Dedicated to the pursuit of the very best from Doughnuts to Roger Vivier

Today, I’ve eaten


Guacomole with Falafel and the biggest Purple Power Juice



Salad with Broccoli and Guacomole and a large Green Juice



Bombay Potatoes, Daal, Mushroom Rogan Josh and Brown Rice

The Buddha In The Attic – Julie Otsuka

The Buddha In The Attic – Julie Otsuka


Some of the best things come in small, slight packages. The Buddha In The Attic ticks these boxes.  A collective, lyrical narrative about Japanese mail-order brides travelling to the US recounting very different stories and experiences as a collective narrative in such a slim book is no mean feat. It left me and the other members of the @BritMums Book Club wanting more.

The book tells us in a very short time how difficult and challenging it must be to be removed from one culture and thrown into a completely different one. Stories of love, abuse, abandonment, wealth, poverty and great hardship are told in gentle, poetic strokes. The Japanese experience  at this time in the US was quite diverse until the internment of Japanese nationals after Pearl Harbour. Then it was consistently cruel ripping people from their communities. Absolutely terrifying. A great read.

Exterior of Daunt Books Fulham Road, London


For the rest of  summer reading I’m looking forward to Otsuka’s first novel When the Emperor Was Divine and Damian Barr’s Maggie and Me brilliantly serialised on BBC Radio 4 recently. Damian’s Biography charts his life while growing up under the shadow of Margaret Thatcher. Anyone as charming and funny as Damian deserves to be read and this will be my non-fiction reading over the next couple of weeks.

You can catch Damian talking about Memoir Writing  with members of BritMums here and find out about his Literary Salon –  a great idea.

Disclaimer:  As Editor of BritMums Book Club I recieved a  review copy of the book for free (as do the first 100 UK based members who sign up for a review copy). I will be buying a copy of Maggie and Me from my local independent book shop and  thank Jen Howse from Jenography and Co-founder of BritMums  for introducing me to another interesting author.

The Buddha In The Attic by Julie Otsuka published by Penguin £7.99 RRP  UK Sterling

The Art Car Boot Fair – 10June 2013 London

The Art Car Boot Fair

If you know what you’re looking for or are up for a surprise get there early and you may find some jewels. Arriving with the hordes later on is not the best way to experience this. I found this out. There were some great pieces but the queues were too long to stand in mid-afternoon!


Designer and Artist Pam Hogg next to Vauxhall Car



Gavin Turk selling inflatable balloons



Watermelon in Vintage Vauxhall


Polly Morgan stand at Art Car Boot Fair

for more info on next year’s Art Car Boot Fair

#IF – Enough Food For Everyone IF




Tomorrow, Saturday 8 June is a big day for Global Hunger Activists – they’re children, parents, carers, farmers from Tanzanier to Alloa as well as Lobbyists. I’m thinking hard about what I will do in terms of food consumption i.e. eating less meat, buying less, buying more from Independent, Local Shops. In the meantime, I’ve emailed my MP asking for transparency on accounting, taxes and land-grabbing in developing countries. Global Food Producers need to be more accountable and take an active role in helping different communities not just through CSR projects.  The Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign aims to eradicate global hunger and tomorrow the Hyde Park event will hopefully play a key role in providing enough food for everyone. As the  song goes “if we all cared a little, shared a little  – then shouts (BIT MORE)”. There would be enough for everyone.

Jersey in Half-Term UK Style – Travelling by Ferry

Travelling to Jersey by ferry as a family  from Poole, UK is really easy. Just stack everything in the car jump on the ferry and away you go. Most people travelling to Jersey from the UK seem to take their car and if you look in you will see everyone’s car is absolutely stacked with stuff. Considering Jersey is really well-stocked it’s a little strange –  but I do it too. We travelled to St Helier with Condor Ferries. The journey was just under 4 hours and because of the glorious weather both ways we sat outside and watched the change in coastline from Poole departing until we arrived at Guernsey to let people disembark/join the ferry before continuing to St. Helier, Jersey.

Guernsey port looks like a Lilliputan version from Swift’s Travels as the ferry skirts round the  coastline. For anyone enjoying looking at the coastline afresh and without the means of a private yacht this is the perfect way to get a new perspective.  That is if you get the weather. We did and it was bliss. We have travelled before where the weather was “inclement” and Joy-rides and an empty stomach are a must. However this journey and the views were smooth and everything we saw was dappled by bright, crisp sunshine beautiful.

Hanging Out on holiday is the best part and my favourite beaches and cafes are featured below. Top 5 Things to do in Jersey:


1. Get to St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey and just hang out. There are two fab Cafe’s/Restaurants with spectacular views of the long, stretching, golden and usually empty St. Ouen’s Bay. This is my favourite beach in Jersey and from either you get a completely different perspective.

El Tico St Ouen's Bay Jersey serves exceptionally good fresh local produce and is right on top of arguably Jersey's most beautiful beach



Go to El Tico above for the best food and  wonderful view’s of the coastline. The children’s menu is generous in range and the quality of the food speaks for itself when you taste it. Spaghetti Carbonara  was a huge hit.


Possibly the best Crab Sandwiches in Jersey, delicious fresh local produce served and beautiful views of surrounding coastline and windswept hill dunes


Outdoor dining/drinking area at The Braye Cafe, St Ouen's Bay Jersey

Hanging outside at Le Braye Cafe, St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey


2. Go to Le Braye Cafe for superior Crab sandwiches and a great view of the hill dunes as well as being close to Blow-Carting area which is popular when the wind gets up.


View of St Brelade's Beach from the Waterfront Cafe with Jonno's Watersports Van


3. Get to St Brelade’s Bay and go to The Waterfront Cafe or Pizza Express below (I know – but it has the best view). This is another beautiful, long bay with more cafes but you only really need one good one and that is The Waterfront Cafe. The service at The Crab Shack which looks more visually appealing is a bit snotty and we didn’t like the manager telling the staff of in front of us (embarrassing!). This is a big bay, its beautiful but often busy.  If you just want to feel the outdoors, get away from it and not have someone come right up and sit next to you St Ouen’s Bay is the one for you. This is a busy beach!


Pizza Express Exterior overlooking St Brelade's Bay Jersey - Possibly the best view ever from a Pizza Express


4. If you’ve got young ones Pizza Express above  is a safe bet overlooking St Brelade’s and is great if the weather isn’t great.


5. Finally, if you have to succumb to one late-Victorian pursuit on a traditional British holiday  go putting inland. There are two 18 hole putting rinks at Jersey Experience – we chose the red one as the guide said it was more fun!


17th Hole at Putting Course, Jersey




Male Putter Jersey Experience Jersey


Other places worth visiting if the weather fails Aqua Splash, St Helier and Jersey Pearl where you can choose a shell and watch as they open the shell to reveal a cultured pearl. My children were fascinated by this and wanted to go back (unusual). We had a great time and Jersey Ice-Cream truly is as good as memory serves. This was a family holiday which we paid for ourselves. Condor Ferries like my recent trip to Yarmouth on WightLink are clearly trying really hard to get their offering right and it shows in the service and the fact you can get a decent coffee on board. We were really impressed that they are now serving local Jersey produce as an integral part of the food being offered: Tom’s Pies, Jersey Ice Cream and Cream Teas.


We’ve found beautiful beaches, fabulous fresh local produce at great cafes/restaurants. However, I’m still looking for the perfect place to stay. Somewhere within walking distance of St Ouen’s, access to a great cafe and a couple of great local food shops. If anyone can recommend anywhere please let me know.