Definitely not a has-been!

20130421-151304.jpgA few weeks ago we took a mini break to London to celebrate our 13 years of being together anniversary. We spent part of our time over in East London wandering the shops and I spotted some Swedish Hasbeens in the window of an empty unused shop. I blurted out to my husband how much I loved the brand and was startled when a lady replied back, “come back Thursday, we’re opening then!”. It was then I realised that the lady was setting up the window display and probably setting up shop for the brand, though I’m not sure if its just a pop-up shop. The advice from the lady was no use to me as we were leaving before Thursday so we just said goodbye and crossed over the road to wander a bit more. When we reached the other side I noticed some Hasbeens in a shoe shop called Author, I had to pop inside to have a look! My husband persuaded me to treat myself so I did and bought my very first pair, he even helped me decide on the colour! I’ve been eyeing up Hasbeens for a few years now but never got any as the only way to purchase them was online, which is expensive as they are a Swedish brand. Now you can get your hands on them here in the UK, which is great because it works out cheaper then buying them online, even though online they do free delivery to the UK! It goes to show how weak the pound is.

20130421-151140.jpg

After having had these Hasbeens for two weeks I have finally been able to wear them out yesterday! I can see myself wanting more of these clogs and who knows I may try other brands! I’ve had a search online and think the clogs from Lotta look cute too, and even more so when the price of them are a lot cheaper than the Swedish Hasbeens. They seem to be a smaller brand and based in London so I guess it’s good to support the little guys and keep the pound in the UK!

20130421-152350.jpg

20130421-153816.jpg

Anniversary Month

April is when my husband and I first got together after 7 months of being friends at Art College, we’ve been together for 13 years this month! To celebrate we spent a few days in our ex home-town of London, we always have fun going to our old haunts. We like walking around to enjoy the sights and reminisce the old days! We lived here during our uni years and stayed for 9 years and lived all over London, places include: Ealing, Camden Town, London Bridge and Marble Arch.

20130410-194433.jpg
As it was our anniversary we treated ourselves to a stay at Shoreditch House, it was extra special because we stayed here on our wedding night before flying out to Sweden for our honeymoon! It’ll always bring memories of our wedding day. It just so happens we were given the exact room we stayed in last time, it was nice as I knew what to expect but it would have been even nicer to experience another room! We checked in after a spot of lunch at Spitalfields and a little retail therapy at Blitz London (I bought a lot more the next few days O__o ).

20130410-191521.jpg

20130410-191534.jpg

20130410-191544.jpg

20130410-191551.jpg

20130410-194036.jpg
20130410-191600.jpg

When in London we have our routines on what shops, restaurants or places visit, however this time we tried a different place for dinner. That evening we had a dinner reservation at the restaurant in Shoteditch House with my sisters, although the food wasn’t spectacular, I enjoyed the convenience as we just had to get the lift down and then up to the 5th floor! We had to wait for our table but this was fine as there were games to occupy us, such as retro computer game, snooker table and a table football. The rules here states no photos anywhere in public areas so I can’t really show you any pics. I’ll review the food in another post.

(This is not a sponsored post, we paid for our room with our hard earned money).

Sunday in London

A few weeks ago we drove to London and parked on the street we used to live in, in West London. We were lucky the weather was great, memories of the summer and Berlin came flooding back.

We went around our usually shopping areas but for food I decided we should try something different as I’ve gone off our usual place due to a change in management. I wanted to try out Mexican food! This is an unusual request from me as I dislike Mexican flavours, which is unfair as I’m basing this on all the El Paso flavourings and packs you get at the supermarket! Ever since I’ve steered clear of Mexican food, actually I wouldn’t say I went out of my way to avoid it, I have just preferred to eat other cuisine.

The main reason for my unusual request for Mexican food is due to my addiction to watching Food Network. I caught Tomasina Miers’ cooking programme on it one day and the food looked appetising! So that is my story and reason that I picked Wahaca. If you didn’t know Tomasina won Master Chef in 2005 and opened the first Wahaca restaurant in Covent Garden in 2007. The main branches in central London are located in Soho, Canary Wharf and the newest one is in Charlotte Street. Take-away orders are available at this one, plus they have a breakfast menu, sell “hard to find” Mexican ingredients, as well as their own-brand sauces!

Top left: black bean tostadas.  Centre: broad bean quesadilla. Centre left: new potato taquito.

We arrived around 2pm and had to wait for a table. Before deciding to wait I did ask how long the waiting time would be. The waiter said 5 minutes, it was more like 15 minutes, not too bad I suppose. We were given a contraption that worked as a buzzer to inform you when you’re table is free, much like a pager but this lit up and vibrated. The waiting area was the bar and I guess it makes sense to them to get us to buy drinks while we wait. After being seated I found the noise of the bar too loud at times (blender noise I think), but I guess that’s what you get being in an open planned space.

Top-Bottom: pork pibil tacos, Wahaca slaw.chicken, tinga tacos.

We weren’t too sure what to order so we went with the Wahaca selection which is a set menu of their favourite dishes. It consisted of 3 pork pibil tacos, 1 large broad bean quesadilla, 3 chicken tinga tacos, 2 black bean tostadas, 2 new potato taquitos and Wahaca slaw. This cost £19.95 for the both of us (not per head).

The food was good, the flavours were fresh and spicy but the food we ordered can feel a bit samey in terms of ingredients (tomatoes, onion and sour cream). We both favoured the the pork pibil tacos as it was spicy, tender and sweet. The blandest was the broad bean quesadilla, the texture was like mashed potato with a bit of cheese, sandwiched together with a tortilla wrap and grilled, it was quite dry.

It was a nice experience and I can now say I don’t dislike Mexican food, it still wouldn’t be my first choice – I prefer Asian and South Asian flavours more.

I’ll end this with a few pictures of other things we got up to:

Beyond Retro

Yayoi Kusama at Selfridges

Scoop, my favourite Gelato place in London!

Dinner out at Rasa Sayang

I’ve been in for lunch when it was relatively new a few years back and thought the food was good but quite filling especially if you’re eating alone. I was meeting my sisters for dinner and instead of the usual Chinese I decided we should try Malaysian Rasa Sayang as they haven’t been there before.

I arrived before them and decided to grab a table with bf before it filled up. I asked for a table for four and the lady seated us and asked when the other two coming which I thought was strange! She said it’s dinner time now, implying it would get busy. I wondered if she wanted us to wait outside for my sisters to arrive before getting a table. I told her in Chinese that they would be here soon and we’d eat fast! I do find that Chinese restaurant owners rude, I’ve experienced it a few times in China Town. I’m not sure whether they are only rude to other Chinese people or just rude to every nationality.

(Nasi lemak)

We ordered a dish each to share amongst ourselves; which worked out pretty well, we got a variety of noodles and rice dishes. The dishes were beef rendang – curry & boiled rice (£7.10), nasi lemak – chicken, sides & boiled rice (£7.10 ), char kuay teow – flat noodles with seafood (£6.90), Malaysian fried hokkien mee – thick noodles with chicken (£6.90 ). I thought all the dishes were rather good apart from the Malaysian fried hokkien mee as it had far too much dark soy sauce which coloured it completely black, nothing like the picture on the menu. The nasi lemak looked the most appealing as it had so many things on the plate, it came with chicken and the people that weren’t keen on dark meat made sure to order breast. I’m a leg girl myself but the breast meat was tender, it wasn’t dry because I think the chicken was cooked (probably boiled) whole and chopped up on the bone a la Asian style. The beef rendang was very flavoursome and delicious with the fluffy white boiled rice. The char kuay teow was standard, not bad, it could have had more seafood in it. Overall it was a nice change to have Malaysian street style food, we paid about £8.50 each including lemon tea and tap water.

(Clockwise: char kuay teow, nasi lemak, Malaysian fried hokkien mee, boiled rice, beef rendang.)