Category Archives: General

Not my normal night down the pub – or, life drawing at The Old Dairy

The other day I was feeling a little off colour and on the road to exhausted and I decided that I couldn’t face heading off to French class after work. Instead, I set off for home at a very respectable hour but, I got waylaid. See…this was a Wednesday and every other Wednesday evening there is a life drawing session, Life Draw N4, at The Old Dairy (which I pass on my walk home) but somehow, it always seems to fall on the Wednesdays when I am not free. So, I thought…why not pop in and see if it’s on tonight (I don’t think that I’d got as far as thinking that I’d join in if it was on, more…I’d just find out what the deal was). As I approached the pub I noticed a little board outside proclaiming that someone was gonna get nekkid tonight – and I knew, before I’d even taken a step inside, that I was going to end up staying and joining in (ahem, with the drawing not the nudity).

I can be quite shy and retiring (yes really) and I don’t much like being in situations where I might draw attention to myself (yes really, again) so, for example, I never used to like taking photos of the bands that we had playing at Women on the Verge (but I felt like I ought to try to take them), and I don’t like situations where there is a particular way of doing things and I don’t know what that way is (I think it’s to do with always feeling as though I take up too much space, physically, and trying to look and be smaller than I am) so an empty (of people, almost) room whose walls were lined with chairs so close that each one touched its neighbour (which therefore meant that I might be touching my neighbour) did not make me feel at ease. What did put me at ease was the woman who was in charge of the session who explained how it all worked and that sometimes there are lots of people and sometimes not but that it’s all very casual and you can sit where you want, rearrange the seating to suit you etc. The only other person there, when I arrived, also helped to put me at ease, chatting away to me and asking me lots of questions.

The session cost £7 with a donation for paper and all the supplies that you need are provided. Once I’d selected my paper, charcoals and vantage point I went off and bought me a little Dutch courage in the form of a lovely glass of red.

I didn’t find that my drawing flowed but I really enjoyed the couple of hours that the session ran for, I found that my head cleared (a blessing) and I felt relaxed. I’m DEFINITELY going to go back once this course of French is over and I think that I’ll try working with a medium other than charcoal.

Drawing H at the Old Dairy

It’s not what you think (middle top drawing). The bottom picture was the last one that I did and that was the thirty minute pose.

Ha ha….ahem, I just noticed the shadow from my photo taking hand – oops, sorry. Odd.

PS – the life drawing is actually every Wednesday now, just goes to show how out of date I am/was.

 

Grease is the word. A night at the Drive-In at Ally Pally

Last Friday, my sister and I and our children, A, J and Z all went to the Drive-In at Alexandra Palace to see Grease. We were all so ridiculously excited about going, so much so that Z caught an early train back from Paris, C arranged with work to finish early and A and J (who were both only coming home for a week) made sure to be back in London. And, luckily for us, it did not disappoint.

Drive In box office 2

The box office – Rush

When I heard that the Rooftop Film Club was setting up a Drive-In at Ally Pally (which is just up the road from me), I knew that I was going to have to go and, when I saw that they were showing Grease, well, euh (that may be the first Grease-ism of many – I’ll try to resist), it was a no brainer. Both of these are a part of my childhood, I don’t really remember the Drive-In in Antigua (it must have closed by the time I was six) but I have a sense of it and I first saw, and fell in love with, Grease when we still lived there (we left when I was seven). I remember people being astonished by Sandy’s skintight trousers, wondering how in the hell she got them on and whether in fact they were painted on. Ah…happy days.

Drive In projector

Popcorn anyone? Though there were rollerskating hosts and hostesses serving snacks (including popcorn) this here is a Popcorn Projector and NOT a popcorn vending machine.

J and I had actually been to the Drive-In the week before to see Rush (what a good film, still not a fan of Formula 1 but I’m perhaps a bit less of a hater than I was) and on that night there’d been a balls up with the catering (think the organisers were somewhat let down) so I decided that I’d best do a little catering of my own and what better than a Twinkie. After a quick search on Google, I found a recipe that didn’t need lots of ingredients I’d never even heard of (let alone got) and A and I set to making us some twinkies. I kept the recipe exactly the same for the Twinkies but substituted golden syrup for the corn syrup in the filling and WOW, it was delicious.

Making the twinkie moulds

Making the Twinkie moulds.

Twinkie batter

A bubbly and light, vanilla infused batter.

Twinkies for baking Twinkies baked

Before and After

Twinkie eating

Scrumdidlyumptious

Unfortunately for us we’d started on the Twinkies a little late and we JUST couldn’t get them filled in time so had to head off without them! Doh. And, because I was baking up to the last possible moment, I didn’t have time to dress up appropriately (was planning a Rizzo get-up) and ended up having to go dressed in an indoors only outfit. Good job all we had to do was sit in our car then!

Pink Ladies

Absolutely loved seeing these Pink Ladies (though the effort they’d put in did make me wish that I’d planned my time a bit better!).

The Drive-In was in one of the out of the way car parks at Ally Pally and by 8pm (showtime) it was packed full of cars and I swear, all of those cars were full of people as excited as we were. The atmosphere was fantastic. The catering issues had been dealt with, out with the wine and beer (yes really!?) and in with the hotdogs, burgers and jerk chicken??…not quite Drive-In traditional but good, nonetheless.

Buying food is a serious business

The serious business of buying burgers.

Cheerleader Sandy

Urgh…this is one of my favourite scenes – if I’m talking about Grease (which I don’t do THAT often), a re-enactment of this scene always comes in to it replete with excessively salivary lips.

We talked all the way through the film, except for where we were saying the lines or singing along. There is something really great about how relaxed you feel in the (dis)comfort of your own car – you experience the film in a completely different way. I mean…Would you pull this crap with a normal cinema (Grease-ism)? Borrowed from my daughter’s Instagram, this is what it was like for almost all of the film.

Ally Pally Drive In 🐈🐈🐈

A post shared by Alexandra Sandford Smith (@alexsandfordsmith) on

As the final track of the film ‘We Go Together’ played out, the Pink Ladies and several other members of the audience (revellers) could be seen dancing around towards the front of the car park and C and I got out of the car to do a little shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom of our own. Cars flashed their lights and honked their horns and as we all drove out, I got the feeling we were all losing control (Grease-ism) coz the power the Drive-In was supplying…was ELECTRIFYING. WOW. Hmmm…I think I oughta stop here.

What a great night out. The Drive-In experience worked for me for both a film that I’d not seen before and one that I knew like the back of my hand. If you can get a ticket, definitely go (it’s at Brent Cross for a few more days) while you have the chance.

Getting ready to rumble

Obligatory red cups – models’ own (as are the funny pouts).

The Brent Cross Drive-In is on until the 27th April 2014 and it’s looks as though they’re going out with a corker…….GREASE!!

 

 

 

 

 

To Walthamstow…and beyond

Fair warning….this is a LONG post. I’m trying to write shorter posts, break things up into manageable (for the less than truly dedicated reader) chunks but, that’s not what I’ve done here!

Oh, what a good weekend that was (last weekend). The weekend started properly on Friday evening (which, I believe, is often the case) with H, D and I heading to the Southwark Playhouse to watch Superior Donuts. I’d not even heard of the theatre before H suggested that we go and it turns out to be a real gem of a place (though, I do prefer allocated seating) with a couple of performance spaces (The Large and The Little) and ample seating for early-comers to sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. If Superior Donuts is anything to go by, and from a quick browse of their programme for the season, the Southwark Playhouse is somewhere that I’ll be returning to.

H being amazed by the doughnuts

Rather than ice-cream they were serving DOUGHNUTS!!! during the interval. These Glazed and Confused goodies were in gorgeous flavours, mine was sticky toffee and H’s was lemon meringue. Ahh…take a look at their Facebook page – YUM.

Saturday saw me heading to Walthamstow (which I can’t stop calling Awesomestow), stopping first to buy a bunch of flowers from Flowers and Gifts which is a relatively new shop on Stroud Green Road. The tied bouquets were just lovely and the bouquet that the shop keeper (who was an absolute sweetie) made up for me was just right (though my photo of it doesn’t do it justice – as per) and the flowers are absolutely not too costly. It was all that I could do not to buy a bunch for myself too!

Stroud Green flowers Stroud Green bouquets Mothers Hub bouquet

A delightful springtime bouquet for A.

I was heading east to check out  Mothers Hub, a brilliant new ‘concept’ shop (sorry, but it kind of is – it looks more like an art gallery than a shop selling clothes and toys for children, plus, the idea is that A is giving a platform to local makers – a place to sell their wares that works for them (aka, she isn’t greedy) and as a result the stock is a really interesting edit of beautiful little collections) on Wood Street, E17. Less than a year ago I met up with the gorgeous and supremely talented A for coffee and a picnic in the park and she told me about this idea that she’d had for a shop that would be more than a shop, it would be a space for parents and children to come and do activities (and she has more plans afoot) as well as a creative outlet for her (she is a photographer). Mothers Hub is already (and only) in its fourth month (A doesn’t hang about) and seems to be going strong, it’s a beautiful shop and it feels so welcoming (which is no less than I’d expect from an A project). It’ll be my go to shop for gifts for children from now own. And…there’s something for everyone with a brilliant collection of alphabet cards, designed by A’s husband S, that is totally cross-generational.

Wood Street map

Shame I didn’t notice this map before I went off in the wrong direction for a time!

Exterior of Mothers Hub

Ooooo…exciting, my first sighting of Mothers Hub.

Toys and books A playing shopkeeper

A playing shopkeeper. Actually, I think she was attending to my purchase.

Mothers Hub tote

As a little thanks for visiting, I got one of their lovely canvas totes thrown in – normal price £5 (bargainous).

Walthamstow is interesting, there’s such a mix of people there and it’s honestly bustling and vibrant and the council seems to be really encouraging start-ups that have some sort of community involvement/benefit. I love it. I didn’t manage to make it to the main market this time (which is no bad thing as I had on my mind to buy more fabric but I’ve got loads and loads in my stash with seemingly no time to make it into anything….although, I am determined to join in with Me-Made-May this year, if it’s running – that links to last year’s MMM, so…I’d best get on with it) but heading to Wood Street showed me a side of Walthamstow that I’ve not seen before.

Quaint Walthamstow village

How amazing is this? A gorgeous little village, slap bang in the middle of E17.

I didn’t get a chance to really explore Wood Street and the indoor market but I did stay long enough to….oh dear, buy a few things – a little taster (literally) of what’s on offer….mmm mmm mmm.

Scrumptious in a box A cutting the cakes Passion fruit meringue pieUp close with the stunningly gorgeous passion fruit curd meringue tart – Oh My. And that dark slice at the top? That’s a Guinness and pear cake which was out of this world delicious.

These Aura Rosa cakes were faultless, my only gripe was with myself – that I was silly enough to buy an Oreo cupcake (can never resist them though) when so many other cakes and patisserie were on offer.  I’m sure I saw somewhere that they offer cookery lessons!!…I’m after finding out how to make that devilishly good Guinness cake.

Mother's Ruin blackboard The Mother The ruins

Didn’t manage to walk away empty handed from this cute unit. Well, who could resist a tiny little bottle of Mother’s Bitter Helper, a bitters tincture made in tiny batches, to bring out the oomph in any cocktail – particularly good with citrus drinks I suspect.

I definitely need to go back to Wood Street and to the market, not least to buy more Mother’s Ruin concoctions, I’m after the sloe and damson gins, but also, to rifle through the vintage shops and to find out more about Significant Seams which is a really interesting community enterprise in the unit next to Mothers Hub.

Waving a sad goodbye to A and her beautiful family and armed my lovely new tote,  I started back home, via the rather excellent butcher by Crouch Hill station, for an evening of cooking and TV watching.

I began by making Mimi Thorisson from Manger’s milky chicken with butternut squash pancakes, I found that I needed to add a little more liquid than stated for the pancakes (as I did with her galette recipe) but apart from that….heaven! Mimi’s blog is SO beautiful so, check out the recipe in her own words and then…make it. Do save the poaching broth, then you too can make a disgusting looking but lovely tasting soup by caramelising sliced onion and leek to which you could add any mixture of ingredients, I put the leftover butternut squash, carrots, potatoes and a chicken stock cube and ended up with a souped up leek and potato soup..

Milk poached chicken stock soup

Simple, nutritious, filling and a hundred leagues more tasty than it is beautiful.

After our simple but splendid supper, D and I sat down to our Saturday night (for the past month or so) ritual of a double bill of the brilliant Salamander, a Belgian political thriller. The last two episodes aired last night but if you do come across it, it’s definitely worth a watch (as I write, all twelve episodes are available on the BBC iplayer but not for long). I got drawn in by the language, the show is set in and around Brussels and is spoken in a mixture of Dutch (technically Flemish, I think) and French and, by Jove, Dutch is such an odd language, there were often times when I’d realise (subtitles essential) that what had just been said was almost exactly the same as if it had been said in English or French and yet, without the subtitles, I’d have not understood anything.

Sunday morning began with a mid-morning brunch of butternut squash pancakes (waste not want not, and all that) with bacon and a fried egg – such a beautiful combination of sweet and salty topped off with the depth and richness of a half set yolk.

Butternut squash bacon brunch

In the evening D and I headed out, but not before I’d whipped up a batch of Mary Berry Lemon Drizzle slices, to watch Ángel Múñoz who was performing at Sadler’s Wells as part of their annual Flamenco Festival. D and I know nothing about flamenco but we’re both trying to get out and about, to see and do more things and, in previous years I’ve been interested in going but never got off my bum and gone. I chose Ángel because he is part of the new generation of flamenco dancers and I thought that it might be more powerful and edgy. I think I was hoping for a Strictly Ballroom moment but it was quite different to that. Ángel was the only dancer but he had on stage with him, at various times, a couple of singers and three musicians (one of whom played three or four wind instruments including my favourite – the oboe). Although there were costume changes, interesting use of shadows, arms that moved in ways it felt they oughtn’t to and an aural feast, by about half way through I was starting to feel that whilst the dancing had been impressive, I’d probably seen enough. But, by the end of the performance I realised that I’d really loved the show and, I wasn’t the only one as there was an incredibly long standing ovation. It did leave me wanting to check out other performers (online) as, with nothing to compare him to, I don’t think that I appreciated just how good Ángel Múñoz was.

Lemon drizzle squares

Beautifully tangy and moist little squares of goodness ready for a post performance snack.

THUMPERS are go!!!!

So, this time last week, I was at The Lexington to watch the rather excellent THUMPERS. Before the show I’d gone for supper upstairs at The Driver, with my sister (which was a lovely surprise as I hadn’t realised she was coming out with us) and J and S. I ordered a burger and it was a tad on the bloody side for my liking (that’s the second time in recent months that that’s happened, the other time was at Hawker House (go there, it’s blinkin scrumptious City, bloody burgers included) – grr). I always think that if I ask for meat to be cooked to medium in England I’ll get something that’s almost totally dried out but nowadays I think that we’re closer in thinking to the French so I could get away with medium or, my favourite, “à point” which, I believe, means perfectly cooked. Ha! I love it…imagine saying that over here…

“And how would you like your lamb cooked” says the waiter

“Perfectly” says I

“I see” says the waiter

Mwah ha ha ha.

I digress. My burger was too rare for my liking and turned out to be not the best pre-show meal as it was a bit, ahem, indigestion inducing but if I’d ordered properly it would have been a perfectly tasty (if still a little burpilicious) burger.

S C and J at THUMPERSC, J and I, just before the gig started.

We arrived minutes before THUMPERS took to the stage, with just enough time to get a drink in, and the place was pretty full (I believe it was a sold out show). It’s been a while since I’ve seen them play and certainly this was the biggest headline show I’ve seen them do. And…I was really pleased, I really enjoyed the set – there were a couple of songs that I was less keen on but in the main I loved it with their current single ‘Galore’ proving impossible to stand still to (not that standing still was a requirement). I think it’s a really good testament to a gig when you go away singing the songs and a week later you’re still singing them (not sure what I do could be called singing, it’s more like murdering). But THUMPERS’ music is really rich, the more that you listen to it, the more that you hear so it’s definitely worth checking them out – if you want to try before you buy, they’re on Spotify etc.

Marcus tuning guitar Marcus John Ollie John playing drums

They’ve got a new recruit since I last saw them play who provides backing vocals and plays the trumpet. I wasn’t sure I was going to write about this show and I wasn’t really feeling the photo taking (once again at a gig, I found myself poorly placed for actually seeing anything) so I kept putting my phone in my bag and each time I finally put the phone away she would start playing the trumpet and then by the time I’d get out the phone she’d have stopped again!!..Gah.

Anyway, I’ll be seeing them when they play at The Scala on 22nd May and I’ll be sure to be at the front (maybe with a new camera) and before that…I just might use them as an excuse to take a little trip to Berlin, a place that I’ve heard so many good things about but have never been to, where they’re playing on the 2nd April.

THUMPERS are about to head out to the US, and boy am I bummed that I’m not going too, and then they’re playing a bunch of shows across Europe. Definitely look them up if they’re passing your neighbourhood.

Disclaimer: I am, as I’ve said before, friends with the band members though I don’t think that necessarily means that I can’t espouse the marvellousness that is Marcus and John et al but, I do like all things to be above board.

Ooo Ooo Ooo…brilliant birthday bresents (yes, I know it’s presents but that would have ruined my alliteration).

Oh…was it your birthday recently Susie? Mwah ha. Yes, yes, I know, enough of the birthday already.

Well…not quite enough as I want to show you what I got from D and the children because I’m SUPER happy with their choices:

Christmas and birthday books

As They Were was a Christmas present in place of Maiden Voyage (which had been mentioned in the stupendously brilliant, exciting and inspirational ‘Love with a Chance of Drowning‘) but then D managed to get hold of a copy in time for my birthday. I can’t wait to get started on it but I’ve to finish As They Were first.

Knife close up Birthday knives

Mmmm…I’ve used the larger of these knives so far, to dice onions and carrots and it cut like a dream, it was like slicing through butter.

Wüsthof is a German company that was founded in 1814, their knives are amongst the best (apparently) European (ie non Japanese) made knives available.

Birthday book

A and J gave me this brilliant tome. I’ve wanted this for a while so was really pleased to receive it as a gift from my lovely children and I’m looking forward to making lots of recipes from it. I’m already amazed to read that the dressing for the celeriac salad I love so much and always buy when I’m in France has so few ingredients. I make my own version and I’m very happy with it but it’s interesting to learn how it should be made.

They also cooked an exceptionally scrumptious Sunday lunch for us and my mum and sister of roast beef, perfect yorkshires, caramelised roast carrots and shallots, roast potatoes (bien sur), and more. YUM. Thank you.

Deep electric blue shoe

These shoes, from Evans, are a deep electric blue – not my usual style at all but part of my mission (see previous post) to start looking like I’ve made a modicum of an effort.  I love the heel and, though I’ve only worn them round the house so far, they seem quite comfy.

And a little bonus, given to me yesterday as I sat at my desk (not strictly speaking a birthday present, in fact, I’m not really sure why I had the honour) by a couple of the researchers in my lab. I think they were feeling sorry for me because my knee was playing up and I was hobbling about. How utterly sweet and touching though. They NEARLY made me cry, I had to not talk and stay hidden in my room for a little while.

Birthday flowers

I absolutely love gerberas.

My half hour with Emma of Back of the Wardrobe

You probably wouldn’t know it from looking at me but, I’m trying to spruce up my look, trying to look more ‘put together’, more grown up and more stylish. At the moment though, most of this trying is in my head only so, as a birthday treat to myself, I snapped up one of the Stylist Package tickets to a recent The Stylist’s Rail held at The Hoxton Hotel.

The Stylist’s Rail is a sale of clothes and accessories and the stall holders are, in the main, stylists. The event promised designer bargains, a touch of vintage and some cool new brands as well as music and cocktails and, it didn’t disappoint. Seriously, there were some gorgeous and massively knocked down pieces and if any of them would have fitted me, I’d be a damn site poorer (because of how much I’d have bought, not how much stuff cost) now.

I’d normally avoid this kind of thing (anything to do with confronting my dire body image) but I’m trying to be more yes and a lot less no. Whilst I absolutely was intrigued by the idea of seeing a stylist, and I liked the look of Emma of Back of the Wardrobe and liked her ethos of trying to use what you already own to make up a killer wardrobe, it was the goodie bag that sold it for me. I’ve been wanting to check out the dance classes at FRAME for ages now and the goodie bag included THREE class vouchers – it was a no brainer!

The Stylists Package goodie bag

The full goodie bag (actually minus the Proper Popcorn, which got eaten before I got a chance to take a photo, and the Bloom ready mixed gin and tonic, which I gave to H).

Sugar Style necklace

Looking forward to trying out this Cheeky  Chat Me Up nail paint in Soots You and the necklace from Sugar + Style is absolutely the kind of thing I wear (and I have already worn it).

Love conditioner

How the hello did the goodie bag know that I have harsh and frizzy hair?

The goodie bag also included, amongst other things, a cute pair of Dinny Hall earrings, lots of Lush products and a lovely smelling (Lemongrass & Neroli) Wick and Tallow candle.

Prior to the event, Plum (the woman behind The Stylist’s Rail and also an absolute pleasure to deal with) sent through a questionnaire for me to answer to give Emma a sense of what I wanted to achieve in my half hour as well as a more general overview of my attitude to clothing and style.

The event which was held at the back of the hotel in a series of interconnecting rooms with a series of smaller side rooms, felt like a brilliant bazaar taking place in a little warren and reminded me a bit of my absolute favourite shop, Liberty.

I was met on arrival by Plum who ushered me to a comfy chair, via the bar and a mega gin and tonic, to wait for Emma. Once Emma was ready for me, Plum showed me through to one of the side rooms where Emma was waiting with a smile on her face and a really genuine warmth that put me straight at ease (sounds corny I know, but I really did feel comfortable, happy and looked after). Emma had taken a look at my Pinterest boards and had made up a board with ideas to suit my shape (and size). She told me, more or less, what I already knew – I’m not made for that gorgeous slouchy luxe casual look that I so adore, nor the Parisian chic that both my sister and I love, no, I’m more of a vintage glamour girl all nipped in waists, fitted tops and pencil skirts. We talked jewellery, fabrics, cut, underwear, hair and more AND we went and had a look at the rails of clothes with Emma pulling out colours and textures that she thought would suit me. Emma managed to pack in A LOT in a short half hour (actually, I guess it was the same length of half hour that a half hour is) and I felt as though she had really taken the time to think about me and how I could boost my outfit confidence (my confidence full stop).

I would THOROUGHLY recommend Emma and Back of the Wardrobe and I believe she’s running a discount until the end of February for a three hour wardrobe visit. I may have slight Girl Crush, oh dear. Take a look at her site for more information.

Bloom G and T at The Stylists Rail

You can’t tell from this, but this was more like a BUCKET of gin and tonic. Still, it made me feel all fancy pants – until I tried to peruse the rails whilst carrying it plus my coat and bag plus my mega goodie bag!

DJ at The Stylists Rail 2

This makes it look all gritty and seedy and Real but in reality it’s just another example of my shocking photo taking skills.

ImageMe with the gorgeous Emma – she’s actually channelling a look that’s tailor made for me there.

Once H and I had had a proper look round, we headed back into the hotel for a drink and a bite to eat.

Porn Star Martini at The Hoxton Hotel

Enjoying a Porn Star Martini in the restaurant before diving into a rack of sticky ribs and a gloriously gooey American style macaroni cheese with bacon and jalapenos.

Shopping in Paris – THE supermarket

On a recent trip to Paris – more of which later – I made a beeline to my favourite French shop, Monoprix. Monoprix is sort of like a cross between Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. I mean, it’s a supermarket, that is what it is, and it sells good quality ingredients and products some of which, but by no means all, are own brand. It also has though, a fantastic clothing range (not particularly cheap but stylish and well made using luxe materials) – which, I think, is all own brand.

I go there for things to bring home:

Monoprix smoked salmon

Marrons avec morceaux

Absolutely delicious stirred into natural yoghurt.

Paris always makes me go a little chestnut crazy, I also bought a Bonne Maman chestnut spread and a Fauchon spread which was a crème avec morceaux rather than the simple confiture you see above (but I didn’t like it at all). My all time favourite is a Refletes de France crème de marrons avec morceaux but it’s not easy to find so I’m always on the hunt for alternatives. The Monoprix confiture is not the same at all but is an excellent second choice, I eat it by the spoonful and stirred generously into natural yoghurt. I failed to get, so I’m going to have to try to make it, a chestnut juice/syrup that is SO good with prosecco.

The holy grail of Paris shopping…?

Le Petit Marseillais stash Le Petit Marseillais close up soap

This soap is the best soap I have ever come across. All of Le Petit Marseillais’ products are good but the blocks of soap are my favourite.

There is a company that is selling these online to the UK but, my gosh, the prices are so expensive. I’d rather just stock up on my visits to Paris.

And finally (well, I also bought a top and a scarf from Monoprix) a little added bonus – I only buy this when I’m in France as I eat it by the (table)spoonful and just can’t resist it..

Confiture de lait

What can you not resist bringing back when you go abroad?