We are very lucky to have a south facing, sometimes sun-soaked (British weather permitting) balcony.  We got excited (okay, I did) when about 2 hours worth of sunshine poked through the sort of greyish clouds and I gleefully declared it was Summer and I marched down to Homebase to get us an injection of all things green.

We invested in a comfy outdoor sofa and ottoman last summer - the Madrid set from John Lewis was a perfect fit for the balcony, quite literally it just fit! Our key requirement was to be able to position any furniture to maximise our south-facing position (all about those precious sunbathing hours).

I am considered though by my future Mother in law to have absolutely no green about my fingers, in fact both her and Mr. S held back groans at the amount of green things I'd bought home to die try keep alive.

But I'm optimistic!  We had a fantastic wild Wednesday potting everything up and discovering my preference for pots of style - over substance (i.e. No drainage ... handy) but it's totally fineeee!! Mr. S will eventually drill a few holes here and there and those beautiful Dahlia's won't drown from all the rain after all.

I bought a combination of garden centre, Homebase and IKEA green things - proving that you don't need to go crazy. They have fancy names which I don't remember and were all picked based on how they look...  you know, nice textured leaf patterns, all different shades of green and all different size and shapes.  I wanted this kinda of vibe:



I spent many days drooling over images of gardens with palms and overgrown ferns and planters so big that surely they would break the balcony... If you're just getting started on your own sun-trap it might be a handy place to start browsing, have a look here.

And here is a shopping list of all the things I only wish our budget could have stretched too. Turns out plants are expensive, who knew!



I've also heard we might get some sunshine before winter arrives in July (*Cough* not long till Game of Thrones) so get to it gang - Happy gardening!

64° is tucked away down in Brighton Lanes and is a small restaurant with an evolving menu of tasty tiny plates.


Mrs. Hull found this gem of a restaurant a few months before our babe-cation to Brighton and thank goodness she did.  You'll need to make a reservation well in advance to secure yourself a sitting (and if you're visiting as a couple you might even be lucky enough to have a front-row seat to Chef Bremner in action at the open kitchen table).

 Are you ready for this?





First plate of the evening: A tiny stone bowl of turbot, passionfruit and chilli served cold, it was a ceviche-style dish - packed with flavour!







Second plate: Chef special warm scones, which would help soak up the very drinkable ice cold Pinot.



Third plate: Asparagus, blood orange and brown sugar.  It tasted like marmalade! It was sweet but the asparagus had a crunch to it which made for interesting eating. The flavours took me right back to being little, having tea & marmalade on toast with Grandma and Grandad.

Fourth plate: Purple sprouting broccoli, gomasio and yolk. I do love a dippy egg and I think I could be converted to broccoli soldiers.



There was many a wine pit-stop in between the plate swapping.


 The fifth plate: Pork belly, hoisin, spring onion.  I think I prefer this to the classic duck version!  The pork belly was cooked to perfection, really tender but with a crisp and sticky crackling topper.



64 Degrees is an Instagrammers dream and our table was right by the window so the lighting was fantastic. Here we are... Bloggers in the wild!


Are you feeling full yet?

Ready for the sixth plate: Roly's lamb, chickpea and carrot.  At risk of sounding like a broken record this was the most tender lamb I've ever tasted, it melted in your mouth and the chickpea puree had a really moorish texture to it.


A pretty seventh plate arrived: Cauliflower, pangrattato and grape.


My absolute favourite of the night (although it was very hard to choose just one) the eighth plate: Beef rump (served as it only should be - rare), swede and sauerkraut.  You barely needed any cutlery to eat this, so tender the meat just fell away as you cut!



 The ninth plate was just palate cleanser (thank goodness!). Now unbutton your jeans and prepare for dessert.




We were feeling very full but couldn't resist ordering two plates to share.
Our final plates - tenth and eleventh: a sour rum-soaked gummy bear and a layered chocolate tiramisu mousse.




And that concludes the 64 degree experience.

Reservation anyone?  Yes, thought so: www.64degrees.co.uk





If that shot doesn't make you squeal with chocolate envy - are you okay, hun?

Easter is just around the corner and Mum and I got thinking about what delicious calorific creations we wanted to try this year. You're going to want to try this - our take on those beautiful Hotel Chocolat slabs.

The best part is it only takes 30 mins tops and you only need a few simple ingredients:

200g white chocolate
200g milk chocolate
2 handfuls mini eggs
3 crème eggs or a handful of mini crème eggs

All you need to do is break up the chocolate and melt.



Pour the melted white chocolate onto a sheet of baking parchment (resting on a small baking tray) and spread with the back of a spoon.  And then repeat with the milk chocolate!


Smash up the mini-eggs (pop in a sandwich bag, save you a big mess!) into halves and crumbs using a rolling pin to give that extra crunch factor.


Then this is the fun part, you can really go crazy - there is no right or wrong way to do decorate. Just layer up your chocolate slab with all your favourite toppings!

 I even threw in some popping candy, confetti sprinkles and gold edible glitter to make mine pop!


When you've ran out of toppings... pop in the freezer for 10 minutes.  

(Top tip: make sure you use a baking tray that will fit in the freezer)

A giant slab of heaven, needless to say this was demolished in a lot less time than it took to make. The quickest and most delicious baking challenge yet! 
Fancy learning the art of the Canapé? Obtaining the crown as hostess with the mostest?
The Honesty Group have you covered with a snappy two hour workshop learning the art of all things bite-sized.



We donned our blue aprons and eagerly listened to a short introduction and demonstration by Chris from Canapé Box.


We learnt some nifty insider tips - like using cookie cutters to cut lettuce into perfect shapes to compliment the canapé bases.


We collated our ingredients and began chopping, cutting, eating and assembling our bite-sized treats.


The idea was to layer different ingredients together a create a taste explosion! We combined beetroot and goats cheese, cucumber and smoked salmon, mini deconstructed bruschetta just to name a few.




And even experimented with chocolate cups - something for the sweet tooth at the party.

We will definitely be putting some of the tips and tricks we learnt to good use at the next family feast.

A delicious bite-sized and speedy class great for those with a few skills in the armoury already.  It was really fun + you finish up with a rainbow plate full of goodies to take home and who doesn't love snacks!?