Monday, 29 October 2012

The Breakfast Club

Why anyone would want to work on a Monday is beyond me. Everywhere you want to go is quiet, the streets are clean and you get to lie in. Perfecto. However this most special of privileges is not available every week. When it is, I intend to make the most of it.

After my hour long Thai massage this morning I headed further into Islington to The Breakfast Club. If you don't know exactly what you fancy but you want some good food, The Breakfast Club is a safe bet. Enormous amount of choice which makes it very difficult to decide what to have. I was swayed between mac and cheese (an all time favourite) a pulled pork burger, a burrito and something breakfast-y.

In the end I opted for the All American, when in Rome and all that - pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs (poached), and fried potatoes. When it arrived on the plate it looked pretty good, but it tasted AMAZING. The maple syrup came out in full force, way more than I was expecting so I ended up with a very sticky table and hands.


The pancakes were small but perfectly formed light and fluffy with very streaky bacon and covered in maple syrup. I couldn't decide if I was eating breakfast, lunch or dessert. Onto the sausages and potato, this was the nicest sausage I've had in a long while (minds out of the gutter please) I'm thinking apple-y but it was cooked to perfection and not even a bit fatty. The poached eggs and potatoes meant it was all mopped up. I finished with the bacon and maple syrups (decided it was dessert) and then was fully stuffed.
Maple Syrup - and lots of

Heaven. There are a number of branches of The Breakfast Club and generally there is a queue to get in, not on this Monday Lunchtime. Also do not try and climb in the fridge here. You are in the wrong branch of The Breakfast Club. Don't be a fool, find out the right way here.

Step away from the fridge

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Race Report: Nike Run to the Beat

A year ago it was unthinkable that I would run 10k, never mind double that - in one go. My training has been 'stunted' to say the least. Two weeks in the South of France coupled with the appeal of eating good food and drinking nice wine into the small hours saw to that. Somehow I managed to do some form of training, including two 10 mile runs, which didn't actually give me that much trouble.

Last year I volunteered at Nike Run to the Beat for team Macmillan  This year I wanted to be the one crossing the finish line. In the last week it has become incredibly cold. Layers or no layers in the staring pen it was FREEZING. 90% of competitors wear the coloured Nike shirt, which is a bit odd as it means you cannot necessarily represent your chosen charity. Macmillan had sent me a vest and letters, but I wanted to stick to the Nike top which also has your colour coded number on it (colours represent start pens).

OK so this is getting wicked boring, onto something more interesting. I was aiming for a close to 2 hours as possible. Here's the math: for 2 hours you have to run in 9 minute miles. The whole way. I started out with 9 miles 30 seconds which felt pretty maintainable. Nike Run to the beat is London's music half marathon. Throughout the course there are 14 stages each having different 'beats' to encourage the runners. The first stage is pretty 'main' with headliners such as Reggie Yates and Jamila Jamil. Not that I got to appreciate any of that as I was off!

I also had my headphones on with a pre-prepared playlist including such gems as Bieber, Taylor Swift, No Doubt and Wilson Phillips. Yep I'm that cool. Handily there are signs telling you where there is a stage up ahead so you can pause your track. One of my favourite acts were a tribal drum group in Greenwich park. They were really good, and the perfect rhythm for my pace.

Towards the latter part of the race there is a lovely downhill. I was happily skipping down maintaining to keep my 9.5 minute mile pace even though we were post 10k (I posted a PB for my 10k - TBC by the official chip result, but YES according to my Garmin). Anyway, we were happily going downhill and then turned a corner. All I could see in front was a SEA of yellow. People going up a SERIOUS hill. Why do they do it to us?! I went down to 11 minute miles on the hill but would not stop running. Lots of people around had started to walk. My stubbornness kept me going.

Once I had done 10 miles I was in uncharted territory. I have never run further than this before. In training I ran 10 miles in a decent time, but broke this time today. The miles 11 and 12 seemed particularly long and I could feel my legs turning to lead. What is great at this stage is the motivation you can give yourself "It's only 5 more KM, that's do that everyday in your sleep to work" "only 2 more miles to do, 20 minutes and it will all be over!" When we could see the 02 I knew I was going to be able to do it without walking, which is a massive achievement in itself.
Champagne at the finish, standard
I couldn't see the chute up ahead when I knew I was close to 13 miles. I switched my headphones off completely at this stage. I had my name on the shirt so people were cheering me on, which is great. I however started my 'sprint finish' a bit too early! It was great motivation but it was too long...I slowed a bit and the end was in sight. I still managed to cross the line at 9 minutes and 30.

AAAAND Collapse. The difference between 10 and 13 miles is amazing my legs were killing! I walked it off to go and claim my medal. Well done me, especially since I've raised a fair whack of Money for Macmillan Cancer. You may also find my '8 year old boy' look attractive. Trust me the hat helps, keeps the fringe out of the way and any rain off my glasses. Looking awesome is optional...
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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Carrie Travels: A week in Cannes

Cannes is awesome. Such a fun city. The beach restaurants, bars, hotels, shops all of it oozes cool. Seriously 'enhanced' women trek up and down the Croisette with their pampered pooches while the men cruise up and down the seafront in their Ferrari's  People also work here! As we do three times a year for the various festivals. This time it was all about TV so for 5 days we worked. Hard. And yes, wining and dining on the Playboy yacht does count as work.

One thing I never get bored of? The beach or the boats. I am seriously snap happy but it's just so goddamn gorgeous.
Good morning Neverland

Instagrammed to death but looking pretty sweet

My view for the day

If you can drag yourself away from the beach, the shops don't exactly suck. Every designer who is everyone has a spot on the front. The more 'normal' shops are on the Rue D'Antibes which runs parallel to the Croisette (the front to you and me). However who doesn't want to lose an afternoon in the Louis Vuitton garden, or 'trying it on, seeing how it feels' in Dior and Prada?

Fancy Handle

Mixed in with the shops are the absolutely amazing and ridiculously expensive hotels (The Majestic will set you back €15 for a diet coke...). The Martinez is home to the most expensive sun beds I'm aware of in Cannes, they can set you back up to €450 for a bed for the day.

Drinking at the Grand
The Garden at the Majestic, yep that's a Power Ranger
Love this artwork

The architecture is also pretty sweet...

And some stuff just can't be categorised!

6 hours on here can have a serious effect on a person

Some people just can't deal...
Never a good idea to drink a green bottle of rum

The witching hour...
The above live in here. Love it.

Bridal flash mob
Regular flash mob

Cave Riviera deserves a honourable mention. From the outside it may look like a regular wine shop, but inside is an incredibly charming little bar. We opted for a Pol Roger, you can either order by the glass or take any bottle from the shelves (they have cold...) and add €12 to drink in. Marvellous.

I need one of these in my life

Don't drink and drive...
But always, ALWAYS have eggs in the morning
Farewell Cannes, see you in the spring. Any recommendations for things I must see and do next time?
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