26 May 2013

Amaretto sours and washing line dens

Today has involved one blissful, summery activity after another; piling up into a metaphorical heap of sunshiney goodness to rival the real mountain of Eton Mess that I devoured after tonight's dinner.

After whizzing up a nutritious and delicious peach and blush pear smoothie for breakfast (accompanied by a slightly less nutritious Marlborough bun. Oops!) I slapped on some magical sun block and joined Tom in tackling our rather jungle-tastic back garden.

When we moved into our house 2.5 years ago the garden was absolutely beautiful, thanks to the retired, green-fingered previous owners spending 30 years nurturing each and every inch. Since we bought it, the garden has declined into something of a wilderness, thanks to our opposite-of-green fingers and my dislike of anything creepy/crawley- which somewhat limits my desire to stick my hands into flower beds I know are full of spiders. I'm glad we don't have any kids, because they definitely would've become lost amongst the weeds by now and turned into feral beasts raised by next door's cat.

Just some of the debris cleared from the garden today.

I spent the middle of the day writing some more blog posts for Artists Open Houses, before sprawling out on our unloved lawn with a stack of magazines. I couldn't be bothered to carry anything outside with me to play music on, but ended up being serenaded by this little guy instead, which was much nicer. And, yes, he was definitely singing just for me.

Stretching out under the washing line made me feel like I was hiding in a den; which will have to satisfy me for now, as I still haven't purchased a treehouse.

Tom and I took a late afternoon stroll along the river to Bills, our all time favourite restaurant, where we feasted on some of their new and delicious dishes. I treated myself to an an amaretto sour aperitif (fancy, eh?); a cocktail I'd never tried before, which has quickly become my new summer cocktail of choice. 

Amaretto sours combine lemon juice, pink lemonade and amaretto, and each flavour is fully identifiable in sequence- like Willy Wonka's three-course chewing gum. Refreshing lemon leading into sweet lemonade followed by a lingering taste of marzipan. Yum, yum, YUM.

I chose to combine two starters instead of ordering one main course, opting for potato and rosemary bread alongside a salad of crispy feta cheese and watermelon. Both dishes were absolutely amazing, and the bread turned out to be an entire loaf! I was very grateful Tom was on hand to help me eat it, and he certainly wasn't complaining when I handed over chunks of warm, soft bread with a super-crunchy crust; especially after I'd tore the loaf open (in a most unladylike manner) and assaulted our nostrils with the scent of roast dinner. 

Feta cheese and watermelon is my new favourite salad combination and one that I will be repeating at home for many summers to come. The batter covering the feta contained sesame seeds and smoked paprika, which brought an almost meaty dimension to the tangy feta cheese, in contrast with the sweetness of the watermelon. It was as utterly delicious as only deep-fried cheese can be.

I persuaded Tom to join me in having a pudding (more because I wanted to try two; I'm certainly not one of those people who feels compelled to force others to join them in eating "naughty" things), and he chose baked lemon tart with frozen raspberries, whilst I selected the summeriest item on the menu: Eton Mess.

We rolled home along the riverbank with full bellies and happy smiles, thanks to the combination of tasty food and no work tomorrow. Three cheers for Bank Holiday weekends! 

Katie xxx

P.S. Sorry that this post basically turned into a food diary; well done if you've read this far! I will post you some M&Ms. 


  1. Peanut ones please, I'll be keeping an eye on my postbox ;)

  2. I love food diaries!!! Gorgeous items!!!

  3. I've just moved into a house with a similar sounding garden - loads of lovely shrubs and they did all the designing. I know very little but I did get out there and do some weeding this weekend, it would be a crime to let their work go to waste cos it must have cost a fortune.

  4. Wow that meal sounds so yummy. Mmmmm! Also, anything with Amaretto in it is a winner in my books :)

  5. I'm a big fan of Amaretto Sours but I've never heard of them made this way. Normally the bars I go to use a premade sour mix that you can buy. I will now have to try it with the lemon juice and lemonade!