Twenty Thirteen Summer Pt. 3

Welcome to the final part of my 2013 summer overview. We’re now at the end of August where we start with a long weekend in Ireland, celebrate a 50th birthday and return to London to discover the likes of Bacon Jam and Bubble Tea.

Annual Trip to Cork

My step-mother is Irish and comes from a large family where she grew up on a farm in Cork. Every year we visit her relatives and stay in her sister’s family home in the city of Cork, in South-West Ireland. We always have a great time, catching up with family, exploring the local surroundings, eating a lot of scones, drinking a lot of tea and of course sharing a few glasses of Guinness wine between us.

2013-08-23 14.15.10Image taken at the ButterCup Cafe, Shandon –

On the first day of our trip we went to Munchross House in Killarnay, county Kerry.  A beautiful national park surrounded by lakes, greenery and plenty of walks.

2013-08-22 14.16.09Whilst we were there we made the effort to visit Torc Waterfall which was well worth it just for the beautiful pictures.

2013-08-22 16.51.57

2013-08-22 16.56.54Catherine’s 50th Birthday

During our stay it was time to celebrate my step-mother’s 50th Birthday! Although she was a little reluctant to reach the milestone age, we all made sure she had a super day celebrating with her family. In Sheahan family tradition we headed to the Vienna Woods Hotel for a birthday meal.

DSC_0986The food was super and almost worthy of it’s own blog post – but I’ll quickly take you through my favs!

  1. An entrée of canapés to start including, Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese, Parmasam Bread Sticks, Duck Pate, Melon and Carrot Shots
  2. Deep Fried Brie Cheese Served with a Sweet Chilli Sauce
  3. Baked Fillet of Cod with Spring Onions Cheese Crust Served with Mornay Sauce
  4. Vienna Woods Melody of Desserts including, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Lemon Cheesecake and Banoffee Pie

vienna woods birthday mealWishing Catherine a very Happy 50th Birthday and may she have many more Happy Birthdays to come!

2013-08-26 09.29.50Bacon Jam and Bubble Tea

Two recent purchases that I had to share with you. The first is Bacon Jam by EAT 17, my friend told me about this after reading about it in Stylist Magazine last year – it’s kind of like an onion jam or relish meets bacon. The story behind said jam is that of restaurant EAT 17 who had been making awesome hamburgers with smokey bacon and onion jam for years. They put the two ingredients together and created a delicious relationship. The ingredients are as follows; smoked bacon, salt, sodium nitrate, fresh red onions, water, muscovado sugar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, fresh garlic, coffee, rosemary, thyme, chilli puree, ground black pepper.

Trust me – it’s good!

2013-08-27 19.46.57Also an unusual one and something I’m not too sure about yet is Bubble Tea, the creation of Bubbleology. So what exactly is Bubble Tea? Quick search on my old friend Wikipedia and we have a basic definition;

Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan, during the 1980s. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed with fruit or milk. Ice-blended versions are usually mixed with fruit or syrup, resulting in a slushy consistency. Most bubble teas come with small chewy tapioca balls, commonly called “pearls”or “boba”.

Whilst shopping in the Stratford Westfield, I came across a Bubbleology pop-up stall and decided to try the Lycée fruit bubble tea. Now let me tell you, at the time of purchase I was parched. This is not the drink to have when you’re thirsty! Everytime you take a slurp all the starchy bubbles come peltering their way up the straw and down your throat. An unusual experience to say the least. It’s a refreshing beverage but certainly more about the experience than the thirst clench.

2013-08-31 16.44.18September Resolutions

So summer is almost over, the days are getting shorter and the nights (you guessed it) are getting longer. Instead of the normal get fit for summer regime I’ve decided to take a the get-fit-for-winter approach. Step one to this resolution is purchase a new pair of running trainers. Introducing these beauties – Nike Free 5.0. Nike’s latest running shoe provides foot strengthening benefits of natural motion, along with the cushioning, traction and underfoot protection of a traditional shoe. These are a dream to wear, now I need to use them to help me get fit!

2013-09-01 13.33.00All resolutions start with a new haircut right? As I’m new to the area of London I’m living in I had to find a new salon to give me a trim. Just down the road from me is STAGE Hair & Beauty; I walk past it every morning and read reviews online so I decided to go for it. The owner of the salon Rosario cut my hair and was great! He suggested what would suit me best and it turned out great.  Excuse the dopey eyed picture below but I wanted to show you how it turned out!

hair cut stage