Diptyque – Feu de Bois Candle

IMAG0084I 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!

Bistro Moderne, Stockbridge Edinburgh

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

Beef Rendang

unnamedOver the Christmas holidays I wanted to take the chance to do some cooking, but the two weeks seemed to fly past without anything special, other than some Christmas Pudding vodka my other half made, appearing out of the kitchen.

I did take the chance recently to make this slow cooked beef rendang by Merilees Parker, with a couple of tweaks (tweaks only because I forgot to buy lemongrass and fresh limes really) and some added veggies – I went with baby corn and mange tout.

This was a tasty dish, perfect for a cold windy evening but next time I think it would benefit from the zesty freshness of the lemongrass and lime zest to brighten up the flavours, but it’s definitely one I’ll make again.