I live in an interesting area. East London is filled with gentrification but there is such a mix of cultures and walks of life.
Spar is a supermarket you imagine to be full or bargains and cheap things. Spar in Homerton is the opposite – it is a trendy East London paradise. It is filled with lots of treasures and has lots going on. It was described by a friend of mine as a bit like Whole Foods and I can see why.
The produce has mixtures of Spar products and other local businesses. You will find coffee, peanut butter and other things all made in East London! Eat 17, based in both Homerton and Walthamstow originally had a restaurant above their supermarkets. They created Bacon Jam and sell a few different types in store. It’s always pretty popular.
Fancy some coffee? You can grab some to go. Need a quick dinner? There is lots on offer. Spar Eat 17 have their own ready meals that are a little fancier. They also sell Cook which is the company that pre-makes meals and all you need to do is warm them up.
The butchers on the left hand side has a extensive range of meats to choose from. It might be a little more expensive than what you would get in a supermarket but the difference in quality is obvious. Chicken breasts can be shared for two people due to their size so they go further.
If you fancy a quick hot meal then you can order burgers at the til and eat them there. There is even the option of a rotisserie chicken to take home! Beer selection is a mixture from across the UK wth lots from London. You can even grab a beer to wash your burger down!
Think all of this was enough? Well Rebel Rebel florists greet you as soon as you walk in, making the whole place seem so vibrant! If you wander upstairs you will find the Castle Cinema, which has recently opened it’s doors after a crowd funded campign to re open the cinema as it was one a long time ago.
If you follow bloggers on Instagram, you will have probably seen the perfectly iced biscuits form Biscuiteers sent as gifts or attached to press packs. I found them purely by accident online and have been a little obsessed ever since.
I ordered my dad a Batman themed box of iced biscuits for Father’s Day and booked an afternoon tea in the cafe as a joint Mothers Day and birthday present for my mum. We headed to the Portobello road to have a wander before getting to the cafe itself.
The whole place is bright and colourful with pom-poms attached everywhere as well as every kind of biscuit you could imagine. It had a really cosy feel to it as places to sit were on the side of the counter and outside. We sat down at our table with red and white crockery and were given a pot of English Breakfast tea.
We then had a cake stand put down on the table filled with treats. On the sandwich tier there was cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and chutney as well as smoked salmon. It then had the tier with salted caramel brownies, macaroons, white chocolate and passionfruit cakes, fruit tarts, Victoria sponges and iced biscuits. There was so much colour and flavour on the plate! We tucked in and the scones turned up!
Everything was delicious without being overly sweet. There was so much food, I left a fair amount which was put into two “doggy bags” for us to take home. The Victoria sponge and the salted caramel brownie were absolutely incredible (SO good).
Once we finished tea, we went to look at the biscuits so we could take some home. I picked a selection so I got a gingerbread, chocolate and vanilla. I spent ages trying to find the perfect ones. I am definitely going to get gifts for different occasions! It’s nice to see so much effort and time to be put into something – especially when it is going to taste great!
When you think of Avon, you might think of the catalogues sent from door to door, with parties in your living room filled with your mums friends. There is actually a lot more to Avon. Did you know it was one of the first beauty brands to not test on animals? They currently have a new make up brand called Mark, designed for make up lovers to make their “mark”. In America, the brands ambassador is Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars.
I get a few bits from Avon occasionally as a gift as my boyfriends aunty is an Avon representative (yes, they do still exist). However, I have never sat down and made an order myself.
There is a lot more available on the site when you find your local representative. If you go to the top of the website, you can click “find your representative”. You can add your postcode and see the nearest representative to you. When you can find one near you, click the option “shop with me” and it allows you to continue looking online.
I picked up the Skin So Soft dry oil as I get bad insect bites and it works well as a repellent. I then went for the Extralasting Inks cream eye shadow in taupe, the Perfect Brow Kit, a Big Colour Eye Pencil in Flipping Out Pink and the Magix Prep & Set Spray.
The Perfect Brow Kit has an eyebrow powder and clear wax. I have used it over the last couple of days and really enjoyed how natural it looks as well as sculpting my brow. I have been using the Prep & Set spray before and after doing my make up and it has kept my make up intact. The colours for the eye pencil and cream eyeshadow are great but I am yet to try them out properly.
There is always stuff on offer on the Avon site. You might have thought all of those things added up but it only came to £19.99! Yes! You’ll be able to get your order sent directly to your house or wait for your representative to deliver it to you.
New York has been top of my bucket list for a long time. I wanted to see places where you felt like you had walked straight into a movie. I wanted to try all of the foods. I wanted to explore and get a real feel of the city. I finally went to New York this May and it really did deliver.
New York is so busy! If you aren’t used to that then it can be a little overwhelming. Hell, I live in London and I found it a little overwhelming! The constant people and crowds can make the place feel like a whirlwind but there are little areas of calm if you look in the right places.
Despite the fact that I loved the sights, the food and a lot in-between. I have some issues with New York. Everyone gives New York this idea of glamour but it ‘s all like that! You also get told to do so many things from so many different people it can be hard to figure out what you actually want to do. It’s like you’ve done it wrong when people asked why you didn’t end up somewhere!
I was so excited to get to our Air Bnb when we hit NY! We got the Air Train from JFK through the airport and got off at the wrong stop. This meant we got the subway through Queens, with suitcases and standing out like a sore thumb. It was not the nicest experience and I was pretty freaked out. We then got off at our Subway stop and it was a real eye opener. I imagine all of Brooklyn to look like Shoreditch but once you get there, you notice it is not like that everywhere. It felt like you walked right into the 90s with people shouting insults at each other, boomboxes on shoulders and homeless people on street corners. There was a definite case of us thinking “where the fuck are we?”
Once we walked nearer to our Air Bnb, I felt a lot more comfortable. I know that there are dodgy and safe places in most cities but New York was one of the few places I have been worried when wandering around certain parts. You can tell it was a case of gentrification as Williamsburg was exactly how I expected it to be and I loved it. We stayed in Bed Stuy which had good bars and restuarants but it was a little more sparse.
I don’t want to knock the holiday I had. On the contrary, I loved my time in New York. However, I found myself explaining my holiday with a few “buts” and I felt guilty. It got me thinking, why should I be feeling guilty? You don’t have to love every single part of a city. It is ok to have down sides to a place. I think people sometimes look at holidays with rose tinted glasses as you aren’t going to love everything you see and do! I refuse to feel like the odd one out as everyone I speak to about New York agrees with some of the downsides once you get chatting about what you got up to.
New York has great things I loved and I will be going back. I also know what things I am definitely going to be doing again and other things I wouldn’t. Would you say the same about London? Probably. It is all about picking the best parts for you, not what everyone else tells you to go to.
Warsaw was a great trip for food and drink. We headed to a few bars that were full of vodka. We then headed over to Butchery & Wine which was near our hotel.
When looking at steak restaurants in London, the price tag is pretty hefty. After a trip to MASH a few years ago, I found it was overpriced and unseasoned. It put me off a little.
Butchery & Wine was not like that at all. The setting felt a little fancy yet reserved. The dim lighting and cut back decor made it romantic and perfect for a date night.
I started with short rib croquettes with a harissa sauce. Andrew had the steak tartare. Both great pieces of meat and tasted delicious.
As Warsaw was so cheap, it meant we tried what we might not have one in London. A chateaubriand was really good value and I was so glad we had it. Pink in the middle, crisp on the outside.
The great thing about going out in a couple means sharing food is a lot more acceptable. A chocolate fondant between the pair of us meant we had a bitterly sweet dessert without being taken over by the rich flavour.
Poland is perfect for when you want to go somewhere and not spend too much. With wine, two starters, a chateaubriand, sides, sauces, a shared dessert and service, you would expect it to be quite expensive. Not this time around! All of that at Butchery & Wine was about £90! I would definitely recommend but see if you can book beforehand, just incase.
Borough Market is an institution. The famous food market is always busy and has a great selection of food, drink and produce.
We ventured over on a busy Saturday to window shop and take in all of the sights and the smells.
There is so much to see it can be a little overwhelming.The hot food stalls are all on one side and it means that it can be reaaaaaaaallly busy. We tried some scotch eggs from Scotch Tails but didn’t have space to take a picture!
If you haven’t been before I would recommend trying a few bits! Bread Ahead have a stall further into the market. You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram of their INSANELY good doughnuts.
If you are a fan of spicy then Pimento Hill does some delicious Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam. You will get some testers to try before you buy too! Spice Mountain has all of the spices, salts and peppers you will ever need!
We headed to Neal’s Yard to try some cheese. After going to Clove Club in Shoreditch and trying the tasting menu, they had some incredible goats cheese from Neals Yard. We tried some in store and it was so good. We took some home with us. The huge blocks of cheese don’t even look real and the whole room is full of all of the cheese you can imagine.
3bis Gelato is right next door to Neals Yard. As it was getting a little warmer as we are falling into spring, we decided to share a tub. Chocolate sauce is drizzled underneath and topped with the ice cream of your choice. There are a small selection of flavours to choose from but they all look so tasty.
Buying lots from Borough Market can get expensive Take a friend to share bigger dishes and wander round getting all the tasters you can stomach!