Reads and Recipes

A literary lifestyle blog based in London, England.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Links of the Week | 28th June 2015

I loved this piece from Sali Hughes on how culling the rubbish friends from your life is sometimes the best thing you can do

How scrum-diddly-umptious does this tabbouleh look?

This piece from Meg Fee on the need for gun control in America was a delicious blend of personal and political essay.

I'm a sucker for these watercolour doodles

These 6 totally achievable and realistic things to do if you want to achieve your goals are the perfect motivational boost.

A herbed summer squash bake recipe, yummmmm.

Lily Melrose (Llymlrs) on why she chose to back out of a lucrative book deal.   It's a bit old but highlights the importance of maintaining your integrity over $$

So #IBW2015 has come to an end, and I would love to know how you got on! 

Did you visit any independent bookstores? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amanda White's English Writers' Houses

The artist Amanda White has created a stunning collection of cut paper collages depicting well known English writers’ houses. Using old magazines, she has created images of the homes of likes of Beatrix Potter, Virginia Woolf, Keats, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens (and many more). Each image is a unique blend of patterns and intricate details as she carefully captures the place our favourite writers would have called home.

Beatrix Potter | Hill Top Farm

Jane and Cassandra Austen

The Brontes | Haworth Parsonage

John Keats | Wentworth House

Lord Byron

Thomas Hardy

Virginia Woolf | Monks House

William Wordsworth | Dove Cottage

How perfect would these be as a gift for a book-lover in your life?  I'm still trying to decide which one my favourite is, I think Beatrix Potter may be it (for now, anyway....).  This is just a handful of the designs which Amanda White has created, you can view the rest of her collection here.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charing Cross Road Bookshops | London

If you hadn't already heard, this week is Independent Booksellers Week (#IBW2015 for those of you on Twitter).  Sadly there aren't any independent bookshops near me, I've spoken about this here, so I decided to hit the tourist hotspots of London in a bid to encourage those of you visiting the city this summer to pop in and have a browse! Charing Cross Road is moments away from Leicester Square tube station (be sure to pick the right exit though!) and is called the "literary artery" of London by TimeOut magazine.  It's easy to see why, with soooo many bookshops dotted along the road with various themes and specialties. 

Any Amount of Books

With a selection of books for you to browse on the street, this is a honey-trap for book-lovers.  Their website can be found here.  For me, this is the kind of bookshop which will ensure that companies like Amazon will never wholly dominate the bookselling market.  There are all kinds of books crammed in there and it allows you to spend your time browsing to find something you never would've read otherwise.  Internet bookshops are great when you know exactly what you want, but bookshops like this are perfect for treating yourself to discovering some brilliant new reads.

Henry Pordes Books

As you can see on the photo above, these bookshops are within a stone's throw of each other.  Henry Pordes Books has a website which you can check out here.  They specialise in antiquarian books, with a huge selection for you to peruse through.  They also have selections of art, literature, science, medicine and history books too!  It is a family run business, currently being run by Henry's son-in-law.

Koenig Books

This is the perfect bookshop for all you interested in art, photography or architecture.  It's also just really visually pleasing, opting for a minimal selection of eye-catching books over shoving books anywhere and everywhere.  This works well with the number of art-history books they stock as it allows you to take the time to browse and it is easier for you to find something that catches your eye.  It is a German-owned independent bookshop with other branches in London art galleries with its hub being based in Cologne.

Quinto and Francis Edwards Booksellers 

According to their website (which you can find here), they've just replenished their stock of secondhand books.  Which accounts for their brilliant selection.  Honestly, I could happily spend hours / a lot of money in here!

You can tell from the photos how busy this street is (I had a fun time waiting for a lull in the foot traffic which rarely happened).  It is super easy to find and in the centre of London.  If you decide to check them out, do let me know how you get on! 

// Will you be visiting any independent bookshops this week?  
// Are there many based near where you live?  
// Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Links of the Week | 21st June 2015

I enjoyed reading this piece which highlights the need for diversity in books by Nikesh Shukla

This frozen chocolate cream recipe looks delicious (and it was also thought up whilst exploring in Antarctica - not something you say everyday ;) )

These tips for self-care are interesting, inviting you to be a little kinder to yourself (can never be a bad thing).

Summer weather is perfect for salads, and this recipe for grilled apricot, corn and arugula (rocket leaves in the uk) salad with pistachios looks delicious!

This reading guide for summer has given me several books to check out (like I needed the encouragement!) and got me wondering about which books i'll be reading this summer.

#IBW2015 starts this week.  For all the info, see here.  I'll be checking out some independent bookshops this week + will be sharing them with you guys, of course!

What have you been reading this week? (Leave the links below in the comments!)  Will you be taking part in #IBW2015?  Let me know how you get on if you do!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Salmon, Watercress and Dill Quiche

Homemade quiche couldn't be more different than the pre-made supermarket ones.  Eaten warm from the oven it is melt-in-the-mouth delicious.  It's a perfect summertime dish, eaten alongside some salad or as part of a picnic.


Readymade shortcrust pastry
50g watercress
200g smoked salmon
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
4 eggs
300ml milk
100ml single cream

Step one - the pastry:

If you’re making the pastry yourself, here’s a helpful recipe to follow.  I, however, am a firm believer in pre-made pastry + so step one for me largely involved unwrapping the pastry and rolling it out a little bit thinner (should be as thick as a £1 coin).

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan.  Place the pastry into your dish, lining it with parchment paper.  Fill with baking beans and pop into the oven for 15 mins before removing the beads and paper and bake for a further 5 mins.    Turn the oven down to 160C/140C fan.  

Step two - the fillings:

Prepare the watercress by removing the bigger stems and rinsing under cold water.  Place the leaves, still wet, into a saucepan and heat for a few moments before running under cold water once more.  Meanwhile, pop the salmon in the oven for approx. 15 mins 
Whisk the eggs, milk and cream.  Finely chop the dill and add to the egg mix.  When the salmon and watercress are ready, line them in the bottom of the pastry before adding the egg mix on top.  (Pour in the egg mixture slowly; making sure that the mixture doesn’t overflow out of the case.)

Step three - pop it in the oven:

Place into the oven and bake for 25 mins or until it sets.  There should be a slight wobble in the centre.  


Step four - serve + enjoy!

Pour in the egg mixture slowly; making sure that the mixture doesn’t overflow out of the case.

If you don't fancy a big quiche, you could always make mini-quiches which will remove the faff of slicing your quiche when you're enjoying the picnic in the sunshine!

Bon Appetit!



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