I‘ve had a full week – but really fun. My cousin A and her son G were visiting from California (Orange County) over G’s Easter holidays. I was a little nervous about finding fun things for a 14 year old to do – I really am out of touch with teenagers, particularly boys! I can at least remember what it was like to be a teenie girl, but boy? And DH was little help – any questions about his childhood are invariably met with ‘er, I don’t remember’. How thrilled was I to find my little cuz and I shared a love for food! yay! So what did we do?
Borough Market, of course, the famous Brindisa chorizo line. Petrus – Gordon Ramsay’s new-old restaurant. It used to be that Marcus Wareing was the head chef of Petrus in the Berkeley Hotel. Well, Chef Ramsay and Chef Wareing went their separate ways, so now the old Petrus is the new Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, and the new Petrus is in a different location, headed up by chef Sean Burbidge. We had lunch at the new Petrus – newly opened just two weeks ago – and G was delighted to find that the restaurant director was none other than Jean-Phillippe Susilovic from Hell’s Kitchen fame. Needless to say a lot of photos ensued, with Jean-Phillippe handling the attention with aplomb and good grace. Very charming man, handling four giggly women and one goggly teenager with very good humour. We had an absolutely delicious lunch (and fabulous value at £25 for 3 courses!) and were invited to visit the kitchen after lunch. The food scene in London has changed hugely over the last 2 decades – when A lived on the Isle of Wight for a year – so it was nice to be able to pleasantly surprise them with the quality of food available here.
We also went to visit Stonehenge, which I did with my mom years ago. Through a friend (thanks Carole!) I found you can visit Stonehenge outside normal hours and actually get up close and personal with the huge stones. Being inside the circle was a different experience to standing far away. I can see why it was a spiritual place – standing within the huge stone circle you can’t help but feel awed. The hugest stones weigh 40 tonnes each. They are over 24 ft tall. You can see how big they are in the photo – see the teeny tiny peeps on the right?
It blows my mind to think that those stones have stood there for over four thousand years.
We got to watch the sun set on Stonehenge, then we drove to Stockbridge and had dinner at the Greyhound pub. Lovely place – really nice food. Turns out DH also went there on his stag lunch.
Lastly I have also been busy with three projects – the next Knit Love Club sock which I’m pretty psyched about. Got the yarn, worked out the pattern already, and have a little errand to run before starting to knit it up. The aim is to have the samples done in 2 weeks time, ready for a photo shoot in Turkey! Plenty of time.
The second is a sock pattern for a magazine. Very excited! It’s being knit up as I type and I’m really pleased with that one too.
The last is another Aurantium Shawl – this time in Knitwitches Seriously Gorgeous Swiss Cashmere & Silk Laceweight. It is from the same blend as the Handmaiden Swiss Cashmere & Silk 4 ply – 65% cashmere, 35% silk – that I knit my previous Aurantium Shawl from, in fact it is from the same mill. Eirwen has a limited supply of this yarn and I believe she is the only one at present who has any of it. Seriously – run and get some because it is TO DIE FOR! It retails for £32, and you get 1000 metres/100grams for that. I used 32 grams to knit the large size of the Aurantium Shawl. She doesn’t have it listed on her site, but give her a buzz. She is lovely, chatty and will dye to order. I’ve got two more of these babies to knit with. So excited!
Eirwen outdid herself – I wanted an insecty colourway and she came up with Scarab – a gorgeous copper and teal combination.
The laceweight is amazing. I loved the 4 ply, as it had a soft hand from the yummy cashmere, and despite being lightweight was incredible warm; the laceweight has all these properties, it still feels like you are holding heavenly clouds in your hands, but as the yarn is much finer, the silk properties really come through in spades. It has the cashmere halo, but the sheen of the silk dominates to give it a beautiful glow. It also blocks beautifully – much more crisp and starched than the 4ply, while retaining that crazy I-want-to-roll-around-in-it-naked softness. Today it is getting posted off for a photo shoot. Am a bit sad to say goodbye to it so soon after finishing (blocked just last night) but I will see it again soon enough.