As usual, I like to make my birthday last longer than a day, so I had three! On my actual birthday I went out for dinner to the Cliff House in San Francisco, and enjoyed a relaxed dinner with sunset views over the Pacific.I was given a little cooking course as a gift, and spent the next morning with chef Jean Yves in his kitchen learning how to make pate a choux and eclairs. So delicieux!Then my birthday picnic in the park. I love spending time with friends, eating sandwiches and cake, in the sunshine on a lovely day...Summer birthdays are the best!
This week, I visited more museums, and happily spent time sketching. These were both taken in the V & A my most very favourite museum in the world.And then at the weekend, a visit to the Cotswolds. We stayed in an adorable house in the tiny village of Lower Slaughter, and spent time chatting and walking in the countryside. We stayed right by this lovely watermill, and I took an early morning walk one day...We went to the farmers market in Chipping Norton......where I managed to do a few watercolours, in spite of the drizzle.This is a little sketch of the house where we stayed. I loved sitting in the tiny garden courtyard...And then it was back to the city for my last week, and no visit to London would be complete without a cake and cup of tea at Maison Bertaux.
I spent a few days in Vienna recently, and finally managed to eat at the famous Cafe Central with its glorious arched ceilings.I mixed it up a bit, and then went for cake at Simoni's, a very modern cafe, and just as delicious.The big revelation for me was the visit to the Kunsthistoriches Museum. I couldn't believe how many truly amazingly beautiful works of art there were.My favourites were this portrait of a lady by Rubens...and this absolute gem by Vermeer. It gave me such a lovely warm feeling.Vienna is such a beautiful city, even the hotdog stands are like works of art. This photograph is my tribute to Hopper, and features Durer's Hare on the roof.
I've spent a lovely few days celebrating my birthday: I went to the De Young museum to sketch, and then to the wonderful State Bird Provisions for dinner with friends. OMG it was totally amazing. It was sort of dim sum style, with waiters coming round with selections of tasty little plates. The pancakes with corn & Mt Tam cheese were absolutely to die for! Everyone was casual and friendly and they gave us extra ice cream sandwiches which was a lovely touch. And then today I had a picnic in the local Washington Park in the sunshine... I made cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and everyone brought something to share. My friend made these amazing individual jellies...Another lovely birthday. Thank you everyone!
We went to a friend's pizza party last week and made these amazing dessert pizza cakes! The bases are sponge cakes, with coloured buttercream for the tomato sauce, white chocolate ganache for the melted cheese, fruit leather pepperoni, hollowed-out liquorice allsort olives, dried pineapple, gummy pepper pieces, and grated white chocolate for the parmesan. We used real pizza boxes from Pizza my Heart et voila!Kind of messes with your mind when you bite into it, but super sweet and tasty!