The last two weeks have been incredible amounts of fun, involving loads of tomfoolery, good times and food. Mainly food. The sun has finally made an appearance and I can’t get me enough of that vitamin D. Gimme Gimme! This little snippet of sunshine has got me in the mood and so excited for what summer is going to bring! But first, let’s get knee-deep in that pink blossom and beautiful spring morning skies!
Two of my favourite things, cheese and fizz. So which clever chap came up with the idea of Champagne + Fromage is a winner in my opinion. I eyed this place up a few weeks ago when wandering around Brixton Market and felt it looked like the perfect spot for a little rendezvous of the first variety! The staff are french (massively adding to the already classy ambience!) and they provide blankets for snuggles. Tick, tick!
I’m a huge fan of french saucisson (no puns intended!) and Champagne + Fromage had an extensive list of every possible variety. With too many to choose from I go for my firm favourites, reblochon and hazelnut (chef kiss!) At £4 a pop I could have ordered the whole menu but I kept my greediness under wraps. The champagne is delightful and with the added extra of the truffle infused baked camembert on the go, I’m in some kind of french haven and I could happily stay here for quite a while.
We’re in the mood for booze and stumble upon Three Eight Four. A packed out cocktail bar where its menu is disguised inside an old, spooky photo album. We take a pew at the bar and peruse the menu. I’m up to my old ‘surprise me’ tricks and again they pull through. Am I really that predictable?
I’m wishing the days away this week as Friday means Ellen! I have a weekend of frivolities planned and I’m so excited to have her here, I’ve missed her so!
After a quick turn around we head straight out to Dinerama in Shoreditch. I’ve been here before over last summer and was eager to come back. The place oozes cool and this is confirmed when Ellen’s first words upon entering are “This is so London!”. Dinerama is the place to go post work for catch ups and plates of yumminess from the different street food style vendors. As soon as we arrive we par take in an obligatory stroll around the whole place to get our feelers out on whats cookin’ and to decide in which order we should start the feast!
First up, steamed buns from Yum Bun. Now, this was something special! I’ve never tried these little shiny buns of deliciousness before and my taste buds have been opened to a whole world of steamed-bun goodness. The fish bun was so yummy, the crispy fish and tangy hot sauce combo got me hankering for more!
Next up, doughnuts from You Doughnut. These hot balls got me in a tizz when they arrive smothered in chocolate, and salted caramel sauce. Plus the added side of ‘Junk food’ ice cream makes this combination the stuff of dreams.
Saturday means B R U N C H. The establishment of choice is the Riding house cafe, a short stumble from Oxford circus. What got me interested in this place was its interiors. I loved the metro brick bar with its azure bar stools and the giant candelabra looming over a huge communal dining table. We are seated in the dining room where antique lampshades fill the ceiling and little stuffed squirrels climb the walls. The brunch list is plentiful, but as always I go for my favourite, eggs royale. I’m still on this mission to find the best one (The Ivy market grill in Covent garden is currently owning everyone!)
We spend what seems like hours in here scoffing a lovely brunch, sipping coffee (me, trying to!) and planning our Malaysian escapade for summer 2017. A dreamy morning of planning and hollandaise covered eggs, what more could I want?
The sun has got his hat on and we’re taking full advantage of this. Sunnies on and gradually stripping off our layers we start on our walk to Primrose Hill. From the Riding house cafe we make our way down Harley street (admire the fancy cars) until we reach Regents park. One of my most favourite but also the most furthest away, but definitely worth the hassle parks. We meander among the tourists, posh families and first daters until we arrive at London Zoo. A quick hop across the canal and we make our ascent up Primrose Hill. But first a pit stop ice cream, sprinkles and all.
Dem views. Oooooh wheeeee! The best views of London can be found right here. Standing at the top of you get a panoramic view of all that London’s skyline has to offer. From left to right there’s canary wharf, the city, the shard, the BT tower, the London eye and if you look hard enough you can spot West Minster abbey poking up through the concrete jungle. I’m in lurve, I can’t wait to come back here over the summer for some picnic blanket, red wine and chips and dips action.
A gentle stroll along the canal and a large dose of second-hand weed smoking later we reach our final destination, Camden. We sit by the canal and sip our way through a G&T, Apero Spritz combo and enjoy those sun beams hitting our cheeks. Ahh. Life is good.
Life was about to get even better when our tummies started to rumble and we are conveniently placed next to Camden food market. Again, as always a quick dip in and out of all the available food stalls, ok, maybe once more because we can’t decide and we’re ready to go! There’s no competition for me as I head straight to the ‘Halloumi fries’ stall. I’ve harped on about these fries since the second I wolfed them down, they were smothered in yoghurt (after my instructions to go heavy!) pomegranate seeds, mint and some other concoction of fitness and its a match made in halloumi heaven. Blimey!
I don’t want to lose the flavour but the tummy rumbles, and what the tummy wants, the tummy gets. I need something filling, we have a big night of cocktail sipping ahead and I need a good liner. Greek Souvlaki is it. Ellen goes for some mind-blowing Columbian dish of spice which leaves me desperate for juice, but she’s tough, she’s got this.
Saturday night arrives and aren’t you just a little bucket of sass! I don my favourite new outfit (I’ve worn it twice in the past month now but thats fiiiine!) and we prink gin listening to urban classics. Tonight I definitely have no scrubs (sunday morning is a different ball game!) I’ve planned a night of swank and I can’t wait to show off my new home to my home girl! Due to my planning we strut past the 30 deep queue outside the Blind Pig and flutter our eyelashes to the cockney chap at the door. We’re invited upstairs and are handed the cocktail list of childhood dreams! This place has been on my hit list for a while since my brother sent me a link stating I would LOVE it, and I do! The blind pig’s cocktail menu features drinks from all the favourite childhood films.
The one I’ve been most excited for is of course the Hunny pot from Winnie the Pooh. My goodness gracious, the Hunny pot is scrumptious and comes topped with a percy pig for added cute. I love the scribbled ‘hunny’ on the clay pot! Claire goes for the Dream jar, inspired by the film The BFG. Blonde mode in full swing we wonder what monstrosities must be in the drink to make it so luminous, which of course turns out to be a light up ice-cube (duh!) After a quick telling off that “The ice cube can’t leave” we hand over our glasses and peruse for round 2.
I’m feeling sentimental and choose ‘Lost and found’ inspired by the classic Paddington Bear. I see myself as a little Paddington, yano leaving deepest, darkest
Notts Peru and heading to London. The cocktail comes complete with a little luggage tag stating ‘Please look after this bear’ CAUOOTE! In round 2 the girls made a poor life choice and went for a cocktail with bourbon. Bad move. It’s left behind, untouched!
Next up on our night of Frivolities is a bar that has been on my list for a long time, Cahoots! I’m all for an immersive experience and Cahoots transports you back to post-war 1940’s to a disused underground station. We arrive and have been told to ‘Ask for the Captain’ The Captain turns out to be a chunk of hunk straight off Captain Birdseyes boat with a beard some chaps can only dream of. Following the sign ‘To the trains’ we find ourselves in an intimate, 1940’s cocktail den. This really is like stepping back in time, the walls are covered with vintage adverts (one explicitly stating that boys have syphilis and we should stay away!) when will we learn? all manner of war-time curiosities, sand bags, luggage racks, tube signs and not to mention the actual TUBE! You can be served your drinks in a zooped up old tube whilst being serenaded by jazz and swing! Cocktails come in all forms, from my Vera Lynn ceramic jug, to a hip flask to vintage milk bottles. I’m a sucker for all of this! We enjoy the rest of our evening, toe tapping to the Prince look-a-like behind the decks and eyeing up the staff’s 1940’s attire, braces and all.
We end our weekend with what Sundays are made of, Roast dinner! I’ve booked a table at The Beast of Brixon as I’ve read that this place does off the chaaaaain Roast dinners and it doesn’t disappoint. We all chose ‘The Hen’ and for £14 it’s a gravy coated meat feast. There’s so much food, homemade yorkies and the most delightful duck fat roasties got me dribblin’. I eat vegetables for the first time in god knows how long and my stomach sings! It’s a lovely way to finish our weekend and as soon as Ellen leaves I miss her already! I’m in a hump for the rest of the afternoon and homesick vibes hit me hard.
I love being in London but it’s so nice having a little slice of home life every once in a while. “In London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in” – Paddington Bear.
Love from, Fee xx