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I’ve watched Tanya Burr’s Youtube videos for years and her baking videos have always been so calming to watch, so I was so excited when I heard she was bringing out a baking book. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love baking, so I pre-ordered her book as a little post-exam treat to myself. I picked this recipe because I needed to bake a cake for my Nana’s visit last Sunday, and she adores coffee cake. I really really wanted this cake to be amazing and I wasn’t disappointed; the cake is light and oh so moist and the icing is insanely addictive and tasty. Seriously, how have I never made coffee icing before? Also this recipe is super easy to make and my Nana was really impessed (she’s 90 and knows anything and everything about baking so this is really saying something), go ahead and try it! I’ve written out Tanya’s recipe below and added my own notes in italics that should hopefully help you out even more. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the cake –
225g butter, softened
225g light soft brown sugar
4 eggs
150ml strong coffee, cooled
250g self-raising flour
(I also added 1tsp baking powder
because I’m programmed to)

For the icing –
150g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee,
mixed with 3tbsps hot water

cocoa powder, for dusting

You will need 2 x 21cm round loose-bottomed cake tins (although mine weren’t loose bottomed and it was fine!)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line your cake tins with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the eggs and coffee. Don’t worry if the mixture looks like it’s split at this stage, once you’ve added the flour it will sort itself out.KEZCAKE2
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  3. Stir in the flour to form a smooth batter, then divide between the two tins and bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy. Cool a little in the tins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.KEZCAKE4
  4. Make the icing by mixing together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and smooth. Stir in the coffee and mix again until well combined. My top tip for getting fluffy light buttercream, beat the butter on its own until it’s super creamy and soft and then add the sugar.KEZCAKE5
  5. Using a palette knife, sandwich the two cakes together with half the icing, then use the remaining half to top the cake. Dust with cocoa powder for a real cappuccino experience! If you don’t have a palette knife don’t stress, a spatula works just as well. Dollop half on top then smooth it round. I piped the rest onto the top just for a smarter finish.

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Anyone will tell you that I’m a huge foodie and one of the best things about travelling to a different country for me is finding their best restaurants and hidden gems. It should tell you enough that I need to dedicate a whole post to the food that Budapest has to offer! My boyfriend and I came across some amazing restaurants. As in my previous post Budapest: The Best Things To Do I will be ranking them with pound signs ranging from £ to £££ so it’s easy to scan for the cheapest options if you’re travelling on a budget. The pricing is all relative to how cheap Budapest is, so the pizza place was £7.50 for two pizzas and is ranked £, whereas the Michelin star place we visited was £17.5o for three courses each including wine so is ranked £££ in comparison. This post concludes my little mini series on Budapest so I hope you enjoy this last one!

1. Pizzica £

Copyright Pizzica Facebook

Photo taken from Pizzica’s Facebook page

This was hands down our favourite restaurant in Budapest. We stumbled upon it (quite literally) one night after a couple of drinks, and it made the perfect late night snack. The quality is impeccable and we went back at least another two times during our stay. One of our best nights was actually staying in with a pizza and a beautiful bottle of local Hugarian wine. Cannot recommend this place highly enough!

2. Zing in the Karavan £

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We went to the Karavan Food Court for lunch after visiting the famous Szimpla Ruin Bar, it’s right next door. I went to the Zing burger van, where you can get the most delicious fresh burgers with fries and a drink for only 1,700HU which is about £4.50. There are a few of these vans dotted around Budapest and it’s a great pit stop for lunch if you’re busy sightseeing.

3. Sophie and Ben Bistro £

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Again, another burger place! We had this lovely lunch after walking up Gellert Hill (see here if you missed my last post on the best things to do) and it was thoroughly appreciated. They do lovely ‘standard’ burgers but it was also great for my boyfriend who’s a pescatarian, he had a goats cheese, pecan and pear burger which he loved (maybe something to do with the pears being poached in port). It definitely hit the spot after all the walking we did!

4. Book Cafe – Lotz Terem £

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This place is so opulent it feels like you should be sipping your tea in a ballgown, but in reality it’s a very relaxed cafe. It’s tucked away at the back of a huge bookshop and offers refreshments and beautiful cakes. We whiled away an afternoon in here whilst it was pouring with rain outside, we each bought a book and sat on comfy sofas drinking tea and taking in the amazing surroundings. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and I would highly recommend you make a visit here!

5. Mazel Tov ££

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I want to give this about two and a half pound signs, but only because the cocktails are so good that you’ll spend more money in this restaurant than you were planning! It’s a beautiful restaurant that’s half outside and half inside, definitely book if you want to sit outside underneath the beautiful fairy lights. We made the mistake of just managing to get a table inside because it was so popular! It’s situated in the Jewish Quarter and the food reflects this. It was lovely to taste a whole different style of food. Book, sit outside, enjoy the atmosphere and drink aaaall the cocktails.

6. 360 Rooftop Bar ££

rooftop bar

Photo taken from 360’s facebook page

We went here at night and sat looking at Budaest’s beautiful twinkling skyline with a cocktail in hand (I realise I’m coming across as a bit of a cocktail fanatic!) The cocktails are understandably a little more expensive as it’s such a hotspot for tourists, but it’s worth paying a bit more for the wonderful view.

7. Konyvbar & Restaurant £££

Little Prince

Photo taken from Konyvbar’s website

This restaurant is definitely more on the pricier side but is entirely worth it if you’re true foodies. It’s menu is designed around different stories every month, hence the design of the restaurant looks a lot like a bookshop. It all sounds a bit cheesy and I went in fairly apprehensively, but we were both completely blown away by the quality of the food. I had roasted breast of chicken with sugar snap pea risotto from the a la carte menu, whilst my boyfriend had the main based on The Little Prince and the character’s relationship with a rose (pictured above). The food was, I would say, on par if not better than the Michelin star restaurant we also visited (see below). Finally, take the staff’s wine recommendations, it matched our meals perfectly.

8. Tanti £££

Tanti

Photo taken from The Budapest Times

We decided to visit Tanti because compared to other Michelin star places I’ve been lucky enough to eat at in England, it was fairly inexpensive. It’s bizarrely connected to a shopping centre and situated in Buda rather than Pest (a taxi ride away) but we didn’t let this perturb us. The food was delicious, I had the duck terrine to start with pickled vegetables, the rabbit with pea risotto for main and the chocolate grapefruit dessert. Although the food and wine were both lovely, it is slightly different to my other Michelin experiences. For one, the dress code is casual, there was a man dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals with socks and it was fine. So guys, don’t feel like you have to wear trousers even if it’s 28 degrees outside (unlike my poor boyfriend). Secondly, the staff weren’t that attentive, which was a bit of a shame. Nevertheless, the food was still lovely, but if I were you I would head to Konyvbar over Tanti. Same sort of price, but with better staff and just as lovely food.

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I recently was lucky enough to visit Budapest for a week with my boyfriend. It’s such a beautiful city and so many people I know are going soon and wanted some recommendations for things to do and see – voila! One of the best things about Budapest aside from it being stunning, is that it’s superbly cheap. You can do and see plenty for a mere few pounds. I’ve ranked my top nine sights with pound signs ranking from £ to £££ so it’s easy to scan for the cheapest options if you’re travelling on a budget. Five out of the nine things to do are free! You could easily go for four or five days and cover all of these top picks, we realised that by day five of our holiday we had covered most of Budapest’s sights. Hope this helps you out and happy travelling!

1. St. Stephens Basilica – £

This is such a stunning building both inside and out, well worth a visit and it only costs a couple of pounds in donations to go in. We went to see a Mozart and Bach concert later in the week which was really lovely, so if that’s your thing then I recommend that too. The concert itself was a little more pricey, about £9 a ticket.

2. St. Stephen’s Tower – £

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It only costs about £3 to climb up the tower and you’re rewarded with the most stunning views of the city once you’ve reached the top. It’s a bit of a climb but definitely worth it!

3. Fisherman’s Bastion – £

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Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most famous landmarks for giving some of the best views of Budapest. The building itself is also stunning, it looks like something straight out of Harry Potter! Definitely go as early as you can, we made the mistake of going at lunchtime when all the coach parties had arrived. Fisherman’s Bastion also has a restaurant (where the white parasols are in the photo) which served beautiful food with an even more beautiful view. It’s also excellent value for money, around £6 for two courses including a soft drink and a coffee – the food was worth every penny and more!

4. Great Market Hall – free!

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Yet another beautiful and bustling must-see and there are so many stalls selling absolutely everything. I picked up a Hungarian sour cherry strudel and it was so tasty and so different from the traditional idea of a strudel. It’s less crispy and more doughy, but just as delicious. Get there early if you want more choices though, they sell out of apple and sultana/cinnamon super quickly! Also there’s an Aldi on the floor beneath the main market hall, which is really handy if you need to pick up any bits and bobs. I can’t recommend the wine that we found in there highly enough, it’s called Tokaji Furmint, a local Hungrian wine and it is stunning. One of the best bottles of wine I’ve ever had ever! Even better, it’s only about £3 for an entire bottle. Buy two, drink one and pack the other to bring home, it’s worth it.

5. Liberty Statue on Gellert Hill – free if you’re willing to walk all the way up

Wear some comfortable trainers if you’re planning to walk up! We went on a super hot day which made the walk very tiring but it was worth it in the end. Thank goodness for the stall selling cold bottles of water at the top! The statue itself is quite something, it was built in 1947 in commemoration of those who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Hungary. The view is also incredible from the top, and as we were walking up there were various points where you could stop and take a breather, and look down across Budapest.

6. Vajdahunyad Castle at the City Park of Budapest – free

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I mean, could Budapest get any better? The castle is in the City Park of Budapest and is such an amazing sight. It was a very hot day when we visited and it  was lovely to sit and chill on the river bank and look at the castle from across the water. The park itself is also worth a visit, when we went there was a huge beer festival and there was a great buzz about the place.

7. Margaret Island – free, apart from the tram there which is only a couple of pounds

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When I was reading all about Budapest in readiness for my trip, I didn’t read anything about Margaret Island, and yet it was one of the best experiences we had. Bit of background, Margaret Island is situated in the middle of the Danube River between Buda and Pest, and is mainly covered by an enormous recreational park. It’s very beautiful, if we had visited in the day time I would definitely have taken a picnic and chilled there for an afternoon. We went during the evening to watch the musical fountain, which was so cool. Sounds so cheesy but the illuminated water “dances” to the music, it’s truly magical, reminded me a bit of Disney.

8. Shoes on the Danube Bank – free

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If you’re walking along the river to visit Parliament, then you’ll walk right past these metal shoes. They’re here to honour the Jews who were killed by fascists in Budapest during WWII. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. These metal shoes represent those left behind on the bank. It’s really sad but very important and moving to visit, and gives you a true sense of Budapest’s history.

9. Szechenyi Baths – ££

We visited these beautiful naturally heated thermal baths for an afternoon and it was so wonderful and relaxing. It was about £12 each for a day ticket and a locker which is pretty good value but fairly expensive for Budapest when everything else is so relatively cheap. There are 15 indoor baths, some almost 40 degrees and others absolutely freezing cold (was not brave enough for this). The outside baths are great too, a lovely sociable atmosphere and they’re much bigger, but still lovely and warm. Definitely go if you have tired feet from all the walking around Budapest!

Look out for the last in my mini series about my trip to Budapest, which will be all about the amazing food we had there (very much looking forward to reliving this!) In the meantime, check out my post about the beautiful tea dress that was perfect for sightseeing around Budapest.

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So, it’s been a while! I had my finals at uni and after they finished I’ve been taking a little time off, but so happy to be back blogging. I recently took a trip to Budapest for a week with my boyfriend and had the best time and this is the first post in a series all about my time there.

This outfit is such a beaut – I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it in River Island, it’s such a lovely pattern and the cut of it is so so flattering. My favourite colour is green, but the splashes of yellow running through it are a completely new thing for me, I mean ginger and yellow? Surely not. But somehow this dress works for me, it was so great for Budapest as when we went it was super humid and this dress kept me very cool. I paired it with these little silver metallic trainers which I picked up in H&M for only £15! They were so comfortable for walking round the city in (and we did a lot of walking), I’m loving the metallic trend at the moment. They also dress the outfit down which makes it perfect for daytime exploring. My backpack is a great find from TK Maxx, it’s by a brand called Nica; I wanted a practical yet fashionable one and wasn’t blown away by what I found in places like Topshop, this one is just perfect. The best thing about it is that it’s not that big, so it means you don’t end up overpacking and carrying a ridiculously heavy bag around all day. I accessorised really simply and wore my beloved little silver arrow midi ring. It’s such a cute piece from a lovely independent seller online, definitely take a look as all of her stuff is just dreamy. Also, side note, I’ve been loving putting my hair up into space buns at the moment. It was great as it kept me cool during hot Budapest days!

Dress: River Island – £40
Shoes: H&M – £14.99
Backpack: in light blue from ASOS or in black– £25. Can’t find mine on TK Maxx’s website but this one is a lovely alternative that’s a similar size
Ring: Hanas – £4
Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury‘s Red Carpet Red – £23

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We all know by now that I’m obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury. I use her Light Wonder Foundation every day (Fair 1 is currently sold out everywhere), and raved on about how amazing her Matte Revolution lipsticks are. I always have absolute faith in her products and her Luxury Palette Colour Coded Eyeshadows in The Golden Goddess is no exception!

This palette has summer written all over it (yes I know it snowed yesterday – c’mon England it’s bloody April), I adore all four different shades of goldy browns. The best thing about this palette aside from the beautiful colours is that it’s so compact and lightweight. It fits in my smaller makeup bag that I take to uni with me which is a total bonus, it beats having to try and cram my Naked Palette into it! The ‘Prime’ shade is a gorgeous light yellow toned gold, which I have to be honest, I usually steer clear of! Deep golds are usually more my thing. However, it’s not an ‘in your face’ kinda yellow, it’s more subtle and works really well as an all-over base. ‘Enhance’ is a lovely taupe/grey colour, but still manages to have a little gold shimmer running through it, it would work so well on its own for a super smoked out look. My favourite colour however, is definitely ‘Smoke’. It’s a beautiful burnt kinda orange gold, which adds the perfect amount of definition in the crease. Finally ‘Pop’ is a stunning dark khaki gold with proper amount of gold flecks in it, perfect for if you wanna really vamp your look up.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I also own The Vintage Vamp and The Glamour Muse, so holla at me if you’d like a blog post with more info/a tutorial on either!

 

 

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