Heat the pasta in lightly salted water for around 10 minutes until cooked
Cook the green beans in lightly salted water for around 5 minutes until cooked
In a separate pan, fry the chorizo on a medium heat until cooked through. Add the chilli for another 2 minutes and then pour in the cream, reduce the heat and stir occasionally until it thickens slightly.
Slice the goats cheese into two and place under the grill until bubbling and golden (usually about 5 mins)
Drain the pasta and beans, stir in the chorizo sauce and serve in a pasta bowl, placing the cooked goats cheese on top!
Enjoy, and share your photos if you decide to make it!
Over the last 6 months, I spent a lot of my time with a pantomime company, at PwC, in the cast of Sleeping Beauty 2019. This was a very special experience for me as I’ve always dreamed of performing in the West End but never did I think that would come true! So as we pack away the glitter and costumes for another year (minus a mini trip to Ireland at the beginning of April), I wanted to share some the highlights with you!
The history of the PwC Pantomime
The PwC Pantomime started out 33 years ago at the Chaucer Theatre, London, in 1987. Since then, it’s grown to be a full-scale production running for a week (8 shows) in the West End and touring to a second UK city for another four shows.
Our objective is simple: to give kids an experience that brings them joy and, hopefully, nurtures a life-long love of the performing arts. Each year tickets are given to between 7000 and 9000 children depending on the capacity of the touring theatre. We organise free transportation to and from the theatre, and a goody bag, courtesy of some of our generous sponsors.
Every year we sponsor a different charity and this year we were supporting UK Youth. Their vision is that all young people are empowered to build bright futures, whatever their background or circumstances and I think this is so important, so it’s great that we were able to share this experience and support them. I don’t know how much money we’ve raised yet but I will update here when I do know and thank you to everyone who donated!
Behind the scenes
Each year approximately 200 PwC employees are involved in creating what starts out as an idea, or a vision, and finishes as a full-scale theatre production. This means that even if you’re not someone who loves performing on stage, there are plenty of other roles for you to get involved in.
Some of these roles and teams include: > the creative team (director, assistant directors, head choreographer, musical director) > scriptwriters > cast > band > music arrangers > choreographers > wardrobe, making all of our amazing costumes > props, a much harder role than you’d expect > stage manager & crew, they make the magic happen backstage – it’s fascinating > the production team > kids volunteers.
It’s crazy to see how much work goes on behind the scenes to make a show like this possible, and it’s all on top of our day jobs! It’s a big commitment from everyone but totally worth it, and one of the best things about it is that you get to meet so many different people from across the firm which is a reason in itself to get involved.
It is a lot of hard work, late nights and weekends and is tiring but we’re a community and we go through that experience together, which brings us closer as a team and makes it special. Without every single person’s input, we couldn’t have done it! And the main reason I wanted to get involved is because it’s just really good fun!
Sleeping Beauty 2019
So what was the show about? Well, our brilliant scriptwriter, Ben Gasson, helped director Niamh Gasson bring her version of Sleeping Beauty to life and it went a little something like this…
Princess Aurora is approaching her 18th birthday. Caring and kind, she is loved by all but is currently trying to avoid the many wealthy princes her mother, Queen Borealis, has invited to the palace.
However, unwanted suitors are the least of her problems… Aurora is completely unaware that the evil fairy Insomnia placed a curse on her as a baby, and that the two henchmen, Snore and Snooze, are lurking not far away.
Luckily Aurora’s three fairy godmothers are there to help, along with chef Cheryl Bakewell, Silly Billy, the court jester, and her pet dragon, Diddy. Things are also looking up on the prince front with the arrival of George and his companion Derek.
Princess Aurora is put under a wicked spell by Insomnia, the evilest fairy in all the land. The palace falls asleep and it’s up to Prince George, Derek and friends to save the day! But will they get past Insomnia and her henchmen?
Imagine lots of fairies, princes trying their luck, dancing fruit, car chases, evil spirits and lots of singing along to hit tunes including Hold On, Came Her For Love, The Middle and This is Me! All I can say is that I’m lucky to be surrounded by such a talented group of people, it was a pleasure!
It’s difficult to pin point my favourite part of the experience and shows because I enjoyed it all so much however I did want to mention some of the highlights.
Meeting so many wonderful, caring, funny people to spend my time with, who I can now call friends!
Choreographing and teaching The Middle
Finding out that I can ‘sort of’ sing or hold a tune
Walking in through the stage door pretending we were celebrities for the first time (who am I kidding… every time)!
The hours spent in the dressing room sorting hair, make up, eye lashes and costumes whilst dancing and singing along to power tunes with the girls
Dancing as a pineapple with the BEST headdress you’ve ever seen and a new name ‘Happy Pineapple’
The absolute roar from the audiences during and at the end of each show. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced!
Signing autographs – who would’ve thought anyone would want my autograph!?
TOUR – just everything about tour was so much fun, especially exploring Newcastle, going on a tour of the theatre which was beautiful, dancing in cheesy clubs, the evening games over dinner and of course the big celebration on the last evening!
So there you have a little window into the making of the PwC Pantomime, why it’s so important and hopefully it’s inspired you to think about what you could get involved in! It’s been an experience I’ll treasure and who knows, perhaps I’ll be back next year?! We’ll have to wait and see.
If you would like to receive updates from my blog then you can sign up via email at the bottom of this page (on mobile) and to the right (on desktop).
I woke up this morning at 7am to a beautiful sunny day which only means one thing… it finally feels like summer! On the way into work I was contemplating my plans over the next few months, there are so many things to look forward to. For sure there is no better place to spend your summer than in the great city of London (minus the tube). There is an endless list of pop-ups, festivals, outdoor cinemas, bars, street food vendors and parties, you name it London has it. I’m pretty sure you could do something different every evening until the end of summer and still not have exhausted your options.
This time last week I was gearing up to walk a marathon. It was a bit of a last minute decision, my sister wasn’t able to make it so I (some would say stupidly) offered to walk in her place to complete the team. Now I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, especially with nil training under my belt, but I have youth and fitness on my side. It’s not something that I would advise however people have done crazier things and it turned out to be a fantastic experience. So why a marathon?
Some may say the craze for street food markets has diminished however I disagree… they’re only getting better with time and the hunger for new food stalls and a variety of flavours and ingredients is only on the high. To be honest, what better way to test and improve your menu than setting up shop in one of these markets where you can attract a large audience and receive real time feedback? Some of the best restaurants around today started as a pop up and took off due to popular demand. And with the likes of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – word of mouth and social sharing is your biggest marketing play.
London is famous for it’s weekend brunches. The latest breakfast trend in the capital is heading out for brunch with friends, only with unlimited alcohol (usually prosecco and mimosas) for a 2 hour window. Great right? Or very dangerous, I’ll let you decide.
So today I was invited to an impromptu celebratory lunch with work colleagues which was lovely, and lets face it, you’re not going to turn down a lunch! When I realised we were heading to Jose Pizarro’s restaurant in Bermondsey I was even more excited – I had never been before but it looked incredible and I absolutely love Spanish cuisine.
We were seated in the private dining area which was just the right amount of private. It was located around the corner from the main restaurant, seated 10, but we weren’t isolated from the whole restaurant which is great as we were still able to experience the buzz of hungry ‘lunch-ers’ (I think I’ve made that word up) in our own space.
Now I always find it a bit awkward trying to take pictures of food in a restaurant, leaning over the table to get the right angle and lighting or even asking someone to take a picture of their dish for me. I usually get a roll of the eyes or shake of the head in dissaproval for even attempting – and this is with family and friends. So you see my dilemma in trying to capture this moment for my blog whilst doing so on the sly as everyone was deep in conversation. Trying to keep work ettiqute to a tee but hey, we live in 2016, work in FinTech and all had at least two phones each on the table – I think I was safe. I could at the very least disguise it as ‘sorting some emails’.
Of course taking pictures of the menu and my own food wasn’t a problem but this was Spanish tapas, which means sharing! I captured of few of the tasty dishes but not as many as I would have liked. Here’s what I ended up with …
I find it difficult to choose a dish from a menu at the best of times so imagine when I’m faced with such as tasty menu, a lot of choice and I can pick more than one thing – automatically want to order 1 of everything! I still can’t decide whether this is a harder or easier choice to make. We probably ordered almost everything from the ‘pica pica’ section of the menu and we couldn’t have had tapas without Gambas al Ajillo – a classic. The chorizo and jamon iberico were delicious but my favourite dish had to be the spinach and goat’s cheese croquetas, simple yet full of flavour and a perfect contrast in texture of soft & crisp. Similar to these was the Bermondsey Bomba – what a great name! For my main I ordered the baked aubergine gratin stuffed with roast vegetables and topped with cheese. Usually I would go for a meat course but I knew I would already be filling up at this stage with the tapas and what a great decision… the aubergine was cooked perfectly, still juicy, lots of seasonal vegetables and melted cheese – you can’t go wrong with that combo. I have to say it’s the best tapas I’ve tasted in a long time, very impressed. Quality food, great service, yummy wine and a very happy team.
My photos may not be perfect so you’ll just have to take my word for it and give it a go! My next venture is to try Jose tapas bar, just down the road!