Category Archives: England

Two museums and tapas

On Saturday I joined a in London for Photography at the Grants Museum of Zoology, near Euston.  I didn’t actually know this place existed!  It’s quite small and houses 68,000 specimens.  I really enjoyed it, especially as someone who loves biology.  From the photography side, it was a very good opportunity to practice taking photos in low light and through glass.  The highlight for me was the huge python skeleton.

I had lunch with a friend in South Kensington at Casa Brindisa.  This was on her recommendation and I was pleasantly surprised!  The tapas were really good, and I would go back for the chorizo in cider.  Mmmm….

And after this we went to the V&A to check out the Alexander McQueen exhibition.  I just went along for the ride, but I’m glad I did.  Obviously I’d heard of his name, and I was really impressed by his originality and passion for his art.  I felt quite artistically inspired – I even went home and did a painting the next day!

It’s worth having a look if you get the chance.



Filed under London, Restaurants

The Pepper Tree – Clapham

I have come here a few times before. Nice food and atmosphere, very down to earth and a reasonable price for tasty Thai food. My starter + main + a glass of wine came to £20 including a tip.

I had the buffalo wings (that are not really ‘buffalo’ wings, more tasty chicken wings) and green chicken curry with egg fried rice.

The layout is much like a cafe with benches – do not be surprised to be cosied next to strangers! I do like it here, and I will be back.


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Be At One – Spitalfields

Cocktails on a Monday night? Why not!!​


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The Anthologist bar

Last night I went out for some payday drinks with work friends. We went to our local pub the Red Lion for ‘one’ drink (that is four) and then went to the Anthologist bar. I hadn’t been there before, and it was great! Nice vibe, good music from the DJ, busy and bustling. There wasn’t exactly a dance floor, but I managed to have a little dance, that always makes me happy!

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A night out in south London

Met up with some friends for a few drinks and a night out.

Started out in Be@one bar in Balham.

I love this chain and it is a lifetime ambition to visit every bar they have. The problem is that they keep expanding since I added this to my bucket list! Well, I suppose it’s not a problem really 😉

They make a huge variety of good cocktails, the atmosphere and staff are always upbeat.

Last night was good but a little quiet – not sure if that’s because Balham is not the hippest party spot or perhaps 8.30 was too early. We stayed for a few rounds then decided to head somewhere with a dance floor.

Someone on google came up with Hootanannys in Brixton:

I hadn’t been there before and the name sounded familiar. The six of us jumped in a cab and headed over.

There was a £4 cover charge and it was pretty busy bustling when we arrived. There was seating indoors and out, as well as some food stands. Great!! The DJ was good, but sadly the live music that came on after was not. The accordion playing band in drag would have been good if it was just a few songs, but their set was SO long… After hoping they would go away soon and sitting outside in the cold for a while to get away, we decided to check out the bar we’d passed on the way.

Effra social

Not quite sure how to describe this place. It was part pub and part bar with a dance floor. Nice crowd, good music, it seemed pretty down to earth. We drank and squeezed in a bit of dancing before they closed at 1am.

Yes, 1am in London. This is a very frustrating thing about going out in LondonI! Clearly too early to end a night out.

So, back to Hootanannys that would close at 3am. We didn’t stay for long though, the accordion drag band had gone but we weren’t a fan of whoever the new act was.

Had a good night out catching up with friends. All venues were worth a visit. I’d be happy to give Hootanannys another try some time. I usually enjoy random music although it wasn’t quite what I was looking for last night!

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The Bar with no name – Angel

For a friend’s birthday, I went to the bar with no name, maybe ten minutes walk from Angel station. From what she’d said, it was supposed to be amazing!

It’s a nice little bar, and when I say little, I do mean little. Nice ambience, dimly lit and professional staff. Admittedly the limited list of cocktails were actually very good and well-made (I think £8.50 each).

However, I wouldn’t say this place is amazing. Perhaps it is ‘exclusive’ because it is so small, but for me it was uncomfortably small. The tables were too low, you have to squeeze into the chairs and are being jostled the whole time. And just as I’d said to my friend ‘this is not the kind of bar to get drunk in because you’d easily knock the glasses off the low tables’, one of our group did stand up and knock a glass off the table.


Happy to have tried this place, it is nice but I won’t be back in a hurry.

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A weekend in Brighton!

February 2015

I love Brighton.  It’s one of the few places in England where I am happy to keep visiting.  I like the sea, the pier, the independent shops in The Lanes and my favourite buffet!


A friend and I booked train tickets (London Victoria to Brighton) and a hotel for a one-night weekend stay near the seafront.  We arrived at about 1.30pm.  Check-in wasn’t until 3 pm so we headed straight to the fish & chip shop by the sea, which is a 10-15 minute walk from the station.  I know this place from visiting many times before, I wasn’t sure what it’s called as it was being redecorated when we went, but a quick Google search tells me it’s called… Fish & Chips.  Very imaginative!!

Neither of us actually had fish and chips, but my battered sausage and chips were typical British deep-fried goodness!

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Graveney & Meadow – Tooting

Tooting is my closest local ‘cool’ hang out area, but for some reason, I end up going out more in central London than locally.

However, every time I go out in Tooting I end up having a great time!

Last night I made plans to catch up with a friend. Original plan was Clapham, for various reasons we changed to Tooting. We met at Tooting Broadway station at 8.30 – she had already eaten but I hadn’t. I had a vague idea of a place that meant she could start drinking instead of just watching me eat – Graveney & Meadow. By day it is a bakery/cafe but I’d noticed the bar suggesting it was more.

We popped in, there was a good buzzy atmosphere and a dinner menu. A pretty awesome dinner menu in fact! The chickpea stew caught my eye. I ordered, got our drinks and sat down to embark on catching up. My stew was so tasty, surprisingly flavourful and very spicy. It also came with an egg on top.

We ended up staying until it closed at 2am. There wasn’t really a dance floor, but we were perfectly happy at our table listening to music and watching the cool and trendy crowd. It had a really nice atmosphere and got busier throughout the night.

This is definitely a cool place to hang out and I hope to be back soon!

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Clos Maggiore – Covent Garden

This restaurant was on my to-do list last year, but I didn’t make it there… So I decided to go this year! Actually, I ended up going for the second time today 🙂

It was highly recommended to me by two friends, and with good reason. The first time was for dinner, and today for the prix fixe set lunch menu – a very reasonable £30 for three courses, or £35 including half a bottle of house wine.

To start I had the venison and pork terrine, followed by pork cheek main, and for dessert the lemon tart with hazelnut ice cream.

The pork cheek was really delicious, soft and with a really rich sauce with vegetables. The service was fabulous (except until we had finished everything and wanted to get the bill – this took a while. Maybe it’s a European restaurant thing).




I decided today that this restaurant is in my London top three. I’d happily go back, and any wise guy would take a date here to enjoy the lovely and romantic atmosphere.

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Leong’s Legend & The Savoy

My brother recommended a Taiwanese restaurant to me in China town. I didn’t recognise the name, but I did recognise the location and had vague recollections of going in one night – then walking out because it was too busy and I couldn’t be bothered to wait.

I also mentioned it to a work friend of mine (originally from Hong Kong) who confirmed it was a really good restaurant – so it was promptly moved up on my priority list!

I did have an evening of dinner and drinks planned with two friends. Dinner location was undecided so I suggested Leong’s Legends and off we went!

We had to wait five minutes for a table – it was a Thursday night. I really liked the busy atmosphere, the staff was friendly and prompt. I was really impressed with my spicy beef noodle soup. It actually had tasty hunks of meat with texture, as opposed to the usual slices of non-description meat I always get in other restaurants. Every aspect of the noodles was tasty – the noodles, broth, meat and veggie goodies. And I like my noodles enough to know a good bowl of noodle soup!

My friends seemed equally happy with their choices. I also enjoyed a glass of plum wine with my dish.

Thumbs up to this place from me, I’d happily go again.

After dinner we took a cab to the Savoy hotel on the Strand for cocktails. It was cool to arrive by cab, my friend explained something about how cabs pull up so the door is opened on the right (or something like that).

The American bar was fab, I loved my grasshopper cocktail (favourite cocktail) accompanied by live pianist and good company of my friends.

A lovely evening 🙂


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