The Bermuda Triangle

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I don’t know how to break this to you. Perhaps it’s best just to say it out loud. Okay, here goes: I think I might love chocolate a bit too much. On my way through an airport last week, during an intense moment under the glaring duty free red lights we decided (that is you and I on Twitter decided) that we should  bring home the compulsory duty free large Toblerone (way tastier than those Austrian Motzart balls any day).

I am a great believer in instinct: if it feels right, I do it

Anyway one thing led to another, and that’s how I ended up trying to smuggle a giant Toblerone home along with my already overweight luggage. I’m not trying to bludgeon you with a)the blame or b)tales of my Twitter airport shenanigans, but I am a great believer in instinct: if it feels right, I do it – in life, in work and hauling that giant Toblerone home felt very right.

The flight to London was peopled mostly with smiley tanned tourists, a few stressed young mums dragging reluctant children and middle-aged business men with one piece of carry-on. Things started to unravel quickly when the airline staff first ran out of hot water, then patience and then any clue and the will to live. They remained surprisingly calm though and I particularly liked the member of staff who suggested I “sit back, relax and have a giant piece of your duty-free purchase”.

“Um let’s not get carried away now lady,  I usually only eat giant Toblerone between the 25th and the 29th of December, and only in Ireland in front of a roaring fire with my Mum and Dad.” But the flight was unraveling around me (Oh c’mon now, you’ve never felt the tug and comfort of chocolate?) and seeing as I was traveling alone…. I very nearly caved. YES rereading my above text so far I have to wonder what they pump into the cabin air during flights these days.

AND SO… to end my story, I cracked open my make-up bag and my Shu Uemura products and painted on the illusion of rest to meet Mr. Goddess at the airport. On the drive home I explained ‘the trouble is you know, once the Giant Toblerone wrappers lay strewn about, it never actually offers the comfort you think it will – quite the contrary’. FACT boys don’t understand chocolate love.

So what was I going to do with all that chocolate???? I decided I’d comfort cook – prepare food not out of need or duty, but because I wanted to hang out in the kitchen and make something nice for someone so I decided to make a Toblerone cheesecake for Father’s Day. And making this cake meant I could share my chocolate equally with everyone (plus a slice of this chocolate Toblerone cheesecake is so rich you won’t even want more).

So big hugs!  And just one more time, sorry, if you’re not the slightest bit interested  in chocolate, cheesecake or triangular adventures.  Really though, my apologies.

PS: And let me thank you all for your lovely comments all along. It’s a pleasure to read everything you guys write. You’re each unique. There really is just no other word… Thank you. And I definitely have enough chocolate talk done for a few weeks now…

Here’s the recipe


1 packet of Orio cookies

A quarter cup of butter

A half cup of light Muscovado sugar

3 x 200 packs of cream cheese

2 x 400g Toblerones (one for the mixture and one for decoration)

Gelatine sheets

You’ll also need a 20cm wide cheesecake tin with a removable base


1. Split the Orio cookies and using a knife carefully remove the cream filling. Take the black split cookies and place on a large piece of foil on a chopping board and crush into crumbs using a rolling-pin. Pick up the foil and transfer the crumbs to a little bowl.

2. Mix the Orio crumbs with the melted butter making sure not to wet the mixture too much.

3. Grease the cheesecake tin with the paper from the butter you’ve just melted.

4. Press the butter and Orio crumbs mixture firmly into the bast of the cheesecake tin.

3. Beat cream cheese until soft with a mixer or electric whisk and mix in brown sugar while beating.

4. Melt 200g of Toblerone chocolate (half one of your Toblerones) gradually in a bain marie (a glass bowl sitting in a pot of water). Let the chocolate cool slightly.

5. Fold the chocolate in batches into the cream cheese and sugar. Then chop 200g (the other half) of the Toblerone in thick pieces and fold into the mix.

6. Mix 3 teaspoons (1 sheet) of gelatine into a quarter cup of warm water. Fold the mixture carefully in tiny batches into the cheesecake chocolate mix.

7. Transfer the cheesecake mixture into the cheesecake tin and refrigerate for four/six hours of preferably overnight.

8. Serve topped with roughly chopped Toblerone. Enjoy!



My favorite pizza in London

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So it’s not so bad that an airline lost my suitcase, I got to spend the last three days in a bikini! It turned out for the best, right? Aaarrgh!!!! No power cable for my laptop, no charger for my iPhone…

Everything I do is open here – exposed, transparent, you name it

Picture this.

I’ve been lying by a lake and sitting in a sauna like a little tortoise, sticking my head out now and again to check if my baggage has arrived. With no cables for my computer and phone I relaxed wrote this long hand so that I could blog type my scribblings into the hotel computer in the lobby today and then my suitcase suddenly arrived this morning. So YAY!

I never really take holidays (it’s always a reconnaissance mission) so I didn’t mind playing the tortoise just for a little while – being completely switched off and slowing things down just for a day or two. It was nice. I’m in Austria – one of my favourite places to visit in June/July (outside of Switzerland). The Austrians look so darn gorgeous healthy.

Every time I visit, I seem to think I’m like one of them… I get all outdoorsy; cycling, Nordic-walking, taking long runs in the woods, saunas and then jumping straight into a lake to cool down –like they’d do in a travel ad. I’m at Austria’s Viva May hunting for perfect leg secrets. (Some of you asked so here we are).

The Viva-Mayr is like a well-mixed party, with mostly Germans, Russians, British and Americans attending. It peaked, for me, over dinner a pot of herbal tea last night when I got talking to another girl, Nina. Our conversation quickly turned to good quality food, just as any normal person would after two days on a tea detox (today, we’ll move on to favourite savoury snacks and chocolate) (no, not here, just that the conversation will most likely turn to, our favourite savoury food and chocolate) (Wouldn’t yours?)

Nina: ‘So what’s the worst thing about losing a suitcase?’

Me: ‘There’s a book in it that I really want to read.’

Nina: ‘So you want to download it onto my iPad and borrow it?’

Me: ‘Naaaaaa. You’re all right. Thanks loads Nina but I write all over books while I’m reading. And iPad and Sauna spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!’

Nina: ‘I miss chocolate the most. Green and Blacks Organic chocolate it’s TOTALLY healthy. It TOTALLY doesn’t count. (She’s from Moscow).

Me: Think I’ll double check that with the doctors tomorrow Nina. They’re going to show me all their magic secret leg stuff over the next ten days.

So I’ve just asked and FACT there is no chocolate, anywhere on my list of secret foods that helps rid the body of cellulite. The Mayr is full of secret formulas – a luxury medical place where actresses and celebrities come to detox before movies. It’s affectionately known in the movie and fashion industry as ‘the bum clinic’ (for reasons which I shall go into when my findings are complete).

So while Nina was craving chocolate I was craving my favourite new food – Story Deli organic pizza. I had to show Nina the pictures this morning.

And here they are. Voilà! The one thing I’ve been craving for three whole days since leaving London… a Story Deli 100% organic pizza… you have to try it, soon as and let me know how good it is.

These pictures were taken just before I left for Austria, I popped in to ask Lee Hollingworth the owner for his best suggestion for an organic healthy lunch. If there’s a movie being shot in London, actresses ask for Lee’s Story Deli organic pizzas to be delivered on set. The paper thin yeast free base is yum.

Lee invited me into his kitchen to show me the healthy recipe. The more visible ingredients are, the happier I am and at Story Deli the openness seems not only physical, but emotional. This is who I am, it says, take it or leave it.

Lee made a fresh batch of dough with no yeast (no one makes a good enough organically certified one) by simply mixing 100% certified organic flour (from Italy), salt (from Spain), organic olive oil (from Tesco), and Highland Spring still water. He scattered freshly crushed tomatoes on top, plenty of olive oil and put it in the oven to bake.

I asked if he minded sharing his secret ingredients? ‘Everything I do is open here – exposed, transparent, you name it.’ Even the stripped right back whitewashed brick walls and butcher block tables give a bare-bones industrial feel warmed by cushy clever seating (you can purchase the seats on the website) and beautiful, fashion moodboard, collages on the walls (Lee’s partner Ann Shore is a freelance stylist for Italian Vogue and his young son Chipper has chalked the walls and doorway).

Lee explained that ‘initially Story Deli put together a curious modern organic menu with different things for lunchtime; sandwiches, meat, fish, vegetarian, salads, side-orders and soups, but in 2007 at my old premises (he used to be in The Old Trumen Brewery off Brick Lane) on one of the coldest days of the year no one wanted my organic pumpkin soup… Everyone that came through the door just kept asking for pizza, pizza, pizza.’

Somewhere along the way Lee had developed his own unique style of wafer thin pizza base and in front of me sat one (£13) covered in a green forest of rich, green rocket. On top is a sprinkling of parmesan and red ribbons of peppers, buffalo mozzarella and air dried ham. The lot is dressed in olive oil. It looked good, and tasted even better.

The obvious open-door policy to Story Deli’s new pop-up pizza place in Shoreditch means that the crowd is as eclectic as the menu. At the next table, two young Thais ask to take a picture. One of them secretly films us. Darn but that’s naughty. They’ve read The Goddess Guide. It’s official SOMEONE has read the Thai version. I’ve never even seen a copy and I think that they’re secretly disappointed with me… I’m in working mode; hair scraped back, no make-up, hands full of flour.

I suggest they relax with me and have one of Lee’s organic cakes, refreshingly served without any flotsam or fuss such as cream or ice-cream. Oh no… now look what I’ve done. Now I’m craving a brownie!

X Just to say, I was almost tempted to add in some other pictures here of my dinner herbal tea in Austria last night but then I thought if my Granny reads this (hey Gran!) or Alexandra Shulman, they’d both be saying, ‘It’s so chic having tea by a lake in Austria.’ Um, meanwhile I’m thinking ‘Newsflash Gran, ‘it’s tea and a soft boiled egg for dinner. You always said that eggs were good for legs.’

XX I should also say that I’ll have tons to tell you about this place and will once I’ve tested it fully.

In the meantime you do have a favourite savoury thing and sweet thing too, right? Gimmie a few little mental images here to dream about!

PS. Nothing to do with anything at all: I was thinking next big sunny weekend, we should all just act like an airline has lost our baggage and flip-flop about our gardens/back yards/the park in our bikinis sipping tea and eating boiled eggs. Big hugs!

StoryDeli at 3 Redchurch Street, E2, 07918 197352;