This Weekend…

Just a few days until I head to NYC to see my parents, eat too much food and wander around one of my favourite cities – I can’t wait. This weekend for me will be relaxed with some packing but also lots of yummy food with a sushi party at a friend’s house plus a trip to the awesome Street Feast up in my old neighbourhood Dalston. Whatever you do, stay gold.

imageOther cool stuff…

* LOVE this article on the difference between the US and the UK (and I agree – you order wine by the BOTTLE, America)

* Wardrobe organisation by fashion editors. Genius

* Borderline obsessed with the kitchen in Nicole’s house (from Making It Lovely)

* You know how I really want a drinks trolley? Well this amazing do-up makes me want it more.

* Have you signed up for iTunes festival tickets ballot? Fingers crossed for Chic, Lady Gaga and Elton.

* The most gorgeous brogues

* If you’re after a great read, I really can’t recommend Where’d You Go Bernadette? enough.

Image from my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley

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Happy Bank Holiday Weekend

Hooray for a three day weekender. Hope you all have fabulous fun and rest up too. Autumn is just around the corner so soak up the sun!

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Here are some bits that caught my eye this week. Ps how great is this Beatles photo?

A fascinating look at the age of denial

Avoid Oxford Street this weekend and hit the Asos sale, it’s really bloody good. And this skirt is perfect for my NYC trip

Talking of NYC, me and Al are touring the Brooklyn Brewery. Yay for beer!

This quiz makes me wonder if I would pass my GCSEs nowadays (for the record I was a massive nerd when I was sixteen and had the added pressure of joining the elite alumni – ie Richard Ashcroft – of this college)

The other famous son of Wigan, ukelele-strumming legend George Formby, is being celebrated in a show at the Hackney Empire August 31

And this weekend if you like cute pooches and charity (and if you don’t, take a long hard look at yourself and your life choices) head to the Paw Pageant at Spitafields. Awwwww factor plus pennies for Battersea.

LondonLove: Keats House, Hampstead Heath

On Friday morning I was heading to one of the loveliest bits of London – Hampstead Heath – for a tour of the hospital there (job interview tomorrow, eek!)

Due to the fear of being late, I ended up there far too early so decided to mooch around and stare at all the beautiful houses like the little match girl, practically smushing my face up to the glass panes. Seriously, I forgot places like this exist! Not that Old Kent Road doesn’t have it’s own joys but, you know…

In my wanderings, I came across this lovely building with a gorgeous tranquil garden. It’s only the bloody house of John Keats! This is what I love about London. Potter around for a while and something like this will just pop up.

keats house

Have you been? It’s very beautiful and there are lots of cool events that happen throughout the year (I’m tempted by the writing course). And it’s only a fiver for a ticket that lasts A YEAR. Or you could just take your lunch and a coffee into the lovely garden and chill for free.

xx

Time for tea: Brumus at the Haymarket Hotel

This Sunday was one of the nicest Sundays in a while. My girls went for a gorgeous afternoon tea baby shower at Brumus at the Haymarket Hotel in the West End to celebrate the coming (soon!) of a new lovely baby. The tea set is Wedgewood Wild Strawberry bone china (I looked underneath the cup) and I would seriously consider getting married simply to get this.

brumus - teaset

The setting is beautiful and the service is wonderful. Between the six of us we had three traditional teas and three specials to mix it up. This is the traditional one with scones, finger sandwiches and little eclairs.

brumus - traditional

This tier was overflowing with salmon blinis, blueberry cheesecake and chocolate coated strawberries and marshmallows. So good.

Brumus - special

Sometimes I think this country is insane but then I remember that we have afternoon tea, freedom and Clare Balding and all is well with the world again.

Queen of the Night Bus xx

LondonLove: Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

I think we can all agree on this – there is always time for some rooftop drinking. If you’re in sarf laandaan, get yourself to Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. Perched on top of the multi-storey car park, it has awesome panoramic views of the city skyline.

Franks - views

There are also art installations from Bold Tendencies – including this glittery number.

Franks - me

There is a wide range of yummy Greenwich Meantime ales and I had a lush cider to wash down a pot of olives and the most tasty barbecued plantain with super hot pepper sauce.

Franks

This is just the first visit of many this summer for us. If nothing else, I need more BBQ plantain!

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

LondonLove: Climbing The Monument

This summer me and Al have decided to do lots of “London things” that we haven’t done – the kind of thing every Italian student on an exchange trip has seen in London but the average resident walks past daily.

Today we did one of those things, and climbed all the way to the top of the Monument. It was so cool but hard bloody work. 311 steps of hard work!

Monument stairs

Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London fact fans, and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City of London. The pillar with its distinctive copper top (bit like me, har har) is built near where the fire began. Fantastic fact people – the pillar is 61 metres high, which is the exact distance between the pillar and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began.

Monument st pauls

When you get up top, your hard work is rewarded with brilliant views of the city. St Pauls, Battersea Power Station, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament. It’s all here. And guess what – it is only £3 (!!!) to go to the top (and only a bargainous £2 if you are a student!!)

Monument us

As we left the lovely man gave us both a certificate to prove we had climbed to the top of the Monument.

Monument certs

Whether you’re a tourist or a long-time resident, the Monument is so worth a visit. Plus, you’re not to far from one of my favourite streets (and old stomping ground) Fleet Street where a pint at the Tipperary, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese or the Crown and Sugarloaf is pretty necessary after 311 steps.

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

LondonLove: Walking the Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to Camden

A few weeks ago me and Al decided to make the most of a break in the rain and go for a big ole walk but breaking news people – WE WENT TO WEST LONDON. I know right?! Previous to this day out, this was my personal map of London.

Here be Dragons

Even though I have lived here nearly six years, I’m very much an East/South London kind of girl. Of course, I’ve been to the museums and the occasional house party and what not but I find anything past Marble Arch pretty baffling.

However I was super keen to go to Little Venice, a beautiful area in the south of Maida Vale. Wowsa. The streets really are paved with gold! We were not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Little Venice 2

The houseboats are so pretty – it’s a dream of mine to live on a houseboat thanks to a combination of the TV show Rosie and Jim and growing in canal-riddled Wigan. The moorings are really pretty and well maintained here.

Little Venice 1

We then pottered up the canal side and eventually came across this incredible community of house boats – how beautiful! There were herbs growing along the path way and pretty bunting and decorations (and a few adorable dogs mooching aboard deck). It was like paradise.

Little Venice 3

The sun had come out by this time so we decided to pop off the canal path and head into St Johns Wood for a snack. Al was keen to show me Lords Cricket Ground and then we saw the Abbey Road crossing made famous, of course, by the Beatles’ album cover. We didn’t try to recreate this but a lot of people did  – a few got properly told off by moody drivers too. (How amazing are the houses around here?)

Abbey Road

After a sneaky pint, we got back on the canal on our way to Camden. We considered going alllllll the way back to east London but by this point rain clouds were on the horizon. This part of the walk is especially exciting because you go past the London Zoo – we didn’t see any wild animals, alas – and the canal becomes very peaceful and serene. This probably isn’t an image most people think of when they think of central London.

regents canal

me at canal

We continued our amble – and this is when the house envy monster inside me really came out. The houses are like palaces! This one reminds me so much of the house that Duchess and her kittens live in in The Aristocats.

big house canal

And bravo to the owners of this gorgeous home – a surprise cow on the balcony! Love it.

 

cow house canal

Eventually we made it to Camden before the rain started to pour and treated ourselves to a well earned burger and cheeky wine at the Hawley Arms.

If you have a spare afternoon and the weather is fine, it’s a beautiful walk and takes in so many great sights. We’ve now got a target of walking the whole 8.6 miles of the Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to the Thames at Limehouse basin (via Islington, Dalston and Mile End) at some point this summer. I’m thinking there will need to be quite a few pint stops on that one.

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

All photographs courtesy of my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley. London tube map from Transport for London, and destroyed by myself.

This Weekend…

Apparently the sunshine isn’t hanging around for the weekend, sad times. I’m planning on taking it easy. I think Sunday might be a pub lunch with a few glasses of red. What about yourself? Here’s some things that caught my eye this week…

perfection cookie

Wise words for a fortune cookie

* How cute is this DIY Party Lantern Garland via Oh Happy Day. Those guys are the best

* After spending last weekend in my fair hometown of Wigan, this rings true

* I keep obsessing over a vintage bar cart/globe bar cabinet. Mandela Towers is my inspiration

* And on the topic of bars, let’s all go to Aldi!

* I like my men like I like my coffee – in a cup. This coffee festival will wake the sluggish up on Sunday

Queen of the night bus x

LondonLove: Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival

Somerset House has this super cool graphic arts festival on until Sunday – Pick Me Up

pick me up

It’s all about fantastic design and supporting upcoming, emerging talent as well as the more established artists. Also, what a great way to get people into art. There is so much colour and fun and excitement. I really want to go visit one afternoon this week.

If you can’t make it to London you can still pick up some of the awesome and totally affordable art on offer online. I’m getting one or two pieces for sure. Here are some of my favourites…

Utopia - is here

Utopia by A Two Pipe Problem Letterpress

I love the thought of having this above my bed

Teenage mutant hero angst

Teenage Mutant Ninja Angst by Babycrow

Funny, cool and the ninja turtles are a bit of an in joke in my family

TEAM print

T.E.A.M by Melvin Galapon

I feel I will have this print in my house forever

Swim club print

Peskimo Swim Club by the Soma Gallery

This would be adorable in a child’s bedroom – love the whale’s face!

Amarok

Amarok by Margaux Carpentier

Just so, so beautiful. I could stare at this for hours

Queen of the night bus x

LondonLove: Seaside living in the city

I walked past this awesome house in Hackney last week (it’s really close to top pub the Sebright Arms which you should TOTALLY check out while burger supremos Lucky Chip are in residence). It has such a beachy feel but is basically smack bang in the middle of Bethnal Green.

Blue house hackney

 

It’s such an unexpected delight. I love the minty blue shade, the wooden cladding, the unusual windows. What isn’t really clear in my Instagrammed pic is these shimmery panels of sequins that hang next to the windows.

Kudos to the architect and home owners for creating such a talking-point house. There is a Miami-style house that is sooooo 80’s near where I grew up in Wigan with a wrap around balcony (like you’re gonna use that much, ha!). I used to think that was the most glamorous house ever when I was small. While it isn’t in keeping with my tastes now (I don’t see myself living on the set of a Duran Duran video sadly) I’ll always remember it.

And who can say that about the anonymous monster estates of identikits houses taking over our island?

Queen of the night bus x