Quantum of the Seas


Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography

I so much love sea and all things related. Being originally from a country with no sea,  I don't even know where this love affair came from. Seaside, boats, infinite shades of blue, relaxing sound of the sea, fresh breeze and the smell of the salt in the air, I can dream on. Just add good food and I'm one very happy girl.
But strangely enough, an idea of days spent on a ship cruising the ocean never really excited me. I was thinking something like "Why would you voluntarily get stuck on a ship for days? What would you do? What a boring way to spend your holiday..." I was proven SO wrong, after spending two days on board Quantum of the Seas last month. I had absolutely no idea it would be one of the best experience of the year. My first cruise ever couldn't get any better than this. From the moment I put my foot on board, I wouldn't stop saying "wow"! Starting with an amazing lunch at Jamie's Italian, followed by a lot more food at some of 18 restaurants on board, drinking cocktails prepared by a robotic bartender, watching one of the most interesting shows at the Two 70ยบ or admiring the ship from a glass pod lifted 300 ft above sea level, I was not bored even for a second and wished I could stay for another week to experience everything this smart ship has to offer. And there is a lot more!

Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Jamie's Italian aboard Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography
Quantum of The Seas Royal Caribbean cruise by Sarka Babicka photography




Rubys Of London Christmas Cakes



I admit I have a sweet tooth, so cakes are one of my favourite subjects to shoot. Recently, I photographed seasonal cakes for one of my clients - Rubys Of London. It's always pleasure to work with talented people. Beautiful, incredibly delicious, and as a bonus vegan and gluten free, Ruby's cakes are everything you can ask for. I've got to love the sweet perks of my job. If you happen to be in London on weekends, I recommend to swing by Greenwich Market to soak up the magical Christmas atmosphere, warm up with a cup of mulled wine and have a taste of Ruby's delicious cakes and cupcakes.







Broome Farm Orchards & Cider

Hereford apple trees Bulmers by Sarka Babicka photography
Hereford orchard cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography

Summer's long gone, but there are a few things that make autumn my second favourite season, definitely not the weather though! I take autumn as a gentle preparation for a few months of dreadful cold and lack of light. Fresh air, changing colours, autumn produce and cider, on the other hand are those things that make this season more bearable, and actually beautiful.

A few weeks ago I visited Broome Farm in Herefordshire owned and run by Mike Johnson, a cider maker and owner of Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Company. Cider became my favourite drink quickly after I moved in the UK, so I was really excited to be able to watch the process of making this delicious drink. Mike produces quite a few different varieties of cider and perry (all made from 100% pure juice) which I had the pleasure to taste. Luckily, the tasting came after I had taken a tour around the farm and watched apples being harvested and turned into a delicious naturally fermented drink which can come up to 8.4% alc! Mike's apple and perry pear orchards spread over 40 acres producing many different varieties of cider apple and perry pears including Michelin and Dabinett bittersweet cider apples grown for Bulmers. Mike is an enthusiastic cider maker and really nice person so it comes as no surprise that he's been awarded many times for his produce and contribution to the cider industry. He's always happy to share his knowledge with new cider makers and he also runs an annual cider festival, which I really hope to visit next year.
So despite a typical rainy autumn day and a very early start, I had a great time (and arrived back home a bit tipsy).

Hereford farm cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford Orchard Apple Cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford apple trees cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
cider apples Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford Apple Harvest Cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
a pile of bittersweet sweet sharp apples cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford brewery cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Apple variety Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Apple crates cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Cider making process Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Mashed apples Bulmers cider by Sarka Babicka
Cider making containers Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Pressing apples cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Pressed apple juice cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Cider making process Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Yeast cider making process Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford brewery cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Hereford farm cider Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
cider barrels Bulmers by Sarka Babicka photography
Apple cider tasting Bulmers by Sarka Babicka Photography
Broome Farm by Sarka Babicka Photography
Broome Farm by Sarka Babicka Photography


Gooseberry Galette

Gooseberry Galette

I wish summer could last forever or at least 6 months. There are so many reasons to love this season but fresh produce is one the most important ones; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red currants, cherries, green peas, tomatoes, radishes to name just a few of my favourites. This summer is especially amazing because I can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables everyday. Morning yogurt with granola and freshly picked berries, lunch salads made from crunchy lettuce and greens, handfuls of fresh picked berries going straight in my mouth, snacking on radishes that were just washed off the dirt, that's my everyday reality and I can't even imagine it's going to end in a few weeks. I've been also baking a lot. Gooseberry galette was my latest experiment and I'm definitely going to make it again. My gooseberries were more on the sweet side, so I was surprised that they turned out to be quite tart and acidic after baking. However, I really like the contrast of sweetness of the crust and acidity of the gooseberries in this galette. It's a perfect hot summer day dessert.

Red Gooseberries
Red Gooseberries
Gooseberries
Gooseberries
Gooseberry Galette
Gooseberry Galette

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Gooseberry Galette
Serves about 8

Ingredients
125g plain flour
125g spelt flour
2 tbsp golden cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
115 g cold unsalted butter, diced
3 tbsp cold milk
500g fresh gooseberries, topped and tailed
35g golden cane sugar
1 egg for egg wash

Method
Combine flours, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, then add diced butter and using your hands rub the butter in to the flour until you have pea sized crumbles. Add the cold milk and blend everything together with a fork. Do not knead the dough, just gather the clumps into a ball.
Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and flatten it a bit. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I left the dough in the refrigerator for two days, because I didn't have time to bake the galette the same day.)

Preheat oven to 180℃. Unwrap the dough and press the edges so that there are no cracks. Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour and roll out the dough into a 25cm circle about 0.3 - 0.5cm thick. Transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the gooseberries, leaving a 5cm border. Sprinkle with most of the sugar, reserving 1 tbsp of sugar to sprinkle over the edges. Fold the edges over the gooseberries, brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Bake on the lower half of the oven for about 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.