Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Record store day

It was Record Store day 2012, Pip and I decided to visit the famous 'Rough Trade' record store. Although we missed the free gig, the place was packed which meant it was rather difficult to browse the music without getting in the way of everybody else. We had witnessed the same at 2 other record stores that we'd stumbled upon earlier that day, but that didn't stop Pip from fining a couple of albums to take home (The Black Keys - Brother and the Cat's Eyes album). The store also had an old tour poster for 'Television' which got Pip quite excited.

I'm not sure why the store wasn't filled with people for this photo... I assure you it was for the rest of our time there.

We also found a cart on Portabello Road selling sandwiched with homemade bread of which we grabbed a chorizo and a chicken one and sat down in the gutter to eat (There was no seating and that's what everyone else was doing).

Gutter sandwich
What else did we do with our long weekend... Oh that's right, we bought a tent!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring day trip with Pip

And so it was, that I finally allowed myself two back to back days off from work which coincided with Pip. What to do? As Pip was feeling a little under the weather we decided that a trip to a new cafe could be on the cards. There are still a fair few 'famed' cafes and coffee bars in London that we are yet to visit, but we are starting to make inroads into that list.

Today's coffee shop was Shoreditch Grind which is a little indie coffee bar in... Shoreditch. This required quite the tube ride, luckily it was nice and easy to find after we arrived at our stop. Shoreditch Grind is almost a great coffee shop, nice decor, great coffee, a sense of being there because you like coffee and so does everybody else makes for a pleasant and inspired experience. We forgave the ridiculously uncomfortable seats as we flicked through a brochure about the up coming London Coffee Festival (Which I MUST attend).

A flat white, a latte and an espresso were consumed along with a pastry and just as we were about to leave I decided to ask about the coffee blend that our drinks were made from... The flustered girl at the counter replied with "Do you want to buy some?", explaining that I was just interested to know what I had just consumed, she asked her colleagues who could only give me the following answer... "It's a secret"... Seriously? I'm disappointed.

So off to Westfield we went. Why? Because I had never been to the Olympic area of London before and I was interested in this huge place. It was indeed huge, it was also crowded. If you were to put too many people in a mall and then double that number, you'd probably be close to imagining how many people were there. Each shop was like climbing onto the tube during peak time. That said I got some new shoes and a top from River Island.

I look like a poser here but I took this to show Pip the t-shirt as she wasn't allowed in the changing room
We also stopped at a little Kiwi cafe called 'Grind' (Unrelated to the earlier coffee bar). Pip had been twice before and while explaining how both times she saw the waitresses walking around aimlessly with coffees and cake trying to find their owners, we witnessed precisely that. Not once but twice. Seriously?

Pip and her flat white at Grind

'Grind' at Stratford Westfield

Monday, April 2, 2012

Piccadilly Sips

The other night was a gathering of the NZ crew. I was working but met up with Pip, Holly, Laura and Bradley at a restaurant in Soho.

When I got there, they had already consumed 4 bottles of wine. I helped them finish off a 5th and then when we decided to move on, the bill was called for and to our surprise, the 6 pound bottles of wine that we were promised on the phone when booking were now 15 pounds each. After many arguments and manager interventions, we paid and left.

Laura led us around the corner to a club called Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly. This place was packed and had a few rooms to choose from. We drank heaps, got kicked out of a reserved area, Bradley and Holly got told off for smoking outside of a fire exit, Pip and Holly got told off for dancing on seats, we sung along to J-Lo, consumed tequila, and after Bradley left to catch the last train home, Pip and I made our way back home via some fried chicken.

Lining up for the first round at Tiger Tiger

Steve and Bradley stealing a spot in a reserved area (We were all soon ejected)
As we are told to move, Bradley gets his necklace caught on the balloon strings. Holly helps him remove it as he panics and Pip takes the opportunity to have a wee dance