Pumpkin spice latte season

As pumpkin spice latte season approaches and I continue to avoid Starbucks I thought it was time to get on with making my own coffee.

I followed the following recipe from foodnetwork.com but it basically comes down to the following:

1 or 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (can from Waitrose)
1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cups soy milk
1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract

mix them all up and heat them by either steaming with a frother or in the microwave.

Add a shot or two of espresso.


Homemade pumpkin spice latte. It only takes two tablespoons of pumpkins so freezing the rest. #coffee

A photo posted by Joanna Booth (@stillawake17) on


A few coffees in July

Black Coffee at Hart’s Bakery


Sometimes Hart’s Bakery is the best thing about travel.



Coming back from holiday

#0022 The remains of a triple caramel frappucino

Here is where we were, it was a lovely place and we have a rather wonderful time – I forgot to take pictures of the coffees






A Tuesday, last day before work


I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to spend four days a week with my daughter.




“Now it’s early. It’s early in the morning. Early in the morning and I ain’t got nothing but the blues.”

– Five Guys Named Moe (best musical I’ve seen)

17 July 2013

Thursday’s coffee has far to go





Coffee that got thrown out


The coffee had been opened at least two-three weeks and it tasted of nothing so I threw it out after a quick taste. I like the picture though.


Coffee at Wallfish Bistro


Most pleasant coffee. No soy milk on their first day but as they told me, they are happy to take suggestions.
A small piece on their breakfast which I thoroughly enjoyed.


Coffee in Clifton


Second coffee of the day at a Clifton playground where I ran into another mum who was at my antenatal class. We met for breakfast with M’s dad before he left for a few days.


(For consistency and flow 23-July-2013)

Coffee on the way to work


Golden Girls, knitting and a soy white mocha.



This is the knitting I’ve been obsessing over (free pattern):






Coffee at work





Saturday morning coffee


Early to bed, early to rise and all that. This coffee preceded a day around Bristol starting on Whiteladies at River Cottage for breakfast and ending up at the Stable for pizza and cider. There was much rain in between and three hours spent at the Bristol Old Vic where M had a nap.


Morning coffee






At the Harbour Festival


A surprisingly wonderful Harbour Festival this year and here’s our last stop – at Cafe Gusto on the Harbourside for two machiattos (one with soy). M got to play with the toys. The paint on her face resembled a tiger for a while.

I was terrified of taking her out among hundreds-of-thousands of people but the rain drove most away luckily and her dad had a good plan for avoiding most of the crowds. We actually visited a fair few of the permanent non-festival things such as the M Shed, the Youth Hostel and Gusto (plus the Gromits at Aardman).


Morning coffee with the winning cup


M and I both won cups from the Clipper stand. You had to spin a wheel which had a one in five chance of landing at the right spot. Mersina was so happy to have won something that as soon as we got home she demanded to drink her juice from it. This morning her cup held my coffee at about 6 in the morning.


Second coffee of the day


My first coffee at Boston Tea Party was curdled so I took it back. My next one came with the information that the first was too hot which is why it curdled. I didn’t bother taking it back after discovering it too had become clumpy and lumpy. I just removed about a third of it and drank the rest. Not the most pleasant experience.

I ate my porridge while staring over at Starbucks across the way – there would have been perfect soy milk and porridge there but I chose to go independent instead. Good for Bristol but not for my taste.


Breakfast at Wallfish Bistro in Clifton


Two days ago, I had some black-looking thick and ugly mushrooms on toast at River Cottage Cafe. They were most unpleasant to look at with the grimy streaks they left on my place and weren’t exactly exploding with flavour. A week before that I had been served the most beautiful looking girolles on toast served with herby butter and arranged like little flowers around and top of a slice of sourdough.

The Wallfish in Clifton may only have started serving brunch for the first time last weekend but they were certainly miles ahead of the River Cottage on service and flavour. They were perhaps a little overenthusiastic with the drinks menu which I was handed as I walked in and all the cocktails listed on the breakfast menu are a bit daunting for 10am but nevertheless, I have become a big fan of their breakfasts.

Their baked beans are home-made and taste authentically country-farm (probably). They were lovely and smokey and have bits of bacon. I ordered them for my daughter but she was not impressed as they tasted nothing like Heinz.

I did wonder about the freshness of our bread as the delivery came in from Jo’s Bakery on Gloucester Road after we had been served but it was toasted and sourdough so I wasn’t surprised at needing a knife to cut it, it tasted ok. The water jug looked like a fish and glugged when you poured in a most pleasing way. I liked it. I’ll be back.


Morning coffee #0019


I drank my coffee while my daughter watched Mike the Knight* on Cbeebies. The show is on for about seven minutes. I also made toast for both of us, washed some dishes, made the coffee and then sat down to check my email. By then she’d finished with Mike and we were on to the Wiggles and Wallace and Gromit.

23 July, 2013

*Mike the Knight says practise is very important. I agree.

Coffee at Painswick #0018

The Exedra at Painswick Rococo Garden

Today’s first coffee was in a hotel at the picturesque and quaint town of Painswick. In a garden, overlooking the Cotswolds, I poured black coffee from a small white jug into my white china cup. My two-year-old daughter was not happy at having to take second place to the men I was talking to. They were running through a crib sheet of things to look out for on my visit to the Rococo Gardens for a spot of secret filming. We had to pause until M’s auntie and cousin arrived to watch her as she was too upset.

I didn’t take a picture but see above, I visited the Exedra at the Rococo Garden a little later.

My second coffee was drunk at home. Made in the percolator and served with condensed milk. Every other train on the Cross Country service from Bristol Temple Meads through Birmingham seemed to have been delayed or cancelled and it’d been the hottest day of the year.

M and I were out of the house from 7.30ish until after 4pm. It was a very hot, sticky and long day. When we got home, we dropped everything near the front door and got into a cool bath for about an hour.

After barely getting dressed we sat down and relaxed. The cup of coffee was a bit of a sigh after a tiring day.

Percolated. With condensed milk.


Black coffee #0013, failed coffee #0014

Black coffee #0013

First day of holidays, even though I don’t work on Mondays anyway, and there was no soy milk or condensed milk anywhere in the house. My coffee was lovely regardless.

Coffee with cream #0013

Feeling ingenious once I discovered a pot of cream in the fridge #fail #0014

This coffee was never drunk, not really. I thought I’d found a solution to my no milk in the house when I discovered a pot of cream that came free with a punnet of strawberries. I don’t drink milk so why I thought cream would be any good, I have no idea. It felt like drinking sludge.

Next to my failed coffee is the second book of the The Last Policeman trilogy. Published 16 July in the UK, I am currently reading it for a review.

July 8, 2013