I'm kristianak from London. I've been Qyping since 20-05-2008
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26 Plaistow Lane, Sundridge Park, London BR1 3PA
Lovely little cafe and gift shop on Plaistow Lane. It serves teas and coffees as well as really yummy Treat cupcakes that are worth the trip!
Usually a few other types of pastries and cakes are available as well, but this is completely the best yummy mummy hangout around.
The front part of the cafe is small, with a few tables in the window and the collection of cooking books, Teapigs teas, kids toys and homemade gifty things like cake stands and aprons etc. To the rear there are more tables in a conservatory area that opens onto a lush garden with grass and kids outdoor play toys.
I believe they have free wi-fi as well.On our last visit, my friend and I sat in for coffee and huge almond croissants and then got a bunch of dried lavender and a mixed cardbox box of 4 cupcakes to take home. It's not the cheapest cafe around, but definitely the nicest. They also do lunchtime sandwiches etc and I think are launching a new menu.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
From 19th November a traditional Christmas Market is taking place for the third time between the Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall and London Eye along the River Thames. In order to add this to the guide, here's some info:
It will be a German style Christmas Market with app. 60 wooden chalets situated between Southbank Centre and London Eye.
A carousel, “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine) and traditional Christmas music beckon. Tucked away amongst the chalets, find Santa’s Secret Village. If that's not wenough, meet Santa Claus and enjoy 30 minute children’s shows with a framed photograph to take away.
I can't wait for “Bratwurst” sausages, gingerbread hearts or a delicious crepe.
ExCel London, London E16 1XL
Taste of Christmas is on again this year from 3rd-5th December at the Excel centre.
Tickets start from £19.00 per adult and include access to live cooking shows, restaurant and cooking stalls.
To buy specific foods there is a system of purchasing crowns, or tokens to taste the food items.
Open 10am - 6pm per day
32 Charlotte Street, West End, London W1T 2NQ
Cute little dim sum place in Charlotte Street, just perfect for meeting a friend from out of town. Now, I must admit, I'm not the biggest dim sum guru, in fact, I'm sure I've only ever eaten it a few times in my life.
This place left me pleasently surprised. The decor is bright and it seemed fairly busy, there was a multitude of plates on offer and service was swift.
The standout for me were pork buns - white, light, cloudy sweet buns of porky goodness. I also really enjoyed the prawn, crushed peanut and coriander goodies. dim sum is from £3.55 per dish, but other noodles, soups and mains are available too.
Great place for quick eats.
57 Masbro Road, Brook Green, London W14 0LS
I'm surprised to hear the poor service review, although it was mainly bar service, so we sent a friend to order drinks and food etc.
It's in a quiet street near Brook Green and has that very homely feel - yes, it's all wooden tables and mismatched chairs, but possibly the best thing was the home-made bread they serve with every food order.
I had a tasty ale and ordered fried mozzarella breaded eggplant (aubergine, whatever!) with salad and relish for a meal. It was actually a starter size but was more than enough for me, so I was happy with the price.
I thought it had a nice atmosphere too and probably would go back with mates if I was in the area. Don't sit in the little annexe off the the rear left, it feels like you're in the naughty corner, instead stay in the main bar / restaurant area to enjoy people watching and warmth.
Bridge's Wharf, Battersea, London SW11 3BE
I visited the newly opened Hotel Verta by Von Essen to see the chicest way to arrive at check in. This 5 star contemporary hotel on Battersea Reach also boasts the London Heliport on the same site, providing a gateway to luxury travel in and out of the capital. The lovely Art Deco flavour throughout the bar and restaurant is lightened by full-length windows overlooking the Thames. In the late afternoon, sun was streaming into the first floor bar and ground floor restaurant to give great views of river life. On occasion a black chopper would gently float in or out of the view as it ferried passengers in and out of the city.
Supposedly I had just missed Dannii Minqgue's arrival by one day - drat my tardiness - but all manner of business people and high-flyers are now using the heliport and hotel facilities here.
It's not totally sound-proofed so you do hear the helicopters, but I think without that buzz it might be all too quiet a hotel.
The highest spec equipment in meeting rooms is seen in 3D TVs, wireless control touch screen for lights, projection, sound and 63 inch LED screens in smaller breakouts. Bedrooms too, have iPod touch dials to control temperature and multi plugs to charge UK, Europe and US gadgets. They also have the usual 5-star goodies like personal espresso machines and mini-bars, safes etc.
It's a bit out of the way if you're travelling by foot, but is a modern, beautiful hotel to visit for dinner or business stays that don't need to be near the bustle of the West End.
6 Gutter Lane, London EC2V 7AD
Lovely modern bar and restaurant on Gutter Lane across from One New Change shopping precinct. The Norman Foster building is all glass on the front, so as you approach you can see the bar and deli on the ground floor, a la carte restaurant on the first floor and circular bar and private space on the second floor.
The bar was still buzzing at 9pm on a Friday, so we had a table for two near the window. Interiors are minimal black and white with small touches of green in the upholstery etc. It feels casual, but with shiny surfaces and high ceilings, it's much more of a grown-up wine bar.The food menus here are modern Italian with an emphasis on sustainable sourcing where possible.
We had an amazing bottle of Mendoza Argentinian Malbec for £26 and a cheese platter for the £10.00 mark of 4 cheeses, grapes and italian flat breads.
I'd definitely come back here - especially as they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so a take away coffee or some buckwheat pancakes might be in order.
8 Bishopsgate Churchyard, Liverpool Street, London EC2M 3TJ
love, love, love.
I had heard of this place as apparently they had a burlesque night in here which had a great atmosphere - not sure if it's a regular thing though. Jenn is right, on the street level there is a tiny coffee shop for takeaway orders, by night it becomes the cloakroom for the subterranean bar and restaurant.
Matthew's review tipped me - It's perfect for a date or cozy dinner, as you go down one flight of stairs, you enter the small bar area to the left and the long restaurant to the right. The walls are completely tiled and there are quirky glass etchings of skeletons ( sort of like medical journals) on the walls. Everywhere there are vintage pieces of furniture and curios. Especially liked the white ice buckets shaped like a clawfoot bath - super cute!
We say for a bottle of red and although the place was virtually empty at 5.30pm on a Friday night, but it soon filled up.
Service was great and a slick maitre'd seemed to be very efficiently seating guests.
I reeeeeally want to come back to try the restaurant - all candles and vaulted tiled ceilings and flowers on the table, it's very intimate and different.
Stables Market, Camden, London NW1 8AB
18-10-2010 (updated on 26-11-2010)
Well, many people have heard of the newest and largest African restaurant in London. Opened amid much fanfare the venue holds up to 850 diners and cost £5.5 million to create.
The first time I went here there were a few teething problems, mainly the card readers didn't work and staff seemed a little out of their depth. On revisiting last week I was pleased to note that there was a huge improvement!
The decor is the first thing you notice on descending the escalators into the basement venue. Tiny shells cover the walls and wooden statues stand sentry over many areas. The legend of Shaka Zulu is one of a great Zulu chief and lends gravitas to the quirky decor and theme.
The upper level comprises two bars and casual seating areas for drinks at the Oyster bar or bar food. Downstairs the full menu is served in the Braai Restaurant, with an open kitchen window letting you see the buzz of chefs in action.
My friend and I had already tried some mixed Biltong pieces upstairs before deciding to stay for dinner. Blitong always put me off, but this was ok, if not a taste sensation. Once ensconsed at a table for two on thrones to make a chieftain jealous, we perused the extensive menu.
We both chose the 7 hour spit roast lamb with cumin salt on a bed of chakalaka and amasi (grated vegetables ) with a type of tasty jus (£16.50).
This was great, the lamb was flavoursome and loved the gravy. We added a side of Msamba for £4.75 ( spinach, tomato, onion and peanut salad)and peri peri fries for £2.95 - delicious! For dessert I ordered a type of twisted doughnut with two dishes of syrup and sugar but I found it a little stogier than I would have liked.
A windhoek beer was light and different to go with dinner. Next time I'd like to try a tasting dish with ostrich and springbok. The menu is a bit pricey, so it's best for a romantic date or for a special occasion.
Best bits: the patchwork colourful chairs in the upstairs bar, the coloured lights on warrior statues and vast array of bottles around the lower floor bar.
Worst bits: not good for tight budgets, takes a lot of people to get really crowded, not all food to my liking.
Basically, it's adventurous, brash and totally different, you will either love it or hate it, but make sure you try it!
120 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JR
This was my first visit to this shop after rediscovering it outside London. The main times I've shopped in TK Maxx it has been a harrowing experience. Jumble-sale-like racks and the inability to find anything in the right size had always put me off.
But this store seems a bit different. Firstly, definitely go in the middle of the day or mid-morning to avoid the crowds.
This store doesn't have the homewares ( my favouritre bit) but does have a range of womens and mens wear and accessories. As Raistlyn said, the Gold designer collections near the tills on the ground floor held some beautiful items.
Accessories and shoes are upstairs, along with beauty products, Trinny and Susannah shapewear, Hunter wellies etc.
Downstairs they have oodles of gift items for Christmas; including panettone cakes, food hampers, designer men's and women's perfume and lovely pampering goodies etc
Well worth a look for those tricky secret santas.
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