Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Friday Late at the V&A Museum

A couple of girls from work and I thought we would be cultural and attend Friday Late last week (V&A opens late the last Friday of every month and holds events if anyone is interested). Last Friday's even was all about games. Unfortunately, it seems all of the young people in London had the same idea meaning it was packed and big queues for all of the games/activities. So we took a wander around the museum and had hot chocolate to follow.

Giant game of pass the parcel.

Fabulous glass sculpture in the lobby.

My Sport Relief Mile (plus two more!)

A friend and I decided many weeks ago to do the Sport Relief mile and as we registered thought....why do one mile when we can do three? It seemed like a good idea at the time! But for our first foray into running events we didn't do too badly, 3 miles in 35 mins. And had some fun and raised some ££'s doing it :)

Victoria Embankment, start of the event.

At the beginning....figuring out how to dodge the people in costumes (including Scooby and the gang, lots of tutus, a few space hoppers, lots of superheroes and I think I may have seen a Batman or two),

Scrappy Doo and his dad, so cute!

Search for the Perfect Brunch Spot....

is over! Went to brunch with my brother and his partner in Fulham at my new favourite place. It's called Del'Aziz ( They have a few branches around London and come highly recommended. I had lovely salmon fishcakes and salad, Grant had eggs benedict and Andrew a full breakfast. The eggs benedict looked fantastic and must go back to try it, finally somewhere that knows it should be the staple part of a brunch menu! They do middle eastern/meditteranean food but do a standard brunch menu that's lovely as well as selling tagines, mugs, deli food and spices etc. And as you can see, the cakes are fab!!!

Munchen: Beer, Sausages and Snow.

A couple of weekends ago we headed to Munich for a couple of days (cheap flights, thanks easyjet!). James has always wanted to visit Dachau as his grandfather was held there as a POW so thought we would take the opportunity to hang out in Munich as well.

The first night we did the obligatory visit to the Hofbrauhaus, the biggest beer hall in Munich. Given the stories we've heard about Oktoberfest we assumed it would be full of tourists like us but we were pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be full of locals and we ended up sitting across from a a guy from Boston who lives there and filled us in. There are signs above many of the tables that indicate it's reserved on certain nights, and apparently you either have to have been part of the family for too many years to count or be close enough to be invited in order to sit on those tables. The atmosphere was great, incredibly festive with a band, families and groups having a good time, and drinking copious amounts of beer from 1L steins!

Before I learnt how to hold it's very heavy!!

The locals having fun.

The next morning we ventured out into the cold, it had been snowing the day before so we layered up and went exploring.

The S-Bahn station near our hotel.

Dachau - I felt it was very disrespectful to take any photos inside the Memorial Site or any of the buildings in the camp itself so this is the sign out the front. It didn't stop many others from snapping away however, made me feel a little ill....especially outside the crematorium. Just a little wrong.

The walking man statue in the trendy Schwabing area.

Quick! Emergency! Need maltesers!!!

And the obligatory food photos....we went to a lovely place behind the Marienplatz for dinner that was recommended by Lonely Planet, and it didn't disappoint. The English menu seemed a little pricey so we decided to take a punt and try to interpret the German menu, with fantastic results! The place was a little taverna with good beer and the kind of food your grandmother would cook if she was German. I had this lovely braised beef with knodles (potato and bread dumplings). Delish!!

Fantastic store we found with every kind of dried fruit and chocolate you could imagine.

We opened the hotel room curtains on the last day and saw snow, snow and more snow!

Halfway to the bakery where we had breakfast we were already covered in snow which was hitting us straight in the face. Lucky we had the thought of coffee and pastries to keep us going!

Fountain in the Marienplatz with the last of the snow clinging on.

More food....beech smoked sausages and German potato salad. Lovely! And served on a cute little heart shaped tin plate.

Our lasting impression of Munich was that it was very clean and orderly, especially in comparison to London! No big crowds, very friendly people, large roomy trains and clean air. Although I imagine Oktoberfest time is a completely different affair!

Monday, March 22, 2010

And some more.....

My lovely Valentine's Day surprise, complete with eucalyptus leaves because I was feeling homesick...awwwww :) Thanks baby. This was followed by a lovely brunch at the Ruby and Sequoia in Notting Hill. Eggs benedict, my favourite!

These ones are for you Mum. The All Saints store in Notting Hill is filled with singer sewing machines, this was just a fraction of them.

Lovely chicken and briyani at Fakhreldine in Mayfair. Followed by a few cocktails at the bar ;)

A few weeks ago we took a Sunday drive to the coast at Whitstable. Lovely little seaside town but very very cold day!!

The beach.....

Warming up in the car after the obligatory lunch of fish and chips in Margate!

Our new best friend Tom. He has saved many an argument over which lane to be in, which direction we should be going, and even what the speed limit is. What would we do without him?

Photo Updates...

Ok I know I have been more than a little lazy blogging lately, so here are some photos of our adventures over the past couple of months to make up for it!

Paddington tube station, completely empty on a very very cold January Sunday afternoon.

The same day, frozen canal in Little Venice. The day after we saw on the news that a couple of young hooligans had tried to drive their car on one of the canals....someone didn't get in the right line when they were handing out brains.

One of the boat owner invited us in for a look at his home on the canal. Not sure if he just felt sorry for us because it was so cold....but was interesting all the same!

The National Theatre all lit up in green and gold for Australia Day. Go Aussie!

James with his mate Hamlet in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare. We headed there for a weekend in January, about a 2 hour drive out of London and a beautiful quaint little town.

Stained glass at the church where Shakespeare's grave is located.

The house where Shakespeare is claimed to have been born.

Anne Hathaway's cottage.

Gorgeous peacocks at Warwick Castle on the drive home.