sponges go, was nice – the sponge was moist, with a good flavour. There was a fairly generous layer of buttercream, and a rather less generous layer of raspberry jam. It was nice, but not anything special, and I think a little over priced. The tea on the other hand was a complete let down. Having asked for English Breakfast, I received what I can only describe as a mint flavoured black tea, a rather unusual, but not successful blend.

The tea pot didn’t match the rest of the crockery – not that I usually mind, but when 1 or 2 things go wrong, other otherwise minor issues tend to show up on my radar. A pity, because the meal experience slightly tarnished a lovely trip to the gallery.

We plan to revisit the William Morris Gallery later in the year, as it’s such a wonderful, inspirational venue – a post is to follow soon. However, I’m reluctant to revisit the Tea Room, and will seriously consider taking my own afternoon tea to enjoy in the nearby park.

Rating: 3.5 out of 10

 

Art Tuesdays: Artists to follow – Stik

Big Mother by Stik, on the side of Charles Hocking House, a condemned tower block in Ealing, London. Photograph excerpt: Joce Division
Big Mother by Stik, on the side of Charles Hocking House, a condemned tower block in Ealing, London.
Photograph excerpt: Joyce/ Division

I first discovered ‘Big Mother’ by Stik whilst travelling on the Piccadilly line. It was such an eye catching, bright yet simple piece of art which brightened up the surrounding grey landscape, and fast became a highlight of the journey.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.19.38
Source: Image © Stik (by Joyce/Division)

Stik’s own story is fascinating – check out an article in the Guardian which features more of Stik’s inspiring work and his own personal life journey.  Click here to read the article.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.30.54
Sleeping baby mural, Homerton hospital, London

Picture source: Guardian.com

February highlights

Hello,

Can you believe it’s March already? Time is certainly flying, but I welcome the first day of Spring with relish. Here are some of last month’s highlights on Champagne with a Twist.

1) Champagne Life Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery

2) New Champagne with a Twist Welcome YouTube Video

3) Recipe of the month

Roman Bread
Roman Bread – recipe Champagne with a Twist 

4) London Fashion Week A/W 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 16.30.08

My playlist of the top ten shows of London Fashion week AW16

5) Sewing project of the month

Skirt, slanted pockets, jupe, anana
Golden Pineapple Outfit

What’s happening this month?

More recipes, artists to follow and health and beauty articles. More fashion sewing challenges and affordable DIY projects to complete, so stay tuned to Champagne with a Twist.  Please follow, comment and like.

Thanks as always, and see you soon 🙂

50 Posts on Champagne with a Twist

Hello,

I’ve posted over 50 posts on Champagne with a Twist! The landmark was passed on Thursday. Click here to find out what the 50th post is.

Just wanted to say thank you for sticking by this website. Here’s to the next 50 posts!

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about Champagne with a Twist. Please comment below as I love to hear your views.

Thanks again for your continued support. Watch out for even more to come. 🙂

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