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Monday

Guest Post: Paris from the eyes of Emulating Emily

The next holiday I have is to visit all my friends in New York in about eleven weeks. So, I decided the best way to cure my holiday blues was to have a fellow blogger tell me (and all of you) a little bit about some of the travels they had been on. 

We are starting the series of guest blog posts with the beautiful Emily Fata from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Somewhere I definitely need to visit at some point in time. If you enjoy this post, then make sure you take a peek at her blog http://emulatingemily.com, but for now, take it away Emily... xo

La Vie en Rose: Immersed in Parisian Opulence


Last October, after having been separated from my favourite country for four and a half years, I decided on my twenty-second birthday in late August that I would go to Paris by the end of 2016. I asked my mom if she’d be willing to come with me and gave her exactly one week to make the decision. By the end of those seven days, our flights and hotel were booked, and I had purchased us each the Paris Pass (http://emulatingemily.com/the-parispass/) complete with métro tickets for our eight-day stay.

Despite having been to this deeply cultured city before, I was once again swept off my feet upon immersing myself into the heart of the City of Lights. Though I could write pages and pages of the countless things to do in Paris, I will be focusing on a particular aspect of it in today’s post: a selection of three of the most awe-inspiring places, visually, that the city has to offer.


Palais Garnier (Opéra Nationale de Paris)
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France

With construction beginning in August of 1861, this ornately decorated opera house is home not only to countless Parisian ballets and operas, but also the setting of Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera. I had the pleasure of going on a guided tour through this palatial structure, learning the history of each room and the symbolism you can find even in the opera house’s most minute details. The most spectacular of rooms, in my opinion, was that of the Grand Foyer. I have never seen something so absolutely lavish in my entire life (fourth photo below).



Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich

Who doesn't love a quick, easy, and extremely tasty lunch?
Well, even if you don't I'm sure you're not going to be able to dislike this one. 

Not only is it ridiculously tasty, it's super healthy as well. I was rumbling around in the kitchen and wanted to make something filling, that I wouldn't have to spend hours standing over the stove making. I'm not a massive fan of canned tuna, so thankfully we buy the Albacore tuna in a jar with olive oil from Waitrose. You can store it in the cupboard until you open it and then once opened you just put it in the fridge and use it within a week or so. Personally, I prefer it to the canned stuff, but whatever takes your fancy.

Thursday

London: Dishoom; Bombay Cafe

When my foreign friends ask me where I'm from in England they automatically assume it's close to London. Living in the Cotswolds (which is actually where I live) isn't really too far from London when you think about how small our country is in comparison to others, but it's still far enough away that I don't get to go there as often as I would like. So when my friend Julie came across from the States to visit, I had to go down and spend some time with her there.


It is a beautiful place to walk around and explore in.
Especially if the weather's nice. Which is a bit hit or miss in England, but hey ho.

Wednesday

Layered Pancakes

I am a lover of the Oliver. The Oliver being my main man Jamie. 
I know a lot of people aren't fans of his, including many chefs, but I'm going to put that down to the fact they are jealous that they can't be travelling the world and have to be stuck in a kitchen 24/7. Ssssh, don't tell them I said that, chefs can be very grumpy. 

Now, back to the good stuff. 
PANCAKES.

So, in England, we have this day called shrove Tuesday, known by the majority as Pancake Day. Most people don't really know what it actually represents, but it gives us an excuse to scoff our faces with pancakes... so I'm not complaining. 

This is the my take on the definition, "The long build up to Easter is called Lent. The day before Lent begins is called Shrove Tuesday. 'Shrove' means being forgiven for wrong-doings". So basically, the wrong doings are us eating copious amounts of pancakes with chocolate, or lemon and sugar, or marshmallows, or cheese, or whatever else takes your fancy before you decide to give something up for a little over a month. This year it's from March 1st - April 13th, any ideas what you're going to give up for lent yet?

Okay, now the actual good stuff.



Tuesday

Doughy Cheeseboat

What's more exciting than a regular loaf of bread?
A loaf of homemade bread, filled with lots and lots of cheese.
A Georgian dish, also known as Khachapuri.

I recently saw a buzz feed video about a restaurant that's open in Brooklyn, called Cheeseboat. Although they do other dishes, this is the meal that most people venture out to Brooklyn for. It's literally a big bowl of dough, filled with whatever type of cheese you fancy, and you can add to it with meats, or spices or whatever (cheeseboat) floats your boat at the time. See what I did there?

For my filling I went for slightly different approach to what they told me to do online. 
I'm a huge lover of most cheeses, and I also love a spinach and ricotta dip when it's around. So I went for a spinach, ricotta, feta, and cheddar filling. Try saying that five times over as quick as you can. spinach, ricotta, feta, and cheddar..... dreamy.


Saturday

William Reavell Photography Course

For Christmas, my mum and dad (although he never knows what the presents are going to be until we open them) bought me the opportunity to go on a food photography course. I love food, and I love photography, so it was the ideal gift. The majority of presents had something to do with cameras or food, from lens shot glasses, to a life size camera made out of chocolate... which I am yet to eat. Should probably start that one soon.

Anyway, I arrived in London after staying over at a family friends close by the night before. The course started at around 10am, and after a brief discussion and introductions, we got down to the good stuff... the photography. Also, shout out to the girls cooking the food during the day, because it was incredible. Not only to photograph, but we got to eat it as well and it was fabulous.


We started out with some colourful vegetables.

As you can see in this photo, the camera has managed to focus on the bay leaf in the middle of the photo, whilst the other vegetables have been blurred at the front and the back.



Wednesday

Mummy Ball's Ferrero Rocher Extravaganza

What's your favourite chocolate in the world?

Well, mine is Ferrero Rocher. My mum knows this, and decided to make the mother of all cakes. My mother making the mother of all cakes. If that's not a pun in itself, I don't know what is.

A couple of years ago, mum made this cake for me for my birthday. I think it was my 18th, and it was pretty much the greatest cake in existence. The sheer size and number of layers it contained was just magical and I've been waiting ever since for it to return. After numerous years of asking, she finally gave in to my pleas and caved in.


Chicago & Nashville


Took a pit stop in New York to see some friends on my way to Niagara Falls, Chicago & Nashville. As I've lived there for 4 years I very rarely do any of the tourist things anymore, but here are some New York suggestions if you're taking a trip there:
  • Central Park is a given. Such a beautiful place to walk round, whether it's during the summer, or the snowy winter. Make sure you wrap up warm in the winter though because it's bloody freezing.
  • Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien hotel on W 56th. It's a literal hole in the wall burger joint. Trust me. One of the best burgers you'll get in the city. 
  • Ellen's Stardust Diner. One of the cheesiest places to visit, but basically those that aren't yet able to make it to Broadway get a job at this diner waiting tables, yet also showcasing their incredible singing talents at the same time. 
  • PHD Rooftop Bar. The drinks, the views, the people. Enough said. 
  • Infirmary NYC in between 89th and 90th on 2nd ave. Shameless plug because my friend is a bartender here, but the cocktails (and food) are on point. If you're ever there, ask for Tyler or Andres, order a Silver Tongued Devil and say Ellie sent you. 

Wilmington, North Carolina.

Part of my trip allowed me the chance to explore Wilmington.
Known by many as the HOME OF ONE TREE HILL.

My friend Sam lives there, so luckily I got to see the city from the perspective of what one would now consider a local. Here he is, the friendly giant. I mean, I know I'm almost the technical term for a midget, but he's ridiculously tall.


The food, people, and city of Wilmington is incredible, but one thing is for certain about this place, the beaches are absolutely beautiful.  The little secret pathways, the incredible white sandy beaches, and the sun that I rarely get to see here in England. Although it was still a little chilly due to the time of year, it was still beautiful. Oh, how I wish we had beaches that looked like this over here.