A little bit of insight to London; art, bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and other things to do in this wonderful multicultural city.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Hackney City Farm

Walking towards Broadway Market one Saturday, my friend and I happened to see a sign for "Hackney City Farm". I was a little shocked, a farm in a city, what? Really? Yes, a farm in a park in east London. We followed the people with children, and the signs and walked into an area which was the farm. There were chickens running around everywhere, a house for the donkeys, a house for the rabbits and guinea pigs and a house for the pigs. 
The chickens were let out to walk around freely, and so were the ducks. The donkeys, sheep and goats were in a larger more open space grazing and enjoying the warm weather. And the cute little guinea pigs were in their homes rolling around in the hay. Children were making animals sounds, or chasing chickens. Couples were looking at the different animals and walking around.
I don't know what it is about farms, but somehow everyone seems to love seeing the animals interact with each other and the big city seems so distant. I'd probably go there again, just to try to pet a sheep, I got so close to a lamb at one point! 
Here's the farm's website: http://hackneycityfarm.co.uk/

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Old Vic

On the 1st of June I went to see Sweet Bird of Youth, a play by Tennessee Williams at The Old Vic theatre near Waterloo station. The theatre is beautiful. The entrance is very small, but you do have to pass by some gorgeous white pillars to get to the main doors. The box office is all perfectly matching with the carpet and the staircases. Along the stairs there are photographs of actors and performers who have performed there in the past. Once you get inside to the seating areas, you see how few seats there are, and how intimate the experience will be for you the spectator. 
The edges of the different circles are designed in a baroque style, as well as the ceiling of the hall. The stage is a very irregular shape, and you can see the step up for the first scene already in position. One thing I love about theatre, is when the lights go down. All of a sudden everyone is silent, everyone wants to see and hear the performance and no one speaks. That moment when the lights go down is probably my favourite. It shows that people still appreciate the arts. 
The play was interesting and even though it was written a while ago the problems carried through out it are present in the past. People do depend on their looks and their youth to help them get by in life, but once youth fades, it is difficult for you to succeed and be as good as you were before. Kim Cattrall played a  very dramatic character, and I think she performed wonderfully showing the weaknesses and the strengths of the character well. The other actors however had difficulty with performing with a Southern American accent and therefore their performances weren't as good as hers. 
Here's the theatre's website: http://www.oldvictheatre.com/

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


I have been to Amorino, the ice-cream shop in Chelsea and Soho. I chose different flavours both times but I really enjoyed their ice-cream. Its creamy but not too creamy and the natural flavours of the ice-cream really stand out. A small cup costs 3,50 pounds but its really worth it because you do get a lot of ice-cream and they let you have a taste of a few flavours before you buy it so you know you're choosing something you like.
The first time I chose Licorice flavour and I loved it. The second time I chose Passion-fruit and "Agrumi" which is a combination of all the citrus fruits. Passion-fruit was a little sour for me but I loved Agrumi, I think it has become my favourite flavour this year. I think what I like the most about Amorino is that they have many people behind the counter so you don't have to wait long to be served. And their ice-cream is just so good. 
Also, their logo is one of those cute fat angels shown in Italian Renaissance art. The name Amorino comes from the little angels that acted like Cupid. Here's their website: http://www.amorino.com/en/

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Honest Burgers

My friend Kristin tried Honest Burgers in Brixton and told us we had to go. So as a group we decided to go to the one in Soho. Unfortunately you can't make reservations, so if you want to eat early go there early during the day. We showed up at about 7:50 and they told us we'd have to wait about an hour, hour and a half before we could be seated. So we gave them our details and walked around Soho, stopping for a beer near Covent Garden. 
They called us, and we rushed back to make sure they didn't give our table up to anyone else. Like other burger places near Soho they do not have many things on their menu, but what they do have is very good. After taking our order, they brought out our drinks pretty fast. But we had noticed that tables that arrived after us had been served their food before us. The staff then came by to apologize to us, and say that they would give us free side dishes because we had to wait. 
We then still had to wait a while, they then offered us free drinks. But only Kristin took up their offer for the drink. When our burgers arrived they had given us extra fries as well as all the free side dishes. Their red cabbage, beetroot and apple coleslaw is actually incredible and that's not usually the kind of food I go for. We all ate everything given to us, and kindly asked for the bill. When receiving the bill they also told us because we had to wait so long, they gave us our burgers half off. This means I actually only paid 4.50 pounds for an amazing meal.
I know I'm going back there again, even if I'll have to pay full price for that burger.
Here's their website: http://www.honestburgers.co.uk/


The closest big city to my Dad's hometown is Pisa, and since that's the only airport nearby too we decided to spend the day there. We took the train there and arrived around lunch time. We stopped at a few stores on the way to lunch. I love going to Zara there because its really big, well organized and I always find something I like.We then stopped at a student bar for lunch, having typical Italian food and enjoying being in the shade. After our insanely cheap meal we followed the tourists to the leaning tower of Pisa and the cathedral that is in the square next to it.
There's a legend that says that if you walk up to the top of the tower before you finish your studies you will not pass your exams, so obviously Charlotte and I didn't visit it inside. Unfortunately Italians are quite focused on making as much money as possible, and therefore they charge you for every little thing. Just to visit the town alone costs 15 euros, and in the square there are three other buildings that everyone should see, but they're all expensive.
At this point Charlotte and I just sat down to read in the shade, and then we spent the late afternoon walking around and getting drinks at a couple of different bars. Because in Italy, everything is called a bar, even if its only a café, they just don't ever use the word café.
I don't really like Pisa, but if you're in Tuscany for more than a week, its worth a visit because after a while you get bored of lying on the beach all day. 

Friday, 23 August 2013


My friend Charlotte with her class organized a catwalk show displaying key pieces from the first year of their degree. The group of students study Jewelry and Silversmithing in the Artistic department of London Metropolitan University. The show was put on at Islington Metal Works, a sort of bar/warehouse near Angel tube station. Tickets were 5 pounds, and there were people queuing outside when I arrived. Everyone was given a souvenir ticket, which had the show's logo on it "Elementree" where the "t" was an image of a tree which Charlotte had drawn.
The show was in one room, and the bar was in another, where the work shown would later be displayed for a closer look. There were 3 black podiums for the models wearing the clothes to stand on, and several white benches facing them. Both rooms were decorated with many strings of fairy lights, creating a warm and welcoming feeling when walking into the rooms. 
The show opened with a woman doing the trapeze and then switched into different music as the first few models walked out. I loved seeing each piece on a person, because often it is hard to see where the artist would place the object they created. These are some of the pieces I liked the most.

Overall, I had a really great evening, it was nice to talk to people who created an event, because its linked to my future career. And it was nice to be surrounded by people who have visions and think through visual things. I genuinely miss that. I wish I was invited to more events like these. 
Here's the website for the show: http://elementree.info/

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Kahve Dunyasi

Walking around near Piccadilly circus, we decided to stop at Kahve Dunyasi to have some coffee and relax after having spent about an hour in Abercrombie and Fitch. It took a little while to be seated before having the chance to look at the menu. The front of the shop looks like a chocolate shop, and they have a cooler with ice-cream right outside. Looking at the menu from outside we had already decided what we wanted to get, but once I walked inside I was dying to taste all of the different truffles they had. 
Luckily I didn't go crazy on the chocolate, I just ordered a macaroon instead, to then dip in my coffee. The room where we were seated was a bit noisy because every table was full, and the air-conditioning was blasting. But we had a fun conversation, and we all enjoyed our different drinks. Overall, it was just a good place to sit down and relax a bit before throwing ourselves into rush hour on the Piccadilly Line. 
Here's their website: http://www.kahvedunyasi.co.uk/

Cinque Terre

The "Cinque Terre" are a very famous group of villages on the edge of Tuscany. Charlotte and I were able to take a boat trip to see 2 out of the 5 places. We took the boat at 10:10 and off we went for the day. The first stop was Portovenere which is not one of the five villages, but it was beautiful none the less.
We walked around, and then laid down in the sun, appreciating where we were. Charlotte even did a few drawings. We then ran back to the boat, scared that we had missed it. Luckily we didn't. The next pit stop was Vernazza, a town with a very curved cove, perfect for swimming since you didn't get sand in your toes. At this point I thought it would be smart to pretend to be different sea animals. At least I had fun.
The third town was Monterosso, this was the last stop. The village is very cute, smaller than the others. The thing I liked the most about this place was that the train passes in the middle of the buildings, about 50 meters from the waterfront.
If you're ever in Tuscany I really recommend you go see at least one of these towns, they give you a sense of fairytale unlike bigger towns in Italy.
Here's the website for the group of towns: http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.cinque.terre/Eindex.php

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Milan: Museo del Novecento

During my two weeks off in August I also got to go Italy. During this particular pit stop, Charlotte and I spent less that 24 hours in Milan, but we were able to enjoy some food, shop, and even see a museum. We chose to go to the Museum of the 1900's, or the real Italian name "Museo del Novecento". 
The museum has an incredible permanent collection and there was also a temporary collection showing some pieces by Andy Warhol which I hadn't yet see, and I've seen a lot of Warhol. 
The building was really amazing, it was a modern new building attached to a very old Italian building. The combination of the two was incredible. And when you looked out of the modern window you got to see the Duomo, the biggest cathedral of the city. 
The coolest thing about the museum was that they mentioned White Chapel Art Gallery, in one of the posters. Here's their website; http://museodelnovecento.org/
If you're ever in Milan you should go!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Attending a Wedding

Over my holiday I got to go to my first wedding, well really it was my second, but the first time I was 8, and I spent the whole reception throwing wet paper towels to the ceiling to see if they'd stick. So this wedding was very different. It was in Limoges in France, but it was a very English style wedding. The main reception was an early afternoon tea, with cakes, lots of cake. 
Ok, maybe I didn't have that much tea, but I still had a really good night. The wedding started at 12:30, so we got there a bit earlier. My friend Emily was one of the bridesmaids so I was able to see all of them getting ready. And I even helped the bride with her hair. 
It was just a really fun experience, and I got to know a few really great people. Everything was so pretty, even if part of the theme was to have everything kind of mismatched. I think the decorations were incredible and everyone seemed to be having an amazing time. 
Over the next two decades I know I'll be attending loads of weddings all over the world, and I will get sick of them. But the fact that my first wedding was a cute small one really made me look forward to the others.