A Little Getaway

I'm currently away exploring Anatolian Turkey! We arrived late last night after an extremely turbulent flight, witnessing an incredible lightning storm raging in the clouds below the plane. It's my third time in the region but my first time visiting the eastern part of the southern coast, and hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a boat trip to Greece too. If anyone's been to Bodrum or the neighbouring area and did anything amazing, or has any tips for nice restaurants to go to, I'd really love to know!

I'll be sharing a few things here and there on here over the next week, but in terms of holiday posts,  my DSLR managed to break before the holiday so it might be a little while until I can get my snaps developed. (Oh yeah baby - I'm using old-school disposable cameras on this trip!) If you're interested in what I'm getting up to in real time, you can follow me on my Instagram, which is becoming increasingly food-based... See you all soon!

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They See Me Rollin'...

Apologies for the title. I just couldn't resist.

My dad had a special birthday present from my mum this year - a day's drive in his favourite car. I present to you the 1961 Jaguar E-Type, a.k.a. 'the most beautiful car ever made' according to Enzo Ferrari. The man wasn't wrong! I'm no automobile aficionado, but even I can see that the E-Type's dramatic lines and beautiful vintage interior details make for one seriously sexy set of wheels.

I thought I'd share a couple of photos from my little Jaguar excursion in the car for those who appreciate a sharp vehicle! Enjoy the ride - I'm saving up for my very own E-Type now...

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Riverside Feast at Battersea Power Station

I'm a bit of a fan of Battersea Power Station. London definitely wouldn't be complete without its mammoth shadow over the Thames. Usually I don't have much of an excuse to visit it, but excitingly, there's a 'Power of Summer' pop-up park playing host to the Everyman Cinema and Street Feast right on the doorstep of this industrial behemoth at the moment, up until the 31st August. If you're in London make sure you pop down south for a visit before it's redeveloped into apartments. How cool would it be to live inside the Power Station?!

Jess and I were feeling peckish and decided to swing by Riverside Feast for a bite to eat and to perve on the industrial beauty of the surrounding area. Okay, maybe that last bit only applies to me...I gawked up at the mighty Power Station and reached for my trusty SLR straight away for a picture, then realised that I'd idiotically left my camera battery in its charger. So it's iPhone snaps all the way today, I'm afraid!

We made a beeline for the bar to quench raging thirsts brought on by stifling Tube and bus journeys. I had a whole pint of beer (I usually go for hobbit-sized half-pints so this was quite a feat for me!) 

What goes with beer? Dirty chicken, of course. We bought a plate of Orange Buffalo chicken wings. The meat is smothered in a bright orange, tangy sauce, accompanied by a puddle of blue cheese crack dip and a few sticks of celery, which I'm sure basically cancelled out the rest of the calories. This is messy, moreish food - perfect food for stuffing in your face as you're revving up with a good gossip with a friend you haven't seen in months. Our faces were practically orange by the time we'd finished.

We ran around the park shutterbugging with Jess's awesome Fujifilm Instax and making friends with randomers kind enough to take pictures (and have pictures taken themselves!)

Oh Battersea, you photogenic thing, you.

Next up? More food, of course...

Jess went for an amazing looking burger from Dip & Flip (see top of this post to see its droolworthiness captured in all its iPhone glory), while my poison of choice was a Nikkei salmon salad from Aji Ceviche. I was a wee bit disappointed that there wasn't more ceviche, as I'd expected a bed of salmon surrounded by the other ingredients. The quinoa and cholco corn made up for it though, and was pleased I chose this as my main as it was quite light, leaving ample room for...

Le Bun fries with truffle mayo! These were INCREDIBLE. Possibly contender for best fries I've eaten in my life! The fries were crisp and skinny, smothered in rich, hot truffle mayonnaise. The stuff of dreams.

I've fallen in love with this American Apparel skirt which I picked up a couple of weeks ago! It was pricey (as all AA products are) but I feel so breezy and happy when I'm wearing it. And I love the way it swishes around when I walk.

Finally the sun crept to the edge of the horizon for one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen this summer, promising at least one more day of the hot weather we've been having. We Londoners have to embrace it - this is our short-lived summer!

Halo glow from the sunset!

Cheers for a fantastic evening, Street Feast! I'll be paying you another visit very soon. Next on my list is the Dalston Yard outpost...Summer is going a little bit too quickly for my liking!

What did you get up to this weekend?

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The Lord Chamberlain's Men's Birthday Party!

Just a short one today - I wanted to share a few photos from a special 10th birthday party I attended on Monday.

Not a child's 10th birthday...but for a group of fully grown men!

Shakespeare wrote for The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a group of players founded in 1594, for most of his life. 410 years later, producer Mark Puddle founded an eponymous troupe based on the same principles as the original Men - open-air performances, all-male casts and full Elizabethan costume. Ten years has seen them progress in leaps and bounds, playing at over 80 venues in the UK and internationally over the summer months. I was introduced to them by Alex, who directed the music for this summer's touring performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The company's birthday party was held at the Oriental Club just off Oxford Street, which is a rather astonishing relic from the days of Britain's empire. Some of the antique books on display in the library are quite amazing, with titles like Ten Weeks With Chinese Bandits. Definitely one for the TBR pile.

The champagne flowed freely...and since it was a party, there was cake!

When I live in a stately home I'll make sure to have a gilded library built specially to house my colonial books too.

I was excited to see a performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet later that evening in the Club's courtyard, on an incredibly versatile small set. The players really are multi-talented, playing multiple roles, singing and even cross-dressing with aplomb. They delivered some of the best-known lines in theatre ('But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?') as the sun set on the West End, and made me resolve to go and see more plays as soon as possible.

Happy birthday, TLCM! Here's to another ten - or 410 - years of happy playing to come!

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High-Rise Dining At The Shard

I was lucky enough to be taken out for lunch at Hutong by my parents the weekend before last, to celebrate my graduation in truly Chinese style. That is, by completely gorging ourselves. We Asians like our feasts.

Hutong is like a slice of glamorous, sparkling Shanghai, set in the centre of ancient London, towering over the Thames in the skyscraping Shard. At 33 floors up, it's definitely the highest altitude meal I've ever had. Probably not the best date spot for those prone to vertigo!

We kicked things off with a round of cocktails to toast my recent departure from university (although, truth be told, it already feels like half a year ago!) I was very pleased with my Beijing Fizz, made up of champagne, elderflower cordial, vodka, and a deep note of plum bitters to give things a Far East twist.

Al had a Bloody Mary of sorts with the cutest little clothespeg on the side of the glass.

As usual, my mother was in charge of ordering, and she ordered generously, but also carefully - in Jay Rayner's review of Hutong he describes the prices as 'ludicrous, a poke in the eye from a chopstick dipped in salty Korean chilli sauce.' So go easy on the ordering if you ever pay Hutong a visit!

We started with thin slices of cucumber and belly pork nestled against each other.

Next was a ceviche-like squid dish.

A beautifully presented block of crispy de-boned lamb ribs. 

Green beans, tofu and succulent king prawns on the side.

A chef brought over a whole roasted duck and carved it into glistening jewel-like pieces in front of our eyes, to be wrapped up in pancakes with thinly sliced cucumber, spring onions and sticky hoi sin sauce. This one was mindblowingly good. Not to be missed!

Roast duck was my all-time favourite as a child, so I'm slavering right now looking at these photos...Genuine food porn.

We all gasped appreciatively when the waitress laid a lantern-shaped basket on our table, stuffed with salty morsels of soft shell crab peeping out from a bed of dried Sichuan chillies.

Our last dish was one absolutely key to any Chinese feast. Noodles. An Asian staple and also of symbolic value, as their length connotes longevity and suggests future success and prosperity. 

Two graduates.

Full up and teetering slightly from the cocktails and view of the sheer drop below, we whizzed back down in the (terrifyingly speedy) lift and gazed back up at the Shard. Definitely my favourite building in London at the moment!

I couldn't have asked for better company or a more delicious meal with a more amazing location. Thank you so much, Mum and Dad! :)

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