10 best things about being a British woman

Adele

Adele knows it’s awesome to be a British woman.

So maybe the World Health Organization declared that British women had the second lowest life expectancies in Europe … at least they’re not Denmark! Can I get a high five?!

Check out Lauren Laverne’s thoughtful roundup of reasons why it’s still very cool to be a British woman (especially #3, #4 and #5!).

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Locations

Calling all Downton Abbey fans! Want the inside scoop about their filming locations in the U.K.?

Meet “The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Locations,” the only online map of its kind from Wayfair.co.uk. With over 70 filming locations across the U.K., you can stalk out every locale! Brilliant!

Consent, in tea terms

Anything can be explained in terms of tea. If you have any doubt, check out Thames Valley Police’s viral video explaining sexual consent! Totally amazing!

RIP Terry Wogan

Sir Terry Wogan

Very sad to hear about the passing of Sir Terry Wogan, BBC broadcasting legend and one of my favorite voices on British radio. :( RIP, Terry.

 

Out of hibernation

Walking DeadSo … how do you say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy 2016 all in one post on the last day of January? I’ve been in heavy hibernation the past two months.

Yes, we had a busy holiday season, which included a fun visit from my in-laws from England and New Zealand, and I’m still trying to get back into the swing of the new year and embracing all that 2016 has in store for me. Excuses, excuses …

But, well, “The Walking Dead.” This is the No. 1 reason I’ve been unreachable. Have you seen Andrew Lincoln (better known as Egg from “This Life” and Mark from “Love Actually”) kick some serious zombie butt? If you haven’t, WATCH IT (you can stream the first five seasons on Netflix) or don’t (if you hope to get anything done in your life after you start). It’s been my winter addiction and I’ve only finally finished the first five seasons and need to get started on the sixth season … Which reminds me … :)

Giving Public Enemy a lift

When Kevin Wells met Public Enemy

Photographer Kevin Wells drove the members of Public Enemy to their show.
Photo credit: Kevin Wells/Twitter

When rap group Public Enemy had a no-show taxi in Sheffield, England, British photographer Kevin Wells offered to drive the group in his Ford Focus. Hilarity ensues.

I love this story.

(And yes, that is Flava Flav back there with the glasses and hat. Where’s his clock necklace?!)

Piecaken

Piecaken

Photo by David Burke Fabrick

On this Thanksgiving, I have to share what has to be one of the most whacked out culinary ideas ever. Ever! Piecaken!

Think turducken – but with pie and cake! How does it work?

Essentially envelope a layer of cake batter around a fully cooked pie, bake it up and then frost the whole thing. It’s a deeply illogical Frankensteinian creation and seems wrong on all sorts of levels, but also kind of right. Of course, I must eat this. Maybe something to work up to next Thanksgiving?

At any rate, happy Thanksgiving! For those celebrating, have a wonderful turkey day with family and friends!

Gansevoort Market stop

British Bruffin

British Bruffin

We had booked a morning visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art, but I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Enter Gansevoort Market, an industrial food hall in the meatpacking district, brimming with coffee, baked goods, ice cream, pizza, lobster, macarons … just about everything you could imagine.

I went for a Bruffin – part brioche, part muffin – which could be ordered in a variety of flavors. I got the British, made with bacon and sharp cheddar and topped with a Union Jack flag. They reheated it so wasn’t as amazing as I’m sure it is when it’s fresh out of the oven, crisp and buttery. I’d get a fresh and hot one next time.

Then we stopped at Meyers of Keswick for a cup of tea. The Brit who took our order made a great cup of builder’s tea made with Yorkshire tea with the perfect amount of milk. It’s rare to be able to order a good cup of tea in the U.S., but this was the real deal.

16 charming bookshops in the U.K. everyone must visit

Armchair Books

Armchair Books in Edinburgh


Armchair Books

Armchair Books

If you are an avid reader, be sure to check out Buzzfeed.com’s “16 Charming Bookshops in the UK Everyone Must Visit.”

We used to live next door to Armchair Books in Edinburgh, a lovely little store which is #3 on the list.

“You could easily lose a weekend while nosing about the dreamy Armchair Books. Delve into stacks and stacks of inviting tomes at this Edinburgh institution. If you’re still on the fence, Armchair Books are also great value on Twitter. Plus their logo is a dinosaur reading!”

See the full list!

Dining at The Spotted Pig

Spotted Pig

I’ve been wanting to eat at the Spotted Pig in NYC for quite awhile.

With British chef April Bloomfield at the helm, it has reached legendary status among celebrities and foodies alike and has shown the world over that British food can be tasty.

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris eat at Spotted Pig

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris eat at the Spotted Pig.

We came for dinner on Friday night around 7 p.m. and were told that it was a two to two-and-a-half hour wait. There don’t take reservations – ever. Only the opportunity to leave your cell number and, of course, there’s this great big beautiful city to browse while you are waiting.

We had a drink at the White Horse Tavern, which was nearby, and best known for being Dylan Thomas’s favorite watering hole (along with many other writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin, and the list goes on. It was a cash-only bar and felt like your average local pub in Britain.

Then we just took a stroll, making stops at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop and Sockerbit Swedish sweet shop, where we bought one of these for the holidays:

Swedish trolls

These gnomes are not edible.

It wasn’t until about 10 p.m. that they called our name. Score!

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