Summer has finally hit London and it’s the
perfect weather to enjoy a drink outside and somehow attempt to escape the
Olympic anxiety that every Londoner is feeling (enthusiasm it definitely ain’t).
However it isn’t that easy to find nice al fresco spots in a city where space
isn’t exactly in abundance. This is why I was so happy to find this little gem
of a place. Just a quick walk away from the rather unappealing Kings cross
station, the whole area in the last decades quite justifiable one of quick transit
rather than hip hangout spot, yet somehow in a total world of its own with a kind
of utopian Gatsby feel I have been back nearly every day since discovering it.
Formerly a petrol filling station that now houses THE restaurant of the moment
Shrimpy’s, the forecourt has been transformed into, in my opinion, one of the
best spots to enjoy the sunshine. Sitting on wooden benches whilst overlooking
the Regents canal and with the looming and atmospheric neon lettering on both
sides, you can sit down order one of their amazing margarita slushies, a glass
of prosecco or even one of their weekly changing stone oven baked pizzas and
get a real feeling of holiday in the middle of the city and with building
cranes filling the skyline. The whole thing has been conceived as two year pop
up operation, all part of a wider regeneration of an area that I think can do
with more nice places to eat out and hang out especially as I live quite close
by and has very quickly become one of my favorite London discoveries. Go while
it is sunny, get a slushie and watch people and life go by!
Open 7 days a week, 12-22, The Filling
Station- York Way
London is always at the forefront of culinary trends and right now we are in the middle of a wave of burger joints that claim to put their very own twist on a food that only a few years back was associated with McDonalds rather than the hip places to eat out in town. Meat Liquor and Hawksmoor are already on my list of regular haunts but after hearing numerous people talk about Lucky Chip as yet another contender for the best burger I simply had to try it out. Once more starting out as food wagon after gaining a cult following, Lucky Chip finally found a more permanent home as pop up at the Sebwright Arms, a very typical English pub, in Hackney ( although Lucky Chip is about to get a central London home called Slider bar) and I have to say it was more than worth the trip to East London! All burgers are rather intriguingly named after a celebrity ( the Bill Murray life Life Aquatic Surf ‘n Turf Burger for example comprised of Soft Shell Crab, Beef Patty, Guacamole, Spicy Mayo, Ginger Sweet Chili) with very unique interpretation of burgers that are far from average! I particularly enjoyed the Clint Eastwood veggie burger, named so as this Western star indeed is a Vegetarian himself, which had lovely roasted vegetables, aioli and pecorini between its buns and was one of the best of its kind I have tried. The fries come with skin on and for an extra pound with a rather amazing wasabi mayo (surprisingly the perfect addition to cheesy fries). Fine dining this ain't, you eat of paper plates, cutlery is only provided on demand and even then made out of plastic and in the end of the day you are in a pub but the food here is imaginative, fun and really cheap and I have already been back a couple of times! another place set to become part of my must try list especially once they have joined Soho's vibrant restaurant scene!
My hair has become as much part of my look as my outfits and it is not that easy to find a good hairdresser in London that knows how to cut it well (and most importantly when you are as OCD as me when it comes to my fringe) really, really straight). I first tried out Bleach when I had my fringe bleached, something that I have kept ever since, as the girl behind all Alex Brownsell created a less damaging process of bleaching ends and was one of the pioneers of the dip dye hair trend that has swept across the fashion scene and London's hippest parts ever since. I have since tried various temporary colours and love coming back every time, everyone super friendly and extremely good at what they are doing Even more conveniently for me one of their two London salons (the other one in Dalston) is located in the basement of Topshop i.e. my second home so makes it really easy for me to pop in whenever I need a quick trim! I will definitely stay faithful to Bleach and can't wait to try some more colours (I'm thinking silver next?)!