For my 21st birthday, after a weekend of celebrating with friends, my mum and I hopped on a train to London for a few days of retail therapy, good food, rooftop bars and theatre.
It just so happened that our chosen dates to spend down south coincided with the hottest days of the year so far…BUT besides the makeup melting off our faces and having to constantly take rest-stops to rehydrate and cool down, the trip was pretty much perfection.
I decided to put together a little list of recommendations based on the places we went and things we did.
FOR THE BRUNCH LOVERS :
- Farmacy – Notting Hill
A primarily vegan menu, with a wide choice of drinks available. Above on the far left – matcha and chai latte // centre – matcha and hot cacao.
Incredibly delicious buckwheat pancakes are also on offer, accompanied by coconut yoghurt, chia jam and dairy-free nutella. The menu also featured the usual breakfast options; waffles, porridge, granola, avo-toast and various egg options too. If you’re a fan of juices and smoothies, their menu is not going to disappoint. I would however advice that if you like your toppings as I do, order an extra side of berries, there wasn’t quite enough fruit on the pancakes for me. It’s also quite expensive, so go prepared for a pricey bill. [8/10]
- Farm Girl Café – Notting Hill
With high profile visitors such as Youtube vlogger, Tanya Burr, this absolute gem in Notting Hill is thriving with its vegan/vegetarian-friendly menu, as well as catering for all other diets. For me, a jug of cucumber-infused water being brought to the table before ordering off the menu is a wonderful start to any dining experience and Farm Girl continued to impress me.
Their drinks menu was unusual – I’m a big fan of health lattes…I thought I’d tried them all; tumeric, matcha, unicorn, beetroot, you name it. However, Farm Girl offered an even wider range of colourful beverages for me to take a wack at. Don’t be put off by the appearance of the butterfly matcha (an organic blue matcha powder served with almond milk) – the nut milk gives it a naturally sweet taste and the blue matcha I found to be more subtle than the normal green powder I’m used to drinking. Of course I also went for the acai bowl which was filling and loaded with nutritious toppings, which really sells it for me. If cafés skimp out on toppings I think it really makes a difference to the overall quality of the food. The different textures that the banana, almond butter, desiccated coconut, berries and chia seeds gave the acai bowl was perfectly balanced. Additionally, a fantastic value for money. [10/10]
FOR THE THEATRE GOERS :
This marks the third time I have seen Matilda the musical, and for the third time, I left the Cambridge theatre feeling uplifted. This show really brings out your inner child and the intelligent lyrics and music of Tim Minchin have you tearing up one minute and laughing the next. The pure innocence brought across in both the characters of the children and in the music they sing plays on our sentimentality, bringing back memories of our own personal childhood and the simple way we used to view the world around us (before stressful, busy adult life took over). If you’re going to London and are wanting a feel-good show, Matilda is undeniably the one for you!
FOR THE DRINKERS :
- Radio Rooftop Bar – 10 mins walk from Covent Garden
Yikes this place is extortionate…I wouldn’t recommend going there for a whole night. We stayed for one drink before heading off to somewhere a bit cheaper. You do have to consider the great view and buzzing atmosphere that you’re also paying for. With the clear skies and sunny spells we had all week, a rooftop bar had to be done.
- Bluebird – Chelsea
On my actual birthday we booked to go for dinner and drinks at the Bluebird. As a Made In Chelsea fan, it was priority to dine at this regular hangout spot the cast often frequent. The staff were friendly and even brought out a complientary dessert (seeing as it was my 21st).
*LIFE TIP- IF YOU WANT FREE STUFF, SAYING IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY IS PRETTY MUCH GOING TO GUARANTEE YOU COMPLIMENTARY DESSERTS EVERY TIME*
I was very impressed with the fact that Bluebird offer a menu specifically for a vegan diet, as well as a seemingly never-ending cocktail list. I ended up ordering a vegetable dish with artichoke hearts, asparagus, butternut squash with a raisin purée and Mum went for the buckwheat dish (gradually turning her veggie…well trying to anyway). Drinks-wise, the list of cocktails was a little overwhelming so I did a very un-Becky thing and trusted the waiter with his recommendation. I was NOT disappointed. He brought me one of the drinks from their ‘Hidden Gem’ menu which was poured into a vase like glass from a watering can (nice touch). For anybody wanting to know the specifics it was ……No.42 The Flower Shop – 16Vanilla vodka, Chambord, lemon juice, lychee juice, rose aromatic, cherry flavour burst topped with Moet & Chandon Rosé…..
Here’s a more condensed list of other places I would recommend visiting ….
The Real Greek – Covent Garden (a great before/after theatre restaurant with incredible value for money and an authentic Greek feel)
The Ivy – Chelsea (beautiful decor, it’s a must to get a picture taken stood by their famously decorated front wall, flawless service, tasty food- would recommend their zucchini fritti which are like courgette fries)
Camden Markets – Camden Town