A night in the museum of London: sherlock launch

Forgive me for sounding cocksure, but I am pretty confident that I would make a fantastic TV detective. Sure, I wouldn’t be much of an asset in a tower-block stair chase, or able to stare down a criminal with a gun pointed at my brain, slowly walking towards them with a withering confidence that caused them to gently hand me the weapon (like my hero Jack Frost). But I’m pretty sure I could make enough sweeping Poirot-esque judgements to spot the nutter on a cruse ship full of village idiots (Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple would totes be my level).

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So I was beyond thrilled to be invited to the launch of the Museum of London’s Sherlock Holmes exhibition; ‘The man who never lived and will never die’. Not just because I have a huge lust for Benedict Cumberbatch and love the BBC’s Sherlock series, but also because it was super exciting to go to a launch party.

Sherlock Holmes

Before anyone freaks out -Benedict wasn’t there – but Sir Ian McKellen, who will star in next year’s film ‘Mr Holmes’ directed by Bill Condin – WAS. He gave a lovely speech on the portrayal of Sherlock over time and the central role of London in the stories. Later  I got close enough to Ian to embarrass my friend and take this – admittedly, quite poor quality photo.

Sir Ian - stares straight ahead and hopes I'll stop

Sir Ian – stares straight ahead and hopes I’ll stop

The exhibition was very cool – bringing together original Conan Doyle manuscripts, along with costumes, books and other artifacts. There was a fine selection of art – which told a story about Sherlock Holmes and the London of his time. It was also really interactive to walk around.

Sherlock selfie – If only we’d got a shot of Ian doing this

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Readers of this blog will know why I couldn’t resist including this shot.

A desert bar - gets my vote

Museum of London kept us well fed and watered

Deer stalkers - great stocking filler

Deer stalkers – on sale at the gift shop and great stocking fillers

The Sherlock Holmes exhibition will be at the Museum of London until April 2015. It is definitely worth a visit, as is the rest of the museum, which is full of facts on London and provides a fascinating overview of the history of this great city.

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Super fast birthday dinner for bad daughters

You know when its Friday night and you’re supposed to be cooking a birthday dinner for your Mum? But you finish work late and then you have to make everything in half an hour and feel like having a mental breakdown?

Maybe you don’t, because you’re probably much better at life than me.

But if you do ever need to make a super-fast, super nice birthday dinner (or any dinner), this is what I would suggest making because I have SO BEEN THERE…and this kind of works.

First – whack parma and melon on a fancy plate…simple things.

Picture of melon and parma ham

Melon and parma ham

I love Jo Pratt’s ‘lazy tray baked chicken’. You just throw the ingredients in a large roasting pan  – big pieces of chicken combined with panceta, baby potatoes, chopped red onion and carrots (or any veg you feel like really – peppers work well), along with a generous helping of lemon segments,  rosemary and a good drizzle of honey. This needs about an 1.15 in the oven at 200 degrees.

Picture of chicken

Tray baked chicken

Desert is my take on another Jo Pratt classic – plums and peaches halved, de-stoned and filled with mascarpone (mix in the zest of an orange first) combined with amaretto biscuits. Pour over a good glunk of port with some flaked almonds sprinkled on top. This needs about 25 minutes in the oven on 200 degrees.

Picture of peaches and plums

Mascarpone peaches and plums

And finally – if you are crazy like me – some part of you will have pre-empted your late finish from work and have got up at 6am to make cupcakes – because you can’t have a birthday dinner without cake. We accidentally bought golden icing, but I think this actually looks way fancier. And tastes amazing with chunks of Green and Blacks on top. Of course.

Picture of birthday cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes