Eat Your Heart Out (London): Central & Co.

The other day after Regent Tweet
with Megan, Amber, & Sophie,
I met up with Tyler & my friend Kyla
for a quick coffee to recharge.

{Quick recap of Regent Tweet below. Read more about it on Sophie's blog.}

from left to right: my huge hair | me | amber | megan | sophie

We had met up outside of Liberty
(tucked right off Regent Street at Oxford Circus) 
and decided to check out a new place
that had recently popped on my radar, 

It's awesome decor had lured me in 
on my way home the week before...
I then added it to my "eat here ASAP" list.

After getting a seat
and making ourselves comfortable,
that "coffee" soon turned into lunch & dessert.

If you're shopping on Oxford or Regent Street,
this place gets two thumbs up for me.

And if/when you go,
do not skip the Eton Mess.

Worth every calorie
in that gorgeous little cup.

Okay, that's it.

Keep Central & Co. on your mental list
for the next time you're in London.

{You can also PIN it or come find it in my London guide when you're ready.}

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

The Lovely Drawer: Not The Dowager's Victoria Sponge Cake

What Victoria was to Albert,
so Victoria Sponge cake is to a cup of tea.

Until I moved to the United Kingdom,
I had never heard of or tasted this classic treat.

For all of the Americans out there
who, like me, may not have grown up 
with this on the table at tea time,
I'll walk you through the basics.

Two sponge cakes 
+ one layer of whipped cream 
+ one layer of strawberry jam 

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

When my friend Teri of The Lovely Drawer
(you know, the one who did that killer Chorizo Stew recipe?)
mentioned she didn't like cream
(as in cream, whipped cream & ice cream)
I slapped her in the face.


Not really.

But I was really sad.

Fortunately, she offered a peace offering
in saying that she accepted marscapone cheese.

Which, obviously, is the next best thing.

{Or maybe the best thing. Not sure how to rank the dairy family. They're all winners!}

And when she made me this cake
for dessert after dinner at their house one night,
I not only forgave her 
for shunning my camarades in the dairy section,
but I vowed to never settle for regular Victoria Sponge again.

{Which means, I'll also need to start crafting up a lot of reasons to invite myself over to her house.}

Here's how you can make one
with instructions from Teri, herself.

(This reads better if you read this in an English accent.)


So.....Victoria Sponge with a twist. Not so typically British but far superior, I think. I've been of the opinion that this classic can so easily be dry and boring but replacing the cream with mascarpone icing and the changing up the jam to raspberry gives it a whole appeal. My friend made me this cake originally and I totally had to eat my Victoria sponge-dissing words, along with my huge slice of cake. 

Here's the recipe...

225g self raising flour
225g butter (softened)
225g caster sugar (US read: normal)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons 
vanilla extract

For the filling;
Raspberry jam
250g mascarpone cheese
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar plus extra for dusting (US read: powdered sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract. 
A punnet of raspberries to decorate (US read: little plastic basket of raspberries)

Whip together butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy
Then add vanilla extract and one egg and beat again. 
Add each remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of your flour and beat thoroughly after each addition. 

Once mixed, fold in the remaining flour with a spatula until combined. 

Pour mixture into a lined 20cm cake tin and put into the oven. 

Bake at 150 C degrees (US read: 325F) for about 45 mins or until golden and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Leave the cake to cool slightly and remove from tin to cool completely. 

Once cold, cut horizontally in two to put your filling in. Spread the top half with as much jam as you want.
Mix all the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until fully mixed and spreadable. Spread this mix on your bottom half and put the two halves back together. 

Dust the top of the cake with plenty of icing sugar and then arrange raspberries on top of the cake. 
Lightly dust some more icing sugar on top of the raspberries.

Who's mad about that?

Now, go...
make this immediately!

Or at least pin it for later
and let me know
so I can stop by accordingly.

(Also, check out Teri's SUPER CUTE blog. You'll be impressed.)

*all images from The Lovely Drawer

Oh Boy, Oh Boy: The #royalbaby is here!

After spending today
trolling around St. Mary's Lindo Wing 
in the (year's hottest) heat,
we are proud to report:

Viola's arranged marriage 
is officially on track
and we are excited to start 
our play dates at Kensington.

We are now just waiting for Royal approval
(or perhaps, recognition of our existance)
to start the path to the altar.

Cheers to the safe arrival of
HRH Prince Charming.

(Who, at the time of posting, has not yet had his name announced.)

Either way, I have a feeling 
it will go swell with Viola.

Check out a few of the instagrams snapped 
from our day at St. Mary's.

My partner-in-crime, Amber. :)

Someone finally gave up
and wanted to get the heck out of the heat...

But I won't name names. 

And at last-
the news breaks!

It's a Prince.
All around the world,
every little girl's heart just skipped a beat.

Okay, fine... maybe not,
but their mom's did
faster than Carol Middleton can say
"Married Up."


Don't miss out on my next royal "encounter"
(like my time at the Royal Wedding or at the King James Bible Anniversary Service)
follow me on Instagram to keep up with all the fun live.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

To A Tea: The V&A

I love the V&A.

Pretty much everything about it...

The architecture.

The pieces inside.

The fact that Victoria & Albert created it 
to be a museum for the working class
and made it accessible to them by keeping it open late
(and, controversially, by candlelight)
so people could come after working hours.

I love the sitting area outside in the courtyard.

{And, of course, I love the fact that it is free to visit.}


I mean, honestly...
how gorgeous is this place?

It's one of my favorite places to meet up.

Not only is the food great
and the setting amazing,

but I like to do a quick run through the museum
to learn one new thing every time I'm there.

I kinda feel like it's a waste if I'm in a place
that is so amazing 
and don't even see the exhibits.

{Then again, I'm a bit of a dork.}

When Megan was in town 
on her bon voyage tour,
we went for a girls day.

It was wonderful.

I ate a lot.

I'm going to call it "emotional eating" because Megan was leaving...
but it might also have been because those scones were awesome.

However you want to call it.

Either way,
the V&A rocks.

A few things to know:

The V&A doesn't do giant tea trays of small sandwiches & treats.
Instead, they have serving lines of hot food, cold food, baked goods & drinks.
It's, basically, the most gorgeous cafeteria you've ever eaten it...
and with some of the best/freshest food, too.

Get more information on opening times & location
here on the Victoria & Albert website.


Not your cup of tea?

Check out some of my other favorite spots for tea in London here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

A Few Of My Favorite (Blings): Viola Edition

My friend, Meg, is Australian.

We met her & her husband at Oxford
while our boys studied in the same "programme,"
and we all eventually ended up working in London after graduation.

We both also had baby girls.

She teaches me silly words that Aussies use
like arvo (afternoon) & bub (baby).

Meg is extremely creative
 and loves to bake & throw parties-
as you might have seen from my instagrams this weekend.

But most importantly to this blog post,
Meg makes Viola some of the cutest headbands.

 I begged her to put some on my site
so that anyone that had asked about them
could finally get some...

And, of course, like good friends do
I asked her to discount them. ;)

(And, like good friends do, she humored me & agreed!)

These are my three favorite styles that she makes.

The first two are made with fabrics from Liberty London-
only my favorite shop in the world.

For as busy as they are,
I think they somehow go with everything.

The third is probably my very favorite... 
with it's (handmade) over-the-top glittery gold bow.

You can also choose what color band you'd like from:
navy, pale pink, grey, white
& grey chevron

Suri Cruise only wishes she had worn one of these as a kid.

So, for this one time only, you can buy them directly 
from Aspiring Kennedy at a heck of a deal.

So here you go...
each style has a limited run,
so get 'em while they're hot.

Aspiring Kennedy Collection
Indicate which headbands here:
Child Age (for correct sizing)

You can also check out Meg's Etsy shop for more styles & goodies.


In the meantime,
I hope your weekend was killer
and that the week ahead is even better.

*images via MegMade

Aspiring Kennedy: Summer Style

I won't claim to be fashionable...
I just shop with two main goals:

1. To find what fits my body
2. To find it on clearance

Even though those two driving forces
are what guide me to building my wardrobe,
I do pay a lot of attention to what others are wearing...
and I do think I have a good sense for what works
and what is (and should be) a fleeting trend.

{Editor's Note: Though to be honest, I do love some trendiness.}

Maybe that is what building a great look really adds up to:

    2  parts of timelessness    +  1 part of trendy accent   = Well curated outfit.

Who really knows....

Either way, this is what I'm feeling for this summer....
which looks perfect for the amazing weather we are having here this week.

Non-stop sun?

I feel like I'm dreaming.

It's never felt so good to sweat.

warby parker mallory frames | diptyque roses candle | piperlime camo tee | matthew williamson scarf 
laura mercier mineral powder + 15spf | ampersand pillow | marc by marc jacobs watch | gap leather tote

What pieces- timeless or trendy- have you added 
to your summer look?

Hugs & Quiches

I'm not really a cook.

I mean, I'm not terrible at it,
but if it's just Tyler & I eating at home,
we typically just eat like a couple of college roommates.

Cereal. Domino's. Kraft Mac & Cheese. PBJ.

Since we both work from home most of the time,
we have a pretty hard time wanting to stop what we are doing
to make food for ourselves.

{Now don't get me wrong, going out to eat is a totally different subject. LOVE IT.}

I've been missing France 
since our long weekend last month
and a quiche felt right with the warm summer temps.

So I rolled up my sleeves and made the classic Quiche Lorraine.

And in case anyone else wants to make one too,
well... now you can.

This is the perfect dish
served with a light salad
with the windows open
and Carla Bruni playing in the background.

{Trust me, I know.}

Quiche Lorraine

Serves 4 people (or 2 fatties like us)

1 store bought pie crust
5 eggs
150 ml single cream
50 ml double cream (that's about 8 oz of half & half, US. Just replace both creams with it.)
4 strips of bacon (that's "streaky" to you, UK)
1 large pour of milk (about 1/2 cup)
1 onion, chopped
1.5 cup of grated cheese (Gruyere or Cheddar)
Salt & Pepper
A handful of halved plum or cherry tomatoes (optional)


Put the pie crust in a tart pan like a pie crust should go.

Add some baking beans or whatever you have and blind bake the crust
at 190C/375F for 15-20 minutes. Pull it out when it is a nice golden brown
and let it cool on a window sill like your in an old fashioned movie.

(Or you can just let it sit on your counter. Whatever, really)

While the crust is baking, brown your bacon in a skillet.
Add the onion and let it caramelize. Eat a few pieces along the way.
That combination is a gold medal.

Beat the eggs, milk, & creams together in a bowl. Grate your cheese. Toss it in.
Add salt & pepper. Whisk it all up.

Sprinkle the bacon & onion mixture on the bottom of the cool(er) pie crust.
If you want to add the tomatoes, put them in now, too.

Then pour the egg mixture over the pan. (Depending on the depth of your pan, you may have extra egg mixture.)

Pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until it is starting to turn golden brown on top.

Let it sit for about 30 minutes so everything can set up like it should.

Thats about it.

I'd serve it with a light salad with this mustard vinaigrette
tossed up with some crumbled goats cheese + beetroot.

But then again, this is your party
so do as you please.

Happy (7)th of July!

Blame it on the timezones...
but today, we had a street party
to celebrate the American Independence.

(Also known as the 4th of July,
but since we were a bit late
we can just call it the former.)

My friends, Lolly & Tyler,
hosted us in theird adorable tiny street 
(or "mews" as it would be called here in England)
which is so cute
that Posh & Becks decided to make the house on the end
their London residence.

No, they didn't join the rest of the street...
but they were invited and David was apparently bummed to miss.

Can you even imagine what I would have done
if Harper & Viola were playdates at a BBQ?

I'll tell you exactly what I would have done:
 I would have peed my pants.

Even though the glam squad wasn't there to party with us,
we still had a pretty rocking time.

So I'll tell you what I want,
what I really, really want....

This gorgeous necklace!

During the party,
Viola & I tucked inside to play for a bit in the indoors.

While I was falling pretty hard 
for their exceptionally cute flat,
Viola felt so inspired she leaned up on the couch
like a champ to observe the festivities below.

So while it may not be Cape Cod,
it sure was this Aspiring Kennedy's dream way
to celebrate the Fourth... or the Seventh.


I hope you all are having a great day
where ever it is you may be...
and that you have as much sunshine 
as we are expecting this week in Blighty!

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...