birthday

In Which Sophie Eats: Jamie’s Italian.

So for my birthday, I wanted to celebrate with my friends from home when everyone was back for the holidays and what better way to celebrate moving away from teenager years than some delicious (and rather sophisticated) cocktails? And of course, me being me, there had to be some food involved!

The logical choice for a good mix of tasty cocktails and scrumptious food in a good atmosphere was Jamie’s Italian. I’ve been a big Jamie Oliver fan for a long time, his cookbooks are great and I love his personality on TV, it made sense that I would then love his restaurants. Plus those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know how much I adore pasta…

Jamie’s Italian has spread of restaurants of across Great Britain as well as some in Australia, Ireland, Singapore and Dubai so if you live in any of these countries and you haven’t been before I would definitely recommend trying it. There is a good choice of dishes from the pasta and risotto to fish dishes and very meaty dishes, it’s Italian food but with a typical Jamie Oliver twist.

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Florence Fizz Limoncello, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial & Prosecco

My cocktail was a lovely fruity, lemony, fizzy blend and went down a treat. We’d also definitely recommend the Bramble and the Pear & Rosemary Martini, which some of the others had and looked delish.

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It was awkward lighting for photos of people so I haven’t many but here are some of my gorgeous friends and one of me and Tom, you can see a little of the decor which I really like, and whilst the lighting wasn’t conducive to clearly focused photos, it made for a really relaxed atmosphere.

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Prawn Linguine Fried garlicky prawns, shaved fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket

After our cocktails we moved onto food, and obviously I chose a pasta dish. One of the things I really like about Jamie’s Italian is that you can have a small or a regular portion of most of the pasta dishes and if you’re like me and you a) don’t have a massive appetite, and b) like to save room for dessert, it’s a great idea! So I decided to have the prawn linguine. The tomatoes which make up the sauce of the dish were lovely and fresh, there was just the right balance of chilli and garlic and I was really impressed by the generous number of prawns on the plate. Overall it was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Having mentioned the small portions allowing room for dessert, it follows that I had something sweet to finish off my meal!

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Poached Winter Fruits With vanilla frozen yoghurt & smashed honeycomb

This had a really good flavour but I was a little disappointed with it. I guess I just expected the poached fruit to be hot and therefore be a nice contrast to the frozen yogurt, however the fruit was cold (and consequently a little hard). I was still nice though, if the fruit had been hot and there had been more honeycomb sprinkled on top it would have been a great dish.

I had a fantastic evening with my friends, the cocktails started the evening brilliantly, the food was great and the service was also really good, and I still go on being a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s!

Sophie x

Happy Day.

On the 19th March seventeen years ago, one of the best, most special people in my life, was born. My little sister Alice.

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Alice, you’re one of the funniest people I know, you always make everyone laugh, you’re also one of the most passionate people I know, and you are one of my best friends.

I have loved watching you grow up and each year I’m amazed at how much you’ve grown as a person. (And physically too, I can’t believe that you are now taller than me!) One of the absolute best things about transferring home this year has been being able to spend another year living with you. I just hope we’re as close for the rest of our lives :-)

I love you so so much lovely girl, I hope you’ve had a fantastic birthday and I hope you have another great year!

Sophie x

Life Lately.

Having had a week mostly by myself with plenty of time to catch up on sleep and relax, I have to say that I needed this extra week off. I hope everyone who is back at work aren’t finding going back after the holidays too difficult, I imagine you’ve been looking forward to the weekend!

This week I had a lovely evening with my sister at one of our favourite eateries… (can you guess where?)

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Wagamama! (Of course)

Alice had the Chicken Katsu Curry which was absolutely delicious, I loved the breadcrumbs on the chicken.

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Isn’t my little sister (who is actually taller than me!) pretty?

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I went for a dish I haven’t tried before called Yasai Yaki Soba and it was fantastic. It’s a vegetarian noodle dish full of vegetables and lovely flavours. I’m glad that I pushed myself away from my comfort zone and the dish I always get, this was definitely worth trying! If you live in the UK you should definitely check Wagamama out :-)

The rest of my week has been pretty calm. I’ve spent my days doing chores, baking, reading, writing and watching nature programs on my laptop. All the whilst cuddled up with Poppy obviously, she makes for the best company.

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This is more or less what my days have looked like this week.

I’m currently reading Adam Bede by George Eliot and so far I much prefer it to Middlemarch. So far this January I’ve read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Artful by Ali Smith. I have plans to write mini reviews of the books I read before term starts, sound good?

Tomorrow is my Father’s birthday and I have a fantastic present for him, can’t wait till he opens it! We’re about to go out for lunch with my Grandfather to celebrate and then tomorrow evening my Father has picked his favourite meal for dinner – steak with peppercorn sauce and chips. So lots more good food to be had…

Have a great weekend lovely people!

Sophie x

I Wish I Could be There.

Today is an incredibly special day.

Twenty-two years ago today someone who has come to mean the world to me was born.

This guy:

For over four years now, Tom has played a very special part in my life and I just couldn’t have the day go past without writing a post to celebrate his birthday.

I feel like the luckiest girl alive to have such a wonderful boyfriend and with all that I’ve had to deal with this year, I don’t think I would have made it through my first year at university without his support.

No one in the world can make me laugh like Tom, no one in the world makes me happier.

Tom, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for making my life so much richer, exciting and happy. I hope you have a brilliant day despite your finals approaching!

I know that I am going to be hugely proud of you next month at your graduation. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to spend the four years of your time at university with you, I know that being apart for weeks at a time has all been worth it. I love you with all of my heart.

So, although we’re over 200 miles apart right now and I wish I could be there with him, I am still celebrating the day that my best friend and the man I love came into the world.

Happy birthday my love, see you in two and a half weeks! :-)

A Birthday Dinner.

Hello lovelies!

I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I was exhausted when I got in!

Before I talk about my birthday can I just say an enormous thank you for all of your wonderful, supportive comments on my Sunday post. All of the comments were thoughtful, caring and really quite complimentary and I am so so grateful for all of the support you give! You are such wonderful people :-) Blogging has brought so much joy to my life and a huge part of that is down to the people who read and especially the people who take the time to comment, email and continuously support me!! I will reply to all of them tomorrow when I have a little more energy!

Now, as you probably all know, yesterday was my birthday.

At 9.31pm I turned nineteen ;-)

I had a really good day despite having two lectures and a physio appointment. I started out my day opening the cards that arrived on Saturday (so hard to resist opening them early!):

In the middle of those cards sits a nutella and banana cookie that I made on Sunday, topped with nutella and sugar sprinkles. Perfect alongside my weetabix mush!

Also aren’t my cards lovely? All of my cards this year either involve flowers or cupcakes which made me smile. I’m somewhat predictable it would seem. I hope you’ve spotted the lovely handmade card from my sister, I thought it was absolutely lovely :-)

My physio appointment actually went really well, she said she was extremely impressed by the progress I’ve made so things are looking up!

Anyway, on to the fun part of my day. To celebrate my birthday, as I was away from home and didn’t have Tom with me, I thought it would be nice to go for a meal. My friends and I decided on Bella Italia which was great for two main reasons: I love Italian food and we had a voucher so saved money!

I had a really lovely time and the food was fantastic. I had a delicious main course:

I went with the Bucatini Gamberoni which they describe ‘eight succulent king prawns sautéed with garlic and chilli in a spicy pomodoro sauce with bucatini lunghi’. Bucatini lunghi is basically fat spaghetti and I actually think I prefer it to regular spaghetti because it twirls around the fork more easily! The spicy tomato sauce was delicious and it’s so nice to have prawns because they are fairly pricey so I never buy or cook them for myself.

The group, who didn’t all know each other previously, all gelled really well and we spent most of meal in laughter. It was nice to have a time to relax and recharge without having to think about work or stress.

We decided, as it was a special occasion, to get dessert for the celebration. I shared this delicious looking creation with Kathryn and it was just too tasty!

Doesn’t it look amazing? It’s called the Godfather Fragola – ‘vanilla and strawberry ice cream, crushed meringue, strawberry coulis, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and dark chocolate sprinkles’.

So good.

I just wish I could do more than talk to my loved ones on the phone (and I’m getting impatient for my presents!). We’ve decided we’ll celebrate my birthday as a family when I get back home (3 days!!!).

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m off to bed. I hope you’re all having a fantastic week :-)

Do you like to make/receive handmade cards?
How do like to celebrate your own birthday?
Best dessert you’ve eaten lately?

 

16 and Beautiful.

Today is a special day.

She doesn’t even think of it as special, she doesn’t really care about birthdays, she doesn’t want a big fuss made.

But I can’t let the day go past without wishing the girl who is the most beautiful inside and outside that I have ever met.

 

So, Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Alice!

 

This  gorgeous girl:

 

She might not see her birthday as a big deal but for me it is such an important day.

It is the day that my best friend was born.

The day that the most special sister came into the world and made my life what it is today.

Alice, I would have been very lonely had you not been born, 16 years ago today. You are always there for me, I know that no matter what time of the night it is, if I’m depressed or really ill, I can call you  (or more likely, chat with you on facebook :-P).

My life has been enriched by your being in it more than I can say!

So today, I celebrate the birth of my little sister, all those years ago. A beautiful, talented, funny, witty, kindhearted girl and my best friend for the last 16 years.

Happy birthday you gorgeous girl, I hope you are having a fantastic day :-)

p.s. It’s my birthday in a week! ;-)