My November

New York City

November was a pretty special month for me. I got to travel to New York City with my sister Estella and my stepdad Tim to see The Pineapple Thief play at Sony Hall. For those who don’t know, my other half Steve plays in a band and that band, The Pineapple Thief are on tour around North America, Canada and Mexico. We caught up with them in the magical city of New York. A week into their month-long tour.

On top of that, I visited numerous amazing restaurants and bars, found vintage stores a plenty and got to hang out with my old friend Natasha who has been living and working in the states for the best part of a decade.

My whirlwind trip was unforgettable and I plan to tell you all about it via a blog post highlighting the best of my New York experience. Do you want to know where is best to stay and the most interesting and tasty places to eat? I can help with that so watch this space.

Recycled Candle Company, Exeter

On top of my amazing trip, I got to spend a morning with Richard and Sargon at the Recycled Candle Company in Exeter’s Gandy Street making festive Christmas tree candles, fancy firelighters and the most beautifully scented votive candle.

We heard all about Richards love of candle making which started with his mother in their family kitchen as a child. This sparked the beginning of his idea to melt down old, used and damaged candles to create something new and beautiful.

In 2015 Richard met Sargon who saw potential in his business idea and the dream became reality, the two of them teamed up to create something magical out of what is considered waste material. In fact, the Recycled Candle Company is the only known recycling centre for candles in the UK. People from far and wide send their used candles to them to be remade into something reusable. It’s such a wonderful idea. #reclaimluxury

Photo credit Recycled Candle Company


I created a couple of recipes for you this month. The first being Butternut Squash & Sage Soup with Chilli Oil and the second, old fashioned Rock Cakes inspired by my dear Nanny.

The soup is a perfect winter warmer as the days grow shorter and the kick of the chilli oil from Roni B’s Kitchen will warm you from the inside out. For the recipe click here.

To celebrate what would have been my Nanny’s 95th birthday on the 16th November I wanted to create a recipe that was special to me. As a child growing up my Nan would regularly make Rock Cakes for my sisters and me as a treat. It seemed like the perfect recipe to mark the special day. For the simple recipe click here.

I look forward to sharing my New York highlights with you very soon so watch out for that. There are so many places to tell you about!

On the whole, December is a month of celebration and coming together with friends and family. Although I won’t be with my family this Christmas due to work commitments, I have planned a post-Christmas festive weekend with my sister, her partner Gordon, Tim and Steve. I won’t miss out on all the family festivities and in fact, it means I get to celebrate Christmas twice!

I have plans to visit Bath for the day to soak up the festive atmosphere and many, many tea dates with friends but on the whole, I think it will be quite a quiet month socially. Steve will return from The States mid-month so our Christmas tree will be erected even later than normal this year. I tend to leave it as late as possible as we like a real tree but I have a feeling this year our tree will be decorated with a few days to spare.

Look out for some festive foodie fun by following my Instagram account and signing up to my mailing list to receive regular Tara’s Busy Kitchen updates.

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