A week of London Fun

Guys, this is NOT FUNNY any more. I've been toying with the idea for a good couple of months with just writing, not with a particular point or argument to make, or show to review, but just writing what I think and what I've been doing with my life and just writing to reflect and chat. 

In true Emma fashion, someone else did what I wanted to do while I was thinking about it. That person happened to be Hannah Gale, which makes my point for me very well - while you're wondering about the details, someone else is getting on with it. They are the successful people. 

I do this thing where I stress about the finer points and then prevent myself from actually getting on with anything and it's really counterproductive and stressful and I should really just stop. 

ANYWAY. 

I'm just going to start writing in this tone which I enjoy writing in most, about the vaguely exciting things which happen in my life and this seemed like a good time to start. 

A couple of months ago, my best friend and I planned a week where neither of us had to be at work or school, and had a week of doing some of the fun things in London that we don't normally have enough time to do justice. We had been talking about it for at least a month. It was very, very well planned. There were picnics and theatre trips involved. I dare you to try and have a better week than we did. 

On a serious note, especially if you work in retail or something equally as mind numbing, book a week of holiday just because you need it, get enough sleep, eat good food, and laugh a lot. I promise you will feel better for it. 

Background information: My best friend is called Lauren, I talk about her all the time on here and in life because I find her hilarious and most of my good stories involve her somehow. She goes to the London School of Musical Theatre and she's ridiculously talented. We've been friends since we were about 14 and if anyone had suggested that we would be as close as we are now while we were at school, 104% of people would have laughed. We used to bicker like siblings and there's a definite possibility that I was the most argumentative, irrational, sensitive teenager that has ever existed, so hats off to her. Saying all of that, I rate ANYONE who can manage to be friends between 14 and 22. Everyone basically becomes a different person in that time right? Anyway, now we live in the same city again and it's an absolute dream.  

(London is big and I'm not classy enough to live in the west so that's not actually as much of a dream as it sounds, but it's great.) 

Every single time I send a whiney text saying 'Laurennnnnn I've run out of blogging inspiration'. I get a reply saying something to the effect of 'WRITE ABOUT ME'. She actually wouldn't ever want me to; obviously she's always joking, so much so that I'm probably about to get shouted at for sharing that with the internet, but I have been threatening to just do it for a while now. So here we are, this is as close as we're going to get. 

Monday was spent in book shops, coffee shops, and a cold patch of greeness somewhere near Warren Street. Not forgetting the minute and a half we spent in a church, trying to establish to what extent you can actually just walk into a church at any time. (Side note, you can just walk in, and I think that God would have been 100% fine with us eating our picnic in there, but the signs and other people who were, rather inconveniently, praying, suggested otherwise.) 

  • If you have a friend who literally looks forward to their coffee in the morning before they've even gone to sleep, and then you meet them at 11am and they say 'I tried to see if I could go a whole day without coffee', take them to coffee. Immediately. For the sake of you both. 
  • The Waterstones on Gower Street is one of the most wonderful places I've ever been. It's far less clinical than Foyles on Charing Cross Road, say, yet it feels bigger and as though it might have even more books. It also has second hand books on display/sale which I thought was super cute. 
  • You will always win the unspoken picnic competition if you include salmon and Philadelphia. 
  • French's book shop, near Warren street, is also WONDERFUL if you are in any way interested in theatre-y things. They have hundreds of Monologues, plays, musical scores, basically everything. 
  • There is a reason that it's not too difficult to find a bench on which to eat a picnic at 2pm on a Monday afternoon in March. IT. IS. COLD. 
  • TAP COFFEE. 114 Tottenham Court Road. Lovely coffee, lovely people, lovely looking cake, great people watching spot. Definitely going back. Blog to follow. 
tap coffee tottenham court road
tap coffee tottenham court road 2
London church

 

Tuesday involved another picnic. Turns out, you only win the unspoken picnic competition against smoked salmon and cream cheese if you provide gin. 

  • Finsbury park isn't all that great, but the Park Theatre looks quite cute and quirky. 
  • Go to Camden Passage, near Angel. It's wonderful and there are lots of cute little shops and you'll find the weirdest things and remind yourself that life does not exist solely on the high street. 
  • Hand To God at the Vaudeville is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. It's not that funny, or that offensive, or that anything really. Just weird. Fair enough the guy who's hand becomes possessed by a puppet is a pretty good actor, but beyond that I was a little bit uninspired. 
  • Empty theatres make me really sad, regardless of what I'm there to see. Even though I didn't think that much of the show, the fact that only the stalls were full felt a little disheartening in the centre of London's West End. 
Picnic camden passage

Wednesday required my brain to get right back into gear as I had a test for City University London, for Children's Nursing, in case you missed that. Ah, typing that still feels weird, and not all in a good way. Anyway. That probably deserves its own post. 

  • Starbucks fruit toast is really good and I don't even really know why
  • Leaving work knowing that you're getting home to your wonderful housemates and your best friend is absolutely lovely
  • It's even lovelier when they are having a life chat and have found the gin and tonic... 
  • That was basically the defining moment of Wednesday. 

Thursday probably deserved it's own post all together, but that didn't seem fair to the other days. If you've never decided to dedicate a whole day to eating breakfast food, you're doing something wrong. We walked right from Mile End to Central London via various lovely places because why would you not do that when you have a whole day to yourselves. 

  • The Store in Bethnal Green is absolutely wonderful. Their coffee isn't bitter, and their almond croissants are without a doubt the best I've ever eaten. Like, ever. They taste like they have marzipan in them. It's also cute as anything. 
  • Walking from said coffee shop in Bethnal Green, to Brick Lane, confirmed for Lauren that she couldn't ever live in the East. It also reminded me why I love it. It's a good job we're not all the same, isn't it? 
  • Brick Lane continues to astound me and remind me of the INCREDIBLE culture which we live in.
  • The Cereal Killer Cafe is absolutely excellent. The Cereal Cocktails would be my go-to any day of the week, they are hilariously named and super tasty. Obviously it also means less decision making is required because you get 2-3 different cereals in one cocktail anyway. 
  • Also, mixing cereal. <3 
  • It seems appropriate to mention here that we may have ordered a cereal cocktail called Blue Waffle. 
  • The video collection to just look at in there meant we sat and discussed our childhoods for at least an hour over cereal. We are both classy and cute, yes. 
  • We then walked to St Katharine's Dock, via Shoreditch, Spitalfields and a little look at the Tower of London. That was a far nicer part of our walk. 
  • We went to St Katharine's Dock when we were on a school trip when we were 16. That was a long time ago. Nostalgia slapped us in the face. And then we had a lovely day anyway. Strong biceps emoji. 
  • We wandered into Central London and 30,000 steps later we needed Weatherspoons. Honestly, just take a day to do that, walk from wherever you are to a destination and let it take you all day. It's good for you and you'll notice things you have never noticed before. 
  • Les Miserables makes me happier than most other things. That definitely deserved a whole post of it's own. 
cereal cafe videos
cereal cafe blue waffle
les miserables queens theatre

Friday was for sleep. Sleep sleep sleep and more sleep. And then a trip to lidl to buy some normal food to get over my day of breakfast food. Followed by some more sleep over the weekend. Always leave yourself time for enough sleep.