Thursday, June 30, 2011

Winter Solstice Festival

Ahh the Winter Solstice Festival! An ancient pagan celebration of the shortest day of the year and a chance (IMO) to rug up and dance around a bonfire!!

So I pulled on my gumboots and and scarf and we headed to the Northey Street City Farm in Windsor.  We've been to a few Winter Solstice Festivals there and they're always fun. They usually have good vegetarian or at least organic food, and great live music.

We got there around 6.30pm and the first thing I wanted to do was eat! And I warm, winter comfort food was what I was craving. In past years they had damper cooking in a wood fire oven, and steaming bowls of curry and rice. This year though, the line up was probably half an hour long and when we finally got there they had run out of plates and serving in (very) small bowls. The food was kinda watery and tasteless. Very unsatisfying.



The music was great though. I think they were called Sons of Sound and they were a folksy, acoustic type band. They were such easy listening I was surprised I was happy to stand in the one spot for so long and just listen.

Anyways, the lack of food eventually got to us, and we went to the Pancake Manor in Elizabeth Street for a short stack and strawberries and cream.



Oh how I love this place. It's in an old church AND...it's open 24 hours. Bliss!  I remember going here with my Aunty in the early 80s when I was a kid. They had knights in suits of armour around the table in the middle, with cathedral ceilings and old church pews turned into the booths. It was warm and cosy inside, and suprisingly busy for that time of night. I loved it then and I love it now!



The best of winter...happy days...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gallery SOHO


Am loving all these new fabulous cafes that are popping up across Brisbane. I noticed Gallery SoHo when they started the fit out on busy Old Cleveland Road. It had these awesome decals of renaissance style artisans, which kept me guessing as to what it would be. A cafe? A bakery? It was a very small space, and they built long communal tables out the front. All very exciting.

It's been open for a few weeks at least and being on Old Cleveland Road, I drive past it often. It was clearly a cafe and ALWAY busy! Graham and I finally had a chance to check it out on Sunday for brunch and it FAABULOUS!


Firstly, all day breakfast. Tick one for Graham. Secondly, all the breads are artisan type breads - no animal fats and baked freshly daily from a "secret" local supplier. I know all this because the owner actually took the time to explain it all, while we were ordering and later for a chat when he collected our places. Tick one for me!

Was soo delicious, ate it before I got the iPhone out
Thirdly, lots of vegetarian options AND you can make changes the menu if requested...without the sour looking face from the waiter. Tick one for both of us! I had a vegetarian grill with eggplant, tomatoes, marinated capsicum, swiss cheese and aoili - I asked them to hold the onion jus - I'm sure it would have been delicious, but onion doesn't agree with me. Graham had scrambled eggs and mushrooms, and was as happy as Larry.

I had my "quarter strength latte", poured nicely, and not burnt or bitter
Despite being a super busy main road, we didn't notice the traffic and didn't mind sharing tables with complete strangers.

Loving living on the East side at the moment...I'll definitely be back...if just for the coffee.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pleasure Before Pain

I bought a voucher for a Hypoxi treatment the other day. It's a new, ahem, cellulite treatment where they encase the lower part of your body (the "fatty part") into a pod with a cycling machine in it. They seal you shut into it via a rubber skirt and you cycle your little heart out until you raise your core body temperature and start sweating. They turn on a vacuum inside with the idea of increasing circulation around your cottage cheese bum and thighs so you whack those fatty deposits out and burn them off.

But I digress.



What I really want to talk about is this awesome spinach and feta Texas Muffin I got next door  at Coco Bella Espresso in Ascot. I hadn't had breakfast and the Hypoxi "therapist" told me I should eat something first before I started my session.

It was melt in your mouth, warm and butter and yes, everything IS bigger in Texas!

And yes...a muffin before a training session, I'm aware of the irony. Weight loss...fail. But gastronomy...success!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My new love

Since I've starting for a home and lifestyle magazine I've fallen completely in love with interior design.  Not just all the beautiful products out there but the creativity interior designers have in putting it all together.

I find myself pouring over home magazines where I used to look at fashion magazines, and reading blogs by interior designers when I used to read blogs from fashionistas. Am I just getting older or do I have a new passion?

I'm really looking forward to decorating the house when it's finally rebuilt after the flood. I haven't decided on a theme yet, but I've fallen in love with mid century and Scandanavian furniture.


Love this coffee table from Sounds Like Home.


Adore this Florence Broadhurst cushion by Olive & Joy...but it's $89!


Saw this lampshade at the South Bank Young Designer's Markets. Seven Dandelions  make the most beautiful pieces.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kar-Ching!

Hmmm...the number of times I've blogged about places I've eaten out at in the last few months is starting to add up to $$ in my head. Need to cook more at home I think....

Lady Marmalade Cafe


Ahhh Lady Marmalade Cafe, I think you're my new favourite cafe! Great coffee, friendly service and a simple menu. It's tucked in the corner of the Logan Road near Stones Corner, and when Graham and I dropped in it was a chilly Winter's morning and it was warm inside with the smell of freshly brewed coffee.



I love the old crockery they serve on, it's like the retro dinnerware you'd get at Grandma's, but when it's here it seems way cooler.



We just had coffee and raison toast cause we were in a hurry, but it was fast and pretty yummy. Most importantly, they made me a quarter strength flat white just how I like it.



The guy next to me was tucking into the haloumi, roasted pumpkin, chilli & mint pesto, tomato and spinach on sourdough...that'll be what I'm ordering next time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Institution that is The Laksa Hut



The Laksa Hut at Toowong has been an institution in Brisbane for years! I used to walk past it every day when I was at uni in the, ahem, early 90s when I used to live in Jephson Street. Don't actually remember eating there, but my cousin Tehana mentioned it the other day, so I thought it might be a good halfway place to meet the bestie Bernice for lunch before we had to go and pick up the kids.

I had this salt and pepper tofu and it was divine. Deep fried tofu goodness, pressed with just enough salt and pepper to make it tasty and spicy. The decor  and service was typically Asian, with roast ducks hanging in the windows, mismatched plates, and no nonense waitresses. But who cares. The tofu rocked.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Private Dining at Jellyfish Restaurant


Had dinner at the famed Jellyfish Restaurant at Eagle Street Pier. It was bustling for a Thursday night and the atmosphere was buzzing. We had the private dining room with 20 of Graham's work colleagues and while the menu looked mouthwatering...to a vegetarian, it looked empty.



The waitress was lovely, and brought out a bocconcini platter with a vine ripened tomato, baby bocconcini and pesto along with a rocket salad with roasted almonds and shaved parmesan. It was nice and fresh, but looking at everyone else's tempura soft shell crab with wasabe mayonnaise was a little depressing.

One thing that did impress me was the Voss Sparkling Water that was promptly refilled as soon as it hit empty. The contents itself weren't anything more than any other sparkling water, but the packaging was divine. Clear, tall gloss bottle with simple branding. I want one for home. Between that and the Cloudy Bay Sauvingon Blanc, drinks were definitely a 10!



For mains they made crumbed tomatoes and gnocci which was delicious, but the person next to me had whole fried baby barramundi and the presentation was a work of art. I wish I'd been able to take a photo...but I thought it might seem rude to ask, or at least a little odd, and I didn't want to be "the wierd girl I sat next to last night who took photos of all the food". Again. Like the cat lady of the culinary world.



I had actually checked out the menu the day before (not at all obsessed with food) and was sooo looking forward to passionfruit crème brûlée with passionfruit ice cream and madeleines, but we didn't order until 8pm and it was 9.30pm while we were just finishing up our mains, and we had to pick up Josh from my bestie's place. So, regretfully, we had to go. I'm going back later to get that crème brûlée.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Angry Birds Toy


I'm just (slightly) addicted to Angry Birds.  Those damn pigs - they smirk at you, did you know, if you don't knock them down at the end. I do love this Angry Birds toy though...listen to the sound it makes when you squeeze it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why parents AREN'T allowed on eBay!


So I signed my Mum up to eBay so she could buy stuff...like you do. But being somewhat technically challenged, I thought it would be easier to do the signing for her, and all she had to do was click on the activation email. Easy right?  This is the msn conversation I had with her...


Urban Princess says: (9:07:44 PM)
hello

Urban Princess says: (9:07:50 PM)
did you get an email from eBay?

Mum says: (9:07:52 PM)
yes

Urban Princess says: (9:08:11 PM)
did you click on it?

Mum says: (9:08:24 PM)
no

Urban Princess says: (9:08:28 PM)
um...

Mum says: (9:08:29 PM)
click on what

Urban Princess says: (9:08:33 PM)
you have to click on it mummy poo

Urban Princess says: (9:08:36 PM)
to activate it

Mum says: (9:08:46 PM)
what on ebay

Mum says: (9:09:06 PM)
well what just ebay.com

Urban Princess says: (9:09:15 PM)
OMG

Urban Princess says: (9:09:19 PM)
OK...

Mum says: (9:09:29 PM)
he eheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Urban Princess says: (9:09:30 PM)
don't write!

Urban Princess says: (9:09:42 PM)
Let's try this again

Urban Princess says: (9:09:57 PM)
Step 1

Urban Princess says: (9:10:00 PM)
Open the email from Ebay

Urban Princess says: (9:10:03 PM)
Step 2

Urban Princess says: (9:10:12 PM)
There will be a line that says, click here to activate your account

Urban Princess says: (9:10:18 PM)
that's it

Urban Princess says: (9:10:24 PM)
2 steps! ;)

Mum says: (9:10:43 PM)
weell first do i go to the ebay site

Urban Princess says: (9:10:50 PM)
nope

Urban Princess says: (9:10:58 PM)
there will be a link on the email

Urban Princess says: (9:11:02 PM)
that says click here to activate

Mum says: (9:11:02 PM)
well how then

Urban Princess says: (9:11:13 PM)
and when  you click on it, it will take you to the ebay site

Mum says: (9:11:13 PM)
but i didnt get an email

Mum says: (9:11:21 PM)
der

Mum says: (9:12:21 PM)
forget it found it by myself

Mum says: (9:12:37 PM)
you dont make it easy for an old girl

Urban Princess says: (9:12:45 PM)
OMG!!!

Urban Princess says: (9:12:56 PM)
I'm going to post this conversation on my blog

Mum says: (9:13:11 PM)
hee hee

Mum says: (9:13:24 PM)
well got onto ebay now what

Mum says: (9:13:29 PM)
it says join here

Urban Princess says: (9:13:46 PM)
But I've already joined you!!

Urban Princess says: (9:13:53 PM)
They are supposed to send you an activation email

Mum says: (9:13:55 PM)
ok now what

Urban Princess says: (9:14:02 PM)
you said you got an email from them already

Mum says: (9:14:04 PM)
yes well i havent got it silly

Urban Princess says: (9:14:12 PM)
but you said you did!!

Mum says: (9:14:15 PM)
no i said i haven t got it

Urban Princess says: (9:14:27 PM)
What?

Urban Princess says: (9:14:36 PM)
go back to the beginning of the conversation

Urban Princess says: (9:14:40 PM)
I said, did you get an email

Urban Princess says: (9:14:42 PM)
and you said, yes

Urban Princess says: (9:14:54 PM)
Graham is laughing at you

Mum says: (9:15:21 PM)
no i meant yes what did you want

Urban Princess says: (9:15:26 PM)
ohhh

Urban Princess says: (9:15:28 PM)
my god!

Mum says: (9:15:39 PM)
cus you called me

Mum says: (9:15:47 PM)
keep up with the conversation girl

Urban Princess says: (9:15:55 PM)
I'm still going to post this


PS:  By the way, I love my Mum.  She makes me laugh. But she's no good with technology.

Mixed Nuts


Mick's Nuts, West End.

Brunch at Pompidou Cafe



I absolutely love trying new restaurants and cafes, but I love going back to my favourites. I love knowing that when I get there, my favourite dessert or pasta will be served up just as I love it, just as it always is. I love the familiarity of the menu, and the decor, and the waitresses or even the comfy chairs.

So imagine my despair when we rocked up to Wicked Sister in Bulimba on Sunday for my favourite avocado on sourdough with lemon and...

It was gone.

Not just the avocado and sourdough off the menu.  The WHOLE restaurant!!! What the??

Grrrrr! It was replaced by an Italian cafe. I do love Italian, but it didn't have an all day breakfast, and there were only 2 vegetarian options on the menu.  I wasn't actually that hungry, and would have shared a vegetable lasagne, but Graham wasn't in a sharing mood, so the only option was the mushroom, goat's cheese, roasted capsicum and rocket pizza.  Which we shared. Go figure.



Anyway, it was delicious! The base was a incy bit too thick, but I can live with that. I don't even really like mushrooms, but they weren't too chunky and most of all, not slimy, and the goat's cheese was tart and smushy as it should be. Normally I don't deal very well with my favourite restaurants just disappearing, but I'll make an exception for Pompidou Cafe. The coffee was nice too.

There was one thing that was the same though and that was a huge wooden table with bench seats. They throw a whole heap of magazines and newspapers on there to browse while you're waiting for your meal - Vogue, inStyle, Marie Claire. Good choice.  They had also mounted a HUGE photo of, I guess, maybe the new owner's family back in the 1940s or 1950s. Made a cool back drop.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cute Girl Discount


Do I get one?

Another day...another cupcake


I popped in to see my Bestie Bernice at du Monde, the home of all things beautiful. I brought coffee, she brought cupcakes from Monty's Chocolates. Chocolate butterfly cakes with fluffy pink icing :-) .


Coffee from Java Lounge.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Best Paneer...where?


Who'd have thought the best Indian I'd ever had would be in Warwick. We stopped in at Zaika for a quick bite to eat before heading up to the farm. At the moment Warwick is FREEZING as we head in to the first days of Winter and the thought of a piping hot curry was a much better option than a Subway. We ordered the Aloo Masala and Spinach Paneer and oh...my...god. It was divine. Rich, creamy, spicy, but not at all oily. Served with the perfect amount of saffron rice and I'm pretty sure this is what it's like in India.


I should clarify this is the best Indian I've ever had AT A RESTAURANT. Our friends Anoushka and Ashish make the best Indian food EVER. Hands down. Zaika comes a very close second.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birthday celebrations at du Monde



Congrats to the lovely people at du Monde on their second birthday in the Paddington Antique Centre.  Double celebrations for their launch too of "Design in a Box". Fabulous concept! Absolutely in love with all the homewares they have in there. Checked out all their wares with my cousin Tehana, who squealed (literally) every five seconds, "ohhh I LOOOVE this...!"

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! All gorgeous! Congrats to Daryl and my bestie bernice on a fabulous job and a fabulous night!


Ohh and looky at the cute little mini cupcakes they served - from Judy C Cakes. The little pink thing poking out the top was a butterfly. I was going to take another photo so you could see it...but I decided to eat it instead ;-) . Stop licking your computer screen!