I wanna be your Ford Cortina

Hello!

How was everyone’s bank holiday? Our’s was pretty busy and full of some seriously great food! Living in London, you can often forget about some of the great tourist attractions it has to offer. The past few weekends, we’ve caught up on some of the touristy things to do…

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The V&A is one of my favourite museums in London, but I’ve never eaten at the cafe… I often think the cafes at museums and galleries can be a bit naff, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at what the V&A had to offer. I think this was the most elegant cafe I have ever eaten in. I’d really recommend eating here if you’re taking a trip to the museums in the area (and I’ve heard the scones are amazing).

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As the days merged into one, I can’t remember when we ate at Patty & Bun but oh my, the Smokey Robinson with a side of rosemary salt chips – seriously good! They’ve been open on James Street for a while now, but we stopped off at the recently opened Patty & Bun near Liverpool Street station. We just missed the lunchtime rush, so we managed to get one of the few seats inside – and it was needed, this certainly isn’t a burger you can just eat on the go (as the man sat next to us soon found out after his first bite – all down his lovely work shirt, oops). If you’re ever feeling peckish at Liverpool Street station, you’ve gotta stop off and try one of these bad boys, it’s a real treat!

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On Sunday we took a trip round the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Village, which was pretty impressive!

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And on other sporting matters, Hyde Park hosted the World Triathlon this Saturday, so we thought we’d pop along to support the triathletes.

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I can just about manage 5km, so I have great admiration for these women, to swim 750m, cycle 22km and then run the 5km on top of it, at speed!

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My 5km time might not be breaking any records, but I did score big at the Namco arcade, yesss!!

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The highlight of the past couple of weeks does have to go to Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park. Hands down, it was the best gig I’ve ever been to. Mind – blown!

I’ll be back in Hull in just over a week, I’m really looking forward to some decent fish and chips – with gravy (something London does lack).

See ya! x

P.s. I can now tell you all that Luke has a new job, yippee, so it looks like we’ll be on the move again to North London soon.

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Chilli Chilli Bang Bang Festival

Hello!

Last weekend was the Chilli Chilli Bang Bang Festival at Dalston Yard, celebrating all things hot and spicy. Wow, the food was gooood!

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WIth nearly 20 food stalls to choose from, we found it really difficult to decide where to try first.

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In the end we plumped for the Malaysian beef rendang with a cucumber salad and chilli relish (with a kick) from Sambol Shiok, washed down with our free magherita.

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The we swooped in on the Wahaca stall to get a big plate of one of my favourite dishes – mexican pulled pork pibil with pink pickled onions (lots of alliteration in that one). If you ever get the chance to eat at a Wahaca, I’d definitely recommend trying this dish.

We were rather lucky with the queues for Sambol Shiok and Wahaca, so we decided to get stuck in to the massive queue for SmokeStak. I got the rib tips with chipotle barbeque sauce and Luke tried some more pulled pork in a bun with jalapeno coleslaw. And oh wow, it really was worth the wait. I don’t normally choose barbeque food as I really can’t stand the flavour, but Smokestak has really changed my opinion.

In other news, Gloriana was in town on the weekend as well, with a little chap tootling a merry tune on his flute. How quaint!

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This weekend, my Mum is round and I’m hoping to try some more barbeque delights from Reg Dog in Clapham.

: ) xx

Fair Isle Jumper by Anna Wilkinson

Hello,

For years I’ve wanted to knit myself a complete garment, but have always been too scared. I’m fairly confident when it comes to knitting as with most things nowadays, I can just look on YouTube for videos on stitches I don’t know. But just the thought of sewing up all those pieces of knitting, making lumpy seams and pieces not quite matching up, makes me cringe!

I had however, been thinking over the idea of actually committing to knitting a jumper or cardigan for a few months, since joining a new knitting group; but it was when I came across ‘Learn to Knit, Love to Knit’ at work by Anna Wilkinson I realised I’d found the perfect pattern to use for my first ever garment.

I chose the Fair Isle band sweater with short sleeves as the style looked really simple and modern, yet with a vintage-y kind of look to it. My thinking was that the main body of the jumper looked pretty much ‘straight up and down’ as I like to say, and the sleeves were only short, so how hard could that be?! I’ve never ever attempted fair isle though, but again the band was only about 20 rows so I thought I might as well give it a go while I’m at it. Fair isle is something I’ve only ever dreamed of knitting, it completely baffles me how all the different yarns come together in a tangle, to create something so effective. Surely only the seriously skilled knitter could achieve that!

But after a good few months, some serious pulling out, tears and joy I’ve finally finished my first ever jumper, yay!

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As always my yarn choice led me to Mrs Moon to get some Rooster Almerino DK, my favourite yarn to knit/crochet with, in shades of smoothie and starfish. I opted to not go for the yarn suggested in the pattern as I was to eager to get started. Bright orange and pink aren’t usually colours I wear and after I’d finished the jumper I wish I’d maybe chosen mustard instead, but somehow they go well with each other.

I found the main body of the jumper to be fairly easy, even after the taffle of the fair isle band, the pattern was well set out so that I understood exactly how to tackle it. My tension was a bit off, but I’d say not a bad job for my first attempt. It wasn’t till all the pieces were sewn up that you get the full effect of the fair isle.

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The neckline was a pain to pick up, particularly with it being the first time I’ve used a circular needle,  I must have tried about three times and in the end I had to go round the entire neckline and drop each individual stitch and pick it up the right way once I had knitted a few rows of the rib.

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I found sewing the seams to be surprisingly easy for once, I’ve always had such bad experiences with sewing up seams it didn’t seem right. The shoulder seams were a bit tricky and not the best example of my knitting, but the side and sleeve seams actually look pretty good if I may say so myself; the side seams are almost invisible.

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So there’s my first jumper completed and now I can’t wait to get started on another. I’d really like to try and challenge myself with more fair isle, but I think I’ll just stick to something simple again. Learn to Knit, Love to Knit is a really lovely knitting book with jumpers and cardigans that are actually wearable for someone my age – it’s well worth a flick through!

Chow x

April Showers

Hello!

So in true British tradition, the April showers have arrived and a little of the Sahara Desert. But that didn’t stop us going out and braving the weather this weekend.

Normally I have my non-working weekend, planned to a tee, but this weekend, was quite last minute. I’d heard about the Selvedge Spring Fair from a colleague at work, so we headed down to the Chelsea Old Town Hall for a well needed craft fair.

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I don’t know what was more exquisite, the beautiful hall in which the fair was held, or the work and creations of the stall holders. It was a really inspirational fair, the detail and quality of the exhibitors was amazing. I can only hope to one day match up to the standard of work that we saw at the fair.

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On the walk down to the fair, we passed a little food market, so of course we had to stop by and sample some food.

I always find it so hard to choose what to eat at food fairs and markets, sometimes there can be too much choice. In the end we plumped for a scrummy looking duck sarnie.

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Remembering a recent tweet from @Londonist, we quickly found where to head next… First Saturday’s is quite obviously held on the first Saturday of the month, at Lime Wharf near Cambridge Heath. We’ve not visited much of Hackney, so when we turned up we weren’t sure what to expect.

Lime Wharf, is as described by themselves – a lovely little creative hub at the heart of Hackney, bringing people together through some good grub and creativeness. Armed with a good cuppa, we sat down and passed the time with a bit of cross stitch (I really don’t think Luke woke up expecting to dabbling in cross stitch). The free textile workshop was led by Jennie Fagerstrom, with Silvana from Beyond Fabrics and Sami from Teasemade – thank you guys!

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After that we headed down to Broadway Market with a drink at one of the local pubs to check out the Grand National results. It was our first year to place a bet, but alas, no win for us! We didn’t mind all that much, it was fun enough just to choose the horses and join in with the oohs and ahhs in the pub.

Later on, we wined and dined at The Clapton Hart, which is a great pub in the Hackney area, serving up some good drinks and very good food!

Sunday saw the weather turn even more miserable, but we still turned out to see the Boat Race. We picked a good spot in Barnes and managed to brave the cold for a few hours to cheer the rowers on. It was great to get involved in such an infamous event and we just so happened to be supporting the winners, well done Oxford!

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Miserable, huh?!

This weeks mission – the London Marathon. I’m hoping to get the Mo-bot out and catch a good glimpse of Mo doing his thing!

Chow x

 

Up Town Finds

Since moving to London, I’ve not been ‘up town’ much, but last weekend we took a trip. I wanted to scour the fabric shops and Luke wanted to check out the music shops on Denmark Street.

I’ve been wanting to get pattern cutting again, seeing as though I’ve not done any for a few years, so I thought I’d treat myself to some new fabric.

I plumped for these three really cute fabrics. The first, a cotten fabric from the SS14 New Season collection at Libertys. Orange isn’t a colour I’d normally go for, but I liked the contrast between the white ‘pencil shaving design’ and the orange. The next fabric I chose was from John Lewis, at first I thought it was a little too pink and girly, but I decided I really liked the scandi/vintage pattern.

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The last fabric I chose was from a real treasure chest of fabrics. Cloth House, has two shops on Berwick Street and the first time I went in, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop. They have a really good selection of some very lovely fabrics, it’s well worth a visit! I thought the blue poplin I chose, has a really sweet summery pattern.

After a few days pattern cutting, (what a refresher) I came up with a pattern for a short sleeveless blouse. It was my first time using bias binding, I think I’ll definitely be using it again. It gives such a neat finish to any edge. And here’s the result… et voila!

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It goes very well with my next find – a babydoll dress from American Apparel. I already have it in red, but I love how light and loose it is. It’s so easy to dress up or down.

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My favourite findsof the day, where this black velvet jacket and blue beads from Rokit. It’s an absolute goldmine of vintage treasure and I always seem to manage to find something that fits perfectly. I’ve come to realise I love a tailored jacket.

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My last little treat – a pair of JuJu’s. I’ve seen them drift in and out of fashion, but this time I just couldn’t resist. Not when they only cost £20 and are extremely comfy.

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I’m hoping to get some other patterns drafted up soon, I’ve quite missed it!

Chow x

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good

Last weekend was spent with friends – the first to stay over since our move. Saturday saw a trip to Notting Hill and Camden Market. The sun even graced us with its presence for most of Saturday and it was at least mild on Sunday. I loved all the antique and vintage shops down Portobello Road (so much lace!), I could have spent hours rummaging around the stalls rammed with nic-nacs; even a little Hornsea Pottery had made it all the way down here.

The highlight of the weekend had to go to ‘The Making of Harry Potter though…

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‘When they say every flavour, they mean every flavour.’

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Oooh.

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Hmmmm.

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Mischief managed…

Greenwich Mean Time

Hello!

I keep hoping to wake up and sudddenly discover that Spring has arrived, but somehow it never seems to turn up. I’ve seen a few little daffodils popping out, but the weather is generally still pretty miserable. It’s scary how just a few miles down the Thames hundreds of homes are being flooded, but thankfully (with a little help from the Teddington Lock) we’ve been okay here in Richmond.

Amongst all this rain, me and Luke managed to make a couple of trips out to Greenwich. Asking around, a few people said Greenwich was a nice place, but I was surprised when we got there, how seriously nice it is! After a very long journey via three methods of London transport, we made it to Greenwich in just under an hour (makes us realise just how far out we live).

We visited the Royal Observatory, home to the Prime Meridian of the World. Unwillingly parting with our money, we bought the big ticket, getting us into the Observatory, Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark.

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What a pleasant view from the top (after a very steep climb!)

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I thought it was pretty tight that you had to pay to get to the point where you can stand on the meridian line to take a picture.

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After waiting almost half an hour in the cold to take our pictures, this is the pose Luke came up with – he really wanted to be original. (Stupid kid in the background ruining such a lovely photo)

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Here, we clearly weren’t.

The day just whizzed by, so we had to come back a second time to visit the other places. Thankfully the weather was a lot brighter on our second visit.

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It’s quite sad that these figureheads are the only surviving part of many ships!

We sampled the Cutty Sark tea and it wasn’t too bad – suppose it should be for the Cutty Sark!

The Greenwich market is pretty amazing as well, especially the food stall. On both occasions we bought the same food we enjoyed it that much! So Greenwich is definitely worth a visit out if you’re ever passing by or wanting to do something a little out of central London.

Oh and it was my birthday the other month, so to celebrate we bought LOBSTER! from Loch Fyne, it’s a small chain, so if there’s one nearby you should give it a try!

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Luke tried an oyster, which seemed to take 10 minutes for him to eat. Blurgh, not for me!

I had a lovely birthday, felt like I almost had two. Thank you to anyone who sent a card 🙂

This weekend we have friends over and we going to the Harry Potter Studios, YAY! I can’t wait.

As always, thank you for reading 🙂

P.S. Now that we finally have a new laptop, I’m giving my Etsy shop a re-vamp and getting some new items listed!