This is the first time I’ve written anything since March. I took a step back for a few reasons but I finally feel like I’m in the right place to write again without it feeling like a chore or duty.
I should say, there have been some difficult life moments that have filled these past few months. Normally, I’d write about these things in great detail but I’m not in the mood and, honestly, I don’t know if I ever will be.
There have been good times since March and I plan to share them through my Sunday posts.
Something I should mention is that I’ve experienced a bit of a sea change. My attitude to writing has changed and what I write about might change too.
Here’s to getting back into the swing of things!
I have a tendency to look back on friendships and consider how they all began. I met Katie at pin-up picnic ages ago – we didn’t know much about each other. Last summer we decided to meet up for the day and since then, we’ve got to know each other much more and we’ve been up to some pretty great things. Being bibliophiles and foodies, we took a little inspiration from @notsobasiclondon and organised a day in London based on books and eating. What could be better?
We kicked off proceedings early in London Bridge. Taking advantage of the lack of crowds, we began with the divine combination of Bread Ahead doughnuts (the best) and black Columbian coffees. Lipstick ruined but totally worth it. From here, we walked over to the Fashion and Textile museum for their new Swinging London exhibition and some vintage fashion appreciation. It’s definitely worth a visit! Our first bookshop cake in the form of The Riverside Bookshop which Katie found out specialised in travel guides. We both picked out our favourite London guides and I picked up yet another children’s book for school.
Our second tube stop took us to Pophams (with a bit of mooching near Camden Passage). Tragedy struck when we found out they’d run out of their bacon and maple danishes. However, all was not lost: we got a rosemary sea salt twist and rhubarb and cardamom pastry. Buttery and delicious but not at all greasy, no wonder it’s such a popular spot. Afterwards, Katie took us to an Oxfam bookshop she’d admired for its window display dedicated to women. Inside, we flicked through some antique books – there was one from the 1840s too.
We took a freakishly windy walk to Kings Cross where we found Caravan. I’d heard this place was particularly good for brunch so I thought it’d be the right spot to rest our feet and try even more delicious grub. I had jalapeño cornbread with chorizo, fried eggs and chorizo. Katie had poached eggs with kale, ham hock and potatoes. We were both very happy with the choices we’d made. Full up, we ambled along to one of my most beloved bookshops: Housmans. Here, we looked for alternative reads. If I’m honest, I’d happily have spent a whole month’s wages while I was there.
At this point, we had reached a peak on the food front (unbelievable, I know). On the recommendation of one of the Housmans’ staff, we took a brisk walk to The Second Shelf – a book shop solely dedicated to women writers. A great suggestion with lots of very special books to admire – worth another visit for sure.
Over the course of the day we walked over eight miles, explored four different Northern Line stops, ate at some fab independents and found lots of wonderful books. This will not be the last food and book crawl – it was far too successful! Thanks Katie – you were a most fitting partner in crime.
Every half term, I plan something to escape from teacher life. This half term, my fabulous friend Steph invited me and our lovely pal Lindsey to had a ‘mid-week weekend’ with her up north. After a five hour train ride, our fun began!
Easing ourselves into revelry, we donned our spring fling outfits and headed out for some tapas and cocktails. My tummy was very happy indeed. What a great start to our time together!
Feeling slightly worse for wear the next morning, we took the train into Liverpool sporting our suits to get our hair coiffured by the talented Carl Brown. It was so nice to have someone else do my hair and he did the most fantastic beehive – it was so impressive! Once we’d all the backcombed and hairsprayed , we moved on for a quick tipple in gorgeous surroundings of The Florist. I’d love to go back again – the bartender knew how to pick a good drink. Our final stop was afternoon tea at The Panoramic. I’ve been here before but a return visit is no bad thing. It was such a treat. Full of tea and cake, we headed home for an evening of TV and PJs.
Our final day saw us all in comfy knitwear for a day of relaxation. Steph properly spoilt us by arranging a spa day. To be honest if I could, I would happily have a spa day once a week – my body feels so much better afterwards. We looked a right trio as we wafted about in shower caps, protecting our fancy dos. Afterwards, we had quick stop at Steph’s parents’ cafe for something yummy before Lindsey and I made our respective journeys home.
Safe to say, it was a great getaway. There’s nothing better than good friends, good food and a great atmosphere. Thank you Steph for being the hostess with the mostess – here’s to the next one!
I might not be able to spend time with loved ones as much as I’d like but when I do, I try to do something that all of us will enjoy. When I’d made plans to see my old uni friend Sam, I knew a foodie day out was top of the list. I asked @notsobasiclondon for a street market recommendation. One of the places she suggested was Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey.
I’m more of a tea than a coffee person but I love a decent black coffee once in a while. This place did not disappoint. We didn’t want to spoil our appetites so we didn’t try any of their incredibly tempting pastries. I’d happy go back for them though!
I always like to try new foods and I’d never tried Vietnamese food before. Nick suggested we try it as out first stop. I loved it – really fresh and full of different textures. It wasn’t too filling either so we were able to try more…
Gyoza are so easy to eat and mildly addictive. We got a mix of pork and chicken ones with soy and chill on a mix of salad and noodles. Every tiny bit was perfect.
My beautify friend Rhina introduced me to arepa when she made them for a group of us for breakfast. When I saw the arepa stall I knew we needed to have one, especially as Sam hadn’t tried them before. They were ridiculous – filled with black beans, herby sauce, chorizo and a huge disc of fried cheddar. Messy as hell to eat but worth it.
We followed our noses to the next stall – Caribbean street food. We went for jerk chicken with rice and peas, plantain, scotch bonnet sauce and salad. A good mix of flavours and and textures.
We settled down to digest at Little Bird gin bar. A good spot to sit, relax and catch-up with a range of cocktails to suit a mix of tastes.
3bis is one of my favourite gelato spots – soft and creamy gelato and melted chocolate in your cone! It’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
All in all, we had a pretty awesome day spending time together and eating yummy things. Sharing street food is a great way to try to lots of different dishes and make the most of the experience.