My May visits to The Big Smoke

 

In the past month I’ve had two really lovely days in London, one with Adam and one with my friend Rachel. Both visits opened my eyes to some new things to do in London and I thought they were worth a blog post!

Let’s jump straight to the important stuff, the food and drink! Whenever I plan a day out I usually plan the food first and the activities second…how much that says about me as a person is up for debate. Ok it’s not, it’s quite clear I’m a fatty.

Adam and I started our morning in Shoreditch, at the Brick Lane Beigel Bake. This place is open 24 hours, it’s a basic looking place but I can now testify their salt beef is so deliciously moist and the prices are great. There’s a reason why this place has stayed open for 40 years!

Whilst walking around some of London’s biggest museums Adam and I became pretty ravenous and walked to the nearby ‘Pizzetta’ which offered pizza by the slice. The pizza was fresh, delicious and great value. It was a fantastic little lunch find and well placed if you’re in the museum quarter.

Adam and I stopped off at Dirty Martini so we could enjoy some cocktails. Dirty Martini is always one of my favourite places to stop for a drink because their happy hour is incredible, lasting most of the day and even at the weekends. It makes their delicious martinis amazingly good value. Plus as I recently discovered on another trip their happy hour extends beyond cocktails and onto wine too, absolute winning!

We finished our day at ‘Liman’ which was at the time the best reviewed restaurant in the whole of London, according to Tripadvisor. It was an intimate sweet place, with great food at good prices. The food was well presented, the service was friendly and it was a really lovely meal.

When I went with Rachel our whole day literally revolved around food. Our first stop was Camden where we made a beeline for ‘The Cheese Bar’. If you have a fondness for cheese this place is for you. It was DIVINE! We were sitting in the middle of the restaurant making all sorts of inappropriate noises. Rachel and I share an adoration of tapas but we joke about the fact we’ve never eaten it communally, there is NO sharing going on. However the cheese bar presented a problem, we both wanted literally everything on the menu, and the only way we would get it was if we were willing to share. We took the step and I’m pleased to report our friendship survived…just.

Our afternoon centered around shopping in Camden and Rachel forced some Halloumi Fries from the market down our throats, by this time I was in full cheese coma mode. I wasn’t too sure about the idea of pomegranate and cheese at first, despite my love of both I’ve never been one for the whole cranberry and cheese thing, but it was actually great!

Needing our thirst quenching from all that shopping we found ‘Bam Panda’ just around the corner from the market. It had a great little atmosphere, a nice place to sit and people watch in the sunshine and served some delicious and much needed cocktails…plus a pretty cool name, right?

So what else did we get up too aside from expanding our waistbands and shortening our lifespans? (Totally worth it by the way)

On a totally unrelated note I wore a totally cute outfit when I visited London!

Well after our delicious ‘beigels’ Adam and I took a walk around Shoreditch, always a favourite area of mine, taking in the street art.  It was still quite early and it was lovely walking around the empty streets and discovering some new art wherever we looked.

Our next stop was to visit the Kyoto Garden at Holland Park. Being a total Japanophile this was certainly something worth visiting and the park was quaint, beautiful and incredibly photogenic. We also walked around Holland Park itself, which at 55 acres, has plenty to see. Adam was particularly taken by the surprisingly tame park squirrels.

We also visited the Design Museum, relatively new as it was moved from its original location to Kensington in 2016. It was our first visit to the new site and we were impressed by the striking architecture. There is a free to visit permanent display, which is the UK’s only collection devoted exclusively to contemporary design. Adam’s degree was design based so he loves to visit places like this, I just like pretty things!

Adam’s dream day continued with a trip to his favourite museum, The Natural History museum. We spent a good two hours walking around, admiring ancient fossils, gemstones and taxidermy. It’s remarkable how much you can learn, even as an adult. I think it’s such an amazing museum and we’re so lucky to be able to enjoy it for free. Adam even bought me a cute ring in the gift shop so I was winning!

Our museum day was not yet over as we continued onto the Science museum. We had prebooked tickets to go see their Robot exhibition, which continues until 3rd September for those who are interested. The exhibition covered the history of robotics and was really interesting, focusing on why they are made rather than how they work.

It’s amazing to see how realistic they make robots these days, although I found the more realistic ones quite creepy. I wonder if from a psychological point of view our brains are telling us there is something not quite right about this ‘person’ and gives us an uneasy feeling.

And how did Rachel and I continue our day? Well that’s for another post…

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