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Showing posts with label things to do in london. Show all posts
Showing posts with label things to do in london. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A jolly jaunt to Portobello Road

Portobello Weekend

At about midnight on Friday night I decided that I wanted to go to a market on Saturday morning. Since it has been almost three years since I made it to one of my favourites, Portobello Road market, we decided that it was as good a time as any to visit again. I love to mooch about on the side streets to look at the beautiful houses, and squeeze into the crowded vintage shops to ogle the gorgeous dresses on sale. Dan was excited about all of the food stalls, so we hopped on the bus to see what we could find.

UK Modcloth order
Deschanel dress modcloth
Electric cinema neon sign

After battling through the crowds (oh gosh, why did I think Saturday was a good time to come to Portobello Road?! Whyyy?!) we ducked into the Electric diner which is attached to the Electric cinema. Dan and I shared the best burger I've ever eaten in my life, and some truly spectacular avocado/poached egg toast, as well as skin-on fries with garlic mayo. Oh and a peanut butter and banana milkshake that was so incredible that even avid banana-hater Dan loved it. I didn't manage to take any photos of the food because the lighting inside the restaurant was so... ambient... that any food photography would not have done the meal justice at all. Once we were full to the brim, we popped back outside to walk it off a bit in the sunshine. I do love Portobello Road and all of its mad stalls and shops. My only problem is that I ALWAYS end up with the Portobello Road song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks stuck in my head whenever I go!

colourful houses in London
ginger fringe hairstyle
kirby grip toolkit

I know my elbow looks a bit backwards in that last photo. I've got hypermobile elbows due to my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I might write a post about that at some point in the future, if anyone's interested in hearing more about my creepy bendy tricks. More importantly though, LOOK AT MY HAIR CLIP! It has tools built into it. I'm so excited about it that I have a whole other blog post lined up all about it! So watch this space. My dress is six years old from Modcloth, and my shoes are from last year's ankle boot collection at Office. Hurrah! Anyway, we had a lovely day out, and returned home so thoroughly exhausted that we had to have a nap on the sofa with our little cat. I hope you had a wonderful weekend - what did you get up to?

Monday, 26 May 2014

5 of the BEST ice creams in London

London has a LOT of ice cream parlours these days, and let me start by saying that there are some incredible gelato spots that didn’t make this list. Since we moved to London several years ago, we've tried many, many ice-creams that the city has to offer. In order to make a lovely list for you, Dan and I decided to have an epic day of gelato mayhem and take a load of photos. My ~definitive~ list is presented in the order I visited them, rather than in order of preference but it should help you along the way to ice cream satisfaction. So let’s get started, shall we? There’s lots to get through…

1. laGelatiera – 27 New Row, Covent Garden
Good for: Sorbet, coffee, and proximity to Covent Garden.
Gelatiera London
London icecream cafe
This award winning place has a down-to-earth, hip vibe, is smack bang in the middle of central London, and has a mouth-watering array of home made gelato, cakes, pastries and gorgeous coffee.
Tiny ice cream
One of my favourite things about this particular gelato shop is that they do these teeny little “baby scoops” for £1 and even though the cone is small, the amount of gelato you get for your quid is really flipping generous.
sexy sorbet
We got a cone with one scoop of almond sorbet and one scoop of honey and rosemary sorbet. They were both beautifully refreshing and had very interesting flavours, which worked together really well. Oh and if you were doubting what I said about the baby cone containing a generous serving of ice cream, check out that hefty scoop of peanut butter gelato below!
baby cone gelato

2. Gelupo – 7 Archer Street, Soho
Good for: Beautiful gelato, interesting flavours, cute décor.
Gelupo Soho review
Gelupo pop-up market
This place frequently tops the ‘best ice cream in London’ lists I found online, and so I was really excited to try it. It’s so popular, it even has a cute little pop-up gelato cart for markets. We chose one scoop of the Bonet (a blend of chocolate, coffee, egg yolk, rum, caramel and amaretti biscuits) and one scoop of THE most incredible mint ice cream I’ve ever consumed in my life. It tasted like real mint leaves and it was too beautiful for words. The cup came with a cute little wafer with the Gelupo logo printed onto it which was a great touch.
BEST mint ice cream

3. Chin Chin Labs – 49-50 Camden Lock Place, Camden
Good for: showmanship, smooth gelato and awesome toppings.
Chin chin labs review
chin chin menu
We’ve been coming to this place since we moved to London yeeears ago, and even though it’s got more and more popular, and changed layout a bit, the ice cream is still just as excellent. The twist to this gelato shop is that you get to see it being made in front of your very eyes as it’s frozen using liquid nitrogen. The décor is very much styled around a science lab, since the liquid nitrogen is at the forefront of the experience.
Chin Chin interior
nitrogen ice cream
Chin chin menu board
We chose the ‘Salted caramel and peach pit’ flavoured gelato and topped it off with a caramelised pretzel. You get one topping or sauce with your ice cream, but you can pay a little bit extra if you want more than one topping. The benefit of freezing the ice cream with liquid nitrogen is that you get a super, super smooth consistency… like, super smooth. Oh and it looks really bad-ass when it’s all being churned up in the mixer and these clouds of vapour are billowing out.
chin chin labs review blog

4. Oddono’s – Selfridges Food Hall, Oxford Street
Good for: Tourists, classic flavours and a crunchy cone.
Selfridges icecream review
We were going to go to the ice cream parlour in Harrod’s, but like everything there, it was unbelievably overpriced and incredibly stressful, so we opted for the much more convenient and slightly less extortionate Selfridge’s Food Hall, where Oddono’s is situated.
Oddono’s gelato review
We went for the perfect double-whammy of classic strawberry and a hazelnut gelato in a big, crispy waffle cone. It’s not mind-blowing ice cream but it really hits the spot after a hard day of shopping, which is why I think it’s a great gelato for tourists. London is a really hectic and tiring place to be a tourist and you’ve got to keep your energy levels up!

5. Kaspa’s – 321-323 Walworth Road, Elephant & Castle
Good for: South London, kitsch, party-time!
Kaspa’s desserts review
birthday cake walworth
This place recently opened and I pass it on the bus to work each day. It’s got glittery floors and a disco ball – I mean, what more could you want from an ice cream parlour?
south london gelato
They’ve also got giant screens cycling through pictures of epic parties, and an array of sundaes, waffles and crepes behind the counter. It’s certainly an experience in there. Unfortunately, after an entire day of ice cream eating (yes, we did eat all of these ice creams in one day), all we could stomach was a sorbet. It was a really tart, refreshing passion fruit sorbet though and a perfect palate cleanser! sorbet south london
So, as you can see, I’ve suffered and toiled for you, so that you can know the best gelati in London. And like I said at the beginning of this mammoth post, I know I’ve missed tons off, so let me know your favourite gelato places in London. Or if you’re not a Londoner, tell me about the best ice cream where you’re from – I MUST KNOW!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Vintage Emporium - A café close to my heart


Shoreditch cafe

The first time I encountered The Vintage Emporium in Shroeditch, I was doing a gig there with Robin Grey. I turned up and was greeted by a room overflowing with beautiful candles, mismatched furniture and dried flowers – it was love at first sight basically.

Vintage café

The people who run the café are lovely, warm people who make excellent food and drinks. Every time I go in I order pretty much the same thing – an avocado and cream cheese bagel, and either a hot spiced apple drink or a chai latte. It’s all served on odd plates and big hearty mugs, and it’s basically the best place to hide away on a cold, rainy day in London. That said, they do cold drinks in the summer months, and Dan had some kind of tasty iced mocha frappé thing.

Avocado Bagel
hipster drinks

Another super awesome thing about this café is that it actually has a vintage dress shop downstairs too. And I’m not talking generic-retro-whatever-dresses, I’m talking legit 1920s and 1930s originals, beautiful beaded gloves, tiny leather shoes from the turn of the last century, it’s like a treasure cave for anyone who loves vintage clothes, antiques, or costumes. I really love it! (Can you tell!?)

Vintage Emporium

And in true, blogception style, I am actually writing a list of future blog ideas in this photo, so you can’t say I don’t take this blogging lark seriously! Anyway, I recommend The Vintage Emporium more wholeheartedly than I could ever hope to convey through words. So pop up to 14 Bacon Street (Just off Brick Lane, and very near to the Shoreditch High Street Overground station) and have a lovely time with an enormous cup of something hearty and a great big slab of home made cake.

Ginger Fringe Shoreditch

The website for The Vintage Emporium appears to be down at the moment, so follow them on twitter instead at @vintagemporium and let them know I sent you! Disclaimer - I only blog about places I love, and as yet, nobody has ever asked me to review a place for them. Ma viewz r ma own.