Perfect Movies For Cozy Autumnal Nights

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There’s something about Autumn that conjures thoughts of thick jumpers, crunchy leaves, hot drinks and curling up in front of the TV. With the change in the weather there’s no better feeling than staying inside and escaping into a great film with a cosy blanket. So I thought it was the perfect time to share with you some of my favourite films that really get me in the Autumnal mood.

500 Days of Summer

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Although the film takes place throughout the four seasons, without spoiling the ending, if you’ve seen it you’ll know exactly what makes it perfect for the transition to from Summer to Autumn. Not to mention the soundtrack is perfect at encapsulating the hope and reflection that Autumn brings.

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

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It could be argued that every Harry Potter film is perfect for Autumn but I think it’s the detailed, extravagant Great Hall scenes in the first film that really emphasise all the beautiful seasonal colours. Plus who doesn’t feel festive when they hear the Harry Potter theme tune?

Dead Poets Society

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This is one to spur you on as you start the new school year and leave you wishing every teacher could be as inspiring as Robin Williams. As an English graduate I love this film on a deeply nerdy level and the autumnal setting will leave you wanting nothing more than to make the most of those beautiful Autumn days.

When Harry Met Sally

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This is one of the great Rom-Com classics that epitomises the romantic element of Autumn in Harry and Sally’s beautiful walk through Central Park. Although the pinnacle of the film takes place on New Years Eve it’s those autumnal scenes that you remember and who doesn’t love a bit of romance on these cold Autumn nights.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

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In true Wes Anderson style this is one of the most beautiful films on the list to watch with its entire spectrum of oranges, reds and yellows creating the perfect Autumnal world to escape into. One of the best adaptations of Roald Dahl’s books it’s a heartwarming tale mixed with adventure and a great one to watch with family and friends.

Rushmore

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Another Wes Anderson entry but what can I say, when the man picks an aesthetic he runs with it. Jason Schwartzman plays precocious student Max Fischer and although it’s not a film for everyone’s tastes, it beautifully covers the whole Autumnal season through to Christmas. Plus it has Bill Murray in it, and who doesn’t love a Bill Murray movie!

St Elmo’s Fire

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Another one that is very close to my heart as it is about a group of recent college graduates, and is one of the most often forgotten 80’s movie for no good reason. The final scene where they walk off into the night perfectly reminds you that there’s nothing better than wrapping yourself up against the cold, and that no matter what you always have your friends to count on.

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Autumnal Spiced Apple and Plum Pie

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There’s something about the change in the weather that immediately has me reaching for a cookery book. After  a bit of tinkering I came up with this, my spiced apple and plum pie which is to me epitomizes everything that’s good about Autumn.

This is the best season for plums and mixed with the apples and spices they combine to make a pie that’s perfect for a winter treat, and one that always proves a hit with my family and friends! Not  to mention that there’s something just so comforting about a slice of pie with custard of ice cream that makes it the food equivalent of a hug, and the perfect medicine to chase those winter blues away.

What You’re Going To Need

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For the Short Crust Pastry

255g plain flour

Pinch of salt

140g hard butter

6 tsp cold water

For the Filling

5 Cooking Apples

2 Sweet Apples (I used Braeburns but any sweet apple would be just as good)

6 Plums (You can add slightly more or less depending on taste)

2 1/2 Tbsp of Cornflour

175g of Sugar (I prefer golden caster as it gives it a caramely taste)

155g of Brown Sugar (I used Demerara which is also perfect for giving a caramel flavour)

2tsp of Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg (About 2 good pinches)

Milk to glaze

Then it’s time to get down to business!

For the pastry I cheated and sifted my flour and salt into my food processor and added the butter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor just use your fingers instead, they work just as well! Slowly add the water until the mixture is combined then tip the pastry out onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Then clingfilm it and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool and relax the dough.

Then it’s time to prepare the filling. After peeling the apples core them and the plums, then loosely chop them and throw them into a deep saucepan. Add the sugar, cornflour and spices until the fruit has softened and the juices have combined to form a caramely liquid. Once the liquid had thickened and the fruit has softened take the fruit off the heat.

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and remove a third for the topping. I prefer my pies to be open topped so I only removed about a quarter but feel free to decorate however you want! Roll out the pastry and line your tin (tip using the rolling pin to help you lift the pastry makes it much easier), then line it on top with greaseproof paper and baking beads, and pop it in the over for about 10 minutes. As you can see I didn’t have any baking beads so I improvised with linseed but rice works just as well.

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Once it’s slightly coloured, remove the beads and paper from the pastry and glaze it with your milk. Cook it for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is fully dried out.

Meanwhile you can roll out the lid or decoration for your pie, and once it’s out of the oven you can fill and top it! I like to use a slotted spoon as it’s great to remove the excess liquid that can make your pie soggy, then I add my lid or decoration and bake it for 40-45 minutes. But make sure if you’re using a lid you mark a hole in the top to let the steam escape.

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But then voila, an autumnal spiced pie, perfect for those cold winter evenings, all that’s left is to serve it up!Af.

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I hope you enjoyed this post as I’m really trying to get back to posting recipes as I really enjoy it and Winter recipes are some of my favourites to make. I would love to know if any of you give it a go and what you think, or even your favourite recipes as I’m always on the look out for new ones!

Music Musings

2121I know, I’ve finally got round to writing another music post! This past year seems to have been one of the best times for Pop music with so many great songs being released, so I thought I’d share with you again the songs that have been getting the most play on my Ipod right now!

Demi Lovato- Confident
I have been a hard-core Demi Lovato fan since her Camp Rock days and I am so happy to see her back on form looking happier and healthier than ever. Cool For The Summer was pretty much my Summer anthem and Confident is definitely going to take me through to Autumn. The perfect pre-party song guaranteed to make you feel like an absolute bad-ass, it’s another sultry, powerful song like her previous single and has left me counting down the days till the whole album is released.

Rachel Platten- Fight Song
I’m definitely on a bit of an anthem song hype at the minute which is largely down to this song. Rachel Platten has been trying for years to hit the big time and it’s so obvious by the raw emotion behind the lyrics which are so passionate and uplifting, it makes me smile everytime I hear it. As a recent graduate I’m definitely at one of the most uncertain times in my life and as cheesy as it is, this song makes me believe that it’ll all be okay in the end.

Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
This is the newest release on the list but from the first listen I have been absolutely hooked and had it on repeat ever since. Whether it’s about Ed Sheeran or not it’s the perfect revenge song, while the guitar melody and Ellie’s haunting voice perfectly combines with the r&b style beat to create a sexy, yet club ready anthem.

Selena Gomez- Same Old Love
Another example of my childhood as a Disney fan-girl here but I have been obsessed with Selena Gomez’s new mature, adult sound, which is evident in this song. Much like Good For You it’s a more understated melody focusing on her voice, and while I don’t think it’s the best song she’s ever done, the message is one everyone can relate to. Trust me after one play you’ll be singing it on repeat for days.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as I realise pop music isn’t to everyone’s taste but I hope I’ve encouraged some of you to give something new a listen, and as always I would love to know what songs you’ve been loving this month!

A Day In Brighton

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For years I have been seeing hundreds of posts and videos of bloggers raving about Brighton, not to mention the hundreds of beautiful instagrams taken of it. As a result it has long been number one on my list of must-go places in the UK, so of course when the chance came for a brief day trip I jumped at the chance! I thought it’d make a nice beginners guide to Brighton and give me a chance to share with you the best places I managed to stumble upon during my day.

 

Mange Tout

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This was one that came highly recommended by pretty much every blogger who’s written about Brighton, and when we turned the corner from the car park to see it opposite I knew it was fate. With a varied yet simple, fresh menu it ticks every box and was the perfect brunch fix. Not to mention it has some of the best coffee I’ve ever had which was served with some delicious homemade meringues! This is the perfect option for the pickiest of friends not to mention those who like things a little on the healthier side, all in all putting our trip off to a great start.

 

Magazine

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This for me was literally the stuff dreams are made of, a shop dedicated to magazines! This is the hardcore stuff though, no Grazia or Elle to be found here, only slightly obscure yet beautifully made magazines covering everything from fashion to film. Some of them are more like books than conventional magazines, and although I finally manage to whittle it down to one (trust me it took a while) I could have easily left with half the store. Whether or not you’re a magazine obsessive like me I cannot recommend it enough even if just to look and try something new!

 

The Flour Pot

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By this point we’d done enough walking that we were ready for another snack so as soon as I saw The Flour Pot bakery I knew that it was the answer to our prayers. This was another one I’d seen highly recommended by multiple bloggers so I had to pop it and grab a few treats for later. There was an amazing of variety of both savoury and sweet treats and a great gluten-free selection as well (which in hindsight I can thoroughly recommend as some of the best coeliac bakery products I’ve had).

 

Bert’s Homestore

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This is one for those who love all things home, Bert’s has everything from baking supplies to decorations, to toys. It’s one of those places that is impossible to leave without at least a little something, not to mention it’s just a lovely place to look around while you’re reminded of all the things you don’t need but really want. I am so distraught that these stores are only in Brighton, but it’s probably better for my bank account.

 

Edited

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After Bert’s I was definitely in the homeware mood and Edited was perfect to give me that fix. It’s like a combination of all the coolest stuff you’d find on Etsy all in one place. With a brilliant mix of the quaint and quirky there’s something for every style, and left me really wishing that I could fit one of those giant ice cream cushions in the car with me.

 

Brighton Pier

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One of the last places we managed to hit is probably one of the most famous places in Brighton, the beach! It is one of the most picturesque beaches so I couldn’t resist having a ride on the merry-go-round and a go on a couple of the arcade games while I was there. A must have for anyone visiting, it was the perfect way to reflect on the events of the day while enjoying the picturesque scenery. Plus it’s a great place to visit if you’re a big kid like me and can’t resist a ride or two.

 

The Brighton Pavilion

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This is a bit of a cheaty one as we didn’t actually manage to go inside because they were renovating, but the gardens alone were worth the visit. The building itself is so stunning I can’t wait to come back and see the inside, but for the meantime I was perfectly content to wander around the grounds and take some pictures. It was definitely the perfect way to end my first trip to Brighton.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it hopefully gave you a few ideas of where to go if you’ve never been to Brighton before. I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking of doing some more “In a Day” guides, so let me know if you’d like to see some more of them and where I should go next. Also please let me know your favourite places in Brighton too as I’m already compiling a list of where to go for next time!

Doing The Sushi Samba

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When I was little I would always imagine being some high flying business woman who would spend her evenings going to amazing and beautiful places in London. Who knew that I didn’t need to be that much older, or that high flying to go to such places. Led by my best friend Olivia (couldn’t get rid of her last week) whose childhood dreams equalled my own, we headed over to the Heron Tower and up to the 38th floor to live out our dreams for real. After the best elevator ride I’ve ever had we arrived and headed up the stairs to our metaphorical bar heaven.

DSC04770If this is what heaven looks like, count me in!

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Unfortunately we had just come from dinner, a choice I was severely regretting when I saw the magic these chefs were serving up. But on the upside guess I’ll just have to come back for it!DSC04708 DSC04710

We picked a perch with a view and set our sights firmly on the bar, although it took us about 20 minutes just to read the cocktail menu, and there’s nothing I love more than a healthy dose of choice when picking my cocktails!DSC04711 DSC04727

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To be sensible I asked for the non-alcoholic cocktail option which hear me out, was made with roasted red peppers. Sounds strange I know and granted the first sip was slightly startling, but the perfect mixture of savoury and sweet flavours made it one of most interesting and satisfying cocktails I’ve ever had.

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Have you ever seen a view like this before? I would happily have set up camp here all evening, but unfortunately we had to make do with just a few hours.
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We would’ve happily carried on drinking and talking the night away but unfortunately it eventually came to home time and we had to make our way downstairs, but not before I’d taken a few photos of course! I mean come on when else do you get to pose with London’s skyline as your backdrop?DSC04766 DSC04767We also couldn’t help but swing by the incredible outdoor bar which was packed and for good reason due to the most amazing tree sculpture I’ve ever seen.
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I wasn’t joking when I said this place was stuff dreams were made off.
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Dragging our heels we finally got to the lift which gave me just enough time to soak in my last glimpse of the city skyline and of course give my best blue steel for one last photo. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a pretty backdrop!
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Until next time London, but thanks for letting two girls live their childhood dreams even if just for one night. Cheesy I know, but seriously if you’re looking for somewhere amazing whether it’s for a celebration or simply a drink or two, give Sushi Samba a try. Even if it’s not your cup of tea it’s worth it just for the ride and the unbelievable views.

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These two goons certainly enjoyed it anyway!

Cinema Under The Sky

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Little known fact about me is that I am completely and totally obsessed with movies in any shape, way or form. I’m also a complete sucker for anything novelty, so the concept of an outdoor cinema is pretty much a match made in heaven for me.

For my childhood best friend’s 21st birthday present I thought I’d get her something a little different and when I found an outdoor showing of Little Shop of Horrors, the film that first made us best friends I knew it was fate. So under the guise of a mysterious trip to London, I whisked her off to Camden for a night under the stars.
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Under a blanket of lights it perfectly set the magical scene of the evening, but before we hunkered down for the night we couldn’t help but have a look at everything else that was on offer.

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And of course we couldn’t help but take a few pictures (I mean what’s a best friend if not to act as a part-time photographer)!

The more eagled eye of you might notice that this is my newly purchased jumper courtesy of Wish Wish Wish from the bloggers market, which I have to say is so cosy I’m going to be wearing it all Winter.

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Once we’d had our fill of sights we needed something to fill our bellies and as soon as I saw the Honest burgers sign our fate was sealed.

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A tucked away literal hole in the wall with the coolest looking group of people you’ve ever seen it has a completely inclusive atmosphere where you can pull up a seat and enjoy the atmosphere and food (that is if you can find one).

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While Olivia went for the plain beef I went for the eponymous Honest, a mouth-watering combination of beef, bacon, mature cheddar, onion relish and pickled cucumber. I can tell you honest-ly (sorry had to be done) it is on the top 3 burgers of my life list, which considering how many burgers I eat is a pretty great honour. Not to mention the rosemary fries, which I must say I was slightly dubious about, but turned out to be one of the best chip combinations ever, made even better by the fact we got a massive sack of them each.

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With our feast in tow we hired some blankets and snuggled down on our deckchairs to relive our childhood.The atmosphere and setting was so perfect I will definitely be heading back soon and with showings until the 4th of everything from Grease to Amy I can’t recommend enough that you swing by (and grab a burger while your there)!

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