Monthly Archives: July 2017

An evening with Yoga Brunch Club

July 19, 2017

Food + Recipes / Wellbeing

Yoga Brunch Club Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

As evening fell on a warm June day, I joined a group gathered to enjoy a yoga class with a difference. Yoga Brunch Club – as the name suggests – can usually be found popping up on a weekend morning, with brunch clubs held regularly in Bristol and London. Switching things up for this midsummer event, Yoga Brunch Club’s founder Clem Balfour hosted a yoga supper club which consisted of a vinyasa flow class, followed by a delicious Italian feast; all taking place in the beautiful setting of The Forge.

It was the day following the hottest of the year and with fans running and windows open wide, I think we were all grateful for the drop in temperature as we arrived and settled on our mats ready for an hour of yoga. Having not attended a yoga class for a good few years I was honestly a little anxious about my ability to keep up, not to mention being nearly four months pregnant obviously needing to be considered. However, Clem took the time to chat with me beforehand, mentioning a few poses I should adapt or skip, which put my mind at ease. She also made her way around the room before commencing the class, checking in with all the attendees.

As she led the class, Clem was sure to include options to adjust poses accordingly for the variety of abilities in the room along with providing gentle words of encouragement. I particularly remember her pointing out to the class that yoga is not about striving to attempt the perfect pose, but maintaining awareness of your own body during the practice. As my particular combination of tight hamstrings and little arms have a habit of making me feel like the least flexible girl in the room this felt like a very good reminder for me as a novice – plus I realise that pregnancy is probably not the time to lament not being able to touch my toes!

I really enjoyed the flowing nature of the class and as we rested in savasana at the end of the session I had that lovely satisfied feeling of an hour well spent.

Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola Food Yoga Brunch Club The Forge Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola FoodYoga Brunch Club The Forge

Having visited The Forge for all sorts of events I’m always impressed by the versatility of the space, which on this occasion seamlessly transitioned from yoga studio to dining room half way through the evening. Cocktails were served as mats and blocks were replaced by two long rustic tables, which looked so pretty decorated simply with flower stems in vintage bottles.

Bristol based caterers A Tavola had prepared a three-course Italian feast for the evening meal. As the sun set, we tucked into a delicious starter of spring broth, handmade ravioli main accompanied by two incredible salads followed by panna cotta with strawberries and pink peppercorns. Natural Italian wines were also available to enjoy with the meal. The food was so fresh and delicious, perfect for a midsummer’s evening and a lovely balance of hearty and wholesome which felt just right to follow our exercise.
Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

Having got into meditating regularly over the last year, I’ve been really wanting to give yoga another go as the two practices obviously compliment each other so well. Yoga Brunch Club was a lovely reintroduction for me and I’m definitely going to seek out a local pregnancy yoga class, although I may be disappointed in the lack of yummy food to follow!

Whether you’re also an absolute beginner or if unlike me you’re a seasoned yogini, I think you’ll find Yoga Brunch Club a beautiful way to spend a morning or evening.

The next Yoga Brunch Club in Bristol takes place on September 10th at The Forge with Vietnamese brunch menu from Uncle Ho’s. Early bird tickets are available for £30. Or you can catch Yoga Brunch Club in London with their next event in Brixton on August 13th.

Follow Yoga Brunch Club: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Website

All photos shot by the lovely and talented Kasia Kiliszek: InstagramPortfolio

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I was invited to this event by Yoga Brunch Club but all opinions (and tight hamstrings) are my own.

Me & Bump: 5 Months To Go

July 18, 2017

Pregnancy + Parenting

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the little announcement that I shared over the weekend… Baby Swift is due in just under 5 months on December 12th.

I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant which means the baby is the size of an artichoke in there. Considering when we found out and begun tracking it was just an apple pip it feels pretty incredible to have got to this point. We’re patiently impatiently waiting to feel some movement, which could happen at this stage. I’ve felt a few light flutterings which could have been soft baby kicks but nothing that I’ve been 100% sure of. We have our next scan coming up soon and although we have a tendency to be quite an indecisive couple we are pretty set on not finding out the baby’s gender.

I’m already finding that being pregnant such an amazing and fascinating time so I want to be sure to document it well, in both words and photos.  I’m looking forward to taking more portraits as time goes on and I grow bigger and bigger. For my first bump self-portrait, I’ve taken inspiration from my new favourite hashtag #BotanicalBodyHair. I loved the little heart shaped leaves on my belly so much I didn’t want to take them off. I even thought a little string of hearts motif would make such a pretty tattoo. Not that I’ll be getting one of those while I’m pregnant!

I’m so grateful for all the lovely comments and messages of support and encouragement which I’ve received. I don’t have many friends in Bristol who are parents so it’s comforting to have so many amazing mamma friends on Instagram who I know I can bother with ridiculous baby questions if I need some advice. I also feel very lucky that my little sister just had a baby last month so I’ll almost certainly be turning to her and getting some baby practice in as Auntie Charlie!

I hope you’ll enjoy following my pregnancy journey. If there’s anything specific you’d be interested to see my blog about I’d love to know.

WORN: Summer Brunch Club

July 7, 2017

Style

Brunch Club T-shirtBrunch Club T-shirt

I’ve finally been getting on top of backing up my photos that have been sitting on my phone for literally years now. My storage is in such a state that my phone has stopped functioning properly. I’ve been clearing the backlog and uploading to G Drive from the iCloud, all the while cursing myself for not deleting as I go, why are there so many duplicates?! Past me… you’re an idiot!

It’s not all bad however. One of the pros of this mind numbing job is discovering lovely forgot moments like this collection from last summer. I’m pulling all sorts of silly wannabe-fashion-blogger poses but I kind of love these shots as I look so happy. It was early June, the sun was shining, I was on the way to a BBQ with friends and feeling pretty pleased with my new Brunch Club T-shirt – what wasn’t there to be happy about eh? Plus that brick wall, white rose, wonky lamp post combo is a bit of a winner!

Brunch Club T-shirt

Brunch Club T-shirt

^^ Praise be to brunch! Reminds me of this Orange is the New Black meme 😂 ^^

Brunch Club T-shirt

T-Shirt – Brunch Club Tee still available from Our Fresh here
Denim shorts – H&M
Sandals – old Zara – similar here
Heart shaped sunglasses – old Accessories – similar here
Bumble Bee Necklace – Alex Monroe

Weekly Meals: ‘Simple’ by Dianna Henry

July 1, 2017

Food + Recipes

Simple Dianna Henry

Cookbook Club is a regular meet up with some lovely ladies I’ve met through Instagram where we all bring a different dish from one cookbook or cookery writer and spend the evening eating and talking about delicious food. Our cookbook of choice for this month’s Cookbook Club is ‘Simple‘ by food writer Dianna Henry. It’s a book that my friends at cookbook club have been raving about for months but until recently I hadn’t delved into. To get properly aquatinted with a new cookbook I love to immerse myself in it by trying out lots of the recipes that catch my eye in quick succession. Planning week’s worth of evening meals from the one book is a great way to do this.

Both my husband Will and I love to cook and the recipes in ‘Simple’ are just up our street; simple, rustic dishes that are big on flavour but have smallish ingredients lists. Here’s what we cooked from the book to get stuck in…

Meal Plan

Monday: Linguine All’amalfitana // page 106

I’m actually not a huge pasta fan so when I say that I could happily eat this walnut and anchovy linguine dish over and over again know that it’s high praise indeed! This recipe uses the pasta water to create a lovely glossy sauce, which reminds me of my favourite Anna Jones pasta dish.

Simple Dianna Henry

Tuesday: Breton tuna & white bean gratin // page 78

This is the only recipe that we weren’t so sure on. Not sure if I took a misstep when executing but I found that blending the beans meant we had a rather sloppy unappetising end product. I do however love that it’s made up of store cupboard ingredients but if I attempt it again I think I’ll leave some of the white beans whole for more texture in the gratin.

Wednesday: New York takeout noodles // page 97

We’ve already cooked these noodles three times in as many weeks, so it’s safe to say this recipe is an early favourite! The sauce for the noodles combines so many of my favourite things – garlic, chilli, peanuts, sesame and soy.

Dianna Henry Simple

Thursday: Baked merguez with beans eggs & feta // page 81

This dish featuring merguez sausages, beans and feta sprinkled on top was a great upgrade on our usual baked eggs which are already a huge favourite our ours.

Friday: Parmesan roast chicken with cauliflower & thyme

In the book, Dianna Henry says this dish was created out of a craving for roast chicken and cauliflower cheese, without a creamy sauce it didn’t quite hit that spot for me but it was delicious none the less and certainly perfect comfort food. The more traybake recipes up my sleeve the better I say!

Aside from one, these are all recipes I’ll be sure to make again and some I can see making frequent appearances on our dining table. There are so many more dishes in the book that I can’t wait to try so I think another week of cooking from Simple might be in order!

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