I turned 25 last Monday and I’m still shook because I have no idea where time has gone. I swear it was only the other day that I was celebrating my 18th birthday by having a debut (complete with pink dresses, 18 roses and candles and a whole lot of cheese). Nancy reminded me today that she’s been following me since I was 18. That’s 7 years, guys. Half way to 50 and I’m pleased to say there are a few things I’ve learned along the way, so here are my 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.

  1. Learn to love yourself before getting into a relationship. I think I’ve mentioned this before in a different post, but I feel the reason my previous relationships never worked out is that I never truly took the time to love myself. I still have a long way to go, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned then it’s definitely this.
  2. Trust your instinct. If it seems too good to be true, or if your stomach is doing that churning thing – get out of there, girl.
  3. Self-care is important. It definitely goes a long way, especially towards your mental health. Taking time for yourself will help maintain, protect and improve your well-being.
  4. Do not judge a book by its cover. This one speaks for itself, tbh. Basically, there will be people you meet in your life who you will judge, but try not to be so judgemental. You’ve no idea what that person is going through to make them the way they are.
  5. Stop apologising. Just be unapologetically you.
  6. Boys aren’t everything…
  7. … But food is.
  8. Writing is therapeutic and is the outlet for my soul. Without writing I have no idea where I’d be. I’m so glad I have this creative outlet to let all my emotions out. 
  9. It’s okay not to be okay. You do not have to be happy every single day and sometimes it’s okay to have a down day. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Learn from it.
  10. Travel. Travelling has truly made me appreciate the world that we live in. It has also made me thankful for the things that I have and the fact that I have the ability to visit amazing places year on year.
  11. My mother is always right. I mean.
  12. Support those who support you. It’s a two-way street! 
  13. Say yes to going out. Not everyday Netflix, you know. There have been a few work occasions where I’ve actually said yes and found myself having a good time!
  14. Life is too short to hate. It’s a very draining emotion, honestly. Just be kind.
  15. Save, save, save. I’m not gonna lie, you’ll most likely be poor in your 20s but if you save even a little bit, it goes a long way!
  16. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes you just gotta let it out.
  17. Everyone has their bad days. Yup! You can’t constantly be upbeat 24/7.
  18. Don’t compare your life with others. In an age of social media, it can be very easy to look at other people’s lives and wonder why yours isn’t as fulfilling as theirs looks, but that’s the keyword: looks. Everything we put on social media is a glossed version of what our lives truly are. So focus on yourself!
  19. I will never love anything as much as I love reading. How could I? It’s so easy to slip into another world and escape for a few hours and not worry about anything.
  20. Laughter is essential. Life can be exhausting! Laughter and good company can cure that.
  21. You gotta werk. Nothing in life is free, so if you want something you gotta werk for it. It’s all worth it in the end, though.
  22. You are who you are because of the people you surround yourself with. So you see that toxic person in your life? You better cut it.
  23. Failure is okay. Because before you can succeed, you have to fail – success will be all be sweeter that way, as well.
  24. Take loads of photos. Honestly, do it. Think in a couple of years you can look back on those photos and remember fond memories.
  25. Gratitude. I am thankful that I have reached the grand old age of 25 and I have the support of my friends and family and I’m actually doing okay. 👍🏾

Last little tidbit of wisdom: â€œOne cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

I’ve been to eat in the Shard one other time and that’s because I won a WeSwap competition and got a £100 voucher for Hutong. (PS. We went over the £100 and had to pay extra, but what did you really expect from me?)

Eating in the Shard is the pinnacle of fancy living. High rise restaurants with a 360º view of London? Yeah, you know you’re living the good life. Especially when you have to pay for the water…

So, my mother turned 60 last July and you only turn 60 once, right? She decided she wanted to live her best life and so she left it to me to pick a restaurant that was specifically in the Shard. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from but Oblix was the one that stood out to me!

Oblix is a contemporary grill restaurant based on the 32nd floor of the Shard. The views are absolutely stunning, however, they don’t take requests for window seats so you’ll have to be lucky to get one. Nevertheless, you can book through the website making it really easy. I also phoned the day before to arrange for them to write a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on my mum’s dessert, and everything went smoothly.

My original plan was to bring a cake to the restaurant for them to bring it out, but they have a cake charge which is per head. When the lady I was speaking to mentioned they could write the message on her dessert, I decided to go for that because it just made life a lot simpler. (We ended up getting a small cake and doing the candles and stuff at home, which you can watch here).

There’s an automatic lift that will take you all the way to the 32nd floor and as soon as you arrive they take your coats and bags to put in their cloakroom. The waitress’ uniforms were these cute flared dresses, which I absolutely adored. All the servers were so friendly as well, asking us if we had a good day so far and even saying happy birthday when I mentioned it was my mum’s birthday.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, but still had a good view from where we were sitting! The menu is quite extensive ranging from grilled diver scallops, king oyster mushrooms & hazelnuts to grilled aubergine, yoghurt, mint & pomegranate… fancy or wot? 😮

WHILE WE DECIDED…

We had some nibbles from the ‘While You Decide’ section of the menu, which was yummy. We started with chorizo, herb croutons & rosemary and also the parmesan cheese with honey. Please note these are NOT starters, they are literally nibbles because they came in such smol bowls.We were given bread whilst we waited for our meal and we had also ordered drinks. I went for the Pink Cadillac and I honestly don’t remember what was in it, but I do know it was delicious. And pink. Always a win/win. I was more interested in the main anyway, and there was so much to choose from…

THE JOSPER OVEN

I was originally going to order the rib-eye, but I spotted the lamb and I just had to order it. I’m glad I did! These lamb chops were marinated in harissa giving the meal a beautiful fragrant smell and a wonderful spicy kick with each bite. Paired with yoghurt, there was a wonderful combination was cool and hot. I also ordered the jersey royal potatoes, which gave the meal much-needed carbs. The presentation was amazing and my eyes literally lit up when the waiter came over with my plate.

The meal was very filling, as well, and I thought, “Oh no, I’m not going to have room for dessert!” but I really don’t know who I was kidding. 😂

DESSERTS

I wanted to go for the New York cheesecake, but unfortunately, it had nuts so that was a definite no go. In the end, I chose the strawberry & rose Eton mess. There were freshly cut strawberries and mini meringues which went really well with the sorbet. It was so refreshing! Again, the presentation was on point – kudos to Oblix, y’all know how to make food look pretty! For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of my dessert which is so unusual for me!

My mum ended up ordering the cheesecake, and I was smiling so big when they came over the dessert and it had the message and even a candle which they had lit up! So cute.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Oblix and I will definitely be back sometime in the future. There is so much on the menu that I want to try!

Level 32
The Shard
31 St. Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RY

T: 020 7268 6700

My hovercraft is full of eels.

Let’s get back into the swing of things with a new travel post. It has occurred to me several times that I haven’t been out of the country since November, which is very unusual for me. I don’t think I’ll be beating my record of 7 countries in a year, but that’s alright. I’ll be off to Croatia in August, so at least I’m getting out a bit. Not to mention, Mutay and I did visit Edinburgh in February!

For my mum’s 60th birthday I treated her to a trip to Venice because you only turn 60 once, right? To be honest, it was also an excuse for me to come along, and I managed to lock in a good price with my sister accompanying us as well.

We arrived in Venice pretty late on Monday night, so we didn’t do anything when we got to the hotel except unpack and fall asleep straight away. The real fun started on Tuesday.

I’m putting this photo here because I’m gassed and I love my outfit 😍

CA’ D’ORO, CHIESAS AND SO MANY BRIDGES 🌉

This day consisted of a lot of walking, which I was definitely not ready for. Our first stop was Ca’ d’Oro, “Golden House”, a palace overlooking the Grand Canal. Built between 1428 and 1430, it is one of the oldest palaces in the city. We didn’t stay long here but we did admire the mosaics that adorned the palace floor and the gallery on the upper floors. There were many busts, statues and paintings. We also got to witness a stunning view of the Grand Canal from the top floor! 

View from the top floor of Ca’ d’Oro

After Ca’ d’Oro we headed over Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli located in the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. This church holds a portrait of the Madonna which many believe to be miraculous. You have to pay €3 to enter, but that’s mainly to help with the upkeep of the church. Fun fact, the painting is said to have brought someone back to life! The inside was beautiful with white, grey and pink marble decorating the walls. As with all churches, I found it really peaceful.

Inside of Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Our next stop was Ponte di Rialto, one of the oldest bridges to cross the Grand Canal. It was insanely busy, as expected, but I did manage to snap a few photos! It’s a huge bridge, and I would recommend trying to get here as early as possible because of how busy it gets. On either side of the bridge are rows of shops, which I think is pretty cool. Considering it started off as a wooden bridge, it has definitely come a long way.

Views from Ponte di Rialto

After the bridge, we popped into Chiesa di San Salvador – this church was free to get in. There are many, many churches around the city some of which you have to pay, but you if don’t wish to you can always admire the architecture from the outside. Venice boasts some beautiful architecture, and will definitely appeal to the architect junkies out there. Built in the Baroque and Renaissance style, legend has it that Bishop S. Magnus saw a vision of Jesus asking him to build a church on this site. The history behind many of the churches is so fascinating!

Finally, after much walking over many bridges, we reached Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). This place was probably the most exciting area for us to visit and it is Venice’s most famed tourist attraction. A colleague I used to work with actually proposed to his girlfriend here! Hella cute. St. Mark’s Square holds the Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica), and if you don’t have Skip-The-Line tickets it is literally hours to get in. When we first arrived, the queue was snaking all the way around to the Doge’s Palace! Speaking of the Doge’s Palace, we decided not to go here only because they don’t do single entry tickets and you’d have to either buy a ticket for all the museums in St. Mark’s Square or all the museums in general.

St. Mark’s Square is actually the only ‘piazza’ in Venice, all the other squares are called ‘campi’. The square is surrounded by buildings on three sides and open on one side where you’ll find the gondola service. There are loads of stalls and restaurants where you can even catch some live bands! It was very busy in the square with everyone crowding around the Basilica trying to get that Instagram snap on point (me included) and there were so many bloody pigeons! Bleurgh!

We decided to leave the Basilica for the next day as the queue was way too long, and there was no way we would stand there for hours especially in that heat. The square also holds Campanile di San Marco (St. Mark’s Bell Tower), a huge tower which is right near the Basilica. Originally a lighthouse and watch tower, it has undergone several reconstructions and currently houses 5 bells: the Mezza Terza Bell announced the Senate; the Nona Bell announced midday; the biggest bell, the Marangona Bell, announced the beginning and end of the work day; the Trottiera announced council meetings and the smallest bell, the Renghiera Bell announced executions. It was nice to admire it from the outside, but we ended up not going up it.

After the square, we visited another one of Venice’s famous bridges, Ponte dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs), the meaning behind the name has several stories. One is the sighs that the prisoners would make as they crossed the bridge from the Palace to the Old Prison and another is that of the sighs of lovers as they passed under the bridge on a gondola (cheese). The bridge itself is quite small and was hella crowded when we got there, and again, I would recommend coming here early if you can!

Views from Ponte dei Sospiri

Having exhausted ourselves with so much walking we went on a search for somewhere to eat and we ended up in Bar Oasi, purely because my sister and I thought the waiter was cute. I had one of many pasta dishes that I would have on this trip, starting with the spaghetti alla bolognese. Simple, yet so tasty – I had to post a picture of it along with a pasta pun 😜 We were thoroughly exhausted at this point, so we headed back to the hotel to relax. We ordered room service and I caught up on the latest episode of GoT.

What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta. 🍝

BASILICA DI SAN MARCO, ‘FLOWER’ WAITERS AND A GONDOLA RIDE 🚣🏾

We would start our mornings early, mainly because the breakfast buffet was between 6:30 – 9:30 AM. It’s definitely good to start off early when in Venice though because it can get insanely busy. Also, because we stayed in Mestre, rather than in the city centre it would have been harder for us to get back if we stayed out later.

So, Wednesday morning we started our day at Arsenale di Venezia (The Venetian Arsenal) which is a complex of former shipyards and armouries where you can see Porta Magna, the Arsenal’s land gate. It’s not that busy around the Arsenal, so I don’t think it’s on many tourists lists, but I would definitely recommend a visit because it’s nice and peaceful and there’s a really cute bridge. 

After the Arsenal, we headed over to Scuola Di S. Giorgio Degli Schiavoni which is one of the city’s most historic confraternity houses (a Christian voluntary association of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety). We found many scenes depicting St. George slaying the dragon, as well as panels featuring St. Jerome and St. Tryphone. The scuole is small, and you do have to pay to get in. If you’re lucky, the guy will mistake you for a student like he did with me and you’ll pay €3 instead €5 😜

The next stop was Riva Degli Schiavoni, which is a waterfront promenade located between Piazza San Marco and Arsenale di Venezia. It’s really nice to stroll along here and you’ll find many market stalls where you can pick up souvenirs. 

We were meant to pop into Punta della Dogana, an art museum, however, after finding out it cost €13 to get in and having already spent so much getting into places we decided to skip this. We did manage to view ‘Mermaid’ by Damien Hirst, which is at the back of the building overlooking the water and is one of the 180 works in his ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable”. Stunning sculpture!

‘Mermaid’ by Damien Hirst

Before the Punta della Dogana, we did find a random exhibit for the illy Art Collection at the Magazzini del Sale which is in its 25th year. You can find out more about the exhibit here. It was a really interesting find and I enjoyed viewing the different cups on display – especially loved the alien one.

David Byrne – Alien cup (2001)

We found a random restaurant called Ai Fabbri Trattoria where I had the gnocchi alla bolognese, which again was simple but delicious. We were given sweets at the end of the meal and when we asked the waiter was kind of sweets they were he responded with, “They’re flower… like me” 😭 We think he meant sweet, bless him, but it did make us laugh. The other waiter looked like my ex, though, which stressed me out and I had to text Mutay about it who said it was probably him in disguise trying to make sure I got holiday anxiety 😂

You hold the gnocchi to my ❤️

After eating we headed to the Basilica! It’s free to get in, but in order to avoid waiting in the queue, we opted to get the €2 Skip-The-Line tickets. We actually got turned away the first time because you can’t bring backpacks inside and also because you need to cover your shoulders and legs when you go in. We all had to buy this dusty orange wrap for €1 before we were allowed in. The Basilica was absolutely stunning, though, albeit very dark inside! You also have to pay extra if you want to see St. Mark’s treasure, the museum or if you to climb to the top of the terrace. When I tell you Venice is expensive…

The most exciting part of the day was the gondola ride we took – we opted for the long ride and the gondolier was a really nice man who explained to us the sights along our journey. We passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the gondolier told us the next time we are there with a boyfriend, you have to kiss when you pass under the bridge 😂 We also passed Casanova’s house, which gave me David Tennant feels because he was brilliant in his role as Casanova, as well as Marco Polo’s house! The gentle rocking of the gondola nearly put me to sleep, haha. We didn’t get serenaded but there was plenty of music surrounding us and a few gondoliers we passed were singing, which was nice. It was just as nice quiet with just the gentle sounds of the river surrounding us.

After the gondola ride, we stopped by for some gelato which AH-MAY-ZING. I got a regular cone with three flavours: oreo, dulce latte and chocolate chips covered in caramel sauce 😍 It was a messy affair, but it was so delicious! I would recommend Gelato Fantasy as their scoops are massive, so you definitely get more for your money.  After gelato, we decided to head back to the hotel where we had dinner. I’m not even gonna write about the dinner we had because it was so disappointing ðŸ˜¢

GLASS BLOWING, COLOURFUL BUILDINGS AND MORE GELATO 🍨

We had had enough of churches and galleries at this point and all the ones on my guide for day 3 were indicating you had to pay to get in, which frankly we’d also had enough of. Instead, I researched free things to do in Venice and was surprised that Burano and Murano weren’t on my list anyway! Nevertheless, we took the water bus from Piazzale Roma to Murano.

Murano has many stops, but we got off Murano Faro where you can go to a glass blowing demonstration. Murano is famed for its glass making, so you will find many shops displaying glass wares. Murano is composed of seven islands which are all linked together by bridges – it’s super easy to get around, so it really doesn’t matter where you get off the water bus.

Murano

When you come out the station, you can turn left to visit the shops, etc. or turn right for the glass blowing demonstrations. We watched a demonstration at Vetreria Artistica Colleoni, where it is €10 per person, however, the €10 can then be used as credit in their gift shop, so a win/win really. The demonstration was amazing – we got to see the guy make a glass vase complete with decoration as well as make a horse in under a minute. To show how hot the glass gets, the speaker put a piece of paper near the horse and it burst into flames! It was very hot in there, though, I was literally sweating my balls off. We were lucky to catch the demonstration as well because the following day they would be closed for a month because it’s too hot to be doing glass making in the summer!

We explored Murano a bit more, before heading back to the station and catching the water bus to Burano. Burano is made up of four islands and is famed for its embroidery and colourful homes. I absolutely loved Burano! The colourful buildings honestly made me so happy and even though there were quite a few tourists it was still nice and quiet. If you want to get away from the noisiness of main Venice, then I would suggest taking a trip to Murano and Burano.

The colourful homes of Burano

My mum and I stopped by Museo Del Merletto, which is a lace museum and was once the lace school of Burano. The embroidery we saw were so delicate and my mum was certainly enamoured, being a seamstress and all. 

After the museum, we decided to grab lunch at Restaurant Galuppi where I opted for the tortelloni ai Funghi porcini – HMM. The tortelloni was stuffed with cheese and spinach, which made it extra delicious! We made a few stops at the lace stores and stalls before heading back to St. Mark’s Square to pick up even more souvenirs. I finally got a shot glass to add to my collection.

I am tortelloni in love with you

We then decided to get gelato because when in Venice and you can never have enough gelato, honestly. We got it from a different place and the scoops weren’t as big 😢 Still, it was very yummy and I opted for strawberry, cream cherry and vanilla flavours. It tasted liked bubble gum! After gelato, we headed back to the hotel before going to Roadhouse Grill for dinner where I had to fattest T-bone steak 😍 We then ended up going to bed early because we had a flight at 7:45 AM the next morning!

CONCLUSION

Venice is a stunning city. You’ll only really need to spend a few days here because it is very much a walking city, so everything is easily accessible. It is very expensive, which is not surprising because it is such a tourist attraction but when in Venice, amirite? Venice is the perfect getaway, whether you’re with your partner or with family, and it’s even better in the summer months because the weather is beautiful. Art, culture and architecture – there’s something for everyone in this city!

TIPS

  • I used visitacity.com to get an idea of what we were going to do whilst in Venice. You’ll find 1 to 3-day guides on the site, and you can even get the app and download the guide for offline use! It was definitely very useful. Thanks to Sharmayne for suggesting this site! I’ll be using it when I head off to Croatia ☺️
  • On our first day, we only took the bus which is €1.50 each way, which also ended up with us doing A LOT of walking (I guess that’s what I get for complaining about cardio all the time). I’d suggest going for the Vaporetto/Bus pass which will cut down the walking time. You can get: 24 hours: €20 / 48 hours: €30 / 72 hours: €40 / 7 days: €60
  • As I mentioned the Basilica is free, but if you can’t stand queues then head to this site and get the €2 skip-the-line tickets. Make sure your shoulders and legs are covered when you visit, and no backpacks. If you happen to have one then they do have a free locker service around the corner of the Basilica.
  • I opted for a hotel that included a full breakfast so that we could fill ourselves before lunch. I would suggest getting your big meal at lunchtime because it is pretty pricey eating out. For the three of us, prices ranged from €50 – 80.
  • Take a day for Murano and Burano as it is a fairly long journey on the water bus from the mainland of Venice. 
  • We actually didn’t stay in the centre of Venice and instead stayed in Mestre, mainly because it was much cheaper, and it was only a 25-minute bus journey to get to Piazzale Roma which is basically the entrance of the city centre.
  • If you go to the gondola service by St. Mark’s Square there are two options: a short ride is €80 and a long ride is €120. I know, I know – it is expensive but did you really visit Venice if you didn’t go on a gondola? Also, escape premium prices and take a ride before 7 PM ðŸ˜‰

Ending this post with these photos my sis took of me 😜

Can you believe it’s already September?

August was pretty dope, I can’t lie. Aside from going to Barcelona, I also celebrated my 24th birthday, Mutay’s 24th birthday and went to Notting Hill Carnival. August is when legends are born. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuu~

1. I turned 24

24 is such a non-age, if you know what I mean? Still, I’m determined it the best year before I turn halfway to 50. I really do need to focus on my life goals and also find a new job. All in good time.

Celebrations started the night before, where Mutay and I met our friend Tilly at an underground nightclub in Dalston called the Alibi. As soon as it hit midnight, we were doing shots and dancing our asses off. Best night ever. We ended up in Voodoo Ray’s, a late night hangout where they sell New York-style pizza. Delicioussss.

During the day, Mutay whisked me away to OXBO Bankside, an upscale restaurant located in London Bankside Hilton hotel. Coincidentally, someone else was also celebrating their birthday. It is absolutely beautiful inside, and we were even treated to live music from a guy singing and playing his guitar.

We got to help ourselves to unlimited starters; from potato salad to prawn cocktail to sushi, it was so delicious. For our main, as it was a Sunday, we had Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Although a little more rare than I’m used to, it was still tasty. Our meal was a bottomless brunch, so we had glass after glass of Prosecco. Tipsy and full – a great way to start 24. 

Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables

I didn’t really want anything for my birthday, but when Mutay asked me what I wanted I decided to ask for a MAC makeover. I don’t wear makeup except eyeliner and mascara, and the last time I wore a full face of makeup (foundation, etc) was at my cousin’s wedding and I absolutely hated it. I’d seen a few people on Instagram who had a MAC makeover, and I thought it looked like fun so Mutay happily obliged and we made our way to Covent Garden!

Thanks to Gurdeep, my face was completely transformed and I fell in love with myself. LOL. It’s great because she asked what kind of look I was going for, to which I said bold. She went for a smokey eye and did it step by step and made sure I was happy with everything that she was doing. The great thing is that you can redeem the booking fee for the makeover against MAC products, so essentially the makeover is free! I went for the fake eyelashes and lipstick, and Mutay got a blush. I also found out my foundation shade, which is great for future reference.

If you’re interested in what products Gurdeep used see here > [1.’Constructivist’ Pro Longwear Paint Pot, ‘Swiss Chocolate’ Eye Shadow, ‘Black Black’ ChromalineKohl Power Eye Pencil, No. 36 Lash, ‘Chestnut’ Lip Pencil, ‘Persistence’ Lipstick]

It was a great day spent with the best friend, and in the evening I went to visit my Lola and Lolo. My Lola got me flowers for my birthday, which were lovely 🙂

2. Foodie Adventures 101

As usual, I am always eating. 

For one of my friend’s birthday we went to Côte Brasserie. They have several branches, and we went to the one in Battersea Rise. Côte is inspired by the brasseries of Paris, championing relaxed all-day dining and serving authentic French classics made from great quality, fresh ingredients. 

The service wasn’t that great, and we had to wait ages toward the end when waiting for the bill/paying, but the food was amazing! I opted for 10oz Sirloin with frites and garlic butter and a side of creamed spinach. 

Their steaks are from 30 day aged grain fed cattle and served chargrilled with frites

Their steaks are from 30 day aged grain fed cattle and served chargrilled with frites

Would definitely go back! It was cute, as well, because my other friend mentioned it was my friend’s birthday and they bought out a souffle with a candle and we all sang Happy Birthday. Adorbs. 

After attempting to visit this absolutely atrocious place called Clutch and feeling thoroughly disgusted when we turned up (for very different reasons to what you’re probably thinking, but more on than later), Mutay and I decided to go to BIRD in Shoreditch, instead.

Love fried chicken? Great! GO VISIT BIRD, RIGHT NOW. BIRD serve free range fried chicken, which is my favourite type of chicken. I want to say we went overboard in ordering chicken, but I really have #noragrets, so whatevs. Alongside, the two portions of chicken wings we ordered, I also got a Single Bird combo: Drumstick, thigh & 2 wings with house-made glaze with fries & one of their daily doughnuts.

The different glazes we ordered for the wings were: 

  • Korean gochujang (sweet & hot)
  • Sticky soy garlic

I also got to choose a glaze for my own combo, and I went for Honey ginger. OMG. Guys. It was delicious. Absolutely amazing. Out of this world. Everything was just amazing. Crispy. Juicy. Delightful. Delectable. Warm. Hot. Spicy. Sweet. ALL OF THE MOTHEREFFING ADJECTIVES. We also had Cheesy Korean fries: American cheese sauce, house mayo, gochujang glaze. Mmmmmmhmmmmm, get down with the GET DOWN. Yassssss. ALL OF IT. IN MY BELLEH. YES.

In short, go visit BIRD and prepare to be blown away. (Also, I got a doughnut with my meal and that was 10/10 chocolatey goodness)

Now, about this place called Clutch.

UGH. Just, ugh. We didn’t even set foot inside the place because it set our skin crawling. You know how gentrification is the word on everyone’s lips nowadays, well Clutch is the epitome of gentrification. There is so much wrong here it’s hard to know where to start.

The location of it begs the question, who the fuck thought this was a good idea? Located down a side road near Hoxton station, literally planted in front of a block of council flats, did the owners really think the people who live in that area could afford over priced guilt-free, ethical fried chicken?

Fair enough, put it on the high street – that would actually make much more sense. In front of a council estate? Yeah, you’re delusional. The fact that it looked empty when we got there spoke volumes. Never setting foot in there.

3. Notting Hill Carnival

It’s become an annual thing for me, now. The past 3 years I’ve gone to Notting Hill Carnival, and really it’s all about celebrating my Caribbean roots and shaking my butt. 

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday). It is led by members of the British West Indian community, and attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals, and a significant event in British culture. – Wikipedia

Despite the massive amount of people, and being crushed all the time, it can still be pretty fun. Except for the part when men think it’s okay to grab you and call you ‘Jamaican spice’. Ah, fuck off. Love me a bit of jerk chicken and dumpling, though. :3

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4. Ping Pong @ Bounce

Mutay’s birthday actually fell on the day of Notting Hill, a bank holiday, so we spent the majority of the day there and then ended up in a random Mexican restaurant drinking frozen daiquiris at the end of the night.

One night after work, I met up with Mutay and two other friends to play ping pong at Bounce, located in Holborn. Such a fun night! Despite having to wait until midnight for a table, it was worth the wait and we ended up playing randomly with these guys who joined our table. 

The music was popping, and the drinks were really good. We also had pizza: Smoked mozzarella, rocket leaves, smoked garlic & speck ham. 

Bounce is Europe's largest purpose built 'Social Ping Pong Club'

Bounce is Europe’s largest purpose built ‘Social Ping Pong Club’

Ladies’ Delight No.2 -- Tanqueray gin, passionfruit & cloudy apple juice, vanilla syrup & lemon juice

Ladies’ Delight No.2 — Tanqueray gin, passionfruit & cloudy apple juice, vanilla syrup & lemon juice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH84sdcDPs8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH84sdcDPs8

 

multitasking ?

A video posted by Chynna Ashley (@chynnashley) on

Would definitely visit again! It’s actually a great way to work out and also get pelted by small balls. Heh.

Other things

  • One of my friends actually came to my house the morning of my birthday and got me this awesome Sherlock card
  • I bought Mutay volume #7 of Invincible Iron Man, which features Riri Williams, a 15-year-old, black, genius MIT engineering student — who will the next Iron Man ?
  • I’ve still got the holiday blues, BUT I will be in Paris later on this month. Woo!

How was August for you?

23

I hate being negative on this blog, but considering the events of my 23rd birthday I feel that it is appropriate to let everyone know how disappointing of an establishment Steam and Rye is.

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