Olympus Camera Companions

When I returned home after 5 months of travelling round the world I pretty much hated the sight of everything I had left in my suitcase; worn out leggings, barely working phone chargers, dog-eared gifts from various countries and cheap dusty footwear for all eventualities. But I had only more love and admiration for my two Olympus cameras, which enabled me to capture beautiful sights and create lifetime memories everywhere I went.

Olympus Pen camera

It is always nice being stopped in the street and complimented on a piece of clothing. Nowadays I get stopped by intrigued passers-by who want to know where I got my vintage-style camera from.  I am talking about the Olympus Pen E-PL7, which though compact has the ability of a much bigger camera. Available in white, black and silver, all equally stylish with a vintage look, but the striking white seems to be the most popular. For bloggers this camera is the perfect companion… A remote control wifi facility means it is very quick and easy to transfer photos from the camera to my phone, enabling me to use the high quality images immediately on my social media channels. And the useful flip/swivel screen is perfect for selfies, but I use it more for overhead shots of food.

Here are a few photos taken on my Olympus Pen:

Olympus camerasOlympus camerasOlympus camerasOlympus cameras

I was lucky to travel to some of the world’s best beaches and marine reserves, and couldn’t have captured the same underwater photos without my Olympus TG-860 Stylus Tough Digital Camera. This compact camera is designed for travellers, it is able to go 15m underwater and is also crushproof, freezeproof and shockproof… basically it is indestructible.

olympus toughPaired with a 16MP BSI sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens, this camera is a versatile machine that’s perfect for outdoor, active photographers who are ready to head out on an adventure. With 5-axis stabilisation, a flip-out LCD and Wi-Fi connectivity, the TG-860 is a versatile companion for a multitude of shooting situations.

Here are some images I took using my Olympus TG-860:

Olympus camerasOlympus camerasOlympus cameras

Now that I’m back in London my cameras are just as indispensable, accompanying me on blogging expeditions round the city and further afield.

More information on the Olympus Pen and Tough Digital cameras here.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Restaurant and Bar

Chiswick is awash with chains and cafes that provide little inspiration when it comes to delicious food and stylish surroundings. I love La Trompette for smarter occasions and Chief for coffee and breakfast, but there was definitely a distinct lack of reliable bistros and bars until No 197 Chiswick Fire Station came along.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

I first noticed this new opening  on Instagram, where my feed was filled with pictures of the most beautiful looking restaurant, complete with pale pink sofas and giant cacti. I instantly wanted to visit.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

I visited for lunch on a radiantly sunny day, which made this establishment look even prettier, casting atmospheric shadows across the white-washed walls. My sister and I decided to make the most of the weather and sit outside in the lovely back terrace.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

No 197 are currently offering a Peroni Spritz cocktail, a special collaboration with the beer brand. The vibrant orange drink was refreshing with a touch of alluring bitterness, perfect in the heat. My little sister opted for the more child-friendly housemade elderflower and cucumber lemonade.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

The menu is long, a little too long perhaps, filled with British delights and a few international inspired dishes. After spotting the rotisserie chicken whirling round in the oven, I couldn’t wait to try it for lunch, along with truffle macaroni cheese, garlic french beans and housemade fries. We definitely weren’t planning on fitting into bikinis any time soon! The chicken was tender with a caramelised skin, macaroni cheese was as decadent as it should be with just a subtle hint of truffle, and the green beans were buttery and garlicky, though in my opinion a little undercooked.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station

After the rich main courses I needed a light dessert, and Roast Pineapple ticked every box. Served with agave syrup and passionfruit sorbet, it is suitable for anyone with any food allergy, and the taste didn’t suffer for it. An extra sweet but tangy pudding with the tart, exotic accompanying sorbet. We also sampled the Maple Banana Toffee Crumble, a take on Banoffee Pie which exceeded expectations. Soft and gooey with a crunchy topping and served with banana ice cream, it was finished off in minutes.

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is a great place to eat, drink and hang out. The space is extremely pleasant to spend time in and the staff will ensure you have everything you need.

Book a table at No 197 Chiswick Fire Station here.

No.1 Duke St, Richmond

Richmond is an area of London that is perfect for lovely walks, welcoming pubs and family eateries, but never before have I visited a stylish café that I feel suits my needs. No.1 Duke Street is an elegant neighborhood bar and restaurant offering irresistible breakfast dishes, lunch classics, and dinner feasts. Alternatively you can pop in for a quick coffee or cocktail to relax after shopping in town, or walking round the green.

I visited on a gloriously sunny Sunday morning with all my family in tow. Despite the abundance of space (there is even a private floor upstairs) the main dining room was packed and we were lucky to find a table on the front terrace. Before I looked at the menu, I ran in to admire the instagram-friendly décor – white walls, worn wooden tables and plenty of pretty plants. Unsurprisingly, the interiors are photographed as much as the food.

The breakfast menu features a long list of morning favourites and a few imaginative additions. My brothers were immediately won over by the No.1 House Breakfast – sourdough toast with poached or scrambled eggs, accompanied by dry cured streaky bacon, pork and sage sausages, slow roast tomatoes and field mushrooms. The less greedy end of the table (!) settled for Blueberry ricotta pancakes with maple crème fraiche and syrup, Breakfast sourdough bruschetta with roast tomatoes, spinach, avocado, dry cured bacon and breakfast mayo, and No.1 Eggs Benedict with honey roast ham, avocado and spinach on sourdough with housemade hollandaise.

Fresh juices and strong (Caravan) coffees arrived to quench our thirst, before the morning feast was delivered. After copious photos of the photogenic spread I set about tasting each dish. Despite the simplicity, my favourite dish was the light and fluffy pancakes served with a dollop of sweet crème fraiche and topped with plump blueberries. I also loved the crusty farmhouse-style sourdough bread that comes toasted with many of the dishes. No.1 Duke St work hard to offer ingredients that are high quality and taste great, the meat was all butcher standard and the sauces are freshly made in house. Needless to say, silence fell over the table as the group devoured the delicious food.

Though I now live in South London I am often visiting family in West London and it is wonderful to find new venues that I am excited about visiting in this part of town. Next on my list to visit is the sister establishment, No.197 Chiswick Fire Station, which has also been receiving rave reviews.

More information and book a table at No.1 Duke St. here.