Ross and I booked tickets to Jurassic Park in Concert waaaaayyy back in early spring when they were first released, and planned a short break to London thinking it would be this years holiday for us. We were very fortunate this year and Ross started a great new job and so we were actually able to fulfil our dream of visiting Barcelona over our wedding anniversary in August, but it was great to have a little winter break planned to look forward to too!
The concert was incredible, it was packed and all people around our age who were just as excited as we were to see this childhood favourite brought to life by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was an emotional experience!
You know I love baking, and you know I love instagram, and so I planned to visit some of my favourite bakeries, patisseries and food places while we were in London, and we managed to get to most of them!
I had a very detailed (but not strict) itinerary made up in excel (I know... I'm a loser) to make sure we could fit in all the places we wanted to go, leave ourselves time to enjoy and not get lost! Of course it didn't work haha. We ended up rushing about, walking the feet off ourselves and being generally simultaneously stuffed and exhausted from exercise!
But we managed to visit;
|Books in Portobello Road Market|
We stumbled across The House of MinaLima by accident, when we were looking for Barrafina on Thursday night, and I'm so glad we did! A wonky, bright, fascinating place tucked away on Greek Street, filled with incredible artwork and Harry Potter paraphernalia. It's only open until February, so check it out if you get a chance!!
Renegade Craft Fair, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick lane - to meet the lovely Ella Masters and have our portrait painted! - I wish I'd planned more time here, it looked like a great fair with loads of amazing artists!
Food & Drinks
Barrafina - We visited the Frith Street Barrafina on Thursday evening, and from reviews, we knew we would have to wait for a seat, as it's a first come - first served tapas place. We waited for over an hour, but there was a bar along the wall and the waiting staff were lovely and we were able to order drinks and olives while we waited. Plus it built up our appetite!
I have to say, the food way totally worth the wait. We ordered several dishes to share and a couple for ourselves, the one which I loved the most was the Jamon And Spinach Tortilla - this is honestly one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten! I would definitely recommend a visit to Barrafina!
Zebrano Soho - Happy Hour! I looked up the best happy hours/ cocktail offers in Soho before we went, and Zebrano was top of the list. They have half price cocktails Monday - Wednesday 5pm -10pm
Thursday - Saturday 5pm - 9pm, and bear in mind that for London, the cocktails are already fairly priced! We ended up having quite a few!! See the menu for yourself here, we tried and would recommend; The Kiwi Cooler, Lynchburg honey, Jaffa cake martini, Lychee martini. Great drinks, good atmosphere and really lovely staff!
Granger & Co. - OMG guys, if you get the chance, and can be bothered queuing, get to granger &
Co! I had googled 'Best brunch near portobello' and Granger & Co. Notting Hill featured highly on many lists and for good reason. Timeout also mentioned how popular it is with Notting Hill natives and to expect to wait for a table, so when we walked up the road to see a long queue of gorgeously dressed people with enviable bone structure outside a canopied building, I knew we'd arrived!
I had the Poached Eggs and Sourdough with added avocado and rose harissa - which was delish, Ross had the Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter which was DELISH! (no pics- he ate them to quickly!)
10/10 would recommend - just take a brolly and comfy shoes!
Maître Choux - I'd followed Maitre Choux on instagram for quite some time and drooled over the pictures of their sparkly, sumptuous eclairs. As it seemed within walking distance of The Royal Albert hall (if you don't mind walking!) we decided to head there before the show on friday after an early dinner. It was nice. Yep, nice. I wasn't mind blown by the experience, the shop/cafe only had two small tables and the counters were empty (although they didn't close until 8pm, some time later) and the eclairs were much smaller than I expected. We paid £17 for two eclairs and an americano and I savoured every morsel. Tasty but perhaps more beautiful to look at through the window than to actually experience! Maybe I'd built them up too much in my mind!!
Meringue Girls stand Broadway Market - This was something I'd looked forward to for a long time and after frantically running up and down all the market stalls looking for the signature WOW of the rainbow kisses and not seeing it, i called the number on the Meringue Girls site and Alex (possibly the Alex Meringue Girl??!) gave us directions.
We found it and it was b-e-a-utiful. I bought a mixed box of 9 for us and a box for Ella Masters.
Ross and I have both spent a fair bit of time in London for both work and leisure before, and we've visited most popular areas, Portobello, Camden, oxfor Street etc but neithe of us had been to brick lane before, or Hackney and this happened to be where Ella masters and the Meringue Girls stand were on the Saturday we were there, so suitcases in hand we went exploring!
I love street art generally, and always try to snap pictures of pieces I really like because of course, who knows how long it will be there for!
Below are some snapshots from around Bricklane, Portobello Road and Notting Hill, and a few colourful snaps of other things that caught my eye!
Where are your favourite London spots? Let me know any suggestions you have for our next trip!