With the excitement of the long weekend, I got a little too distracted having fun to blog.. but I guess now's a good as time as ever to catch up. First and foremost, these are my new favourite trousers. A bit of an impulse purchase after browsing Uniqlo (thanks to Fen's last post); my mother looked at me like I had lost my mind when I announced that I had ordered a pair of these light green gingham trousers. I'm not even really sure why I had my heart set on them - since I'm not the biggest fan of green clothes - but something about them reminded me of Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse and I decided I had to have them. And as soon as they arrived, I fell in love. They are literally the perfect cut for my shape (and stretchy enough to compensate for me actually having an arse unlike some of Topshop's cuts). Being 5 ft 4, I find that a lot of trousers and jeans are just a little bit too long - I'm not quite short enough to be classed as petite, so inevitably I ended up with my jeans folded over or bunched up at my ankle. I'm not sure if these are supposed to be slightly cropped but they've worked out as the perfect length for my legs. And they look cute with Superga's (next on my list..) So under the influence of Justine, I was convinced to order three more pairs in different colours... Of course under the justification that they're wardrobe staples and at £9.90 a pop, they're hardly breaking the bank. In fact, I've almost convinced myself that since I'd (probably) have spent £30 on just one pair, it makes perfect sense to have three pairs for the same price. But in different colours. Anyway, back to the whole point of this post..
At the weekend, I was invited back to Garden Kitchen to review their summer menu. I've visited Garden Kitchen on a couple of occasions but the last time was back in November when I reviewed the Garden Kitchen Picnics, a quirky smorgasbord of classic picnic favourites served on a miniature picnic bench. With its kitsch collection of furniture and rustic feel, Garden Kitchen is one of those places were you feel instantly at home. There's a very relaxed feel to the place, and with it conveniently places in the middle of Eldon Square Gardens, plenty of opportunity for people watching.
Since I had already tried out (and loved) the Picnic last time, me and Cata decided to opt for something a little bit different from the new menu so I chose the asparagus and brie tart with olive tapenade, red onion and tomato salad (£6.95), and Cata opted for the salmon and mackerel fishcakes with avocado relish (£8.95). Since it was the start of the bank holiday, it seemed only right to treat ourselves to cocktails so I ordered Held in Preserve, a delicious jam jar cocktail of blackberry jam, Chambord, rum and cranberry juice; while Cata selected the Strawberry Blonde Mojito, a traditional mojito with fresh strawberries, strawberry liqueur and ginger beer.
As we were waiting for our main courses to arrive, and as the girls on the table beside us started tucking into two of the Garden Picnics, I was beginning to regret we hadn't opted for one.. but when our dishes arrived - accompanied with a portion of skinny fries- I quickly changed my mind. I'm not a huge fan of pastry but since The Grazer's Distinctly British Supperclub, I've been really craving pies and pastry dishes. What I hate though is when pastry is too thick or too flakey- but I'm pleased to say I wasn't disappointed with the tart. The base was a light (slightly) flakey pastry that worked well with the melted brie and rich olive tapenade. Since we both wanted to try each others, we decided to just half the two dishes between us. Which I was pleased about because as soon as Cata's fishcakes had arrived, I was suffering from major food envy! I've only just started to get into fishcakes - some weird block I had as a kid has made me avoid eating crabsticks, fishcakes and beetroot until fairly recently, so I feel a little like I'm making up for wasted time. As fishcakes go, I'm hardly an expert but these were light and fluffy with a slight zest of lemon. The avocado relish really complemented the flavours too, and it wasn't long before we'd both cleared our plates.
Compared to the giant picnics, the plates had looked a little small when they first arrived, but deceivingly so, because by the time we had finished we both felt stuffed! Although after our meal I thought my stomach may actually burst, Claire, the manager, came over to ask if we'd like desert, I couldn't resist. And since I knew the majority of cakes are supplied by the lovely Pet Lamb Patisserie ladies, I thought it'd be rude not to try and make room! We ordered coffee, carrot cake (made by the Pet Lamb girls), a deliciously fluffy sponge with just the right amount of cream cheese topping, and a richly indulgent chocolate brownie (made by the Garden Kitchen chefs). Just the right amount of naughtiness.
top: Laura Ashley, trousers: Uniqlo, ballet pumps: Topshop