Out and About: Favourite Food Stops in London

 

Part of planning for my trip to New York later this year has involved researching all the places that I want to eat because if I’m going somewhere new then I’m going to ensure that each meal is exciting. You see

i’m an Evans and our motto is live to eat, not eat to live. And I’m not even sorry about that. Life is to be enjoyed and good food is definitely an enjoyable thing to me.

Anyway, while I was researching NY eats the idea for this blog post sprang to mind. After all it’s highly likely that my favourite places meals in NY will be written up into a blog post come mid December. So before I do that I need to write about my favourite London places? Surely that’s an obvious blog post, I live in London and I work in London. So we can safely assume that I eat a lot in London.

So here you have it my top 8 must not miss places to feed the hunger monster next time you’re wandering around London Town.

1. The Diner – this is my favourite place to go to for that classic American Diner food. With restaurants popping up all over London you’re bound to spot one of these on your trip around town. There’s now one directly opposite my workplace which means a stressful morning can be fixed by a long conversations over a snickers milkshake and buttermilk chicken. Also try the burgers, or the pancakes too.

2. The Riding House Cafe – This place is worth a visit at any point in the day. I’ve been for a birthday brunch and a cocktail fueled dinner to celebrate an engagement to name just two visits. It’s nearby Oxford Street so one to remember if you’re planning a shop ’till you drop session. Try the macaroni cheese fritter and the cocktails – winning combination.

3. The Cinnamon Club – This is a birthday or occasion restaurant. Set in the the old Westminster Library, the setting is glorious and the food is mouth watering. It’s modern Indian food and I’ve never tasted anything like it. I still dream about the curried rabbit dish that I had here. Oh and there’s a bar downstairs which is worth a visit for pre-dinner drinks.

4. Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Langham – Afternoon Tea was born here 150 years ago and this is still my favourite place to visit for the decadent treat. With copious amounts of sandwiches and buttery scones followed by a cake stand filled with all of your patisserie dreams it’s definitely a winner. The Palm Court is decadent, without any of the snobbery that you may expect.

5. Busabi Eathai – Hands down my favourite place to get Pad Thai. I love the big square tables and the extensive menu here. You can eat in 30 minutes or leisurely while a way a few hours picking through the menu.

6. Brickwood – This fulfills any cravings you may have for the New Zealand staple drink L&P. Plus they do amazing toasties and the brunch menu looks amazing too. I always head to the Clapham Common site, but there are a couple of others dotted elsewhere too.

7. Dishoom – I know I go on about this place all the time, but it’s amazing! A bacon and egg naan doesn’t sound like it would work. But it totally does. And the black daal is still one of my favourite side dishes ever. Although I could eat it as a main all by itself too.

8. Brunch at The Delaunay – You may remember me mentioning this before (here) as it was the first stop on our Brunch club adventures.  It’s still a firm favourite and somewhere that I recommend to others if they’re staying in London for a night or two.

I think I’m going to have to do a quick eats version of this at some point, because I’ve not mentioned coffee or cake stops at all on this list. And that needs to be rectified as soon as possible!

Laura xxx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #45

Friday_Favourites_45

 

Yay it’s Friday and boy is it a good one!

I have 9 hours to go before I’m out of the office and on my holibobs for over a week. You bet I’m excited! Yes, I’ve got a lot of things to do today, but it will all be worth it to turn on that out of office and skip out that door!  I love the fact that I’ve been super organised with my holiday planning this year, however it’s meant that I’ve been waiting for this trip to the sunshine for over 6 months. It’s going to be all about the sunshine, the beach, the swimming, the cool drinks and delicious seafood. VdL see you soon.

So apart from upcoming holiday plans what else has seen me smiling this week? First up was an unexpected trip to Esher on Sunday for a family trip to Zizzi’s for pizza before coffee and cookies while watching Swallows and Amazons. I have to admit that I’ve never read this book so I wasn’t necessarily planning to see the film, but a couple of unused tickets later and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I like those moments of serendipity that turn into good memories. Especially when they include pizza!

Another perk of the week has been some great work meetings. I’m four weeks into my new role now and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. Each new week brings a greater understanding to the role, and also a strengthening in the decision I made to take it. Does that make sense? I guess sometimes you take chances not really understanding how they will turn out, but so far, so good on this one.

Also the sunshine, hasn’t it been amazing? Yes, I may have complained about the heat at certain points this week, but that’s understandable when you’re a commuter. But aside for those two instances each day I have been loving it. London in the sunshine is lovely so I’m making the most of it for as long as it lasts.

Last but not least it’s the Great British Bake Off that has been a favourite this week. This show is like a giant hug after a long day and it was exactly what was required on Wednesday night. OH how I’ve missed it all. I think my best part of the show was the fact that it reopened the ‘is the jaffa cake a cake or a biscuit’ debate on twitter. Only in Britain!

What have been your favourite parts of the week. Have you been out enjoying the sunshine?

Laura xx

Thought of the Day #89: Someone Else Thought They Could

This and That Blog - Thought of the Day - Someone Else Thought They Could

Having people in your life that have faith in you is one of the best feelings, it makes you think you can do anything you turn your hand too, whether that’s in a work or a personal situation it makes a difference to how you act and what you achieve.

The simple fact of someone having my back and believing in me allows me to do more and achieve more and it also makes me more aware of how I treat and support others. So I’m going to make more of an effort to push others to achieve more by showing them that I have faith in them.

Fi xx

Life Rambles: Time to Rest

The below is a bit of a rambling post i’m afraid. I just started typing this the other day just to get things out of my head. Does anyone else do that, or is it just me? It’s probably just me to be honest! So I apologise in advance if it doesn’t go anywhere, or make total sense to you. But I needed this, and that’s surely a perk of this blog.

I’ve been so busy over the last few months, with weekends away, work, house organisation, planning and prepping all of the things that I can feel myself starting to burnout. I just seem to have the constant snuffles at the moment and I know that this is down to not looking after myself properly. I know that being this busy will make me ill.

I know this.

And yet it still happens. I still don’t slow down.

It’s self-care 101 really. Three things for a better you; allow your body time to rest, get some exercise and eat well.

Pretty obvious right? But of course the busier I get the less time I have to go for a run, to have a lie in or take the time to properly cook.

Recently I’ve tried scheduling in weekend days where I don’t have anything planned at all in the hopes that I will do some of these things for myself. But of course I end up caving and saying yes to things that sound more exciting. Which then makes me tired and doesn’t leave me time to exercise or cook! So it’s becoming a vicious circle!

I don’t know what I hope to achieve in this post, it’s a little bit of a brain dump really. But maybe telling you what’s going on or how I’m feeling will make me more accountable to myself. I don’t know. I can dream right?

In an ideal fairy-tale world here’s what I want to do better and to look after myself:

~ Get back to running twice a week. I miss it. I miss the time to myself, the thinking or not thinking, the rhythm of my feet pounding the pavement and my breathing being in sync. I know that one weekend run and one weekday run really is achievable.

~ Use my kitchen. Often over the last few months I’ve opted for easy wins in the kitchen; bread and cheese, frozen pizza bases, pasta bakes or even just toast and this needs to stop.

~ Stop and read more. My main reading time happens on my commute, oddly enough I don’t sit and read at home. Occasionally I’ll have a lazy morning in bed, but most of the time I’m doing other things. So hopefully I can sit and read more, I’m thinking Sundays in the garden or an evening curled on the sofa with a candle lit and the radio on in the background.

So there we go. That’s how I’m feeling right now and I guess a potential plan to hopefully change this over the next few months. We will see how things go, I guess.

Does anyone else feel like they have a problem with this? How do you make sure you look after yourself and allow your mind and body time to rest?

Laura xxx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #44

Oh thank goodness for Friday, I’m so pleased it’s finally arrived! This week has felt like a right slog and as if it would never end. Has anyone else felt like that? But fear not, we made it to the end and the weekend is beckoning – hooray!

The first of my favourite things this week is the arrival of the weekend as I have zero plans. There is absolutely nothing in the diary and while we’ve nattered about various things we could do, we’ve decided not to plan anything. As a result the thought of waking up on Saturday and just doing what I want to do right at that moment is super-exciting! It’s been a long time, possibly back in June, since I had a weekend like that to look forward too and it’s going to be blissful. Bring it on!

Excitingly this week I started a slightly new role at work, with half my role being something completely new, which has been loads of fun. I’ve really relished learning all the new things. As my sister’s are the best they decided to get me awesome presents to celebrate the new role, which included the nicest notebook ever, an awesome new pass case and an Oliver Bonas voucher. How epic are they?!

This and That Blog - Friday Favourites #44

Another thing I’ve loved this week has been watching the Olympics, whilst I’ve been limited to watching it in the evenings I’ve still managed to watch some epic sporting achievements and it’s made me awestruck by how amazing our athletes are. The things they’ve managed to achieve are unbelievable and I’m just so proud of them. I’m also slightly inspired by them – surely I can manage to get off the sofa to do some form of exercise if they can manage such feats as two gold medals in the gymnastics or four gold medals in the cycling. Surely?

I had the opportunity pre-work this week to take half an hour to sit and plot and plan over an orange juice and it was so super useful. I think I often get bogged down with getting into work to get stuff done or doing planning while watching TV or doing some other task so to take time to plan without rushing was lovely. I need to add this into my usual routing moving forward as I think half an hour doing that will be more useful than two or three of the current planning sessions!

This and That Blog - Friday Favourites #44

On Wednesday I headed to Waterstones Tottenham Court Road to watch the very first live recording of Emma Gannon’s brilliant Ctrl, Alt, Delete podcast and it was so good. Emma Gannon was being interviewed by TV presenter and author Cherry Healey about growing up online and her hilarious new book. It was a wonderful hour of insightful conversation, hilarious stories and brilliant questions and I implore you to download the podcast today. You certainly won’t regret it. I think part one is up now and part two and three will be out shortly, so to the iTunes store you must go, quick sticks!

This and that Blog-Friday Favourites #44

So how was your week, what were your top bits?

-Fi x

Thought of the Day #88: Rest, Not Quit

 

Pretty good advice right? It’s so easy to get tired and give up on things, we all do it at some point in our day/week/lives. But next time I have the need to quit something I’m going to think of this instead. It’s an intriguing mindset to change to, and it’s one I want to try. So next time I’m on a run and get too hot or too tired, or when I’m in the middle of a difficult crossword puzzle, or tricky DIY job, I’m going to rest for a minute or two and then try again.

Laura xx

 

Out and About: Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

Greetings friends! In just over three months we’ll be in the sparkly city of New York for five whole days of festivities and I’m finally allowing myself time to plan what to do, where to eat and what we must see. Needless to say I’m in a constant state of excitement as I think about all the awesomeness that will be involved in this trip. Not only are we off to the best city in the world (bar London), we’re also going in December, which is THE best time of the year. Just think of the lights and the music and the trees and the sparkles. Oooh I can’t wait!

This and That Blog - Christmas in New York

We’ve both been to New York City before and ticked off quite a few of the must-see things including Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, a boat trip, Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State building and The Rockefeller, which means this trip is pretty much all about two things: the shopping and the Christmas festivities.

This and That Blog - Christmas in New York

So far we’re planning the following…

  • Skating at the Rockefeller (at night) – this sound so magical with the Christmas music playing, the giant tree and all those fairy lights.
  • The Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes – A friend has recommended this and it looks so much fun. It basically sounds like a hark back to Christmas of yesteryear, with prancing (dancer) reindeers, wooden soldiers, rag dolls, loads of dancers and freakin’ SANTA! Basically what Christmas is all about.
  • Food wise we’re thinking Shake Shack, Starbucks Christmas drinks, bagels and all the brunches we can fit in!
  • Watching Puffs off Broadway – so not strictly Christmassy but as huge Harry Potter fans this play is a must as it tells the HP stories from the perspective of an ordinary boy in Hufflepuff. It’s meant to be astonishingly good so should be loads of fun!
  • Brooklyn – Despite visiting New York on a number of occasions I’ve never been to Brooklyn, so I’m hoping to rectify that this trip. Any recommendations of what to see/do/eat there?
  • Christmas windows – The Christmas windows are sure to be sensational in New York right? So I’m looking forward to wrapping my hands around a ridiculously calorific mint hot chocolate and ambling passed all the gorgeous windows. I’m hoping there will be loads of fairy lights and fake snow and Christmas carols galore!
  • In terms of shopping I’m definitely spending a lot of time in Old Navy, DSW, Fish Eddy’s, Strand Bookshop and American Eagle. And maybe I’ll buy one or two things for other people too…
  • Finally we definitely want to visit the World Trade Center Memorial. Not in a morbid way, more in a way of remembering those who lost their lives and the important things in life.

So tell me guys, what have I forgotten? What would you suggest for a festive New York, or any, New York trip?

-Fi x

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #43

Hello lovely people and happy Friday. I’m going to start by saying that this week has been tough with a capital T. I’ve been utterly exhausted thanks to a super busy weekend coupled with train strikes which have caused me to need to get up a whole hour earlier just to get into work each day. Talk about crazy. Luckily my social life this week has been nonexistent so once i’ve finally got home (via tube & bus) I have been able to completely relax. Which basically just means eating cheese and biscuits while watching all the Olympics coverage. So without further ado let’s discuss my favourite things from this week (p.s. it’s totally unfair that Fi crept into my weekend this week, so I can’t include all the family, friends and Potter fun).

As previously mentioned the Olympics is a big thing for me. I love watching sport so the enormous breadth available during this time turns me into a kid in a candy shop. So far the highlights have been the cycling road races, the synchronised diving and the gymnastics; both team and individual. Team GB are doing brilliantly which is always good to see.

Let’s talk about Instagram stories. Guys I’m really not behind this at all. While I absolutely love Instagram and it’s my social media of choice most of the time, I am not a fan of the Instagram stories thing. I feel like if you’re going to try and become Snapchat then at least take all the best things from that app to create your own. It just doesn’t work. And why do I need to automatically follow people? Frankly the circles of people’s faces at the top of the app each time I log in is irritating. So yes, not a fan of Instagram Stories, but still, and always will, love Snapchat!

 


Lucky old me headed to Franco Manca this week for a work lunch. It was so nice to get out of the office and a change from lunch at my desk. Plus they have such delicious pizza. I stuck with the classic Margherita as sometimes you just can’t beat it. Plus it beats going back to the office with garlic or onion breath!

Also I’m off to watch the new Bourne film, Jason Bourne, this afternoon. How did the film release come around so quickly? Also Matt Damon and Julia Stiles are back in this one and I’m so excited. I sincerely hope the film lives up to my high expectations. My current plan is to leave work as soon after 1pm as possibly, head to Clapham for some lunch and then head to the Picturehouse with a cheeky coffee or glass of wine and some munchies to keep me going. Yes it’s really sunny so I should be outside, but really what better way to start off the weekend!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend planned? I’ve got another busy one, but of course it’s going to be awesome! Have fun

Laura xxx

Thought of the Day #87: Remarkable is a Choice

 

Yes to this! I thoroughly agree that you are the one that can make your life, your job, your friendships remarkable. You 100% get out what you put into something and there’s no point waiting around in the hope that something will become remarkable. You need to make it so. Be that by choosing the right path, what you put into something, who you work with, who you surround yourself with and more. Remarkable is a choice and it is the choices we make that make us remarkable.

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #42

So yes it is Monday and yes this is last week’s Friday Favoruites post. Oops. In my defence top of my favourites list didn’t happen until Friday night so I had to wait until then and then the weekend was insane. Anywho, what’s wrong with mixing things up a little bit anyway and you lucky things get a delightful new post now, a mere three days late. You’re welcome! 😉

So top of the list…I watched Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Thursday and Friday nights and it was EVERYTHING! Don’t worry you won’t get any spoilers here, I wouldn’t dare. But seriously if you’re a Harry Potter fan you need to watch it – beg, borrow or steal to get tickets. It’s totally worth the crazy price tag and the four-hour queue. Do it!

This and That Blog - Life Rambles: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Also happening this week, I met up with some of my favourite friends – those people who you just don’t stop chattering too! There was a lovely sunny London day with iced coffee, Southbank and Borough fun and then a lovely countryside catch up involving meeting a new feline addition to my friends’ lives, eating all the food and generally putting the world to rights! Both days were definitely needed and such fun – I just wish they could happen more often!

Yesterday I was at the parents’ and we hosted a garden party to celebrate my Mum’s retirement and it was such a lovely day. It really reminded me of how awesome my family is (and not just because their cooking and baking skills are off the chart). It was also so lovely to see so many of my Mum’s old colleagues, people she’s known for almost forty years and is still in great friends with. Isn’t that an awesome feat?

This and That Blog: Life Rambles - Family Fun

Last weekend I was at YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention, which is part of London Comic Con, and it was such fun! Granted I was working but I was still able to meet lots of Twitter people, get loads of new books and listen to lots of lovely authors discussing their books. If you’re a YA fan you must head down next year, you won’t regret it!

And no Friday Favourites list would be complete without the puppy getting a mention – just look at that face. Could she be anymore gorgeous and adorable? No, no she could not!

This and That Blog - Life Rambles. Luna Pup

How was your last week, what were the highlights?

-Fi x