Today I sat in the garden (I'm staying at Jim's mum's house, hence the luxury of having a garden!) to eat my lunch as it's such a beautiful day today and it got me thinking about some things I would like to do this Summer. I came inside and jotted my plans down in my notebook and I thought I would write them on my blog too, so you guys can perhaps get some inspiration from my ideas and even share your own in the comments. I get really excited for Summer, so I like to start planning mine early!
Go for a walk after dinner when the weather is nice in the evenings. Jim and I actually did this the night before last and it was so lovely. We left our phones at home and took Judy's dog Babs for a walk around the lake. It felt really good to clear our minds with some fresh air before coming inside and enjoying our usual routine of Netflix and snuggles on the sofa. Also, if you are on a health kick, it's a good idea to walk off dinner!
Make a fun Summery plan with friends or Jim once a week. This could be anything from a picnic in the park to going to a festival. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, just something cute and Summery.
Read a book a month. The last time I set myself some goals, I said a book a week and that just hasn't happened, so I am going to go with a book a month! I love reading, but really struggle to make time for it. I think being a workaholic doesn't help! I find it much easier to make time in the evenings for planning videos or designing things for my makeup line and other projects I'm working on, but I'm trying not to do anything work related past 7pm every day.
Get a Summer capsule wardrobe together. I'm always envious of people I see who have 'capsule wardrobes' usually hung neatly on an 'inspiration rail' looking incredibly Pinterest like! I want to pack away my Winter clothes until I need them again and give any Summer clothes I know I won't wear to charity. Then I want to plan 5 or so outfits that I know I feel amazing in, so that they can be my go-to Summer outfits - if that makes sense?!
Go on adventures. Writing 'Go on adventures' reminds me of something I would have written as a Summer plan at the age of about six, but I really think it's still important even now I am 25! It can be very easy to get stuck in a rut with the places you go and things you see. This Summer I want to make a real effort to explore new places. I don't know if I'll get the chance to go on holiday, but I want to explore more of London or even go for a long drive at the weekend with Jim and hang out in little towns we've never been to before. Travelling and exploring doesn't always have to mean going to another country. I would love to drive down to Cornwall and go to St Ives for a few days (Jim, if you're reading this - that would be my ideal birthday trip!!)
Go running outside 3 times a week. I have just got the Nike running app and started running about a week ago. I love using the app as you can have your music playing then it tells you through your earphones when you've completed each kilometre, which helps keep me going! It also shows you on a map exactly where you ran and how far. I've always wanted to be one of those people who runs regularly, so I've decided to start now and see how I get on. I would love to be like Claire Dunphy from Modern Family and run 5k a day! She's my idol.
Watch the sunset. There's something magical about watching a beautiful sunset and London has so many amazing spots to watch it from. Remember, there is a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free.
Start a 'One Line A Day' diary. A friend of mine has one of these and says she loves it as it doesn't take much time, you can just write a single line about your day (I plan to write the highlight of each day in mine) and then it's like a little memory book. I think it will be fun to do it this Summer, then look back on it at some point next year and remember everything that I did.
Those are all of my little plans/goals so far, I may add to this blog post as I think of more! Please let me know in the comments anything you guys want to do this Summer, I'd love to know.
It's been 2 years since I blogged about the best chocolate cookie recipe and since putting the recipe in my book, I am getting more tweets than ever about them. They are just THE BEST COOKIES EVER! My first cookie blog post was posted a long time ago and it's quite hard to find on my blog, so I thought I would post the recipe again on here for those of you who don't have my book and for some weekend baking inspiration.
To make 10 (rather large) cookies you will need:
300g caster sugar
1 large egg
275g self-raising flour
75g cocoa powder
a little dash of milk
a large bar of milk chocolate (Cadburys is my fave)
a large bar of white chocolate
a large bar of dark chocolate (this is totally optional - only add if you are a dark choice fan. Sometimes I add Daim bars instead of dark choc for a yummy toffee crunch!)
Pop your oven on to 200 degrees celsius
Cream together your butter and sugar
Crack in your egg
Stir in all the dry ingredients
Add a dash of milk if your mixture is looking dry
Break up all of your chocolate and throw it in, using your hands to get it into the dough
Line 2 trays with baking paper (the cookies will spread in the oven so don't place them close together)
Pick up a 10 small handfuls of cookie dough and place them onto your trays
Pop them into the oven for 11 minutes - I have found this to be the perfect baking time. When you get them out they will not look cooked, it is vital you know this, as it will be very tempting to leave them in for longer and then they'll be hard and overcooked once they are cool. Just take your cookies out after 11 minutes and leave them to cool for about 30 minutes.
Now enjoy a deliciously warm, melt in your mouth cookie with a nice cup of tea!
Share with friends and family (optional)
Happy baking guys! Be sure to tweet me a photo if you make my cookies today - I'd love to see how you get on. Use the hashtag #TanyaBurrCookies
Yesterday afternoon I went with a friend (who was too shy to be on my blog, hence no pictures) to The Ivy Garden in Chelsea for scones, catch ups and lots of tea. The weather was somewhat deceiving - it was beautifully sunny, but not very warm! I had looked out of the window and optimistically thought 'yay! I don't need a jacket!' and then instantly regretted not taking one when I walked out of the door and felt the chill in the air. However, as soon as we walked into the garden, a lovely man (our waiter, not just a random lovely man haha) sat us by the fire and handed us blankets, which we happily snuggled up in whilst sipping our tea and giggling away as my friend filled me in on all her dating gossip!
I've been wanting to go to The Ivy Garden ever since it opened a couple of weeks ago as I'd heard great things and it seriously exceeded my expectations. It was just so pretty and had such a relaxing atmosphere with the sound of the water fountain, oh and the scones with jam and cream were AMAZING...which was obviously the most important thing! Here are some photos, I hope I don't make you guys too hungry ;)
I've only been home for 3 days and I miss New York already, which is why I've spent all day today watching Gossip Girl! There's no real story to this sequence of photos, I just thought they were pretty and had happy memories so I wanted to post them. Here's a little context for the photos for you guys: happiness in Central Park, tea, Jim through a window, breakfast at Gemma's, an independent book store I fell in love with, cupcakes, Fifth Avenue, The West Village, breakfast in bed in The Mondrian and more pics from around the hotel...
This is the last of my New York content for you guys. I hope you enjoyed my New York vlogs and my Where To Eat In New York blog post!
As you guys will know if you follow me on twitter/instagram/snapchat - I have spent the last 3 days in New York! I had the most incredible trip. New York just gives me this happy feeling and - without sounding too cheesy - a skip in my step! The food in Manhattan is pretty unbeatable, but knowing where to go is very useful, so, I really wanted to do this foodie post to help out any of you guys that might be going to New York soon. I stayed in Soho (Lower Manhattan) this trip and since Jim was working lots and we had never spent time in Soho before, we ended up eating in the area most of the time. Therefore, all but one of the places I'm recommending are in Soho. Next time I go back, I'll probably stay in a different neighbourhood, or just have time to explore the city some more, so I'll do another foodie blog post with more recommendations! Although, if you are heading to New York soon, Soho is a great place to stay and hang out. It doesn't feel touristy like Midtown and the shopping is excellent. Anyway, let's get on with the food! There were definitely a couple of places I went to that aren't making this blog post. The ones in this post are the places that made an impression on me and that I would 100% return to. Be prepared to drool...
Best Breakfast or Brunch:
Gemma (355 Bowery St)
Not only does this place do the best French Toast I have ever eaten, but they also have PG Tips on the menu! As a typical British tea-loving person, this brought me great joy. Good tea is difficult to find stateside, so it was lovely to be able to order a home comfort. Gemma is part of the Bowery hotel, which is a celebrity favourite (Alexa Chung was there recently)! There's lots of great options on the menu, but if you go, please order the French Toast.
Bluestone Lane (55 Greenwich Ave)
This cute little Australian owned café was recommended to me by one of my good friends, Ingrid. It is now a firm favourite of mine! The food is so fresh and healthy. Jim had an amazing homemade granola with poached pear and I had smashed avocado on toast with a poached egg on top. We also ordered the banana bread to share as you can't go to an Aussie place without ordering the banana bread! And although it was made with healthier ingredients than regular banana bread, it was one of the best I've tried. Can't remember what the white stuff on top was, but it was good!
The Butcher's Daughter (19 Kenmare St)
This is the place to go if you are really into your healthy eating or you have specific dietary requirements. Everything on the menu is vegetarian and dairy-free. The staff are so warm and friendly (my brunch date was about 15 minutes late and they chatted to me and made me feel at home). Their menu is bursting with fresh, local produce and the juices taste incredible - I had orange and carrot! I loved what I ordered (oats soaked in almond milk with homemade muesli and fresh fruit).
Jack's Wife Freda (224 Lafayette St)
I fell in love with this spot because it has such a lively and friendly vibe. It looks really cute inside and the food is yummy. I had a tuna and avocado salad which was great, but there was so much food passing by our table that looked delicious! I'd love to try the brunch menu here as I've heard lots of good things about it.
Magnolia Bakery (There are a few of these around Manhattan)
Magnolia Bakery is kind of a tourist spot, but it's also really popular with locals too as the cupcakes are to die for! It was on my list of places to go when I first went to New York a couple of years ago and now I go every time I'm in the city, I think it's become a tradition for me.
Best Spot To 'Grab A Slice':
Prince St Pizza (27 Prince Street)
When I instagrammed this photo it caused quite a stir! 'Why is the sauce on top of the cheese?' people asked. Well, I don't know the answer to that question, but it tasted amazing! Prince St Pizza are famous for their perfectly baked square slices, so I decided to go for the spicy salami one, although they did have regular shaped pizza slices too! The pizza guy was so friendly as you can see from the photo I got of him - so sweet! This is a little hole in the wall style pizza place with very limited seating, I'd recommend taking a stroll through Soho with your slice.
The Mercer Kitchen (99 Prince Street)
This has got to be one of my favourite dinner spots in the world. It is perfect for so many occasions, it could be a fun night out with friends, a romantic dinner for two or a place to take your parents. The atmosphere is hip and stylish and the food is excellent. There are communal tables (which you can see in the photos below), as well as singular ones. The restaurant is dimly lit with candles and the ambience is amazing, maybe due to the fact it's inside a beautiful historical building. I had this salmon sashimi starter which was definitely one of the best things i've ever eaten. The same goes for the scallops! Ooo and my Mojito was great too!
That's it for my New York foodie recommendations, I can't wait to go back and add more to this post! Let me know in the comments where I should try next time I go! Also, tweet me if you go and check out any of these places, I'd love to know what you ordered and if you loved it!