Category Archives: England

Two Temple Place, Social Eating House and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Early on Saturday, I visited Two Temple Place – a mansion that my friend correctly described as a ‘hidden gem in London’.  It is a beautiful mansion that is open to the public a few weeks each year.  I was very impressed by the grandeur or this place, and how I had never known it was right there by Temple station.  I saw a beautiful Cotton to Gold exhibition with collections of old hand decorated books and transcripts, as well as impressive mosaics and insect collections.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you get the opportunity.

http://www.twotempleplace.org/ 


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Lunch was at the Social Eating House, sister restaurant to my favourite Pollen Street Social.  Great restaurant and great food.  The prix fixe menu was very reasonable (£21 for two courses, £25 for three courses) and I’m practically planning my next visit.  The pea soup was very good (although I had starter envy with my friends having the mussels), I enjoyed the pork belly and the chocolate ganache was delicious.  (I still prefer Pollen Street Social though)

http://www.socialeatinghouse.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d4080917-Reviews-Social_Eating_House-London_England.html

In the evening, I went to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.  I’ve heard a lot of weird and wonderful things about this place.  The doors didn’t open until 9pm and it was packed by 11pm.  There’s a friendly vibe here, everyone was willing to have a good time.  There were a couple of acts for the ‘Duckie’ evening – a comedian and… I don’t know what to call him… an entertainer?  A lovely chap called Cockney Ken who is in his 80’s and serenaded us with tunes like ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’.  It wasn’t really my cup of tea.  But it meant the music and dancing was that little bit sweeter when the act was over!  The music was very eclectic and I had a great time dancing til’ it closed at 2am.

http://rvt.org.uk/

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Two museums and tapas

On Saturday I joined a Meetup.com 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.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/zoology

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d638483-Reviews-Grant_Museum_of_Zoology-London_England.html

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….

http://www.brindisa.com/restaurants/casa-brindisa

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1214896-Reviews-Casa_Brindisa-London_England.html

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.

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-alexander-mcqueen-savage-beauty/

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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!!​

http://www.beatone.co.uk/cocktail-bar/spitalfields

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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!

http://www.theanthologistbar.co.uk

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d2392222-Reviews-The_Anthologist-London_England.html

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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.

http://www.beatone.co.uk/cocktail-bar/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:

http://www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk

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
http://effrasocial.com

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!

http://www.69colebrookerow.com

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d2514353-Reviews-The_Bar_With_No_Name-London_England.html

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.

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

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