Tag Archives: London life

Once upon a time we spent a SUNNY Sunday at the Real Food Market

Oh my, the weather is crappy at the moment. All you want to do is curl up on the sofa with chocolate and a steaming hot cup of tea.

But if it hadn’t been pouring down we might have packed the bag and the baby and taken the tube to Embankment, as we did quite a few weeks ago.

We crossed the bridge and found ourselves amongst the touristy crowds on the South Bank. But we were hungry, so we headed straight towards the back of the Southbank Centre & the Royal Festival Hall.

And found what we were looking for: The Real Food Market. A small collection of food and drink stalls focusing on quality produce and serving up anything from gourmet hotdogs and burgers to slow-cooked pork, paella and churros.

You can also buy cheese, olive oil, pastries and other high quality produce and delicacies.

There is even a “food busker” – a guy called John Quilter – who cooks up different dishes every week and then it’s up to the customer to pay him what they think it’s worth.

After circling the stalls for a while we decided that what we needed was a big, fat smoked sausage-based hotdog with salad and pickles from the Polish Deli.

Delicious!

After a bit of sausage & sun it was time to get the baby home, so back we went, over the bridge.

And one ting is certain: we’ll be back as soon as that damned sun decides to make an appearance in London again…

What: The Real Food Market
Where: Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, outside Canteen restaurant (Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX)
When: Friday:12 am – 8, Saturday:11 am – 8 pm, Sunday: 12 am – 6 pm

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Perfect afternoon

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Sun: check (well, sort of)

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Sleeping baby: check!

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Sushi: check!

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Successful trip to my favourite charity shop: check! (will show you later)

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Sunny afternoon in St. John’s Wood

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Just testing the WordPress app on my Iphone.

Fingers crossed I might actually get some blogging done now that I can do it on the move.

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New Year in London 2011

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great day and got to spend it with the people you love.

As for us, we decided to go for a long walk on the last day of 2011.

From Maida Vale…

…and all the way through Regent’s Park to Camden, where we pushed our way through the touristy crowds of the Camden Markets. We ended up in the cobbled lanes of the Stables Market and suddenly felt very hungry.

It was time for some Japanese fast food in the shape of a yummy chicken katsudon.

Then we turned the pushchair around.

And walked back  through the beautiful Primrose Hill.

Halfway through the park, Elliot decided that he was having no more of that pushchair nonsense and wanted to be carried in the BabyBjörn instead.

Back home and with the baby snoring in bed it was time to crack open the champagne.

And prepare the ginormous and oh-so-fabulous fillet steaks we had ordered from the East London Steak Company (more about them later).

The first attempt at making béarnaise sauce ended in a disaster when I decided to add a bit of water, but the second attempt was perfect.

After the meal, and after three glasses of champagne = the largest amount of alcohol I’ve had in 15 months, I managed to fall asleep on the sofa moments before the fireworks lit up the London sky.

The perfect end to a perfect day….and a pretty good year. I hope 2012 will treat you well.

Summer is here!

The weather is glorious here in London at the moment. And the warm rays of sunshine lured this cheerful little fella into making his sudden appearance on our balcony.

Happy spring & summer everyone.

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A + dressing the bump accordingly

On a grey and rainy day like today there’s nothing better than cuddling up on the sofa with a cup of hot tea. But if you want to be a bit more active, you can always head for a fashion exhibition.

Even though I love (second-hand) clothes and shopping I tend to yawn and curl my lip in contempt when faced with catwalk shows, fashion weeks and the name-dropping of aaaaarrrhhhmazing designers.

It just bores me to death and I never learned to love the vacuous mingling and bitchy atmosphere of Copenhagen Fashion Week, when I worked as a fashion journalist.

But if there’s one designer that can get me up from the sofa it’s the ground-breaking Japanese Yohji Yamamoto. So last week I went to see the his exhibition at the V&A. It’s small but good.

Left-hand side is dedicated to a mannequin parade of some of his best designs, through the years. 9 out of 10 of his designs I would wear on the spot, and I was (almost) tempted to just tear a few dresses of the dolls and make a run for it 🙂

The right-hand side consists of a row of TV’s, showing Yohji Yamamoto’s catwalk shows  and videos about the controversial designer. Should you want to meet the designer himself, then I suggest you book a ticket for the talk on the 26th of June.

6 months pregnant or not, I felt I had to honour Mr. Yohji by wearing one of his designs to the exhibition. I only own two Yamamoto items: a skirt with a narrow waist (so that one was out of the question) and this dress:

So on it went. I had to leave the zipper half-open, but I still like the way it looks. If you want to see it in a non-pregnant state and read about where I bought it, click here.

I love how this last windblown picture reminds me of the poster from the exhibition. Noone does those avantgarde silhouettes quite like Yamamoto. They’re instantly recognisable.

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A, until 10 july 2011.
Read more & book tickets

The Coffee Tree in Maida Vale

After having moved from Randolph Avenue to Elgin Avenue we’re now a tiny bit closer to Shirland Road.

So when local tweeters Lord Elgin and Alex mentioned the opening of a new coffee and pastry shop next to a hardware shop I decided to combine my hunt for a new broom with a caffeine & cake fix.

This charming coffee shop is tastefully decorated with raw wood panels and bright red lamps and a small selection of Italian coffee, olive oil etc. on display. A very welcome addition amongst the street’s Lebanese restaurants, Indian take-aways and run-down fastfood joints.

I ordered a large latte to go (£1.90 – double shot doesn’t cost extra) + a brownie (£2) and the friendly owner threw in a mini-muffin when he found out that I was a local blogger. Or who knows, maybe he just gives them out to all new customers…

As soon as I saw the lovely leaf-shaped pattern on the coffee my expectations rose and I half expected something along the lines of the wonderful flat whites they serve at Flat White in Soho or at Kopapa.

I must admit I was a bit dissappointed. The coffee was too watery and didn’t taste of a whole lot.  I’m not sure what to blame: the Danesi beans, the machine or maybe the fat content of the milk? Still better than Starbucks though.

But the pastries were to die for, especially the brownies. I haven’t had a brownie as good as this in a long time. Moist, heavy and dark, rich chocolatey.

So while the coffees leave room for improvement, the cakes and the friendly service are definitely worth the trip to Shirland Road if you’re in the area.

The Coffee Tree
215 Shirland Road
W9 3JP London
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