Farmer’s Market

In hindsight deciding to give up meat ‘n’ fish for Lent, when largely agnostic (I really like Christmas carols), and when I was about to go home* for a long weekend, was a less than inspired decision. Making like a McCartney is all very well when you are omnivorous, and your Mother doesn’t make lasagne like an Italian nonna, but as I am less than grown up when it comes to vegetables (tomatoes and I will never see pip to pip), and that lasagne is truly a wonder of the developed world, foregoing mince and the bacon bit of bacon and egg rolls felt less like empathy, and more like foolhardiness.

We even took a trip to Stroud Farmer’s Market, a hop, skip and a jump down the road from my Mum’s house, just so I could remind myself what extra-Organic, responsibly- farmed, locally-sourced sausages smelt like (so good, if you wondered). Since it started – at first on one Saturday a month, then two, before becoming a permanent weekend fixture – the market has regenerated the town centre, bringing fresh vigour to local shops and furnishing stalwart cafes like Woodruffs with a a slew of new customers. Given the sheer volume of local artisan produce (I forgot to write down who was selling it, but the person with the blue brie stand: we’re likely starcross’d) at prices that would make your average Borough customer weep, the mystery remains why the market isn’t expanded further: the food in particular is so good. 

We ended up forgoing the fresh cinnamon bear claw doughnuts (I did not come up with that mouthful of a name), which if we’re going to make insensitive but timely Oscar-winner related jokes, felt like the culinary version of Sophie’s Choice, and those sausages (in keeping with the metaphor these turned out to be Angelina’s right leg: everyone was raving about them) and went with a garlicky falafel wrap (me) and pork burgers juicy to the point of obscenity (them). Both truly scrumptious, to segue onto other films entirely.

*Home. As in no internet home. As in blissful evenings watching not much really on the box and actually getting ready and dressed in the mornings instead of losing oneself down the rabbit hole of fashion blogs. As in, of a Sunday evening, ‘Holy Shit, I have no new material’ but deciding that pizza and those beers we got (from the market) we’re likely more important. Sorry about the late post folks. But if it helps: I do have a tonne of pretty pictures to share.

{Photos 1-4 taken at the Farmer’s Market; photo 5 taken at Woodruffs}

Food, Photography, Review

Lord, Byron

So there’s a reason yesterday’s post was a clip, albeit, a very wonderful clip: I was too excited the night before to write anything because this kid arrived back in London. Which kind of completely rocks. Anyway, it means that my editorial schedule is now out of whack, but that is no more than a niche first-world problem. So instead let’s forget that schedule and go with the flow. Or drop beats with the meat (for the avoidance of doubt: I’m dying with rhyming irony over here), because I managed to swipe a few pictures of last night’s trip to Byron – a bit of a celebration, but actually just an excuse to grab one of the best burgers in London – and I would just like to salivate over my meal a little longer.

If you’ve read this blog even once I would hope it’s become abundantly clear that I quite like burgers. And pasta. And beer. And peanut butter. And generally things that are high in calories, saturated fat and sugar and very low in any nutritional content. And that is how I plan on styling it, as long as my metabolism lets me. So Byron, being the home of unbelievably good burgers, and sides like courgette fries and proper macaroni cheese and craft beer is high on my list of favourite places to go. We (me and him) have been to a couple of Byron’s round London – they’re popping up like daisies – and though the concept remains unchanged from place to place, I’ve got a soft-spot for the Islington branch with it’s up-cycled appearance, cheery staff and convenient location on the way home. Pro tip: get a cheeseburger (they’ve only got about five burger options – I like that. Decisive menu construction right there. Not overcomplicating stuff) with American cheese, top it up with fries (regular or courgette) and swill with Goose Island Honker’s Ale. Done.

{Also, in lieu of Instagram, I’ve been using Camera+. And it’s brilliant. And so colourful}



I’d like to think that here on Red Nails, content is occasionally less-than-predictable and to quote my Mother ‘fresh and funky’. Light projections that look like ET is attempting to visit? Naturlich, meine freunde. Inspiration for all your indoor camping urges? Saddle up. The odd haiku? I live to serve.

But you know, there comes a point when you have to go with the flow. And in keeping with all other bloggers, I’m doing a New-Years-Resolution post right here, right now. With handy photographs. I warn you now: there is a gym-related post there. If only to remind myself that my gym membership card can’t visit it’s mothership without me, somewhat tragically.

So without further ado, and any more links (actually, make that one), here are mine.

1. I will totally put my wardrobe to better use. I will wear my good basics well, and make sure they are nicely ironed and well-organised so I have no grounds for complaining I have no clothes, and if I did they wouldn’t fit, and that because of it all my relationships with friends / family / other half / general public is likely doomed.

2. When I do buy clothes, I will buy well. I will buy nice prints that can be paired. I will buy some more dresses and skirts rather than just relying on jeans the whole time. I’ve done denim. I’m going to do something crazy and branch into hemlines. That’s right chicks: Gaga’s got nothing on me.

3. I will do some more travelling. I live in London. Europe is a fart away. I will get stamps on my passport this year. Or I won’t actually: EU countries don’t stamp your passport because we’re EU. You just breeze through customs wondering if you’re guilty for anything and avoiding the strip searches (that European ‘thing’ for nudity goes as far as border control).

4. I will cook more mad things. Like lavender hot chocolate. And other non-pasta based dishes. I’ve ordered new pans (my brother is not impressed. Apparently, this is the saddest thing ever), and my Mother has decided every spare crock and pan and spatula she doesn’t currently need can be stored at my house so there is no compelling reason why I cannot be the next Heston by next Christmas. Metaphorically speaking: I don’t want no bald head.

4.a) I will balance this by a fleeting visit to the gym three times a week. And I promise that’s the last time I ever use the g-word.

5. I will sort out my taste in music once and for all. I will go to more festivals (below’s carousel was at Lovebox last year) and I will make sure I update either my iPod or iPhone – at least one goddammit – with all the cool new music I see other people talking about. And I will, I faithfully promise, listen to albums all the way through.

6. I will put all my art up. And read more books. And find a kilim rug for my kitchen and my bedroom because in a wood-floored flat, they are the salve to any lint vines. And I will altogether make my bedroom a little more of a nest because I’m still working out what exactly I want to do with it, even though it’s been three months since I moved in. Decor needs time, dudes.

7. I will blog more, and blog better. I’ll make sure all my pictures are cropped properly and that I get an editorial schedule going. I’ll also get a cool new writing opportunity off the ground, more of which in due course…