I recently blogged about my Laura Ashley Autumn soup bowls, and I thought it would be lovely to make a lovely seasonal soup to serve in them. I collaborated on this with my lovely friend Fay, and we had a lot of fun creating this one together. This is a super simple soup that makes a nice big batch, perfect to freeze and warm up when you need a quick meal. With all the beautiful squashes and pumpkins gracing the super market shelves at the moment, now is the perfect time to experiment with different varieties and flavours.

Pumpkin Soup RecipeYou will need:

3 pint of vegetable stock

1 medium butternut squash

2 medium squashes or pumpkins

4 carrots

2 potatoes

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

pumpkin seeds and croutons

Pumpkin Autumn Soup Bowl RecipeHow to Make:

Peel and chop the vegetables

Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour

Season with nutmeg, cinnamon salt and pepper and blend or mash.

Pour into bowls and garnish with croutons and pumpkin seeds.

I’m so happy with how delicious this tasted, we served it with some lovely cranberry bread which went perfectly with it. I’m hoping to share some more tasty seasonal soups with you very soon. I’ve found a few vintage soup recipes that I’d like to work with, so watch this space! Do you have any autumn soup recipes that you’d recommend? As always let me know if you try this recipe and tell me what you think.

The soup bowls are available on the Laura Ashley website and are currently reduced, so get them while you can.

For more delicious recipes check out my Baking section or my Other Writing section which links back to some of my published recipe articles.

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On our way to an event in London, Fay and I recently found ourselves with a spare hour to kill. This struck us as the perfect opportunity to check out Crosstown Doughnuts. This quirky doughnut stand, located a stones throw from Victoria Station is something special in the doughnut world.

Crosstown Doughnuts London ReviewCrosstown started its life in London street food hub, Leather Lane Market, back in 2014. The business now has several stands across London with more on their way. You can find them at several markets and even order them online.

Crosstown Doughnuts London ReviewThe donuts all have unusual and unique flavours. I love the sound of Kiwi and Green Apple and Sea Salt Caramel Banana. There are also 3 vegan option, so theres definitely something for everyone. The donuts are made fresh daily using a hybrid sourdough and all toppings and fillings are made in house.

Crosstown Doughnuts London ReviewI tried the Peanut Butter Berry flavour and Fay opted for the Matcha Tea option. Mine was absolutely amazing! The texture of the donut was absolutely beautiful and the peanut butter was gorgeous too. The tangy berry flavoured jam with chunky berry bits complimented it perfectly. You could tell that the doughnuts were freshly made and with lovely ingredients. They are definitely worth paying a little extra for.

Crosstown Doughnuts London Review

Crosstown Doughnuts London ReviewAs well as picking up a juice from Crosstown, I also grabbed a coffee from nearby Note coffee on my way past, which is why thats also in the picture. Crosstown do offer speciality coffees too.

Crosstown Doughnuts London ReviewThe staff were really friendly and were happy to discuss the flavours and make recommendations to us. I really can’t wait to go back and try a few more flavours.

Crosstown Doughnuts London Review

You can find a list of London locations on their website.

For more foodie posts check out my Food Section.

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A few weeks ago I went on a spontaneous trip to Margate with a couple of friends. It was a lovely little getaway and although we only stayed for 2 days, we certainly made the most of our time there. Margate has so much culture to explore and its also the perfect place for foodies to indulge in some delicious treats. I couldn’t decide whether to do a summary post of all the things we did or to break it down. In the end I decided that there was so much to say that I would give each place it’s own post.

Bus Cafe, MargateThe Bus Cafe: 

First up – the fun and fabulous Bus Cafe in Margate is a little bit special. Not only is the old double decker a fun and quirky venue, the food is also beautiful, fresh and locally sourced. On a sunny day it makes the perfect spot for a spot of lunch by the sea.

Cafe Margate BeachFood with a Conscience: 

If you care about the environment and only like to leave a positive footprint behind you, then The Bus Cafe is a pretty guilt free indulgence. They support local charities and all the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable. The business aims to create as little waste as possible and have a strong ethos of reusing and up-cycling.

Food and Drink in MargateFood and Drink:

Now onto the most important part- the food. The menu is street food inspired and has great options for both veggies and carnivores, vegan and gluten and dairy free customers are also well catered for.  Everything is freshly prepared and the ingredients are beautiful. This is good, honest colourful food, healthy and good for the soul.

Fentimans Mandarin and Seville Orange JiggerI started off with a bottle of Fentimans Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger, the perfect antidote to a very hot and sunny walk. The cafe have lots of Fentimans flavours, but sadly didn’t have any ice.

Halloumi Salad WrapI had a delicious vegetarian salad wrap. This had nice chunky lumps of halloumi, with seasonal vegetables and seeds for that extra bit of crunch. On the side I had falafel balls. It was all absolutely delicious, with lots of flavour and a perfect balance of ingredients. For such a healthy meal it felt very indulgent and by the time I’d finished I felt full and satisfied. Since we had lots of walking and exploring to do, this was a great meal for an energy boost.

The Bus Cafe Margate ReviewThe staff were absolutely lovely and very enthusiastic about the food. We asked lots of questions and got helpful answers and recommendations. The service was really friendly and it really added to an already great experience. So if you’re visiting Margate be sure to check out with lovely business.

Find out more on The Bus Cafe website.

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At the moment I’m feeling a bit fed up of London. Its been a hard few weeks for the city I grew up in and I spend a lot of time thinking about our future here. But then I remember all the things I love about living here. The diversity, the museums, the heritage and culture and of course the food. Trying new places to eat and exploring the city through food, will never be something I get bored of. I absolutely love finding new places to enjoy a meal with a friend, there really is nothing better for the soul than good food and good conversation.

I have digressed a little from the point of this post! I recently visited the fabulous Wild Food Cafe, I loved this place so much I just had to write a little review and talk about what I thought.This wonderful little spot,  is tucked away in the vibrant Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden.  This wonderful little spot is an oasis in the busy city, a lovely little retreat from a busy day. If you need a little colour in your life head to Neal’s Yard.

I absolutely love healthy food, I’ve always loved my fruit and veg and fresh beautifully cooked meals. I also love my treats, and I do like to indulge in delicious things. The cafe has a fab menu of plant based foods, as you’ve never seen them before. Healthy, colourful, vibrant food at it’s best. I visited the cafe a few weeks ago with Fay.

As soon as we arrived, we were seated on  a long table, by a window looking out on Neal’s Yard. We had loads of questions about the food and the waitress was absolutely fantastic, she talked us through the menu, made recommendations and explained ingredients to us. By the time we ordered we were really happy with our choices and it was just really nice having a chat with someone who was passionate about the food.

The menu has loads of great choices and almost all the ingredients are things I really enjoy. The menus are seasonal and we chose from the Spring menu. They’ve now moved on to an exciting new summer menu and I’d love to go back every season and see whats new.

For my main I opted for the Quan Yin Bowl, a beautifully presented combination of wild and black rice, asparagus, sweet potato, avocado, sprouting broccoli and pili nuts, served with kohlrabi slaw and grain mustard. All good stuff! The presentation was stunning and this tasted every bit as beautiful as it looked. It was very filling and utterly delicious.

The dessert was every bit as lovely as the main. I opted for the White Chocolate and Goji Berry Tart and Fay chose the Matcha Cheesecake. Both desserts were beautiful and considering all the lovely healthy ingredients they tasted every bit as lovely as their more surgery counterparts elsewhere.

I was impressed with everything about the Wild Food Cafe. The location is lovely and the perfect fit for relaxed atmosphere. The food is beautiful and the staff are lovely. If you find yourself in the area looking fro a good meal, then I couldn’t recommend it enough. The meal along with a freshly made juice cost just over £20, which was very reasonable for the quality of the food.

Find the cafe at – 1st Floor, 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden WC2H 9DP

Find out more on The Wild Food Cafe website.

Two of my very favourite things to do are visiting historic houses and drinking cocktails. Up until now the two have never been combined. This was until I received an invitation to try out the Little Nan’s pop-up at Sutton House, a National Trust property in Hackney. I was familiar with the concept of Little Nan’s as I know someone who used to work there. This fantastic pop up bar, has done the rounds in London bringing it’s kitsch and quirky teapot cocktails to several different locations. The bar which recreates your gran’s living room and serves all it’s drinks in vintage china has won a host of awards and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Little Nan's Pop Up Cocktail Bar Sutton houseLittle Nan’s is now offering a boozy afternoon tea at Sutton House on Sundays from 10th July, which includes their infamous tea pot cocktails, along with a classic British afternoon tea. I went along with Rob for an afternoon date and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Little Nan's Afternoon TeaOn arrival we were given a fascinating tour of the house from an absolutely lovely elderly volunteer. Her knowledge of the house and surrounding area was absolutely amazing and we both enjoyed listening to her insights and anecdotes on the history of the house. The house is originally tudor with many later alterations. You can see it’s diverse past in the different bricks and windows which make up it’s beautiful structure. I would love to go back and look round the house again. It was a great visit and right in the heart of Hackney.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea Teapot CocktailOn to the afternoon tea, which was in a pretty room at the front of the house. The table were decked out in Nan’s best linen tablecloths with carnations in a vase and lovely mismatched tea cups.

Little Nan's Sutton House Cocktail MenuThe selection of cocktails was great and all laced with some of my favourite ingredients. Unfortunately I was committed to driving my daughter somewhere later that day, so they mixed me up a tasty mocktail instead. Rob had a King Henry 8th, which I had a little taste of and it was absolutely delicious. The teapot it came in was huge and you certainly get a lot of alcohol for your money! Rob got quite a few tea cups out of his pot.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon TeaThe afternoon tea consisted of a great selection of finger sandwiches along with scones and two types of home made cake. These were all absolutely delicious and beautifully presented on a vintage cake-stand.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea SconesThe tea was served by little mum, who is the mother of the owner Tristan. She was an absolutely delight and definitely made the whole experience even nicer.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea SandwichesAfter the tea we were offered yet more cake, there was a choice of carrot cake or Victoria sponge. By this point after all the jam and cake and the sweet cocktails, I didn’t think I could handle any more sugar! But I gave it a go. I chose the carrot cake and it really was lovely.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea Carrot CakeWe left on a bit of a sugar high, with Rob more than a little tipsy.  We had an absolutely lovely afternoon together. This would be perfect for a date or a nice afternoon out with friends. I loved the combination of the culture of the house, the sophistication of the afternoon tea and the naughtiness of cocktails in the afternoon.

Little Nan's Sutton House CakesThe afternoon tea costs £20 and £30 with a cocktail. This includes a viewing of Sutton House. 

The tea will be running on Sundays from 10th July – 25th September. The tea runs from 2-4pm.

Find Sutton House at – 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ The nearest Station is Hackney Central. 

Find more information and booking details here

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