Vegas had always been on our list to visit while living on this side of the world and we are so lucky that we made it happen in our first year. We had been talking about it, looking at hotels and flight prices for a few weeks when one evening, D suddenly snapped his laptop closed, exclaiming “I’ve done it! We’re going”. He had booked us three nights at The Venetian. I couldn’t wait! Three nights exploring the glitz and glamour of the lights of Vegas. Bring it on!
We arrived at The Venetian hotel on a Friday evening and quickly made our way to the check-in desk. I had read several things online about offering tips to the clerk and asking if there were any complimentary upgrades Continue reading
In 12 months America has hit me hard with it’s obsession: coffee. The stuff is everywhere and I am hooked. Yes, being a lady-of-leisure, kept-woman, Californian housewife, whatever you want to call me, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops with friends and my laptop or a good book. So I had to play the part accurately, and become addicted to the stuff as well, right? But we can’t always be bothered to get showered, dressed and look vaguely presentable to enjoy a coffee at Starbucks. Sometimes you want to just sit and enjoy the stuff in your PJ’s on the sofa, and in the comfort of your own home. This is where my shiny new french press comes in, shining brightly, waving a perfectly manicured hand in the direction of the kitchen!
But making a cup of coffee using a french press is a work of art, it’s not as simple as it sounds. So here is my coffee-making routine, with tips and tricks that I have learnt along the way.
Tools of the trade
To be able to brew a cup of coffee that has the taste that you love, you need to be able to create it easily. Yes, a teaspoon of Nescafé instant and hot water works well, but it can be better than this, trust me! Here are the tools that I use everyday:
KitchenAid 4oz coffee grinder
Let’s start at the beginning: preparing the coffee beans. No, I don’t mean roasting Continue reading
The first time that I visited the West Coast I found a small haven that I instantly fell in love with. It was a town that just took my heart and it made me realise that I could picture myself living here one day. Fast forward 4 years to 2017 and I want to introduce you to Palo Alto.
Calling Palo Alto a “small town” isn’t really correct. It’s larger than a town, but not quite on the city-scale. It’s 30 minutes south of San Francisco and is the birth place of many tech companies, such as Hewlett Packard, SurveyMonkey, and Groupon. I guess I shouldn’t leave out that Palo Alto is also the home of Stanford University, the world’s 2nd best place to study. It’s a place that gets it’s name from the 1,077 year old sequoia tree that still grows there, and is the Spanish translation of the term “tall tree”.
But it’s not the tall trees or tech companies that has me loving Palo Alto. It’s the small-town feel and the ability to find something to eat from a different corner of the world every 20 feet, because let’s face it, a day out isn’t complete without the smells and feels of tons of different foods that you can’t eat because of your commitment to your current no-carbs, no-sugar, no-fun, healthy eating.
Despite that, I took some time out last week and ventured towards Palo Alto. It was rainy, cold and dreary which meant my first stop had to be coffee at my much loved Blue Bottle Coffee. It’s housed in an old cinema with so much character, a beautiful fountain and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard, more suited to a summers day than the one I arrived on, but hey-ho, I wasn’t going to let a little rain put me off! I ordered my coffee* and took my seat outside, ready to enjoy some people-watching and Instagram-stalking.
*The cookie accidentally landed on my plate and it would have been rude to turn it away..