31.7.13

DISHOOM

Dishoom

Dishoom is certainly no secret here in London, I don't think I've heard a bad word said about it in reviews and from friends who have been. We first went in June for Steven's birthday and enjoyed it so much we couldn't resist a visit with my mum and step dad who were visiting this weekend, I just want to share the tasty flavours with everyone I know!

Dishoom

Dishoom takes inspiration from the cafes of Bombay- of which, we were told are a dying breed, serving an all day menu and food that is so tasty you will just have to go back.

We chose to go to the Covent Garden cafe but they have another one in Shoreditch and the waiter told us they will be opening one more central soon they hope. He also mentioned that the two restaurants have very different vibes, so worth checking the other one out.  The atmosphere is infectious, its busy and loud with all kinds of people getting together to enjoy the food and have good conversation. Helpfully, the tables are close together so you can have a peak at what your neighbours are eating and get some inspiration for what to order.

Dishoom

Dishoom

Because I was with fellow meat eaters, we went all out and ordered a few dishes off the menu to share - as the waiter said its the way its suppose to be done. We had the Murgh Malai, Lamb Boti Kabab and Gunpowder Potatoes with the creamiest House Black Daal and the Behl (the Behl was one of my favourite things, it is so light and fresh and not to mention super spicy) and the thinest handkerchief style bread I've ever seen. The mixture of it all together was something I will not forget in a hurry. My mouth is watering as I'm typing this! (I didn't get a picture of everything we ate, that would have wasted too much stuffing-our-faces-time!)

Dishoom

Dishoom

Dishoom

You know the food is seriously good when you wake up the next day and it's the first thing you think about. The last time that happened was after I had a buttermilk fried chicken burger from Spit & Roast at Feast. I thought about the burger so much I had to hunt them down the next week to get another one. I'm so weak.

Dishoom

We finished the meal off with a Kala Khatta Gola Ice which was ice flakes with syrup, chilli, lime and white and black salt. My tongue didn't have a clue what was going on, it was strangely tasty in a refreshing way and the salt certainly made it moorish. We also tried the Kulfi on a stick which was perfect after too much chilli!

Dishoom

Happy/full faces!

For me, Dishoom is my kind of restaurant. Relaxed and informal, with loads of atmosphere, good service and unbeatable food. Go!

29.7.13

JAM PACKED WEEKEND

It's Monday already?!
I can't believe how fast the weeks are going! Nothing is getting completed on my to do list, my blog is feeling a little neglected and my bedroom is in need of a good tidy but its fine, the sun has been shining and walking around London in this weather makes me feel like I'm on a mini holiday.

My mum and step dad came to visit this weekend (yeah, both sets of parents within a week of each other, I must be mad) but we had a lovely time stuffing our faces and walking a million miles. We kicked the weekend off with a night in on Friday with wine, a takeaway and plenty of chocolate all whilst having a good natter.

o2

We headed over to the o2 early on Saturday morning to go to the British Music Experience. I've never been to the o2 before -I didn't realise it was full of restaurants and a cinema, I think I thought it was just a massive arena with nothing else. You couldn't take any pictures inside but we had lots of fun listening to old and new songs and even having a go on some drums/guitars/keyboards in the music room. The whole thing was very interactive with headphones everywhere and these little cards that when pressed against some information it stores it ready to read at home later.
We managed to get the tickets for half price through the Time Out offers thing they do but its not a bad price for £13.

Highline

Afterwards we took the Emirates Air Line over to Royal Victoria and took in the views along the way. If you're looking for touristy things to do in London then this is definitely a cheap and fun thing to add to the list- if you have an Oyster card it only costs £3.20 one way or £6.40 to do the full round trip. Really good value and a great opportunity to see that side of London.

Highline

Beach

As we were in the air we noticed a temporary beach down below so as soon as we got off we went to check it out, there was hula-hooping, a bar on a boat, windsurfing, some weird jet pack water surfing thing and so many people just enjoying the lovely sunshine. I really love London for its use of space, my mum commented that nearly every corner you walk around there is something different happening.

Beach

Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market

We finished the afternoon off with a mooch around Greenwich and popped into the market for a fresh lemonade, then we took on the steep climb up to the observatory and had a well deserved rest on the grass for a little while.

Greenwich

I love the view up there, its just so peaceful.

After a bit of a lie-in on Sunday morning we went out for some food in the afternoon (tasty tasty food which I'll talk about later in the week) and took a stroll along the Southbank where they currently have a community garden project going on where they are growing all kinds of veg and herbs with a little information about each.

Southbank

Southbank

Southbank

Southbank is the place in London where I feel like I am actually in London, if you know what I mean? It reminds me of the times I visited London before we moved here and being amazed at how much is going on and how much you can see - Big Ben, London Eye, House of Parliament etc. It gets me every time.

Southbank

So now it's the working week again and I'm counting down to my well earned rest at the weekend! 

Hope you had a good one too!

24.7.13

KEW GARDENS

Kew Gardens

We woke up early on Sunday morning to catch the train to Kew Gardens, we were eagerly kitted out in our 'over 30 degree' comfy clothes but once we set off a slight panic induced after realising it was only 16 degrees! The sun didn't make an appearance until after 12 which actually gave us enough time to do plenty of walking without getting a sweaty fringe. Ahem (last post).

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is really really beautiful (obviously) and there is SO much to see, I think in my head I na├»vely thought it was going to be a massive field with nice flowers but it is so much more. Not only are there so many different types of flowers, plants, trees and gardens to see but there are special buildings including the palace and the Queens own cottage (only used for picnics!).

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

One of my favourite parts of the day was walking along the Treetop walkway and seeing Wembley stadium in the far distance. We took our picnic blanket ready for when the tiredness hit, and it certainly did when the sun came out!

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
(Steven channelling his inner William Eggleston pic...)

We made friends with some Coot, after their mum came over to give us the once over first and we saw a couple of birds having a scrap on the bridge. I don't think there was a winner, they just kept going at it!

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

Not only do the gardens have so many different activities for kids but they also have a BBQ in the summer - and most importantly, an ice cream cart!

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

It's well worth a visit, it costs £16 entry but we used the Gardener's World 2for1 offer that they ran the other month but I think there are some other offers floating about on the internet. It's definitely worth £16 though, we were there for about 6 hours!

22.7.13

A WEEKEND WITH MY DAD

Kew Gardens

This weekend my dad and his wife came to visit, the last time they stayed with us was way back in September so it was a long over due visit (I have seen them in between then and now, I'm not that bad of a daughter!).
I had a little bit of Saturday morning to myself before a quick wiz around the flat with the hoover and the duster and then headed to Kings Cross to meet them off the train.
After a cup of tea and a few biscuits at home, we headed up to The Actress in East Dulwich for some tasty food followed by a few drinks...and then some more. We spent a fair few hours having a good catch up - they even commented on how Peckham has changed since they were last here but maybe it was just the sunshine!
My alarm was set for a far too early time on Sunday for us to get the early train to Kew Gardens, the sun was no where to be seen for most of the morning but it eventually came out with full force - side note - having a fringe is possibly one of the worst things to have in the summer, I am constantly one big sweaty fringed mess and its too short to pin back, dilemma!

I'm going to share a few more photos from Kew later in the week but the above photo kind of sums up the whole day. My dad thinks he's super funny, like, all the time...we're not so sure about that.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

19.7.13

DAY TRIP TO WHITSTABLE

whitstable

A couple of weeks ago we took a ride out to Whitstable (before this insane weather) for some sea air and a bag of chips. We've been meaning to go for a while as it's only an hours drive away from London and after visiting I can't believe we hadn't been sooner!

whitstable
whitstable

Situated on the north coast of Kent, Whitstable is such a lovely little place with so many stalls, shops and restaurants selling all kinds of sea food from cockles to eels and crabs to Whitstable's most famous export, oysters!

whitstable
whitstable
whitstable

I certainly think if you eat sea food you would be in your element but a stroll around the harbour was enough for us!  The weather wasn't particularly great - before I looked back at the pictures I had forgotten what a cloud looked like, and it probably wasn't the best idea to wear a dress either (I think the whole of Whitstable got an eye full).

whitstable
whitstable
whitstable

I'm really looking forward to going back soon whilst the sun is still shining - mainly because they were some tasty chips!

17.7.13

THINGS I'VE WATCHED/READ

With this ridiculously good weather I find that I've been a bit more selective with what I've been watching on TV the past few weeks. I really love watching TV, nothing pleases me more then crafting/blog reading/post writing with a bit of Corrie going on in the background but I've just not been feeling it so much (I thought it was the older you get the more soaps you watch??).
Instead I've watched a few good documentaries and read a couple of bloody good books that I thought you might like to know about...

First up, I watched Bill Cunningham New York a couple of weeks ago and couldn't quite believe just how dedicated he is to his work and how he has stuck to his morals throughout his whole life. The documentary is light hearted and he is such a character its hard not to get sucked in, by the end of it I wanted to run out with a film camera right then and snap everything I came across. Very motivational and it certainly pulled me out of my creative rut.

I finally got round to watching Gregory Crewdson's Brief Encounters film which follows his whole process of how he creates images - which closely resembles that of a movie set! It surprised me how meticulous he is to every little detail whilst creating the image but then in post production multiple images are often stitched together to create the ultimate picture that he was after. The film did go on a little long but it was very interesting, I love watching photographers' processes and how everything comes together.

One lazy Sunday we watched Dave Grohl's Sound City film a documentary made on the recording studios in LA where so many bands and musicians have recorded - including Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana and Tom Petty. It was so good to watch old footage and learn about the bands way back then and how they came together. It was quite a long film and seemed to be split into 3 sections but it certainly made me feel like I missed out on a whole load of fun stuff back then!

I've recently become a little bit obsessed with the work of Vivian Maier after watching a documentary on BBC iplayer. Although I'm glad I discovered her work, the documentary was a little slow - seen as though no one knows anything about her! I've been admiring her work ever since and completely taken away with some of her images. I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch or at least looking up some of her work, I can't quite get over some of the images she made.

After all that TV watching I sat down and read my first book through the kindle app - Dawn O'Porter's Paper Aeroplanes which I was completely drawn into from the first page. It took me straighht back to my school days, she got so much of it spot on; the way the girls are with each other at that age (I'm so glad I'm not at school anymore) and the general feelings of a teenage girl. Such a good read.

I'm currently reading Pink Bits by Kat George which I am loving, although it is a bit too short, I don't want it to end. It's a really honest and brutal read, I like women being honest about the important stuff it makes you feel like you're not alone!

If you have any recommendations for documentaries or books that you have seen/watched recently i would love to hear them! 

15.7.13

FAMILY, FRIENDS + FOOD

bbq

The whole of last week seems like a blur to me, I seemed to be so busy my feet barely touched the ground, which is why a visit to my mums was much needed by the end of the week.
Typically this weekend just flew by and was over way to quick for my liking- I even had Friday off! I barely took any photos either which I'm slightly regretting but I guess that's what this blog is here for.

On Thursday evening we slogged out the 4 and a half hour journey back up North to tie in a visit to the dentist with visiting my family, where we had a bbq, so much food and plenty of wine followed by a dip in the hot tub (the luxuries of visiting parents aye!) After weekends like this it makes living so far away really difficult!

On Saturday we headed over to our friends house in Leeds for a Greek themed birthday party (as she is now an honorary Greek since marrying her husband) where we drank and ate way into the early morning. I can still smell the ouzo now, blurgh! We don't often get to visit friends when we're back home as we need to fit in family time but it was so nice getting to catch up and meet new people. It makes me sad that we don't really have chance to do it more often.

We did the long drive back on Sunday afternoon which in 30 degree heat was a bit much but we made up for it with an ice pop when we got back followed by an evening of TV and relaxing. Family, friends and food, can't beat it! What did you get up to?

10.7.13

LONDON FIELDS BREWERY

London Fields Brewery

On Saturday we ventured all the way over to East London to go to the GB vs USA Craft Beer Challenge at London Fields Brewery to sample a few tipples and cast our vote over which country does craft beer best. I bought the tickets a little while ago for Steven's birthday so I'm glad the weather was at its best for the day!

London Fields Brewery

London Fields Brewery

London Fields Brewery

The sun was shining, the music playing, the beer was flowing and the meat was bbq-ing. We had a really lovely day, eating and drinking and enjoying the sun, the only downside being there was no vegetarian food for Steven (except doughnuts), clearly being a vegetarian in London is just not fashionable now there is pulled pork everywhere! - (the doughnuts were really good though)

London Fields Brewery

London Fields Brewery

I'd definitely recommend going to the GB vs Europe event they are holding in August, even if the weather isn't great there is loads of places to sit inside and plenty of beer to be drunk!

London Fields Brewery
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