In bringing my blog our of hibernation, I decided now was the perfect time to create my own domain name! You can now visit me at http://www.themodedevie.com.
Hopefully see you on the other side!
When I passed my driving test a couple of months ago, I decided all those nerves and hard work deserved a treat (any justification…), and I bought this beautiful purple suede bag from ASOS.
This bucket-style of bag is very on-trend at the moment, with it’s slouchy casual shape. As soon as I saw this, I fell in absolutely love with the vibrant shade of fuschia purple. My wardrobe is becoming increasingly monochrome and I love to accessorize with bright accessories to add a bit of interest – and I’m always a sucker for anything suede.
I am very partial to a scented candle or two, as they make a space feel so warm and cosy especially when the weather outside is wild and cold. I have tended to stick to mid-range prices, buying Lily Flame and Yankee candles but I recently went mad and treated myself to my first ever Diptyque candle, in the smoky, sensuous Feu de Bois scent.
I went for the smaller size, which was £20, as I just couldn’t bring myself to part with £40 for a candle (how do all the other beauty bloggers manage to have dozens of luxe candles dotted about?), especially as it was a new scent.
Although it was the smaller size, the scent throw was really good, and it filled my living room with a beautiful, smoky, log-fire scent – perfect for the stormy, rainy weather, making the room feel very cosy.
I had heard through the grapevine that Muji’s Log Fire candle is a really good dupe and for only £3.95, I ordered two to try it out – the smell is very similar, but they don’t have the same throw – only to be expected, but at the price, I’m happy to buy multiples at burn together to give a similar effect!
My boyfriend had a business meeting just outside Edinburgh the other weekend, and we thought we’d take the opportunity for a wee date day in the capital.
There are literally dozens of restaurants I’m dying to try in Edinburgh but, as fans of the original Mark Greenaway restaurant, we decided to try his new offering Bistro Moderne,which is in the Stockbridge area.
This was the first time we’d been to Mark’s new restaurant, and we nearly bypassed it entirely as the sign is rather discrete. Once inside, the décor is a gorgeous mix of the traditional – cornicing and wood paneling – and industrial – the pass on view to diners, and stainless steel lights. You can see the chefs at work in the kitchen, which is something I personally love. The service was, as you’d expect, slick, swift and professional.
I had originally seen their fantastic value £15 set menu, but when we arrived they didn’t offer this on a Sunday. Instead they had a roast beef/ chicken sharing board for two, for the princely sum of £25. Plumping for this was no great hardship, although I will admit that sharing boards make me slightly nervous – well, you just don’t know if you’ll get a decent feed, do you? – but the idea of a Sunday roast was just too appealing.
We skipped starters and went straight for the main, and when the board was placed on the table I was more than happy with what I saw – a pile of pink, juicy roast beef, scrumptiously crisp potatoes and a mini-gravy boat with the tasty meat juices. This was accompanied by some strips of incredibly tasty beef fat (I’ll admit to dribbling slightly thinking back on this…) plus two small ramekins of roasted root veg and spring greens.
The beef was absolutely delicious, and the gravy flavoursome. I could quite easily have eaten the pile of potatoes all to myself, as they were crispy on the outside and very fluffy within.
For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Tasting Plate from the a la carte menu – a mix of milk, dark and white chocolate elements. There was something similar to honeycomb – both pieces and a mousse – but this might’ve been caramelised white chocolate. Either way, it was delicious, but not too heavy after the roast.
I’d say Bistro Moderne is a strong addition to the Edinburgh food scene and another successful offering from the expanding Greenaway empire, and I look forward to visiting again and trying the a la carte menu.
My boyfriend and I had a a weekend through on the East Coast recently, and we may have made a pilgrimage to bakery Falko Konditormeister on both the Saturday and Sunday mornings…whoops. Falko Konditormesiter is owned an run by German master pastry chef Falko Burkert (konditormesiter means the highest state qualification for a pastry chef in Germany). The Falko story began in 2005 with a mega-successful stall at Edinburgh’s Farmer’s Market, followed by a cafe in Bruntsfield, then finally the Gullane branch.
First of all – the surroundings. The café is in a lovely sandstone corner shop, and, with its dark wood paneling and log fire, is the perfect place to wile away a winter hour or two.
We started off with the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (black forest gateau), and the Schokoladentrüffeltorte (chocolate trufflecream gâteau). I also ordered one of their specialty teas, opting for a pot of refreshing lemon, while Ian upped the treat ante with a hot chocolate.
Both cakes were delicious, and far lighter than looking at them would suggest. The only slight criticism I had was that I would’ve liked a more pronounced cherry flavour in the schwarzwälderkirschtorte, but that’s a personal taste thing.
We also bought two further cakes to take away – the Opera Torte, and the Schoko-Orangen-Kuchen (chocolate orange tart). The Opera Cake has similar flavours to a tiramisu, but with a much firmer texture. The boyfriend fell in love with the chocolate orange tart, with its strong rich flavours and rich thick ganache. I have to say, although our earlier cakes were good, these really knocked our socks off – rich, though not cloying – the opera cake was beautiful to look at with perfectly balanced layers while the tart had a deep, bitter ganache and fantastic, light pastry.
In terms of cost, you are talking around £4 per item – not cheap in itself, but compared to the dried up husks you so often find in cafes, the quality is incomparable. I have seen some comments around about the quality of service (surly staff, orders having to be repeated…) but I didn’t experience that myself – our waiters were friendly, if not overly so, and everything arrived as swiftly as it was ordered.
The next day we decided we couldn’t resist and had to have one last visit while still through in the east, and ordered the pancakes with honey roast banana and bacon. The bananas had a slight hint of curry flavours, which sounds unusual to a British palette, but I think fruit and curry are a fairly common pairing on the continent, and they do work together well.
For me, both branches of Falko, but particularly the Gullane branch, are really special places to visit – the quality of the cakes and tarts can’t be faulted, and curling up next to the log fire with a pot of tea and a treat feel so luxurious.
ETA: Since I initially started drafting this post, we’ve been back yet again, this time taking friends and their toddler. Due to being with friends, I didn’t take any photos, but I can heartily recommend the black pudding and goats’ cheese open sandwiches we had!
I was going to start a food blog, but then I realised I’d have too much fun writing about make up, fashion and decorating too, so it morphed into a (whispers it, as I hate the phrase) ‘lifestyle blog’. Having said once, I shall never use the phrase again.
Come here to read my thoughts on make up products, new trends in fashion and interior design plus whatever other interesting things float across my radar. I hope you enjoy it!