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Crouch End Tiger, Hidden Cake…

10 Nov

Yup, I’ve been out and about, cake-stalking again.

This time I visited my favourite Crouch End cafe and bakery (as its name obviously implies)- Coffee Cake.

I feel Coffee Cake is special, not only because of their lovely baked goodies, homemade smoothies and fresh salads (oh, and they sure do sell a good cup o’ coffee), but because every time I go there the atmosphere is lovely. It seems that in the land of Coffee Cake, everybody is friendly and at peace, and; unless you visit at the peak time of lunch, when everything is crazy and manic- a testament to their popularity really; you’re free to relax and have a calming intermission from your busy life outdoors.

During this visit, I bought a walnut and carrot cake, which tasted interestingly herby, whilst my friend had this miniature victoria sponge.

Anyway, all of this is not to say that there aren’t any other nice cafes/bakeries in Crouch End, because believe me, if anything there is a serious over-population of them…

No, I have visited others in the area, but some haven’t honestly been able to match up against the wonderful-ness of this one ( *ahem* The Haberdashery, I’m looking at you! NB: your popular selling point of serving tea in vintage teaware only works if they’re clean and not chipped! Also, quit serving me hugely overpriced muffins in bloody plant pots! Yes, I get it Haberdashery- you’re arty and alternative, but that doesn’t allow you leeway on cleanliness, thank you very much).

Finally, I only have one thing to say against Coffee Cake. Seeing as I like it so much, last year I actually applied for a job to work there (imagine the free cakes and cups o’ coffee!), but after handing in my CV they never actually got back to me!

Oh the shame! Coffee Cake– it could have been the start of a beautiful friendship, but alas you let me down! Needless to say, it genuinely hasn’t put me off…

Night all!

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Fancy a Cuppa?

7 Nov

Not one to break the British stereotype, I confess I love tea.

I may be alone in this, but as I passed this tea house in Covent Garden I was absolutely captivated. And I guarantee you, when I entered I wasn’t disappointed…

I’m not talking a few boxes of PG Tips here and there, oh hell no (and let’s not joke about PG Tips either… the topic of ‘tea bag’ is a serious one). No, the inside of The Tea House is a haven of all tea-related business; with an array of original and unique tea blends on sale, and also a wonderful selection of teapots and other important tea equipment (yes= tea is important, no= any person caught drinking my tea will not live). 

I also came across a selection of miniature, intricately patterned Gaiwans, which are basically handleless tea cups/pots- so cute. Believe me, I would’ve been on that, except I’m very old-fashioned when it comes to my tea- drinking, and prefer my tea cups (or mugs- let’s be honest, I don’t have the time to sip tea daintily every day daarling), or pots to have handles.

This shop was a treasure trove to behold, and epitomises everything tea-loving. Thank you Tea House, for reminding me why I love tea so much, and for bringing tea to the people!

Spoiler Alert! In true Brit and tea-obsessive style, my next ‘5 Things’ post is going to be tea inspired, so watch this space! And no, I’m not going to just photograph a bunch of tea bags! Well, not really…

Goin’ Down to Chinatown

6 Nov

 Visiting Chinatown is an amazing cultural experience… I don’t get to go there often, but when I do I relish it! It’s mainly the endless streets of food shops, restaurants and bakeries that keep me coming back (I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the strung-up chicken window displays within many a Chinatown restaurant, however alls I knows is it can never put me off!).

First on my travels, I visited the fantastic sweet shop in Chinatown, selling all sorts of bizarre and interesting treats, and picked up some of these chewy White Rabbit Cream Candy sweets. After opening the first wrapper of the candy, there’s actually another thin layer of rice paper around the sweet, which just dissolves in your mouth! The White Rabbit itself has a creamy, almost milky taste and is scarily addictive!

Next, my friends and I went to eat at the Royal Dragon, a restaurant we hadn’t yet visited, and my friend ordered this monster of a drink…

I know right? What the hell is that?! Well, it’s actually a melon and honey smoothie, with coconut juice and some weird little jelly raisin things floating around. For the record, the smoothie had a really strong taste of melon and was lovely. I can’t speak for those floaty fruit whatsits though… I didn’t have the guts to try them!

After a delicious lunch, we went walkabout and came across one of Chinatown’s many awe-inspiring cake shops. The cakes were huge, and the decoration and detail of each one made them very appealing and tempting, I can tell you! Oh Lordy, just look

 

 

I myself bought a slice of a gargantuan- seeming chocolate gateaux, and believe me, it looked to die for!

 

 

 With cake and sweets in tow, we found ourselves de-toring from Piccadilly Circus, and instead took a trip to Brick Lane. It was immense. I’ve never been to Brick Lane before but the boho vibe hit us on the way in. I absolutely loved it. There was a warehouse sale on at American Apparel, so we queued (all the way along the side of the street!), and eventually got in.

All I have to say is: not impressed. At all. Since when is an “up to 90% off” sale such a scam?! And to be honest, I’ve never been particularly enthused by AA’s clothes so it was pretty boring. My friends and I got split up in all the commotion, and so after trailing around the rails for about 20 minutes, my (thankfully sane) friend and I escaped from the stuffy, pretentious warehouse and instead waited outside for the others.

Sitting on the kerb opposite the exit door like tramps (because we are), we opened our cake boxes and cheered ourselves up with the frankly glorious– looking cakes we had bought in Chinatown earlier. However, as much as it pains me to say this (and I hate to drop a bombshell), my cake really wasn’t that nice! For all of its hypnotizing appearance, it lost out on taste and just wasn’t very special; unfortunately leaving something to be desired. I couldn’t believe it!

Subsequently we reunited with the others, so picking myself up from the grief of cake-gate, we moved on to Spitalfields. Sadly, the market wasn’t around as it was quite late by that point, but I have to say- again a first time visitor- I loved it. The shops were great, and I even passed a Las Iguanas- a restaurant where (on an occassion prior to this) I have eaten the best Latin and Mexican food of my life, and have been served a Long Island Ice Tea cocktail without it being realised I was underage… Home.

We also passed a fun novelty costume and joke shop where I found this…

Great stuff!

On the way back to the tube station, this hilariously-named bar caught my eye (the shakiness and blurriness of the photo reflects the amount of uncontrollable laughter I had as I was taking it).

Awesome day.

 

Happy blogging y’all!

Damn Girl!

27 Sep

Right, I’ve done what I said I was trying my upmost to avoid. Yep, another cartilage piercing. Now I have two… I can’t help it- they’re just so addictive!

Friends have already warned me off another piercing that I’ve been thinking about already; this time on my tragus (that pointy bit that leads from your sideburns to the side of your ear… Am I crazy? Don’t answer that).

Anyway, I had this one done at Needle FX in Camden, and I really recommend them. They were incredibly friendly and professional and it was virtually painless to have done. And if when I do have another piercing, it’s the only place I’m headed!

In other news, I’ve just finished (literally today, in fact) reading ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer. Personally I loved it. Instead of finding it a grueling, hard-going read as many others do, I found myself enthralled and captured by the exciting adventure story!

 

That’s all for now folks. So until next time, happy blogging and night all!

I Want Candy

26 Sep

Please. Just check this sexy beast out…

What= Gargantuan ‘Toffee and Banana’ candy cake

Where= Candy Cakes, Covent Garden

When= This weekend daarling

Who= ME!

Why= You really need to ask?!

Now breath deeply and calm down… Yes, I know it looks amazing, and yes, it did taste as good as it looks. And that’s not all; the Gods at Candy Cakes have many other flavours and exquisitely colourful cakes on offer, as well as original milkshakes and cupcakes, like this lovely carrot cake one…

I may have just died and gone to Candy Cake heaven! Now take my advice and please get your butts down there and try ’em out for yourselves… Alright?

Hay There!

5 Sep

So I took a long-needed trip to the embankment with a friend today… Strolling along the sunny Southbank pavements, exploring the quirky beach huts and wandering through various exhibits, transformed me into a hugely excited tourist in my own hometown! To put things plainly: I love London.

Visiting the National Theatre was particularly inspiring; not just because I love a good play (well, I do…) but because of its lovely, petite bookshop! Selling every kind of dramatic literature: plays, monologues, classics, Shakespeare’s sonnets, even a How-To for acting and directing- you name it. It was enchanting.

“So what? It sounds no different to any other average bookshop…” I hear you cry!

Well, yeah that’s true. Except this is the National Theatre daaarling, so they don’t sell any old rubbish, do they now? What-ho! As I said, it’s strictly drama-related stuff, so no Steffo Meyer or JK Whatsit. Can I get away with another ‘daaarling!’ on the end of that sentence? No…? Suit yourselves.

Anyway, I spotted these amongst the incredibly bourgeoisie selection of books in the shop. Leuchtturm notebooks. Officially my 2nd favourite brand of notebooks ever, the 1st being Moleskine notebooks. And might I add that between the two of them there’s practically no difference- you may as well just call them identical. Just saying…   

I have a small, secret-sized Moleskine one (my size choice partly based on the brand’s pretty expensive prices), in which I write down all my writing and blog ideas, and have started making an account of the incredibley strange dreams I have… Ever known what it’s like to have Simon Cowell buy you a dress; or met a young Alan Alda on an old London tram to discuss losing your shoes and finding Kerry Katona’s phone? No? Welcome to my world!

Finally, upon heading out of the National Theatre and exploring a little more around Southbank, I discovered this little big guy!

Doesn’t he look sad? It’s probably because he’s made of hay and his silly designers have given him droopy eyes and a helpless expression! Poor guy.

Anyway, if you’re a Londoner like me and don’t appreciate your hometown as much as you should, or if you just fancy a nice day out; get down here and check it all out- there’s so much to see. Come on, how could you refuse the London Eye! Happy blogging all!