Friday, 26 June 2015

Brick Lane Market

On Sunday, I put on my edgiest outfit, paired with my edgy-don’t-care attitude and got ready to storm Brick Lane…. Well, not really, (I’m about as far from ‘edgy’ as you can get,) but I did go find Alli (my hereby labelled ‘actually edgy friend’) and headed across to East London to see what we could discover.

Now, I work in this area Monday to Friday, where I spend my time suspended between tall shiny buildings. Never before however have I been at a weekend when, suddenly, a whole new kind of life stirs up a little closer to ground level.

Denim replaces suits as people crowd down the narrow lanes. We followed the tangle of people to a huge warehouse, stuffed full of stalls selling everything from clothes and sunglasses to musical instruments and, most importantly, food. 

After trying on a couple of pairs of these…

….and quite a few of these….

…. we decided we couldn’t resist these any longer!

We sat down on the curb to enjoy our cakey treats. (This was the first time I’d eaten red velvet, believe it or not! And I can report, it lived up to the hype!)

We spent the day wandering in and out of different markets, taking in the atmosphere and picking up the occasional goodie. I came out with a new dress, some little earrings and some amazing teacups (okay, okay I cheated, these were from a nearby Anthropologie, but they also happen to be my favourite purchase of the year. Look at the little legs - they’re straight out of Alice in Wonderland!) Alli found some rings to add to her ever growing collection, along with some rather funky sunglasses, while I sipped on a large tumbler of bubble tea that had made me far too excited.

Brick Lane and the surrounding markets are definitely worth a visit. We were surprised by how much original stuff we managed to find (whether it was handmade jewellery, interestingly designed t-shirts or home accessories!) and it was all relatively reasonably priced, despite being a popular place! If you haven’t already (and lets face it, most Londoners already have!) head down there one sunny Sunday – I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Brunch at Brawn on Columbia Road

Last Sunday, my sister and I went to see our godfather for brunch. Our godfather, Justin, is rather good at spoiling us and even better at finding good places for food, so we knew we were in for a fun day!

We walked to Columbia Road Flower Market and were set a challenge. We each had twenty pounds and had to purchase flowers to make an arrangement each- I knew I had a short rectangular vase to fill and Lu had a tall one, so we off we went!

I battled my way through the crowds and perused the stalls. It was peony season and so they were piled high with fluffy pink blooms, along with just about every type of flower you can imagine! I umm-ed and ahhh-ed over what to pick before I noticed a stall stuffed with sweet peas in beautiful pastel colours. After a little bit of bartering, I walked away with five bunches in pale purple and white. The smell of them drifted through the air as a I walked away in search of the next element of my bouquet!

Then, I came across some rather unusual thistles. Before long, they were wrapped up in brown paper and added to my bunch.

I met Lu at the end of the stalls and after a quick pose in an art instillation, armed with our flowers (she'd gone for roses, canna lilies and normal lilies), we met Justin in Brawn, a restaurant that just has one set menu.

One of the great things about Brawn was that the kitchen was totally open and we could see everything going on as the chefs prepared our food. Before long, (as Lu and I subtly bigged up our flower choices,) a number of dishes to share left the kitchen and arrived at the table.

Look how tasty they look!

We happily tucked in as we chatted away.

Then out came the mains.

Needless to say, it didn't last long!

Once all the food had vanished, it was back to the house for some very competitive flower arranging. Now, flower arranging is definitely not something I've ever spent much time doing before and it was surprising difficult to put our vases together. But, some time later, we stood back and admired our creations.

Justin said he couldn't pick between our two bouquets, but I secretly knew mine was definitely better..!

Eventually it was time for us to leave. We'd had a lovely day with our wonderful godfather who always knows the best way to occupy us. I mean, who could ever say no to food and flowers?!