16 September 2014

north norfolk

Just back from our annual September jaunt to North Norfolk, where we did all our usual things, like long walks through the salt marshes and by the sea. Our sentimental favorite is still Cley-next-the-Sea...

in all weathers,

but we walked through the marshes and dunes at Burnham Overy Staithe and along the beaches at Holkham, Wells, and Old Hunstanton too:

And as usual, I ate my weight in fresh-off-the-boat crab and lobster from our favorite purveyors: Gurneys in Burnham Market, the Cley Smokehouse,

and the North Norfolk Fish Company in Holt:

And we didn't neglect our intake of fruit and veggies either, with several visits to Wiveton Hall, Farm Shop, and Café,

still one of my best-loved spots for morning coffee despite the construction below (the path and sea defences are being rebuilt following the tidal surge last December).

But lest you think we're stuck in a rut, we made a few new discoveries too. Like the Black Apollo Coffee House in Holt, where they take their coffee very seriously indeed! And Binham Priory. The nave of the original church is now used as a church in itself, while the very extensive ruins are in the care of English Heritage:

So in the end, as in previous years, we did have something old and something new, as well as something borrowed (a friend's new house!), and with sunny skies most days, something very blue:

06 September 2014

birthday cake

Yesterday morning, rather than ordering our usual sugar pretzel and bun at Bageriet, we celebrated with two slices of prinsesstårta (princess cake). With layers of lighter-than-air sponge, raspberry jam, vanilla custard, and whipped cream, all enclosed in a thin layer of marzipan, it is indeed fit for a princess--or a birthday girl!

Princess cake is usually topped with a pink marzipan rose. But why stop with one rose when you can have a whole bunch (spotted outside Liberty)...

and maybe a few scoops of ice cream too, or at least a new book (from the new Foyles) to add to the ice cream-making library:

Because surely there must be some consolations for turning another year older...

01 September 2014

double feature

Our version of a double feature: two movies over two weekends--extending the enjoyment!

The weekend before last, we took the train into London to see Finding Vivian Maier, a documentary about a nanny who took over 100,000 photographs, mainly on the streets of New York and Chicago: 

While her photographs are now being compared to those of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Diane Arbus, her work only came to light when historian John Maloof happened to buy a box of her undeveloped negatives at a local auction in 2007. In the documentary, Maloof tries to piece together her enigmatic, eccentric, occasionally disturbing, and perhaps ultimately unknowable life. Completely riveting and without doubt my favorite film of the year so far.

Then, this past weekend, after a tip-off from Miranda, we popped into the Olympic Studios in Barnes. Our hope was we would find a venue like our beloved Cinema City in Norwich, and it didn't disappoint.

The Studios themselves have an interesting history. Starting as a 'community entertainment centre' in 1906, the building served alternately as a cinema and playhouse until 1966, when it was converted into the Olympic Sound Studios. And an amazing who's-who of stars recorded there: everyone from the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Queen to Madonna, Prince, and U2.

While we sadly weren't joined by The Edge at lunch, we were nevertheless smitten with the Olympic's newest incarnation. I had a very tasty Reuben sandwich in the cafe:

And the cinema itself was chic, spotlessly clean, and supremely comfortable with reclining upholstered chairs and little felt-lined trays for drinks and snacks. Oh and the movie was good too!