Weekend Review: Keya Modessa

Weekend Review: Keya Modessa

We're always pleased to meet lovely people who are excited about Leicestershire as we are! So this week we are delighted to welcome Kaya from Muddy Stilettos, the urban guide to the Countryside, to talk all things weekending in Leicestershire....

What do you do for work?


I run my own glossy, lifestyle blog called Muddy Stilettos. It's all about the fun, cool, quirky things to see, do, explore and shop in and around Leicestershire and supports local businesses. 

What's your proudest career moment so far?

I guess running my own successful blog and being able to pull off the first ever Muddy Stiletto Awards single handedly! #femaleboss! When someone says "Ohh i've heard about that blog" it's really reassuring and I start to think the risk of leaving London/having a baby/leaving a f/t editor job may have been worth it!

What's your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy day?


Unfortunately I don't get a lot of time to unwind because I have a toddler. I also work very late into the night on the blog. I desperately need a pedicure so right now, that is how I'd like to relax - with a long foot soak, foot massage and pedicure a lovely strong back massage would be a bonus! 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?


I have always wanted to be a journalist and have worked on some of the biggest mags out there including Drapers, Eve, Food & Travel and ACHICA Living. 

What are your favourite pastimes outside of work?


I love shopping, sad I know - but i'm quite fussy and the high street doesn't cut it so am always on the hunt for cool fashion brands. I also love yoga, reading, theatre and travelling.

Just like us, you're passionate about the city of Leicester, how do sell our fine city to those who've never visited?


I live 10 minutes away from the city but also very near Bradgate Park and Woodhouse Eaves which is absolutely stunning - so peaceful and picturesque so I have the best of both parts of the city/county.
Leicester is a creative hub of talent, through working on the blog, I've met so many interesting and passionate people and so supportive too. I still miss London (a lot) but am settling in very nicely now. 

Do you ever miss Living in London?


YES - i miss the art, culture and theatre, the after work socialising, the restaurants but not the tube esp in summer!
I'm too busy to miss it too much which is a good thing though.

When is your weekend? 


Sat-Sun. I still work at the weekend - writing/attending events etc: but I work around my family as they are the priority during the weekend. 

 

What's a typical weekend look like for you?


We revolve everything around my toddler as we want to get him out exploring the world as much as poss. We go to the park Abbey/Bradgate or have brunch/lunch at a local pub. And then I spend the afternoon cooking or writing! 

Your ideal weekend break... 


I don't mind where I go as long as it's warm and sunny, It could be a weekend in Bath or Oxford - mooching around exploring the city or shopping in Bicester. Eating at a delicious cafe for lunch and an amazing pub or Thai restaurant for dinner! If i could go abroad I'd love to check out Seville and see the history and architecture. It's been on our must-visit list for years now!

Your ideal Sunday menu... 


Breakfast:   The Ivy, London with my sister
Lunch:  Somewhere in Toronto, Canada (this is home and where I'm from) and I'd want to be with all my friends who live there. 
Dinner: Thai food in Bangkok with my husband!!

Do you have a signature dish you like to cook?


Not necessarily a dish but I make amazing sun dried tomato and feta falafels, savoury scones with olives.
I do make a delicious mushroom risotto!

What's in your fridge?


Salad, salad and more salad, eggs, Petit Filous yoghurt, chestnut mushrooms, grapes, nectarines, cucumber and some homemade Indian food. 

QUICK FIRE - without too much thought, name your absolute favourite...


Book: The Great Gatsby / Game of Thrones (yes read them all and wayyyy before everyone jumped on the GOT bandwagon) 
Film: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - old school Sarah Jessica P (if you don't know, you better get to know)
TV Series: GOT / The Durrells / SUITS / POWER / Orange Is The New Black...I could go on!
Holiday destination: Anywhere in Italy. 
Museum: Natural History Musuem, London. It ALWAYS reminds me of the classic Disney movie 'One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing' LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Word: Effervescent 

What is your guilty pleasure?


Choc and nut (Lidl's 59p one) 
Chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream!
Digestive biscuits with tea at 10pm much to my husbands horror!

How can people follow what you do and get in contact?

@muddyleics on Instagram

@muddyleics on Twitter

@muddyleics on Facebook


Also.... My Website is www.leicsmuddystilettos.co.uk and it's a good idea to subscribe to the blog to get all the best things to see/do in Leicestershire sent directly to your inbox!
 


Flashback: July

Flashback: July

Form the beginnings of The Weekend Collective all the way back to our days as Make, do and Spend it's lovely to look back at where we've been and what we've been up to.

Here we take a retrospective look at how July has shaped up over the last few years...

LAST YEAR...

Becca was visiting Sandringham and took a week out from social media, Elle was making Miso noodle bowls

2 YEARS AGO...

Italy was the Holiday destination of choice, Becca was visiting Positano, Whilst Elle was on a whistle stop tour of Emilia Romagna

3 YEARS AGO...

Becca took part in Two Days The Same, a project created by Sarah Rooftops, Elle was visiting Frankfurt

4 YEARS AGO...

We were all about alfresco dining and ice cream. Becca was trying to keep cool in the heatwave, whist Elle was picnicking at DeMontfort Hall

5 YEARS AGO...

Becca was Holidaying in Norfolk, Whilst Elle was enjoying high tea at Betty's Tea Rooms


Weekend Review: Ruth Clowes

Weekend Review: Ruth Clowes

We were so happy when we heard that the lovely Ruth Clowes was returning to blogging at Clarendon Spark - a blog devoted to the past and present of one of our favourite parts of Leicester - especially as it gave us an excuse to ask her a few questions about her weekend habits...!

What do you do for work?

I'm a communications manager for a charity. I also do a bit of freelance writing on the side, including writing about Leicestershire and Rutland's restaurants for Food and Drink Guides. This is brilliant because it combines two of my great passions - writing and eating delicious food.

What's your proudest career moment so far?

You won't find this on my CV, but my proudest career moment was in 2001, when I had a summer job at the Jodrell Bank Observatory café. A hero of mine, Sir Patrick Moore, was visiting the observatory (it houses one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world) and popped into the café for lunch. I had the honour of serving him up a humble portion of sausage, chips and beans. I was seriously star struck (pun intended).

What's your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy day?

A bit of escapism works wonders. If my day has been particularly stressful I like to spend some time researching wherever I'm going next on holiday and maybe making a few restaurant bookings or practicing ordering a coffee in the local language.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Along with everyone else in my class at primary school, I wanted to be an astronaut. I think we must have done a class project on space and we all got a bit carried away. We didn't just have vague aspirations to become astronauts - we were genuinely convinced that it was going to happen and that the lot of us were going to join NASA and jet off to Mars together. I don't think anyone in the class realised this ambition, although I did at least get to meet Sir Patrick.

What are your favourite pastimes outside of work?

I'm incredibly faddy. Apart from the obvious things that everyone does in their spare time like drinking gin and watching Lucy Worsley documentaries, my favourite hobbies change frequently. I'll probably be onto something else by the time you publish this, but right now I'm enjoying knitting, origami and the board game Carcassonne. Obviously, I'm hugely geeky as well as incredibly faddy.

What's your favourite thing about living in Clarendon Park?

Clarendon Park has got that whole 'village within the city' vibe going on. I love the number of independent shops and businesses in the area. Along with the high student population and the strong sense of community, it makes for a vibrant and laid-back atmosphere.

When is your weekend? 

My weekend starts at 5pm on Friday afternoon and doesn't end until I arrive at work on Monday morning.  That's 64 hours of solid back-to-back weekend loveliness.

What's a typical weekend look like for you?

My partner and I are both very busy at work right now, so our weekends are precious and we try to keep them as tranquil as possible. Friday evenings invariably involve a trip to Babelas on Queens Road for a few glasses of The Crossings and a cheese board. Saturday mornings are generally given over to chores but the rest of the weekend is a heady mix of tasty food, frequent macchiato breaks, blogging, reading, Yahtzee and general restorative vegetation.
Although I'm a lover of routine, I try to make sure each weekend involves something novel, which is invariably a visit to a new independent café, restaurant or shop somewhere in Leicestershire. Last weekend I spent an evening at the fabulous Delilah deli in St Martins at a 'Four Corners' wine and food tasting event.

Your ideal weekend break... 

A lazy few days somewhere in Europe with a pretty old town. No itinerary or pre-bookings or 'must-dos', just plenty of sitting outside sunny cafes, wandering through cobbled streets, soaking up the atmosphere, taking photos and eating delicious food. 

Your ideal Sunday menu... 

Breakfast: Boiled eggs and soldiers on a sunny balcony overlooking a sleepy town square
Lunch: A picnic in the park with friends - delicious morsels picked up from a local deli on the way
Dinner: Loads of tiny courses and matched wines somewhere fancy. John's House in Mountsorrel will do very nicely.

Do you have a signature dish you like to cook?

I love making frittatas because they're so quick and easy and a really good way of using up tasty leftovers. Just chuck it all in pan, cook everything through and pour some beaten eggs on top. Finish it off with a good thick layer of grilled cheese. It's not very sophisticated but it's always tasty.

What's in your fridge?

There's a Brockleby's Wild Deer Pie that I bought at the Clarendon Park Summer Fair in there right now with my name on it. Also a big pot of posh gravy to go with it.
books and DVD

QUICK FIRE - without too much thought, name your absolute favourite...

Book: An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
Word: Razzmatazz
Film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, or anything else directed by Wes Anderson
TV Series: The Sky at Night
Holiday destination: Cadiz, Spain
Museum: Musée Rodin, Paris

What is your guilty pleasure?

Raw bacon. Preferably smoked. Straight from the packet.

How can people follow what you do and get in contact?

Website: ruthclowes.co.uk
Clarendon Spark Blog: clarendonspark.co.uk
Twitter: @ruthclowes
LinkedIn: ruthclowes


Looking Forward: July

Looking Forward: July

A few things we're looking forward to in July...

Elle

  • Baking with cherries...
  • ...and eating all the summer berries
  • Watching Wimbledon
  • Making no churn ice cream, my new obsession! look out for recipes both here and over on The Craft Blog...

Becca

  • A portraiture workshop at the Attenborough Centre (inspired by the life drawing class I did a few months ago)
  • Holidaying in the UK and abroad
  • Starting a new job
  • Introducing Elle to the delights of Indie Tracks festival 
  • And also watching Wimbledon!

Why I Love... Where I Live

Why I Love... Where I Live

My love affair with my neighbourhood - Clarendon Park in Leicester - began six years ago, when I first visited the area for a colleague’s birthday celebrations.

I’m not sure if it was her stories of guerrilla gardeners or the excellent tapas at Barceloneta, but the next morning I found myself searching online for rooms to rent and a couple of months later I made the move.

On that first day, hungry from unpacking boxes, I stepped out in search of lunch – and almost immediately bumped into a friendly neighbour who warmly welcomed me to the street.

Fifteen minutes later, the guy chattily wrapping up my doorstop sandwich at Salvador Deli offered to lend me a hand if I needed any help shifting heavy boxes or putting up shelves. I was going to be happy here...

So starts the beginning of an article I've written for Leicester's cultural magazine Great Central! 

You can read the rest of the article HERE - including insights from former and future Weekend Reviewers David, aka One Man and His Loaf. and Ruth from Clarendon Spark (who I have to credit for the photo at the top of this page!)


Create: Pressed flowers

Create: Pressed flowers

Pressed flowers are a Simple cost effective project. They make beautiful affordable art for your home which can be changes as you wish to reflect the seasons. All that's really required is a little patience...

I gathered this bouquet in my Mum's garden a few weeks ago, Mum tells me she doesn't grow flowers but I have evidence to suggest otherwise. I've also collected further bouquets on Aylestone Meadows and along the canal path which is easily accessible instant green for a city dweller and a rather lovely way to spend a slice of the weekend, if i'm in need of escaping my kitchen!

You will need:

  • Freshly picked flowers, herbs and/or grasses
  • scissors
  • greaseproof paper
  • heavy hardback books, cookery books work particularly well here

Trim sheets of greaseproof paper to the size of your book, place the flowers onto a sheet of paper, allow plenty of space between the flowers, being careful not to overlap, else they'll stick together. Top with a further sheet of greaseproof paper and close the book.

Store in a bookshelf, preferably out of reach from marauding cats, Truffle destroyed a few stalks she found poking out of a book.

Leave the flowers for 10-14 days to dry completely. You'll see some variations on colour and texture from the drying process, this is part of their charm I think. 

Glass photo frames are available from Nkuku (Though i've actually borrowed the one on the right from Kayleigh Tarrant!) For Leicester locals Harriman and Co have a selection also.

As always, we'd love to hear from you if you have any tips and tricks for pressed flowers or affordable artwork, give us a shout in the comments!