Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A weekend trip to Suffolk

Me and my boyfriend popped down to a little town called Bungay in Suffolk last weekend to visit his dad and to pay a much needed visit to the coast for bit of fresh sea air. Bungay is a small-ish market town towards the north of Suffolk, which also means it's very close to the border of Norfolk - in fact, parts of the town are actually on the side of Norfolk, which explains why my boyfriend is always a bit confused about where he is actually from!

Because it was such a beautiful day, we decided to drive to the seaside town of Southwold to have a little walk and lunch by the beach. Most of the pictures from this post are actually from there because a) I just can't resist snapping anything related to the sea & beach and b) because the weather was a lot better than it was the next day when I had a proper chance to see Bungay - sigh!

I hope you enjoy looking through these, and who knows, maybe you might get a bit inspired to go down to the seaside yourself! I think we might still have a few weekends left of this Summer/Autumn hybrid weather we've been having lately before the chill finally sets in!

I fell a little bit in love with these huts. There were so many of them - the row just went on and on and on and I had way too much fun reading what people had named them (there were some proper gems, believe me!). I actually already started dreaming of one day owning one of them myself and naming it something silly - until I heard that they can actually get quite pricey. And, as cute as they are, I guess I should probably rather save my money for an actual house instead of a tiny little hut where all I could really do is read books, drink wine and listen to the waves...

Although now that I think about it, it does sound pretty amazing - who needs a house anyway?!

According to this little wall George Orwell spent quite a lot of time growing up in Southwold. They had made him a little wall full of quotes to remember him by, and this one was my favourite.

This last picture is the only good one I have from Bungay, but I think it makes up for the lack of the rest. Like I mentioned earlier, we weren't so lucky with the weather the next morning as we woke up to grey skies and drizzle. Stubbornly, we still went for a walk around town because I really wanted to see it properly before we had to leave back to London.

When we had been walking around for about half an hour, the sun started making a surprise appearance, and suddenly, as we were standing on this bridge, looking at the river and the fields, we found ourselves with glorious blue skies and sunshine. It just goes to show you should never fully believe the weather forecast, and always have faith that the sun might actually come out! Except, of course, when you're using the rain as an excuse to have a duvet day and watch tons of movies, then it's okay to hope it stays hidden.. But don't tell anyone I said so!

Has anyone else ever visited Suffolk? Did you love the beach huts as much as I did?!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Desperately seeking photography skills

When I was younger, I really wanted to become a photographer - a fashion photographer, to be exact. I loved flicking through magazines with beautiful editorials and inventive sets, and I hoped that one day I could be there too, just behind the camera. I'm not quite sure what happened to that dream - at first it was probably parties and going out, and then, later, having to find a full time job so I could afford paying rent and have some fun every now and then too. I think somewhere around then that dream kind of slipped away from me a little bit.

Even when I wasn't actually thinking of getting better at using the camera or actively thinking about photography, even as a hobby, I still always remained quite a visual person. It might sound a bit silly, but I fell in love with Instagram as soon as I discovered it, because it let me capture everyday moments and be a little bit creative along the way too, whilst still being able to concentrate on all those other "real life" issues.

Slowly, around the time I moved back to London, I started thinking about getting a better camera again instead of just using the (slightly crappy) one I had on my phone. And so, about over a year ago, I started this blog which really kickstarted my passion for trying my hand at the picture taking thing again. Even though now it's a bit more about all things London, food and everyday moments rather than fashion, the love of being behind the lens has stayed the same.

I'd love to take a proper photography course, but seeing how expensive they are, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. Instead, I've been reading a little guide to digital photography, and just trying out different settings on my DSLR to see what happens. The photos on this post have all been taken with the AV setting as I'm trying to go with baby steps here - I don't think I'm quite ready for fully manual yet! But for the longest time, I'm confident that with a bit of time, I actually might be. It's such a great feeling to have found something that I'm actually feeling pretty passionate about, after years of forcing myself to go through different sorts of hobbies without really feeling the love for them. I really love creating content for this little blog of mine, and I just hope it shows!

I really do still want to do that photography course too, though - I feel like I always learn better when someone is showing me what to do and then letting me try and experiment on my own. Right now I'm saving for New York (eek!), Glastonbury (Must. Get. Tickets!) and Christmas presents (yes, already), but I think after these things are done and dusted, the next money saving project should definitely be those courses. If you know any good and relatively cheap ones, please do let me know - I'd love to get some tips!

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blighty Coffee, Finsbury Park

My lovely friend Sandra has been raving on about this little coffee place nestled in Finsbury Park for about a year and half already, and for some reason I had yet never visited. Last weekend we decided that it was definitely time to rectify this wrong, and so I hopped on the Victoria Line and traveled from south to north London to finally visit the place I'd heard so much about!

Blighty Coffee is (as you might guess from the name) a quirky little café serving British and British Commonwealth inspired pastries, drinks and breakfast/brunch dishes. And although I keep using the word 'little', the café is actually a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. There's a few different rooms inside, both decorated with knickknacks from all around the British Commonwealth and there's also a lovely garden at the back for those sunny days I hope we're still going to have! My friend often goes to the garden to work with her laptop, and she told me that there are actually plugs outside as well, so if it's a nice weather, you can bring your computer out and combine work with some sunshine! Something I definitely wish I could do...

Like the rest of the place, the outside areas too are decorated with all sorts of different things - there are bicycles hanging on the walls, a ping pong table and lots and lots of different flags dotted around! The outside bit is actually quite big, so even on a busier day I don't think it would too impossible to find a table.

For our brunch we both opted for the Melbourne Toast: two generous slices of sourdough bread with avocado, Tabasco and poached eggs. On hindsight I should have probably ordered a different dish than Sandra - just so I could've tried a bit more of the menu - but what can I say, avocado and chilli together is a just an irresistible combination for me! Sandra also had their homemade ice tea which looked super refreshing, and even though I'm caffeine intolerant, I had a cheeky little sip and can confirm that it was definitely worth ordering, especially on a nice warm day like we had!

Blighty Coffee is situated a few minutes away from Finsbury Park station, and as it's on the Victoria line, it's ridiculously easy to reach from central, or even South London. I had a quick read through their website, and apparently their full English breakfast, aptly called 'The Winston', was recently voted the best full English in the UK, so I would definitely say their brunch is worth the trek (or a leisurely stroll if you're lucky enough to live close by)!

Blighty Coffee, 35-37 Blackstock Road, London N4 2JF

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Friday, 16 September 2016

Snippets from Brighton

It's time for yet another one of those posts with slightly less talk and a bit more action - with action meaning lots pretty pictures, of course... It's starting to become a bit of a tradition that whenever I go on a trip - be it big or small - I seem to always have a few "extra" pictures that don't really fit into any specific post, but ones I still want to share with you all. That's where these snippets posts come into play, and I really hope you enjoy them as much as I like putting them together - even if there is a little bit less rambling than normal.

I already did a little Brighton guide a few days back so go have a peek if you'd like a more coherent guide on this lovely seaside town! I really fell in love with it and can't wait to go back soon - it would be interesting to see how it looks during winter time, so maybe that's when I'll visit next as I've only ever been during the summer months. But for now I'll just have to be happy with looking through these pictures and waiting for the next trip to come - I hope to see you again soon Brighton!

I'm so happy I got to swim in the sea at least once this summer! I loved it so much, although I think I can still feel the pain in my feet from walking on all of those rocks...

Amazing pesto & sundried tomato pizza in the lovely VIP pizzeria near Brighton's beach front.

The beautiful Royal Pavilion of Brighton really makes you think you've gone on holiday for somewhere a bit further, don't you think? It was absolutely gorgeous in the sunshine and its park would have made a pretty perfect picnic destination. I'll need to keep that in mind for next time!

Obligatory snap of a pretty colourful building, check!

The last four pictures are taken from and near the beautiful area of North Laine which is full of veggie restaurants, quirky bars and market stalls - pretty much my idea of the perfect place!

Have you ever been to Brighton? Which places should I add to my list for my next visit?

If you liked this, try this: Snippets from Finland & Snippets from Glasgow

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Sunday lunch at Veg Bar, Brixton

I've wanted to go to Veg Bar in Brixton ever since I started eating mostly vegan at the beginning of this year, and I finally made it there for Sunday lunch last weekend - yay! As you can probably guess from the name, Veg Bar is a fully vegan restaurant specializing in a lot of dishes that many people might think they would have to live without once going veggie: burgers, "chicken" nuggets & even "fish" and chips! They don't just do comfort food either - there are some healthy salads in the mix too if you're that way inclined!

I love going to restaurants like this as it makes the choosing process so much easier because everything in the menu is a possible option and the fact that there is no need to ask what ingredients every dish includes is a pretty great feeling too. A lot of veggie restaurants at the moment are very much health based - which is great of course! - but sometimes you just want a good old dirty burger and fries and that's why I'm so happy places like Veg Bar exist too. Us veggies aren't always saints either, after all...

I spotted a colourful wall on our way to the restaurant and of course had to pose next to it, as is tradition...

My choice: Chilli burrito & cajun fries

Jim's choice: BBQ "chicken" nuggets with cajun fries

Good things first: the cajun fries were heavenly and I demolished every last one of them and then some (meaning some of Jim's fries too...). Definitely have them as a side if they're not already included in your portion! The burrito, however, was a little bit bland. It wasn't hot - neither temperature nor spice wise - and I just felt like it lacked flavour and kick. It was a bit of a disappointment as I loved all of its ingredients from guacamole to bean chilli, but something just wasn't quite to my tastes in the finished product. That said, once I added a bit of salt and chilli sauce the flavours really came through and I enjoyed it a lot more, so I just think it needed a bit more seasoning!

The rest of our little group went with the nuggets and a burger and they were all, as I was told, pretty fantastic. I tried a bit of Jim's BBQ nuggets and they were super tasty, with a texture very similar to that of the "original version". I feel like this is one of those places where you could take a meat eater and almost convince them they were having the real thing - that's how convincing those nuggets were! They also do a mac & "cheese" as a side, which I was very tempted to try too, but I guess I had to leave something for the next visit as well..! And there definitely will be a next visit - I think I'll just have to try something else than that burrito. Something tells me that that won't be too difficult at all though - I could probably just live on those cajun fries too, if we're being completely honest here!

Veg Bar, 45 Tulse Hill, London SW2 2TJ

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