Sunday thoughts: 5th October 2014

Welcome to October!

If like me you follow a number of blogs, your inbox or reader will no doubt have been full of autumn (or fall)-loving bloggers lamenting the lack of sufficiently crisp weather, alongside a generous handful of those struggling to wave goodbye to summer.

And if like me you live in London, you’ll have been forced to accept the arrival of the new season with a brutal drop in temperature and a washout of a Saturday morning. I’m finding it hard to function swaddled in multiple layers, and trying to recall whether my feet always feel this cold through winter or whether I adapt throughout autumn?

Random #vegan cake in #Wimbledon!

A post shared by Claire De R (@claireoftherocks) on

In the meantime, I am feeling grateful for some sunny, albeit chilly, days – and for random vegan treat sightings!

New things I have learnt this week

I’ve taken a bit of an unintentional break from the studying this week; partly because I’ve been busier with clients and with an online programme, partly because I’ve trained more, but also because I’ve spent a fair bit of spare time looking at flats to move into, MSc courses to enrol in, and – on one occasion – napping my evening off away. Definitely ready to pull out the journals again next week though!

New things I have eaten this week

No new foods or dishes this week, but we did make a few fun discoveries today at the Duck Pond Market in Richmond:

Vegan gelato

  • We had a long chat to the lovely man behind Bickerton’s, and tasted his dips and sauces (all are vegan except the BBQ sauce and his chipotle mustard). He was so passionate about making the purest, least adulterated condiments he could, and about making them ever more accessible to people with allergies and other dietary requirements. We left with a jar of his Spicy Mango Chutney and Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam, but I easily could have taken home his Blueberry Vinegar which was sweet and rich and tangy and delicious. Mainly though I love the interaction with market vendors, talking to them about how they come up with their products and hearing about what they have in store for the future!Bickerton's dips
  • After a lot of debating about what and where and when to eat (Tide Tables were out of harissa flatbread), we ended up going back to the market where I got a falafel and hummus pita for £4. Despite its structural integrity issues and annoyingly layered ingredients (wraps > pita), the bread was warm and fluffy, and the fillings alternately soft, dense, crunchy and tangy. Plus I got to heap loads of pickles, jalapenos and olives on. Delicious!Duck Pond Market pita
  • After snapping a photo of a sign advertising vegan dark chocolate gelato (which never seems to be around when I’m in Scoop), I couldn’t really not get it. And boy am I glad I did, no matter how little in the mood I was for ice cream! It was everything I could have hoped for; ridiculously thick and creamy, rich and ever so slightly bitter, fruity and just the right amount of sweetness. A true treat!

    #Vegan dark chocolate gelato: it just would have been wrong to say no. #whatveganseat

    A post shared by Claire De R (@claireoftherocks) on

Other highlights this week

  • I’ve trained harder again this week. The more broken I feel, the more I feel like myself. Which is probably something I need to work on… but in the meantime, I’m feeling good.
  • I also always feel like myself when I’m eating huge brunch platters at Le Pain Quotidien, especially when it’s in the Notting Hill Gate branch. Good friends and having dodged the rain are bonuses. A perfect Saturday.
  • Finally, I’ve had some time to sit around and write, to listen to music, to watch movies with Ben, and to nap (which may also explain why I haven’t learnt much this week… oops). And as much as waking up after noon today was a shock, I felt more refreshed than I have in a long time and don’t feel like I missed out on anything. If anything, I feel like I have lived more of my life this week.
  • I bought us some new pillows yesterday. Guys – how good is sleeping on a new pillow?!

That’s about it for this week of simple pleasures – what a great start to October!

I hope you have been loving life whatever the seasonal changes are doing to your soul, and I hope to be back on here soon with something interesting to say. Happy Sunday! xoxo