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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Hi Everyone,

I've been stuck in a rut for a little while now, and I'm finding it hard to see new places in London due to my busy schedule (balancing Uni and work) and the fact that I like going to the same places once in a while. So I will have to tone it back on the posting for a while, until I get a bit more free time and explore a little more.
I'm also going to be travelling during April, and a big chunk of the summer too so I hope to be able to point out some cool places and things to do in each of the places I go.
I still want to write down and share all of my experiences, I've just been unlucky and haven't experienced much lately. Starting work is going to be amazing, I can already tell the team I'm working with is going to be great so I might have some good stories to tell from there. 
Anyway, I'll still have a few cool places to point out and hopefully I'll find some new things to show you too. 
I just wanted to say sorry for the lack of communication, and let you know that I'm still here and I'm still going to attempt to show you around London. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

I wanted to go out to eat on my Birthday with a few friends so I decided to book a table at Machiavelli Kitchen & Dining. I have walked past it about 30 times and always wanted to go inside to find out if it was a store, a cafe, or a restaurant. Little did I know, it is both a store and a restaurant. Upon our arrival the evening following my Birthday we were lead downstairs to the main restaurant section. (it does bother me a bit that so many restaurants in London are on the basement level, but there's nothing I can do about it.)
After waiting on a couple of people we decided to have two appetizer trays with sliced hams and some other tasty bits. The music was fairly low, and I'm pretty sure our table was fairly loud. I really got into the Birthday spirit by being the bossy one at the table and making jokes that the waitresses weren't paying enough attention to us. But anyways, I really enjoyed my time there. Everyone seemed to dig into their food, and really enjoy it, so I think it was a good way to celebrate without making too much of a fuss. 
The restaurant itself was very cute, with napkins wrapped in string at every table and drawings of Machiavelli dotted around the place. I'd love to see if their lunch menu is different from their evening menu. And I know next time to not overlook the option of getting lasagna. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

I went to the tapas bar Camino with my friend Katie when she was in London for the afternoon. We didn't want to take the tube or go too far and the weather was bad, so I was looking for somewhere we could sit, eat, and catch up. King's Cross is starting to become a more fun and interesting area and when I saw there was a tapas bar I knew exactly what I wanted to eat, croquetas!
It was about 2pm when we got there so there were quite a few tables free, but we settled down at one and started looking at the menu. By the way, their lemonades are amazing, they have the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Once we ordered the food came pretty quickly. But the service overall wasn't very good. I think it was probably because the waiters were getting hungry and weren't as alert as when the restaurant is full.
The food didn't disappoint. The croquetas were great, the polpo (octopus) I had was amazing, and everything seemed to fit together well. One of the big things I love about tapas is the fact that you share the food with the people at your table. So you end up tasting a larger variety of foods. Sadly we were too full to get dessert, but some of the things on the dessert menu looked yummy too. Camino is great for a quick lunch if you're there during lunch hour, otherwise just stop by for a relaxed afternoon bite. 
Here's their website: http://www.camino.uk.com/
(all the images are from the Camino website)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

So, this amazing authentic pizza place opened in Soho and I had to try it out for myself. It's very cheesy Italian with the checkered table cloths, and calming music, and its called Pizza Pilgrims. Their menu isn't very long, but that tends to mean that they're good at the few dishes they do make. They even have a proper pizza oven. My friend Noah and I went there, and he's a baker, so he was explaining the whole correct cooking process for the pizza dough. It really made my experience much more authentic. 
Not only is Pizza Pilgrims a restaurant but they also have a pizza van that goes around London. And they've come out with a book too! I had pizza with bufala mozzarella on it and it was amazing. The perfect lunch pit stop. 
Also, a whole thin pizza is the perfect amount of food for lunch. The restaurant has 2 floors and the staff is super nice. Overall, my experience there was pretty good. Noah made me notice how the pizza dough wasn't perfect, and that's the only reason the meal wasn't perfect. 
Here's their website: http://pizzapilgrims.co.uk/
(all the images are from their website and instagram)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Rich Mix is a venue at the end of Brick Lane that does events as well as being an affordable cinema. I’d been there before to play ping pong with some friends, but this time my flatmate Charlotte and I went there to see Nymphomaniac volume one and two, as well as a live Q&A with some of the cast members in Chelsea. 
We brought snacks, stretched our legs, and queued up for hours of film watching. They stamped our hands so that we could leave during the intermission if we wanted to. But I didn’t move, I was just soaking in the films. The theatre rooms have a lot of characters. The screen we were in front of had really cool walls and ceiling which I only got to see at the beginning of the show. 
The nearest bathrooms are a little far away, so go before the film so you don’t miss anything. Watching Nymphomaniac was an experience in itself, it was really interesting and eye opening so it didn’t really matter where I was watching it. But I’m grateful I got to watch it in a comfy chair without any distractions. 

Here’s their website: http://www.richmix.org.uk

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Boundary Restaurant is a fancy French restaurant hidden on Redchurch Street. I've gone to Albion, their daytime cafe, and decided to give the restaurant a try. The dining table was facing towards the kitchen, and the table was round, giving plenty of space for the food. The service was a bit overly attentive particularly when the waitress tried to pour water into my glass by crossing over my arm as I read the menu. 
I of course get a little over excited and order the tray of charcuterie as well as my main dish of beef. And let me tell you, the beef was a very wise choice. Half the fun of the meal though is the place. The tiny little details they've got around. Like a wall full of silver trays, these incredibly comfortable chairs, the steak knife with their logo on it. And of course the little amuse bouche they brought, as well as the chocolates with the bill. 
Sometimes eating out, somewhere slightly more expensive is worth it, especially if you're sharing it with interesting people. The Boundary is the perfect place to show off a little without being too over the top. The only thing I really didn't like was the fact that the restaurant is underground. It's really common in London but I think the only thing that would have really improved my meal would have been a really good view. 
Here's their website: http://www.theboundary.co.uk/
(pictures 1 and 2 are from their website, the rest are mine)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bailey's Stardust is a show I was really looking forward to seeing because I had seen a few of David Bailey's pieces throughout my life. Along comes this beautiful show put together by the man himself including different collections of all of his work, so of course I had to go. Firstly, I have to say the staff at the National Portrait Gallery is always very nice and very friendly, it's always a pleasure to be there and interact with them. Secondly, somehow no matter which day of the week or what time of day, the temporary shows are always really crowded. But I guess that's good for business. Thirdly, you can't really take pictures inside the show. I was sneaky and sent a few snapchats but nothing I could keep. 
The space used for this particular show was a large variety of rooms that followed a pretty obvious sequence. Of course to avoid the crowds as much as possible I went round the opposite way. But there was a room for the Rolling Stones, another with mainly fashion photography, a collection of portraits and the list goes on. Every image I saw made me stop and catch my breath. Some more than others, but that's always the case. 
I left the show feeling I had learned something, not only about his life, but also about photography and how much the work of one individual person can change. I would love to see other photographers' bodies of work in such a large space, showing the transitions in their lives. I was just really taken by all these images and I still think about them every day. 
(it's on until the 1st of June)