Is it just me or have you also heard people harp on about the gloominess of London one too many times. For example, “GAH London, It is SO GREY.” “English people are so angry and pale in winter”. “London is never sunny”. “If London were a horrific book series it would be Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Surprisingly whenever I visit, this happens…
Blue skies, sunshine and not a cloud in sight. Well a few, but we all love those mashed potatoes in the sky don’t we?
Clause: I will add that I arrived on a Monday afternoon to grey skies and drizzle. But it cleared to clear blue skies for the next two days.
GETTING OUR BUSINESS ON
This may at first glance read as another travel post by yours truly. I now urge you to dig a little deeper, do not be fooled by appearances. Things are not as they seem. Last week I escaped across the channel with my buddy Amy for a BUSINESS TRIP. A business trip, for the unemployed of the world, translates to a night course at The Guardian called “BLOG LIKE A BAWSE” (not the real name of the course, but I prefer that title better). Perhaps if you were our boyfriends, left behind in Paris and Grenoble to fend for yourselves, you may well have thought “Have I been fooled? “Has the wool been pulled over my proverbial eyes?” “Are these girls really just going on a girly London trip to eat and swan about?” HAVE I BEEN HAD?” Those thoughts were definitely thought but we managed to flee to London under ‘up-skilling for our fake jobs’ pretenses. It is really bizarre trying to fill out the ‘occupation’ space on an arrivals form. Writing “Professional legend” or “Pastry reviewer” is not funny according to the English border patrol. For our three hour course Amy and I felt it necessary to stay two nights (to combat the one hour jet-lag obvs) in Knightsbridge at the Millennium, a stones throw from Harrods.
It was a real treat catching up with familiar and stunning faces in London. Tash, Holly and Lauren are gals I knew in Christchurch and Amy caught up with her friend Kellie, from Brisbane, who is also friends with Lauren. Following? Small world etc. Thanks to social media I spend a great deal of time filling in the back stories or blanks behind big life changes that pop up on my facebook news feed. If you have been privy to my imagination you may feel the need to send me a message to give me an accurate update out of fear for what I’ve made up. ANYWAY, we caught up on YEARS of life occurrences and I felt moments of great satisfaction when the blanks were filled and answers provided. These young women are representing New Zealand (this is sounding like a beauty pageant) fantastically, with grace and elegance and I am thrilled that they are the sort of fine specimens representing the fair city of Christchurch on London Tinder.
We ate at The Botanist, and with all the chitter chatter we had little time to orchestrate a photo. The below golden blur is the best I can provide. I didn’t photograph my main course as it’s the dessert you need to concern yourself with if you venture to this chic establishment. Crumble, yes. Oreo cheesecake, double yes. Blondie brownie and salted caramel ice-cream, um yes ok I’ll eat that forever.
Psst rumour has it that Lauren has complied a London Spreadsheet with POE (Points of Eat-erest) all over the city. I hope she publishes online so I can share a link, meanwhile if you would like to check out her blog on London life click here
Crumble all over my plate.
“Whats that green stuff?!” Asked by H.Pyle and not a five year old child. Answer – spearmint jelly.
The morning after our GREAT GALS MEET FEB 2015
Amy and I woke with caffeine withdrawals. We waltzed off in search off a breakfast that differed from pastry and a baguette. I had researched London breakfasts for my last visit and one of the spots on my list was just around the corner in Chelsea. Enter, Tom’s Kitchen.
Had I bumped into famed blogger Rosie A.K.A The Londoner, my first question (after what shampoo do you use) would have been “Babes, how on earth do you shoot on bin day?” Those blue rubbish-filled containers really add a touch of grunge to my shots. I’m sure she would’ve replied “Oh goodness, one never takes Tuesday Trash Day photos in Chelsea” but I was none the wiser to this rule. You live and learn my friends!
It was Shrove Tuesday the day we ate at Tom’s. The Lobster pancake would have been photo worthy however once you read on and discover what we ate for the remainder of the day you will understand why we had to keep it simple.
Poached eggs, salmon, avo and one slice of bread equivalent to a small loaf.
As part of our Buisness trip naturally we made sure to rub shoulders, or walls, with a literary great. I stood with my hands on the bricks trying to absorb some of her brilliance, but a week later I can confirm all I caught were brick germs…
Chasing Amazing Amy… gone girl 2.0
Amy hadn’t made it to Harrods on her trips to London prior so we decided to peruse the cosmetics hall, luxury handbags and of course the food hall…
Cronuts are one of the many hybrid foods I have missed living in France.
London never looked so delicious…
I left Harrods swinging a small bag containing a Zebra cronut as a ‘take home treat’ – to be consumed later, most likely in bed.
Our afternoon was prearranged, I had scheduled a meeting to discuss dreams goals and aspirations. LOL I joke, I reserved an afternoon tea for two at Sketch, just off Regent Street.
HIGH TEA. SKETCHY – BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT – A HIPSTER HIGH TEA
I have a penchant for high tea, as those loyal PTT readers will attest too. see related Oliva Palermo high tea here. If you are a loyal Paris the third reader that can remember the OP High Tea post you are most probably a unicorn. In the unlikely case you are a living breathing human I would love to boomarang a cronut your way. (I am aware a boomerang would mean that the cronut returns back to me, I’m so sorry its just I like them too much).
I must thank my gal pal Gabi for lighting the fire in my loins… wrong word… the fire in my HEART! I had noticed that she had visited Sketch not once, but twice and aside from the amount of pinkness in her photos, she appeared extremely delighted to be there. Of course I tried to coax Hugh to a little Afternoon Tea date the last time we were in London but after showing him two photos and then the website he responded “PINK, GAH, BLEURGHH, PIIIINK!”* or words to that effect, and then “No”. So I waited, and plotted, until the time was ripe and I was in the company of a sweet-toothed sister, and off we went for Afternoon Tea, Sketch style.
We took Afternoon Tea in the Gallery room. I believe my brain represents the gallery of Sketch, pink and shiny, adorned with kooky sketched artwork.. and spacious! (upon reflection spacious is probably not the best way to describe my brain).
*The primary colour of Hugh’s rugby team is pink. Which he wears with pride. He is a walking contradiction.
It was SPLENDID. Until now I have never had this thought cross my mind “OMG THE TOILETS, MUST TAKE PHOTOS OF TOILETS” That time came my friends.
One of the best parts was showing Hugh the photos on my return home. He was extremely inquisitive about the egg and caviar perched on top of a delicious egg sandwich. After studying the photo for a significant amount of time he said, in a mournful tone eyes downcast, “But I’ve never tried a quails egg and I don’t think I’ve had caviar either”.
I told you I would share the photos of the toilets which were large egg shaped capsules. Inside, the sound of the great outdoors could be heard along with what sounded like David Attenborough discussing frogs?
Below, a shot of the Sketch doggy bag/take away bag which comprises any uneaten morsels.
“How good” – understatement of 2015.
Another of Sketch’s rooms…
Good bye pink marsh-mellow dreamland.
It is evident I should write at least a sentence on the course Amy and I attended. If I didn’t write about it my sponsor (H.Pyle) may become a little dismayed about an inappropriate use of the corporate card. The Guardian building is located near Kings Cross. Walking through the revolving door and into the reception I was transported back to my life in Melbourne. The security desk and swipe cards, the rush of YOPRO’s in a combination of gym and corporate wear. The desk formats were the same, the phones the same, even the complaints about the fridge I overheard passing down the hall were the same, although in far more entertaining accents. The offices were so similar to my previous job I felt as though I should run and pick up one of the phones at an empty desk and start calling someone (anyone) to proposition them to buy advertising. From my seat in the meeting room where the course took place I could I could see through the window to an office floor below where a young chap reclined back on his chair, pen in mouth, tie loose, looking bored out of his brain. The lights were dimmed around him, his colleagues had gone home to prepare their chicken salads for the week ahead and catch up on GOT or Suits. I knew he was waiting for the last verbal approval on a sale, or sign off from an internal editor or senior colleague. If he looked my way I would have mimed a high five of solidarity, good thing he didn’t, that would’ve been really weird.
The course gave us a lot to consider. Two of the other attendees had incredible ideas of what they were going to do online and a large majority were about to launch health blogs so I didn’t go into too much detail on the amount of high sugar food porn I throw around. Mostly it was just great to listen and take in information, I hope, again!
THE GOOD LIFE
Our train departed at 2:30pm so we had the morning to check out another local cafe. The Good Life Eatery is exactly the sort of place that I really miss living in Paris. so loved checking out their smoothies featuring bee-pollen, their spelt croissants and beetroot cakes. I had the Ninja Turtle smoothie which I can highly recommend. An interesting choice after having an Afternoon tea for dinner right? It’s all about balance my friends!
When you’re in a relationship where one partner travels a lot for work it can be an odd feeling to reverse the roles. Hugh is always the one going away, so it was thrilling that he missed me so much. I smiled with glee at his text messages of loneliness, and I don’t care if that makes me sound like a soulless wench. Ok, I do care, I returned to Paris with Twinings Green tea and a block of Maltesers chocolate for my favourite Hughman. (He rightfully assumed I would be eating 85% of the chocolate provisions). For any die-hard chocolate fans out there if this Malteser chocolate block phenomenon has not reached Australian and New Zealand shores I am dreadfully sorry for alerting you to its existence. But hey, just another reason to get that bottom of yours over to London right?
And that my friends was a dose of lovely light-hearted London fun served on a three tired cake platter straight to your computer, slash phone, slash touch-screen-high-definition-system you can use on any flat surface… You’re such a baller these days.
See you next time, in Paris.
P.s. Exciting news the Harry Potter exhibition is coming to Paris from April – September 2015. I will be taking a vote and if I can get enough traction Hugh has agreed to attend the exhibition in full Hogwarts robe and a lightening scar as the great H.P himself (Harry, not Hugh). We will be sorted into a house upon arrival so I will also be taking bets on which house I will be sorted into – I feel in my heart i’m a Gryffindor but I just know I’m going to slyther down a more sinister path. Hugh of course will be in Hufflepuff – it’s a no brainer.