Hally’s in Parsons Green

Good morning!
I’ve found a great place for you to try. It’s one of those places you don’t really want to share, but I like you, so I’ll let you in on it.
Hally’s is a new California inspired hangout in Parsons Green. There’s a coffee bar for an early morning with the paper, communal tables for an afternoon sprawled out with work and tables in the back for a catch up with friends.
www.alessandrabrian.comI was drawn in one weekend by the delicious looking pastries displayed home-style on the bar. This little guy was feeling pretty sorry for himself as he wasn’t allowed any whilst his Dad slowly sipped his coffee.
www.alessandrabrian.com Wouldn’t you be?
Pearl & Groove Cakes have such darling packaging and yummy flavours like coconut, rum & lime, blueberry & white chocolate and earl grey. www.alessandrabrian.comWe were seated in the back, surrounded by trinkets and objects the owner has collected from local markets.
My brunch date and I were sufficiently starving by now, and thoroughly looked forward to our brunch arriving whilst we chattered away. Lucky for us, the portions are definitely American sized and we struggled* to finish it all.

www.alessandrabrian.com Omelette of chorizo, roasted pepper & spring onion with watercress and sourdough
www.alessandrabrian.comChilli & coriander corn fritters with streaky bacon, avocado, poached egg and creme fraiche www.alessandrabrian.com *Don’t worry, we persevered and successfully cleaned our plates

I’d definitely recommend their weekend brunch or popping in for breakfast during the week. It’s a lovely atmosphere and delicious food.

Afterwards, we walked off our small feast nipping in and out of shops until I found this beauty. The perfect casual Sunday hat.
www.alessandrabrian.comDo you have any good bird jokes or puns? Leave them in the comments, I love a bad joke. But keep it clean, I don’t want any fowl play.

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Prosciutto Caprese Sandwich

I’ve done it.
I’ve taken a beautiful Italian classic and turned it into a delectable, filling sandwich.

Caprese salad has always been one of my favorites. It takes me back to my childhood in Tuscany, ravenously consuming the salad alongside a pizza at lunch after a busy morning of sandcastle building on the beach. Fresh, ripe tomatoes layered between decadent slices of Mozzarella di Bufala and torn pieces of peppery basil. (US: bay-zel, UK: bah-zil) Heaven.

What could possibly make this fresh, simple salad any more amazing?
How about stacking it on pieces of warm, toasted sourdough baguette and covering it in prosciutto? I think yes.
I’m always looking for an interesting new lunch to tantalise my tastebuds mid-day. This would be a great way to spice up the lunches you take into work, but be wary, this may inspire work fridge theft.

Ingredients:
Sourdough baguette (obviously you’re free to use any bread you like, but there’s something about sourdough with the tanginess of the balsamic and sweetness of the basil)
2 Ripe tomatoes (depending on size)
Mozzarella (if you’re eating this right away, use fresh Mozzarella that is packaged in water – if you’re taking this to work, use low-moisture Mozzarella served in a package so that your bread doesn’t become soggy)
A handful of basil leaves
Several strips of Prosciutto Crudo
Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & pepper

Assembly is quite simple and can be done to your taste.
I sliced and toasted my sourdough baguette, then layered slices of fresh tomato and mozzarella on top. I then placed layers of prosciutto crudo over the tomato and cheese like a tasty, meaty blanket. Then, I gave a handful of basil leaves a rough chop and sprinkled them over the top. Glug some olive oil and balsamic over your masterpiece to create an incredible, sloppy mess. A pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, and there it you have it: My Prosciutto Caprese Sandwich.

I hope you enjoy it!
Do you have any exciting lunch ideas I should try?

Petersham Nurseries

This weekend, we went to Petersham Nurseries. The nursery is tucked away in the corner of Richmond Park and is filled with a stunning array of flowers. In the middle of the nursery, is the glass Teahouse. The glass house is filled with french furniture and gorgeous bouquets with tables sitting on exposed dirt, very rustic-chic.

I had the best seat in the house, and watched the chef prepare the incredible Italian-inspired dishes. We pored over the menu, and eventually made our decisions.
To start: Torn bread, Chorizo, Merinda tomatoes, and Romesco sauce
Main: Halibut Acqua Pazz with Rocket & Aioli
Dessert:  Chocolate and Almond cake with Jersey Cream & Pedro Ximenez and Fresh Mango Sorbet

Everything was fresh and beautiful, but the Mango sorbet was absolutely outstanding.

This is the perfect place for a date. It’s first-come, first-serve and parking is incredibly limited. I’d suggest taking a walk across the park and arriving early to ensure you get a spot. If there’s a wait, you can wander the nursery and choose some plants to take home.