london

Bread Baking

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Borough Market is one of my favorite places to visit in London and I’ve written about it before. I just love the combination of the fresh and prepared foods along with the location and general hustle and bustle of the place. I have walked by the Bread Ahead Bakery & School many, many times and viewed all of the yumminess baking inside but had never taken a class. That changed this past January when my friend Kate invited me along to join her for the Quintessentially English baking class.

I think I had been intimidated by trying to bake bread at home because it always seemed to require an exactness that I don’t always follow when I am in the kitchen but this class made it all completely accessible. First of all, it was a small class (maybe 10 people in total) so you felt like you could always speak up and ask any questions you may have. And secondly, the bakers who taught the class were so knowledgable, they made everything seem incredibly easy!

During this class we learned how to make a cottage loaf, devonshire splits, bath buns and a lardy cake. Everything turned out better than expected and I was happy to go home with an armful of delicious bread! I was surprised by how physical kneading the dough can be but it also made it more rewarding in the end (and hey, its a fun way to get some good arm muscles going!). We were also given the recipes used for each type of bread so we can recreate them at home.

This was definitely an experience I enjoyed and I hope to take a few more in the future. They have all sorts of classes available ranging from a doughnut master class to an intro to french baking. They even have a gluten free baking class!

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Clyde

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Its been quiet over here since the new year and I had not really planned on that but we’ve had lots of exciting changes happening in the Murphy household as of late. To name a few… we moved house and have been settling into our new place and neighbourhood. We are expecting a baby at the end of May! And, just in case we didn’t have enough change going on, we also added another furry member to the family. Everyone, I would like for you to meet Clyde! He is an old english bulldog and has been such a fun addition- he’s even made our almost 13-year-old lab, Bonnie, more puppy-like. These photos are from the first few weeks we had him when he was only about 8 to 10 weeks old. Now he is a little over 4 months and has grown a ton (I’ll be sure to post some more recent photographs of him soon)!

 

I’ve got lots I want to share on here about fun things to do and see in London, more Londoner profiles, stories from around the home and of course stories of our recent travels. Until then, I hope you enjoy these puppy photos and see you back here again soon!

 

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Towpath Cafe

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I was first introduced to the Towpath Cafe along Regent’s Canal earlier this summer while on a bike/photo walk with some other photographer friends and wanted to go back again immediately. Luckily I was able to convince another friend to join me for a sunny, summery lunch at this cute spot a few weeks later. That day we chowed down on a chicken caesar salad and another salad of grilled courgettes, beef tomatoes and pesto all washed down with a lovely glass of rosé. The food was delicious and we were entertained by the steady stream of bikers/walkers/runners filing past- it makes for great people watching. We were also visited by the tiniest four legged furry friend (see last photo) who was quite the poser for the camera. Before we left we made sure to grab two cones of refreshing mint ice cream which we had to consume pretty quickly before it was sacrificed to the heat.

If you have the time before the weather turns cold, I would highly recommend stopping by for breakfast, lunch or simply a cup of coffee. And if you see that tiny little pup, be sure to give him a little pat hello!

 

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Barbican Conservatory

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I first visited the Barbican Centre when I photographed Samuel for his 4×3 Londoner profile. I was just short of amazed when I walked around since I had never actually been inside before. From the outside the building looks overbearing but once inside it has all sorts of wonderful things to explore like galleries, cinemas, cafes, fountains and much more. But my favorite part is the Barbican Conservatory. This hidden oasis in East London is free to the public but is only open on certain Sundays throughout the year so a little bit of planning is required before you visit (opening times are on their website). Once inside you completely forget that you are in the middle of the city as you are surrounded with green. The paths meander throughout and some even take you up a flight or two of stairs so you can view the greenery below you. Up one of these staircases is an amazing room full of every kind of succulent and cactus you can think of (it made me realize how tiny my own succulents are at home).

So if you find yourself wanting to escape to some green in the middle of the city, head on over to the Barbican Conservatory and relax amongst the endless array of plants. And maybe take some time to check out the rest of the centre too!

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Frank’s Cafe

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Fancy sipping some cocktails atop a parking garage (also known as car park over here) on a nice summer evening while taking in a beautiful view of London’s cityscape? Then head on over to Frank’s Cafe in southeast London for just that! Only open during the summer months (usually from around June – September) this pop up bar has become quite the popular fixture of Peckham and you can expect a big crowd on an especially nice day. This is a prime example of why I love London- you can always find something fun and unexpected to do. For my first visit to Frank’s we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day and we sampled quite a few cocktails in celebration, of which my favorites were the Aperol Spritz, Moscow Mule and the Dark & Stormy. They do serve food as well but we stuck to the liquids as we were heading out to another spot for dinner later on that evening. I would definitely suggest heading on over with a group of friends before the weather turns too much cooler and take advantage of this unique London experience. According to their website, it looks like a production of Titus will be going on until the September 21st so you can get in a bit of culture with your cocktails and nibbles as well!

 

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