It’s been a while huh? Life in London has taken a slower turn, the honeymoon period has ceased and I’m feeling much more zen. As promised, my Britney circa 2007 lifestyle has been turned down a notch but this doesn’t by any means result in less good times, it means it’s time to settle into pretend Londoner mode. The last few months have been the best, and yes, I have completely over indulged, been selfish, and
totally occasionally unrealistic but I wouldn’t take a second or a penny of it back. On paper, I can see from an outsiders perspective It looks like I’ve had a late 20’s crisis; quitting my job, renting my house, leaving behind my beloved pussy cat, moving away from my friends and family (Ps miss you, miss you!) but who cares what other people think,you shouldn’t feel afraid to do anything, particularly start all over. Moving to London has been a brand new opportunity to rebuild what I really wanted. Oh for sure, I have moments when I think ” Am I too old for this?” “Was that a good idea?” but who makes up the rules anyway? Do what you gotta do! What would you do if you wasn’t afraid?
After spending the half term week back in Nottingham I have a full heart and a fully belly (thanks to Mother Fecak making sure I’m well fed!) It was so lovely to be back. Moving away makes you appreciate everything and everyone so much more! Although I love London I was sad to be leaving Nottingham and returning to the big smoke, I was just getting used to the home comforts again and I miss my friends from home like crazy! However, life in London was all about to change! In the space of a week we now have a new housemate, a Sheila, all the way from the land down under and I was eager to get back to welcome her into our humble abode.
We took our first house visit to our local, The Avalon. A drunken, disorderly chap comes over to our table and he’s pulling out all the stops. Unfortunately for him
all of us some of us put on oscar worthy performances and go into great detail about our married lives and how happy in love we are. The evening continues with homemade dirty burgers and team bumble swiping.
The first day back at nursery hurts, the moaning seems longer, the screams louder and the smells more potent. This calls for one thing, mani-pedis, and theres only one place for it; London Grace. I introduce Tyla (The Sheila!) to my favourite pamper hangout and we moan about our days over a lychee martini whilst being primped. Peace is restored. I could mention here that I know this wasn’t the best start to my new ‘budgeted’ London lifestyle. But, I don’t want to be too hard on myself, I’m just going to ease myself in gently. Honest…
I seem to be doing the rounds of tapas joints and Wednesdays venture into Covent Garden takes me to Condesa. I visit Condesa with my ex-boyfriends sister-come friend. A long over-due catch up means after multiple visits from the waiters we are still not quite ready to order. Bugger off, the gossip is good and you’re interrupting! The tapas here is proper Spanish. I don’t know what the majority of it actually is so we take some lucky guesses and fortunately for us it pays off! The food is fancy, it’s one of those places where plates are minimalistic. The food quantity is lacking but quality is off the scale, once again i’m left wondering “Wheres the rest?” but I’m slowly getting used to that now. We sip the best sangria of my LIFE and avoid the elephant in the room. That elephant being my ex-boyfriends up coming wedding. But its fine. Really. Its fine. We have a hankering for ice cream, this results in a google search and a mad dash to the other side of Soho before closing time to get our sugar fix. Four winters provides the sweet treats in the form of liquid nitrogen ice cream and the craving is satisfied. Strolling to the tube via Regent Street at night is one of those ‘Ahh’ moments. The beauty of the peace in a place normally so hectic is lovely so I stop to appreciate and take it all in.
I have a thing for Jazz. I plan to have many sophisticated soirees discovering my favourite jazz joints and Friday was the first of many hosted by The Piano bar in Soho. This members only club had a limited number of tickets open to us normal folk so we jumped on the chance to see what all the fuss is about. The bar is intimate and the ambience oozes sophistication. Theres a chap on the keys and another suave gent giving the trumpet some welly. Toe tapping and espresso martini (hooked!) sipping we’re having a lovely time feeling all cosmopolitan. Sophistication soon ends when we roll into Pizza Pilgrims and I blow my face off on the Ndjua pizza in a bid to mop up some of the cocktails consumed. Thanks to a pizza recharge the night continues at Dirty Bones in Kingly court. I had the cocktails of dreams called ‘Fab’, it’s almost too pretty to sip. From the heights of sophistication we now end our evening at 100 Wardour street. I feel like I’m entering a scene from Made in Chelsea, suits are everywhere and the girls look sassy! I have a feeling this is where one would go if they quite fancied a sugar daddy, handsome silver foxes are in full force waiting to catch eyes and woo.
Saturday morning leaves me feeling delicate and starving! I head to Brixton Market to meet a friend for lunch and a much over due catch up. Senzala creperie provided us with crepes bursting with deliciousness, I go for the salmon and creme fraiche and it scores big as they don’t skimp out on the salmon. Yus! The perfect solution to cure a hangover. Big tick!
Week two of budgeting and again we’re not off to a good start. Monday = more tapas! This time at Polpo in Covent Garden. I’ve heard good things about this place and rightly so, after wolfing down practically everything on the menu Polpo has secured itself a spot at the top of my tapas chart. Tonight is a sort of date, but a friend date! I met Emma when she was looking for somewhere to live and she came to view our house. We were friends at first sight and before leaving we had already exchanged numbers and said we should go out for dinner! We had a lovely evening filling each other in on the last 28 years, discussing our love of memes and swapping boy stories. And just like that, a new London friend. Ta dahhhh!
London was really showing off this Saturday with its beautiful spring sky, blossom popping, and the kind of weather that makes you leave your big coat at home. A day like this calls for a stroll around a market. Broadway Market in Hackney is quite a way from Clapham but Saturdays are for adventures after all, so we set off on the 1 hour journey to East London for an afternoon of hipster watching, face stuffing and tourist dodging. Broadway Market was amazing and well worth the trek. You could spend a small fortune here if you let your tummy do the talking. The street is lined with fresh produce, flowers, artisanal bread, hand made crafts and clothing, basically a street of everything wonderful. You could lose hours strolling up and down sampling every culinary delight from all corners of the globe. My eastern European roots are tingling as we spot a stall selling all kinds of Balkan delights. We sample the Bourek, a filo pastry stuffed with halloumi, feta, mozzarella, spring onions and chives. Theres a cheese party up in hurr and its good! Now we have the taste for food we’re unstoppable. We order the most delicious buttermilk chicken burger from Butchies. I’m making all sorts of appreciative noises as I’m chewing every drop of flavour out of it. Nom nom nom the most insanely delicious thing to touch my mush in a long time! But it doesn’t end there, Fin and Flounder tempt us into round 3 with a bowl of the chunkiest chilli prawns I ever laid my eyes on. Just writing this now is making my mouth water. After a successful day out its time to head back for a power nap before this evenings festivities!
Last night we hosted our first (of many!) games nights. Just a group of hunnies, sipping fizz and having an all round lovely time! I’m excited for my version of drinking Jenga to make its first social appearance and it goes down a treat! The favourite tile being ‘Start a disney song wave’ hears us singing a very disjointed version of Hakuna Mutata. We have a fabulous evening of civilised fizz popping, moulin rouge dueting, and dancing around the table! I can’t help it, I don’t know what happens but after a few vino’s I seem to turn a little hood. I break out into a rendition of ‘Teach me how to dougie’ and from there all sorts of shapes are being pulled in our slippers. It was SUCH a fun night and whats even better is we roll straight into bed!
A lot of has changed in the last few weeks, theres a strict ‘Good vibes only’ policy in full swing and the mood is high! Lets keep it that way eh? In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of my favourite book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (which FYI has influenced many recent life decisions of mine in the last few years) Embrace the glorious mess that you are.
Love from, Fee x