C H A P T E R T H R E E

This weekend I’ve reached my 3 months in London benchmark (yippee!) It feels much longer than that, I now don’t solely rely on city mapper to get me from A-B, I know the spot to stand on the platform to almost always guarantee a seat on the tube at Clapham south, however I do still stay hello and thanks to the bus driver, you haven’t got me yet London! These Londoners sometimes forget their manners, god forbid you ever smile at someone on the tube, the men in white coats may come!

 I had another visitor last weekend and therefore had a lovely time exploring and going on a rather fancy cocktail crawl around Soho.  It’s the weekend and I’m feeling super ropey, not due to alcohol intake but from germs off those bleeding kids! I haven’t eaten in 2 days and this means my tummy is hankering for some grub!

 We hit up Borough Market and meander our way through the endless amount of tourists. The smell of food at first makes we want to hurl so I purchase an apple and ginger juice with other healthy added extras. Mind over matter kicks in and as if by magic my tummy feels better.  Waddling like little hungry penguins we are on the hunt for food and it’s not long before we stumble across Pie Minster. I’ve tried these before and it didn’t disappoint, I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it so I go in for round 2.  I pick the classic Moo, loaded with mash and mint mushy pea’s, Ooo err!

Breaking free from the crowds we wander down the road and stumble across this big pointy thing called the Shard. Lets go up! We go to the bar and ask the gentlemen “What is your cheapest/finest drink?”… Lime and soda water it is. Laura begins to pull a fiver out of her purse, and I have to remind her we’re not in Notts, I bet this is over a tenner. The bill lands in front of us, £10.13. YOU bloody what? Sip this slowly.

We stroll over Tower Bridge ( and pose for a few tourist photos!) then jump on a bus to Shoreditch. We’re on a hunt for the sweet stuff and I know just the place. I love travelling by bus in London, the look on Laura’s face when I say “Can we go upstairs?” is a picture especially when she see’s the excitement on my face when I discover there’s two empty seats on front row! Win! We dip in and out of shops we can’t afford and pretend to be interested in make up so we can use all the free samples. In MAC we get a few odd looks as we carry out the ‘kiss test’ on each other. Its compulsory, if we’re going to spend good money we need to know this stuffs going to survive a smooch.

 We arrive at our sweet destination ‘Nosteagia’, this place has been plastered all over social media which means the queue is huge. The latest craze in confectionary goodness, Japanese bubble waffles. The menu is good, it’s a close call between strawberry dream, cookie monster and king chocolate. I’m practically drooling and can’t wait to get my chops around it!

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That evening glam squad is in full force as we start primping for a cocktail crawl of dreams. I’m becoming quite the cocktail connoisseur. I can’t get drunk off cocktails, at £14 a pop there’s only so many you can have before you’re bankrupt.

The first stop is the Punchroom inside the Edition hotel. I would never usually go out in a Hotel but the punchroom has been recommended to me by a very reliable source and I therefore feel its worth the risk. The Edition hotel is swanky! The reception oozes indulgence and opulence. Everything twinkles and the staff here make you feel like a VIP. We’re ushered inside the punchroom and shown to our table. We exchange silent glances at each other and deep down we all know we’re thinking the same “eeeeek, we don’t belong here!” The Punchroom surprisingly only serves punch, the fine gentleman recommends the Milk punch but the thought of alcohol and milk doesn’t appeal to me. He ensures us that the milk is diffused so is completely clear and rid of any fats but still, he needs to work on his persuasion skills.

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We order 3 helpings of the Edition punch and it promptly arrives in a rather grand and elaborate punch bowl, complete with scooper. This is so fancy! It tastes delicious, I’ll be back! Remember, twice if I like it.

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 Clip-clop heels tapping on the pavement we leg it to our next port of call and we’re late for our reservation at Milk and Honey. It would help if we could find it, I do enjoy the whole ‘secret bar’ scene, the hidden gems and all of that malarkey but this place is actually non-existent, not a remote inkling that behind a plain wooden door with a telecom there is a hidden cocktail treasure chest. So that kind of annoys me, there’s cool and then there’s pretentious. I’ll forgive Milk and Honey for there snootiness because the cocktails they knock up are some of the most delectable to ever grace my taste buds. The vibes are sophisticated in here, glamorous and classy. Dimly lit rooms, with padded booths and soft 30’s jazz playing in the background. The perfect setting for a night of refinement.

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As you can imagine cocktail crawling is an expensive evening so our crawl ends in Swift, sister bar to Nightjar ( I’ve finally managed to get a Saturday night reservation there, in June, JUNE!) Swift is uber cool, there’s a jazz pianist tapping away at the keys and the ambience is suarve. Although Swift scores a strong 8 on atmosphere, we’re talking a generous 5 for cocktails. Unless of course you like drinking pure alcohol. It’s just not enjoyable, the teeny sips leave me struggling to gulp!

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Sunday morning is here and there’s only one thing for it, brunch. This time at The Chelsea Ivy Garden, of course, where else! The room is decadent and elegantly decorated with their famous shade of green and gold. Antique paintings line the walls of couples courting in rowing boats pon the lakes, and people are wearing sunglasses indoors. It’s a fabulous mix of old meets new. We’re seated and are asked would we like water for the table, I reply and immediately regret my decision. Tap water, tap water, but it’s too late, he’s already scooted off. £4.75 later there’s a bottle of water fit to be a vase on our table and I’m adamant to drink every drop. I don’t need to browse the menu, I know the score. My best brunch to date is actually at the Ivy, but the Covent Garden branch so I’m interested so see if the King’s road can add a little extra yum to the equation. The eggs royale is off the chaaaain, I’ve demolished (elegantly of course) half the meal when I notice a little hair on my plate, I alert the waiter who goes into a code red situation and summons other members of staff who then remove my plate and take it straight to the kitchen. Upon his return I’m told the chef is making me a new one and it will be here in 3 minutes,  I don’t want another full plate ( I want a freebie!) As promised 3 minutes later a full serving of eggs and hollandaise sauce straight out of heaven arrives in front of me,  I’m already full but since all of this effort has gone into pleasing me I feel obliged to force myself to clear the plate. Food coma induced, I’m feeling sick from double brunch, it’s time to walk it off. We while away the next few hours dipping in and out of shops, along the Kings road towards Sloane square and finishing off at Harrods. It’s a beautiful day so it seems a shame to waste it on the underground. Theres a St Patricks day parade in Trafalgar square so we head that way to catch the last bit of Irish craic. For the rest of the day I’m left singing the only three lines I know from the song ‘The Belle of Belfast city’ on repeat and resisting the urge to break into some form of Michael flatly inspired dance.

A quick ice cream pit stop to rest our achey feet in Covent Garden is a lovely way to finish our weekend together.

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I’m all for spontaneity so when a text stating ‘Giglum?’ pops up on my phone, my immediate answer is “Yep, see you in 10” It’s my third time here this week but that’s ok, the sun is shining and in my opinion there’s nothing nicer than a cold pint of cider when you got those sun beams hitting your cheeks.

This week I finally visited Clapham picture house, a cute little local cinema serving pies, baked camembert and alcoholic beverages during screenings, what more could you want? We see beauty and the beast and I leave feeling completely romantic, I’m so in awe that at the end a few tears may sneak their way out,  we resist the urge to clap as the film finishes (don’t be that guy!) I LOVED the film and have been playing the soundtrack in class for the rest of the week. Ah where the bloody hell is he? I want to be woo’d and fall in love with a man with a killah beard. Sure, the whole being locked up in a tower bit doesn’t appeal to me but the rest is giving me romantic envy. Maybe I’ve already met him, but like Belle, I don’t realise until chapter 3 (see what I did there?)

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It’s Thursday and I’m home alone. Thumb twiddling I send out a quick text; cocktails? Next thing I know I’m out of my pajamas and on the Victoria line to Oxford Circus, next stop ‘ The luggage room’ in Mayfair. We take a seat at the bar and a lovely Irish fellow pours me a glass of Perrier-Jouet, in of course a beautiful floral Perrier-jouet champagne flute. Well la de dah, isn’t this fancy! I didn’t ask for that, that better not be going on the bill. I don’t personally order a drink all night, the chap behind the bar just asks what my beverage of choice is and diverts into a mixing frenzy working his magic to make the most delectable juice. He asks me what booze I don’t like, and later do I find out that in fact in the last drink he made me he has cleverly disguised whiskey in it and I was non the wiser. Ohh isn’t he smart? I’m dreading the bill, it’s only bleddy Thursday and I’m fully cut on the most swankiest of cocktails. The next bit is my favourite… I won’t divulge too much as I don’t want to get anyone into trouble but lets say I left just as poor as I went in. Top lad behind the bar! He had an air of the Norwegian cabin bloke off of the film ‘Frozen’ about him, especially as he’s carving ice manually from the huge iceberg sitting on the back bar. Unexpected outings are always the best! 

When you broke AF but still strongly support treating yourself.

It’s Friday and round two of our treat night in London. The last location for this was Sketch but this time we’ve got a hankering for meat and therefore make a reservation at STK London. STK sells itself as being a ‘female friendly’ steakhouse. Apparently us girlies are intimidated by the usual ambience of a steak restaurant, who knew? The tagline for STK is ‘Not your daddy’s steakhouse’ and behind the reception is a derriere draped in red lace of a hunny clinging onto a cleaver and juicy steak. The girliness is continued with pink lighting, white flowers, huge, glossy chandeliers and the most amazing cocktail menu. Theres a couple on the table opposite practically eating each others faces, this significantly lowers the tone, they can pack that in. I order the fillet steak and we go to town on the sides, fries, mac and cheese and for a bit of colour; some creamed spinach. With clean plates and full bellies it’s time to finish the evening off with a night cap.

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 We decide to take a stroll to Dandelyan, a lovely little spot on the South Bank inside the Mondrian hotel. Their daily uploads on Instagram have had me eager to make a visit for a while.  The wander here is a sombre one, we walk over the bridge to see Big Ben standing tall in the distance. The streets feel empty. London is beautiful when its peaceful. We arrive at  Dandelyan and are shown to our table, the view out onto the Thames is stunning. The bar has a botanical themed  menu called Vices of Botany and is split into 4 sections faith, lust, currency, and rock ‘n’ roll’, I love it’s vintage botanical illustrations. I choose ‘The flower of five’ described as ‘An early evening pick me up’, it involves pink grapefruit, passion fruit, and lemon all cleverly intertwined with gin and is decorated with flower petals just for added gorgeousness. Dandelyan makes the perfect location for a girly evening!

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On Wednesday evening I made a little visit to see my friend in Shoreditch. We were in the mood for carbs of the pasta variety and therefore booked at table at Bottega Prelibato. The waitress comes over with all sorts of dried pasta on a wooden board and goes into great detail about each variety and what it is served with. Smiling and nodding we’re both looking at her wondering when she will stop so we can order. Poppy warns me that portion sizes here are huge but I’m in a ‘semi-sad’ mood and therefore pasta in the shed load is needed. She wasn’t telling fibs and the carb party arrives in a casserole dish fit for a family of 4. I try my best but there’s just not enough room in there, I’m defeated!

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On Thursday Claire and I go get our fill of meat and milkshakes at Byron Burger in Clapham Common. It’s so lovely to see her, I’m going to miss her little Scottish tush when she heads off to Thailand. I need a drink so we pop into Venn Street records to listen to some live music and sip the strong stuff. We scan the room and suss out who’s on their first date working out the levels of interest from each party. I’ve had the song ‘ Sheeeeeee’s electric’ in my head for the last 4 days…

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Friday is finally here which means it’s the HOLIDAYS! Schools out for Easter and a celebration of some sort is required as I’ve just completed my first term in London  (Go me!) The sun is shining and it’s got me in the holiday mood, sunglasses on I make my  way to Bank to meet my housemate hunny Charlie for some roof top action at Coq D’Argent. We manage to grab a seat on the roof and the friday feels have us ordering a bottle of wine. I was just ‘nipping out’ but as always one things leads to another and a little bit of vino gets us hankering for some mexicana! Because I’m under the influence I go IN and order too much but the munchies have got me bad and I demolish the whole lot. Charlie spots a total hun in the restaurant and as we leave we write him a love letter stating ‘FYI, You’re a super smoking hottie’ and make our exit pronto as we instruct the waitress to pass it on to him. We linger outside crouched to the ground to see his reaction, his pals are all stood up searching for us, by this point I’m on my hands and knee’s trying to crawl away without being spotted! THE SHAME. Whilst trying to leave the building via the lift we find ourself shooting up to the top floor and arriving at Madisons roof top garden! Its like something off of a movie! DEM VIEWS! But as we were just ‘popping out’ we decide its best we leave. I’ll be back to soak up those sights soon!

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 Chapter 4… TBC

Love from, Fee xx

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