my weekend in margate

:: by Lizzie


Now that we’re an old married couple, Dan and I don’t tend to make much of a thing of the ‘dating anniversary’ that we used to mark annually. Having said that, right at the beginning of 2016, we realised that we’d soon be 10 years old! (I mean of course that we’d have been a couple for 10 years, not that we’d each have reached the wise old age of 10. We’re still chasing that level of wisdom). We happily decided that this realisation called for some sort of treat. So off we popped to Margate for a big fat chill and to generally spoil ourselves at The Reading Rooms. I’ve done a full review of this, our favourite B&B, which you can read here. We loved it so much the first time round that we thought a revisit was in order and we’re so pleased we returned. The Reading Rooms was as perfect as ever and there were lots of new things to see in Margate which easily kept us entertained for the weekend. The Reading Rooms breakfast is still my favourite thing to enjoy in Margate but to hear about other things I’d recommend to do, keep reading…





T U R N E R  C O N T E M P O R A R Y  :

If you’re feeling arty – as we usually are – then your first stop should be Turner Contemporary, an art gallery offering a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions. These have included shows by Grayson Perry, Tracy Emin, more recently a group show looking at Risk and of course work by Turner himself. Its building, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, is situated on the site that JMW Turner stayed when visiting Margate and celebrates his association with the town. It’s got a lovely family/community vibe and is free to visit (though donations are gratefully received). Well worth a wonder round.


W H E R E  T O  E A T  :

We love food. After your deliciously filling breakfast at The Reading Rooms you won’t need much for lunch but if you can manage to squeeze in some fish and chips then try Peter’s Fish Factory. It’s take away only so prepare to pull up a pew outside or maybe sit on the seafront steps or benches to enjoy your warming seaside fair.


Our favourite places for dinner are The Ambrette and Handverk & Found. The Ambrette is an Indian restaurant celebrating a seasonal menu featuring a mixture of local and exotic ingredients. The decor is not exciting, but the food is! Hanfverk & Found is a little cooler, in a small but perfectly formed kind of way. The restaurant is tiny so you’ll want to book. They specialise in fish and they do it very well.


S H O P P I N G  :

Margate Retro is an old favourite of ours. If you like vintage/bric-a-bracing on a large scale then check out RG Scott’s and make sure you go downstairs to Junk Deluxe. If wellness is your thing then you must stop by Haeckels. It’s a natural health and skincare brand, many of the ingredients found and distilled in Margate itself. Their hand crafted products are formulated in their cliff top lab and they own one of only two licenses to harvest seaweed from the English coast. You can imagine it’s not a cheap shop but those who enjoy the benefits of natural ingredients expertly prepared for use in skincare, candles and general wellbeing, will love this place. If you don’t want to splurge it’s still well worth a walk around if only for the education and the smells.


So that’s art, eating, shopping and sleeping covered. All the important stuff me thinks! But if you have any suggestions of places to stop by in Margate for our next visit then do let me know in the comments below. I’d also be really interested to hear your thoughts on any other nice English seaside towns we should try. We love a bit of Whitstable and very much enjoyed the Cromer Carnival – ‘must do’ guide for that here. But which seaside town should we be making a beeline for this summer? Answers on a postcard? Or just in the comment box below would be fine too :)




how i keep breakfast interesting

:: by Lizzie


I’m a big believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day. The thing is though, I’m a real food lover and generally you can get away with eating a lot more for lunch or dinner (greedy much? – yes I am!) So why do I think of breakfast as being so special? Like many others I find that how I start the day really effects how happy and productive I am throughout the rest of that day. I’m liking the word intentional at the moment, and the reality of being so. I find it much easier to be intentional in all I do, if I start the day with intention in this way. So I try to have something home prepared, yummy and healthy for breakfast, that gets my taste buds going and will keep me satisfied till lunch-time. As you know I enjoy a breakfast smoothie (you can see my favourite blueberry and oat one here) but for those days when I feel I need a bit more than a liquid breakfast (which tends to be the case a lot more in the winter – and certainly at the weekends), I go for one of the below…





H O M E M A D E  G R A N O L A  W I T H  Y O G U R T  A N D  N E C T A R I N E  :


I like to have a jar-full of homemade granola on hand at home to whip out on mornings where I’m in the cereal mood (and am trying to avoid reaching for the Frosted Shreddies that are tempting me in the cupboard). I regularly make batches of the stuff for CAFE SMUG so tend to just make a bit extra each time, et voila – our own personal batch of crunchy goodness. There are lots of recipes out there of course. I like mine very nutty and with no dried fruit so take a peek below if you fancy making your own.


3  C U P S  O A T S

1  C U P  W H O L E  A L M O N D S

1  C U P  P E A C A N S  ( O R  H A Z E L N U T S )

1 / 2  C U P  P U M P K I N  S E E D S

1 / 2  C U P  S U N F L O W E R  S E E D S

1 / 2  C U P  S U N F L O W E R  O I L

1 / 2  C U P  H O N E Y  ( O R  M A P L E  S Y R U P )

1  T S P  V A N I L L A  E X T R A C T


Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees C and combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spread out onto a baking sheet or tray and bake until golden brown (around 30 mins), turning occasionally. Take out of oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, store in an air tight container and enjoy with yogurt (sometimes Greek, sometimes coconut) or milk (I favour almond milk) and seasonal fruit. I like to add a sprig of fresh mint to my yogurt/fruit based brekkies so keep a plant growing on the kitchen window sill.



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S U P E R F O O D  B R E A D  W I T H  P E A N U T  B U T T E R  A N D  B A N A N A  :


This superfood bread is totally gluten free, vegan and oh so healthy. It’s a Deliciously Ella recipe which you can find here. I tend to rustle some up when I’m feeling particularly ‘good’ and am avoiding having too much bread. It’s not as satisfying as ‘real’ bread but it’s pretty tasty and peanut butter and banana make a v nice topping. Sometime I have it with my homemade jams (and butter!) or smooshed up avocado. I’m a big fan of freshly squeezed orange juice as an accompaniment to brekkie. I have this citrus juicer and I think it’s a really good model. Very compact, easy to clean and store.





F R U I T  S A L A D :


If I’m feeling fruity and want to keep things really simple, I just chop up whatever fruit we have in the fridge and fruit bowl. I try to include a banana to be sure I’ll be filled up and often add sunflower or cia seeds for a bit of extra crunch.





A V O C A D O  O N  T O A S T :


If I’m feeling more brunchy, then avo on toast is always a winner. I like mine on sourdough. I smash up 1 whole avocado, adding salt, pepper and chilli flakes. I tend to whack some rocket on top for the extra greens (and peppery taste). The avocado is so creamy there’s no need for butter. If you’e wanting to avoid gluten and yeast as well as dairy then go for the superfood bread I’ve already mentioned above.




H A R D  /  S O F T  B O I L E D  E G G S :


Some mornings my body really fancies protein. It’s often after a run that I reach for the eggs. I favour poached eggs if out for breakfast, but when home I tend to just hard or soft boil a couple, peel, slice in half and enjoy with sea salt and lots of black pepper. V nice with a fresh OJ or green juice. I sometimes add soldiers of course if I’m particularly peckish.





B A N A N A  P O R R I D G E  W I T H  S T R A W B E R R I E S  A N D  A L M O N D S  :


My go-to when I’m after something warm and comforting for breakfast has to be porridge. I make mine in a pan on the hob with almond milk and banana. I use 1/2 a cup of oats, 1 cup of almond milk and 1 crushed banana. Put the oats and almond milk in the pan on a low heat. After a couple of minutes add the mashed up banana and cook for a further 3 – 5 mins. I like to serve mine with flaked almonds, strawberries and a dash of 100% pure maple syrup.


What’s your favourite healthy but hearty breakfast? Any tips or suggestions for me? I’m always looking for more options to add to my morning repertoire. Let me know in the comments below. Happy eating! I wish you all good starts and intentional days :)


outfit #01

:: by Lizzie


01 // Navy Drawstring Hem Dress, COS

02 // Hooded Trench Coat, Sessùn

03 // Petite Wet Look Leggings, Topshop

04 // Copper Stan Smith Trainers, Adidas

05 // Sailor’s Plait Necklace, Eleanor Bolton


I’ve worn this outfit to a few different occasions recently and love how versatile it is. It’s so easy and comfy but still feels like you’ve made an effort. Winning! I wore it for a big Sunday lunch/reunion with Dan’s uni friends, my brothers 40th birthday party (I swapped the kicks for tan leather wedges on that occasion) and I also wore it on a lazy afternoon visit to the Barbican to see The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition. My advise is to rock this sort of look with a bold lip. My current favourite is the Soft Matt Lip Cream in Morrocco by NYX which is now available at Selfridges.