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

Thursday, 29 May 2014

American Authors

On Monday I went all the way to Camden (far) to see the band American Authors play a sold out show at Dingwalls. Obviously on the way I had to stop at Honest Burgers for dinner. Where I enjoyed a really messy Honest burger and amazing rosemary fries and finished reading 1984 by George Orwell. 

Then I went round the corner to the venue, which was packed with teenagers gushing over Instagram and waiting impatiently for the support band to come on. I walked down into the pit, and immersed myself in the crowd of girls in skinny jeans holding their iPhones. While they were discussing their highest scores on the game 2048 I was able to slip between some groups and slide into the front of the crowd. 
The random rock music stopped, the lights went dark, and on came a band called "Wulf" who later admitted to the crowd that this was only their second gig ever. The singer sat at a makeshift piano, belting out lyrics into a well positioned microphone magically holding the crowd's attention. They played a couple of catchy songs and after 40 minutes they went backstage. The phones were back, with half the crowd looking the band up and the other half checking the time and growing slightly more tense waiting for the main event. 
At this point the stage was being taken apart and somehow put back together at the same time. The last thing that had to be put on stage was a huge pile of towels that the band didn't even end up using. At 9:10 the band came out, and the crowd screamed, cheered and roared. And all of a sudden everyone pushed forwards a little more. American Authors were insanely interactive, telling us a little about each song, as well as how much they appreciated us all being there. I must say, even I blushed when the singer said "this song is for all the ladies here tonight". At times the crowd was even louder than the band.
As an encore piece the band sang one of their first songs that can only be found on YouTube, but the most impressive thing was the band's cover of Lights by Ellie Goulding. Everyone near me said that it was better than the original, and I completely agree (nothing beats electric guitars). The singer jumped into the crowd twice, and everyone went nuts. Their last song was their album's title track, a perfect finale. 
During this tour they only had one album of music to draw from, but I'm sure their future songs will be just as good. If they ever come back to London I'm definitely going. Even though the crowd was a little out of my comfort zone the sense of community when everyone sings along is something I wouldn't give up for the world. It was amazing, I spent the whole tube ride home glowing, and I'm still listening to their music now. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Dum Dum Donutterie

I'm trying to jump back into the swing of things, so I found something sweet to give me a sugar rush! A donut! But not just any donut, a Dum Dum donut from their new Donutterie in Shoreditch. On a slightly sunny Saturday afternoon I happened to walk past the Box Park in Shoreditch and the thing that stood out the most was this adorable donut shop. I saw the pink zebra on the wall and I was sold! 
They have a whole bunch of different flavours, and none of those boring ones. I tried a blackcurrant and white chocolate donut but there were so many that caught my eye. They even have cronuts! And a huge variety of filled donuts too! 
They're different from your regular donut because they bake them, instead of frying them in gallons of oil. So they're even kinda healthy. Well, healthier than a normal donut. 
Try your best to get there early in the day, because they only stay open until they sell out of fresh donuts! I now know where I can get a sugary pick me up any day of the week. Yum!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Jersey Boys

So for my birthday, which was about a month ago, I decided to go see a musical. A friend told me they went to see Jersey Boys and that it was amazing, so I went to see that. Alone, on a Thursday night. I didn't want to have to drag along any friends because it was so expensive, and I knew I would enjoy it even if I was on my own. I got there about 20 minutes early, and bought myself a programme. I settled in my seat and started to get to know the characters and the actors I'd be seeing that evening. I was a little nervous about not knowing any of the songs in the musical thought. 
Later on, I was happily surprised there were a few familiar numbers and I did sing along a little. The actors really got the crowd going, and used the stage really well. Everyone was really engrossed in their performance. The only people that weren't happened to be the couple next to me, who left during the interval. I really enjoyed the extra room to place my bag though. And I was really happy to give them a standing ovation at the end. 
Seeing Jersey Boys made me want to sing and dance, and see more plays and musicals, because you really learn about their story but the theatricality of everything really stands out too. It was really fun, and engaging. It was an amazing show, and a perfect evening out. 
Here's their website: http://www.jerseyboyslondon.com/
(all images in this post were taken from the website)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Machiavelli Kitchen & Dining

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

Camino Tapas Bar

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

Pizza Pilgrims

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

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

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) 

Thursday, 13 March 2014


Once in a while I like to enjoy a day out on my own. On a Monday a few weeks ago I chose to take myself to lunch and then stroll around Covent Garden. I decided to have lunch at Polpo an Italian restaurant which recently created a lot of buzz. The exterior looks just like any other Italian restaurant but once you're inside you can smell the difference. This is what real food smells like. 
Its set up so you share food with a group, so you can taste many different things, but since it was 2pm I ordered 3 dishes on my own. I had the liver pate with sundried tomato on a slice of bread as my starter. And then I had two mains. I had to get the octopus with the broad beans because the name of the place is the word octopus in Italian. And then I also got the gnocci with tomato sauce and rabbit. All these dishes were exquisite. The menu is printed on the table cloth in front of you, and the restaurant is spacious enough for you to be able to eat comfortably on your own. 
I was able to enjoy the food, read some of my book, chat with the neighbouring table and even have an amazing affogato. An Affogato is pretty much just a ball of vanilla ice-cream in a large coffee cup, covered in an extremely hot espresso shot. The coffee melts the ice-cream but not completely, and this way you don't have to add sugar to your coffee. Overall, my experience at Polpo was really good, if I ever miss authentic Italian food I know where to go. 
Here's their website: http://www.polpo.co.uk/

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


#Art is a show my friend organised and contributed to. It was for one night only here in London but it sold out even before the day of the show. #Art was a show to bring together people, ideas and ambition. There were photographers, musicians, designers, painters, and free beer. The space was between Angel and Old Street, with the entrance on the ground floor and the actual show on the basement level. 
The group of people there is what struck me most. Yes, of course there were a lot of friends and family present, but all of these people believed in what their friends were creating in any of these creative fields. It is really important to me to support artists in any shape or form. Without creativity we're just machines repeating the same steps through life until we die. The exhibition was a good eye opener. It was wonderful to see how well people collaborated and the effort each individual put in was very noticeable. 
The microphone was acting up so most of the performances were done without. The biggest struggle was keeping the crowd quiet. After a few drinks people were getting louder and louder. I stayed throughout the whole show, talking to friends, congratulating my friend Matteo's achievements and just enjoying the positive vibes. I was so happy to be there and witness it, even if I wasn't more involved, it was amazing. 
Here's my friend Matteo's Tumblr site: http://matteoscaglione.tumblr.com/

Saturday, 8 March 2014


One faithful Sunday, around lunch time I strolled by Trade, a new foodie place on Commercial Street. The first thing that caught my eye was their scrambled eggs, and for some reason I thought avocado and smoked salmon were a good addition. And in fact, I made a really smart choice. I also got a coffee, and fruit salad, so I could have a well rounded meal. They gave me a little silver number, and told me they'd bring everything to my table. I sat down, opened my book and took in the atmosphere.
On a Sunday lunchtime it was fairly empty, but all the tables were full by the time I left. The huge windows don't show much of a view, but they let in a huge amount of light. And the chairs and tables are this beautiful shade of light green that makes it feel like summer. Every table has their salt, pepper and sugar shakers yet somehow everything feels really polished, clean and uncluttered.
The staff were really friendly and nice as well, checking if I was enjoying my food, giving me more water, everything was perfect. Since you pay when you order it was a little difficult for me to tip, but I'm going to make sure I tip next time. It's the perfect place to grab a bite to eat away from the weekend madness as well as a great place to get some work done if you're not near home. I had a perfect lunch there and I definitely did not feel rushed which is rare for London. 
Here's their website: http://www.trade-made.co.uk/

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Urban Outfitters

When first moving to London I was so happy I was going to have access to Urban Outfitters. As a teenager I used to order their clothes as a birthday treat because they were so expensive and the shipping costs were high. So when I got here I started raiding their sales rack. They always have a amazing items on sale, and even the ones that aren't on sale yet still catch your eye. 
I love that they have homeware as well as a strong range of accessories. There are quite a few Urban Outfitters shops in London, and I feel like its always a slightly different experience at each of them. The closest one to my house is all on one floor, and it is fairly small but they have a great range of items and the staff there is really nice. The changing rooms are made out of old wooden door, which adds that little bohemian touch I would love to have in my every day life. 
I've been tempted so many times to buy a huge collection of things from there, but I've somehow managed to hold myself back every time. One day I'll go on that shopping spree, and buy all the homeware and all of the clothes, maybe some shoes too. Overall, I think its a cool an quirky store where you're likely to find something a little bit more different from the other high street stores but still something that would go with all of your other clothes.