Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Refried dreams...

Well, it's true.  After searching high and low on my quest for decent Mexican food in London, I've only gone and found it.

Yes, after munching my way through tacos topped with feta cheese (Greek cheese on Mexican food?  Really?), nachos made with doritos, and tostadas piled high with mostly shredded lettuce, I have finally broken the bad-Mexican-food-in-London seal.

My Californian sweetheart had long since advised me to give up on the elusive, good UK-based Mexican eaterie dream, but I persisted in my quest, and after much research, discovered the unassuming, Buen Provecho.

Serving Mexican street food from a stall on Lower Marsh in Waterloo, at lunchtimes Monday-Friday, Buen Provecho offers a small selection of tasty foods, and does them well.

I first attempted to get my taco fix one day last week, but upon arriving at 1pm, was told that they had already sold out.  A moment later, another taco hunter appeared on a bike, and the hope on his face was soon replaced with disappointment, upon receiving the same message that I had a few seconds earlier.  He told me that this was the fourth time in less than two weeks, that he had visited the stall to no taco avail.  No bueno.

So a couple of days later, loverboy met me for an early lunch, and we headed to Waterloo.  It was just after 12pm, so I was determined that at the end of my lunch hour, we would bid each other adieu with taco flavoured kisses...

....and we did!  We each got the three tacos for £6 deal, two with cochinita pibil (pork marinated in organge juice, achiote and spices) and one with pollo con mole (chicken with mole dry chiles, nuts and spices).  They also added refried beans before we piled them up with the selection of guacamole, pico de gallo (chopped tomato and onion salsa) and salsa asada (roast tomato and chipotle, blended). 

It was a hot, sunny day, and we carefully carried our bendy paper plates - heavy under the weight of loaded tortillas - across the street to Waterloo Millennium Green.  I kept my fingers crossed that I would not spill any food onto my white top...thankfully I didn't.  The porky orange juices did drip down my hands and wrists though, as I tucked into my Mexican lunch....

The sweet and smokey shredded pork was standout, but both tacos were delicious, as well as being the most authentic ones that I have sampled in London.  Not only did they overtake all other London variants in the flavour stakes, but they were also generous with the servings to boot.

Oh yes, the taco has landed...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1940s Relived: from Home Front to Front Line

The 1940s were well and truly relived at the Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, last Saturday.

Photo by Henry O'Dwyer

A group of dancers, including loverboy and I, were invited by Natasha from Pretty Me Vintage, to dance at the outdoor event, which celebrated the 1940s across the 32 acre site belonging to the Brooklands Museum.

It was so lovely seeing everyone get into the spirit of things, with people dressed in their 40s finery and utility wear.  There were dance classes, a few vintage and reproduction stalls, music, a pop-up Pretty Me Vintage beauty parlour, live performances by the Swingtime Sweethearts (including an everybody-join-in rendition of Roll out the Barrel!), re-enactment groups, and a whole host of period vehicles, including racing cars, buses, motorcycles and aeroplanes.


The dance floor was set right in the centre of a VE day street party, complete with red, white and blue bunting.  There was a fun and happy atmosphere, and the sunshine even came out (resulting in a slight neck burn - hello farmer's tan...)!  All in all, the perfect setting for a morning and afternoon of swing dancing.

Photos by Sue Whyte

One of the really nice aspects to the day, was that it brought together people of all ages, from little children to war veterans.  I got chatting to a really lovely lady who was 90 years old!  I have to say, she was in great health, and I loved listening to stories about her experience during WWII - including how she started dating a boy when she was 15 years old, then he went to war for five years, and when he returned, they were married and lived a long and happy life together.  Such a sweet story, and such a sweet lady.

Normandy war veterans were in attendance....and so was 'Winston Churchill'!  In fact, Churchill judged the best-dressed competition, which I took part in, after being handed a tag, inviting me to participate.  Well, as it turns out, the competition only had two people in each category (three in the children's), which made it a bit awkward...but, being the good sport that I am, I entered into the spirit of things....and lost!  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.  The winner was fabulous - draped in furs and feathers, and a hat that she made herself!

It really was such a fun day out, and I was extra lucky to spend most of it on the arm of a handsome sailor....

I'm glad to hear that this day of good old fashioned fun is set to become an annual event, with a date already set for next year on the 18th May 2013.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bluffin' with my muffin...

Following the delicious bacon and cream cheese stuffed french toast that I ate at Duke's Brew & Que a couple of Sundays ago, I was inspired to break a few eggs, and get busy in the kitchen myself this weekend.

My creation was a bacon and cheddar cheese-stuffed french toast muffin....

It was gooooooooood....and easy! I simply fried some bacon, sliced a 'pouch' into the muffins and stuffed them with the bacon and grated cheddar cheese.  Then I dipped them into beaten egg (which also contained a little milk, salt, pepper and cinnammon) and fried for a few minutes!

Aaron added maple syrup to his, but I opted out, for obvious reasons (i.e. it's yucky)!

The sun actually came out on the weekend, so we spent most of it outdoors, wandering around charity shops and the Battersea car boot sale (which I am not even going to bother blogging about, as it was pants!) which inspired me to rewrite Beyonce's song, to include the lyrics: 'To the left, to the left, everywhere I look I see junk to the left....'

What was awesome, was being able to leave the house without a coat!!!  Hurry up summertime!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I woke up on Saturday to find that Incendiary Blonde has been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, by Miss Rosie Beau over at everything-unfinished.blogspot.co.uk!  Go and check out her blog, as she is always out and about visiting beautiful places...and even her lunch is cute!  Thanks again, Miss Rosie!!!

The rules for the bestowing of this award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
3. Copy and paste the blog award on to your blog
4. Nominate and pass on the award to five other bloggers who have less than 200 followers
5. Let them know the happy tidings by posting on their blog.

So, roll out the red carpet, because here are the nominees....

Haute Rockabilly Fashionista - There's a new blog on the block, and this blogger loves dancing, which is always a good thing in my book!

The Kim Show  - This bay area based lovely lady is suuuuuuuuuuper stylish, and her blog is the place to go for all things rockabilly!

AFY! Online - I know that many of my readers are American, so I thought I would share this blog, as it's really useful for those living (or planning to live in) London.  I may not be an American, but let's face it, who doesn't want to find out pertinent information, such as where to get the best margaritas in London on Cinco de Mayo?

Kalandra Jane Millinery & Musings - A fellow blonde, and one very talented lady - check out this amaaaaaaaaaaazing fruit jewellery that she made herself from scratch using polymer clay!!!  Want!

The Nyanzi Report - This photographer has a great eye, and his fashion photos are so colourful and crisp - beautiful!  What can I say, even my face has appeared on this blog...  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bank holiday brunch and boogie!

The May bank holiday weekend has come and gone, and it was so much fun, that I feel like I need another long weekend to recover!  I found myself immersed in food comas, music, and of course....dancing!

In my last post, I mentioned visiting a diner in Brighton.  Well, on Saturday, the hubs and I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law and feasted at their very own diner, which they built as part of their kitchen. 

Not only does it look amazing, but the meal that they cooked for us was deeeeeeeeeeeeeelish!  We were given the full American experience, with: pulled pork, mac'n'cheese, greens, chips (or, as it was an American menu, fries), coleslaw, cornbread - all topped off with homemade bbq sauce, no less!  This is in addition to the homemade cinammon rolls, topped with a sticky caramel walnut sauce...

Continuing on the culinary theme, we were up bright and early on Sunday morning, to head across town for brunch at Duke's Brew and Que.

Now, as you may have gathered from previous posts, I am a big fan of brunch.  That said, I don't think I have actually gone out for this delightful start to the day, since I went with Team Brunch, nearly a year ago!

I ordered the bacon and cream cheese stuffed french toast and a bloody maria.  The french toast was eggy and delicious, and the maria was strong and spicy!  Us girls both ordered the same meal, and the guys both had some sort of smokey burnt ends bbq omelette with homefries (which was also yummy, but super stingy on the homefries).

Duke's has a super laid back vibe, with exposed brick walls, booze stacked on scaffolding behind the bar, and a communal bathroom with a 'sink' made out of a trough, where you have to use your foot to pump the water.

We stayed and chatted for quite a while after our meal (and didn't feel pressurised to leave), before going for a walk and stumbling upon a cool little coffee shop/bar on Kingsland Rd, called The Bridge.  Unassuming from the outside, this narrow corner bar is decked out like a 1920s salloon, and even has a fully-functioning ornate vintage cash register.

We were told that there was more space upstairs, so up we headed, only to find a big lounge area filled with sofas, coffee tables, draped fabrics and deco lamps - which we collectively dubbed, the opium den.

After reclining in this trippy boudoir of sorts, we bid adieu to our brunch buddies, and headed to the nearby Swing Rendevous, a monthly afternoon dance at The Stag pub.  We were only here briefly, but it was a cool little venue with a vintage feel - even serving pints in those old fashioned dimple beer mugs.  The music was a little too old timey for my personal preference, but that didn't stop loverboy and I having a few dances before heading home.

In the evening we hit up Joe's in Camden, where the River Rhythm Trio were playing a free gig as part of the Hip Joint bank holiday special.  Having seen them a couple of months ago at the Boston Arms Rockabilly club, I was enthusiastic to go along and check them out again.  I really, really like this band a lot!  They are great musicians with style and substance, and I'm pleased I went along to see them perform their rip roaring rockabilly sound again.  For a three piece band, they produce a really big, full sound!

The band played two sets, with DJs El Nino, Scotty, Miss M and Swingin' Dickie spinning records on the night.  As well as playing rockabilly, Miss M mixed things up with some hot reggae sounds towards the latter part of the evening, which I really enjoyed (especially as it meant that I got to dance nice and close to loverboy *wink*)...less enjoyable was the drunken dancing girl whose hair kept dipping in my drink (fyi Joe's make a mean margarita), everytime she stumbled around!

Monday was a bit of a lazy day, but we did venture out to Jive Dive at the Boogaloo in the evening.  It was a lot of fun - the atmosphere was buzzing and the music was brilliant, but the dance floor was sooooooo crowded.  Of course, that didn't stop us from dancing ourselves into a sweaty happy state!  I have no photographic evidence, though, so you'll just have to take my word for it...