Thursday, 23 July 2015

Review: The Good Life Eatery

Over the summer so far I have compiled a list of cafes and restaurants that I want to try, many of which were those mentioned in other blogs, and quite a few of which are veggie/vegan. I'm neither and don't plan to be - I'm omnivorous (am I the only one that thinks of dinosaurs when someone says that?) but I love all the weird foods that vegans eat like walnut pancakes and oat milk so I really enjoy going to vegan places as well as normal ones.

The next place on my list after the Breakfast Club was the Good Life Eatery near Sloane Square, so I went with my friend and her sister. It's not totally veggie or vegan although it does cater for both diets, and the menu is quite flexible - ie there are lots of optional "protein add-ons" like tofu, chicken, etc.

I couldn't decide what to have because everything sounded equally delicious, so I just went for the Goodness Bowl which was basically several tasters of each of their mains thrown together in a bowl.
Also I think Niomi Smart wrote about that dish on her blog, and so I'd already seen pictures of it and thought it looked amazing although it was the most expensive thing on the menu (oops) .

It was literally amazing and definitely worth the money I thought.
I can't remember my opinion on each and every bit but I do remember that my favourite part by far was the Zuchinni Fettuccini (fancy name for strips of courgette with pesto). It seriously tasted like pesto pasta, only less sloppy and I'm guessing a lot healthier. If you're still not convinced, bear in mind I was the most sceptical about this whole courgetti spaghetti thing, because I'm not the biggest fan of courgettes, and pretending they are pasta? Really...?
So I guess now I know a) that I need to be more open minded and b) what I'm getting if I go back.

I didn't get anything to drink because, although the smoothies and mylks (whatever those are) all sounded interesting, I have never seen anywhere charge that much for a takeaway bottle of juice. £6.55 for essentially a chunk of squished watermelon and mint? You can buy a full size pizza for that (even though it would probably be really crappy). If I suddenly become a millionaire I'll pick up a few and tell you if they're worth the money, but until then I'm fine with my tap water.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Travel Photography | Volcanic Sunsets

Recently I was lucky enough to have been able to tour more than halfway up the world's second most active volcano - Mt. Etna, in Sicily, Italy. I was going to make a post with all my photos from that trip, however as I was going through them, I found that the prettiest photos weren't of the volcano itself; they were rather of the afterglow of the sunset as we looked down at the coastline below, from a hilltop town (called Castalmola) nearby.

I thought I'd put in a quick photo of Etna itself as well though, ominously smoking as usual...


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Photography | The Southbank, London

A few weeks ago my friends and I headed to the Southbank for a day out. However, after eating lunch, we couldn't agree on something to do there - the art exhibitions on looked amazing but expensive, and since only two of the four of us were keen, we just ended up wandering around under the pier by the riverbank (sort of like a beach) and taking photos.

I recently purchased the Canon f2.8 60mm macro lens and have been very excited to test it out. I am a complete beginner with macro photography but I love it and have been taking every opportunity I get to take a few test shots.

I was quite happy with the photos I took that day after tweaking them on Photoshop (which I also love using, although I barely know how to do anything on it except changing contrast and brightness).

Sorry if these close-ups are gross (they are) but I guess all macro photography can be a bit gross because we're not used to seeing things that close up. That is, unless you're taking pictures of flowers, but seriously? That's so original and interesting... not.

an area of decay on the wall;

interlinking fibres of moss;

streaks of salty weed;

and finally~
the water droplets on this one were quite pretty I thought.


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Review: The Breakfast Club

Being a pretty conscious spender (as I'm nearly always broke) one of the things I absolutely hate doing is dishing out a lot of money on food. Now don't get me wrong - I am a massive foodie. I love discovering cute vintage cafes in London that have colourful bunting and fairy lights and little chalkboards, and that serve homemade food in imaginative ways and tumblr-like jars with ribbons, and healthy salads with handwritten labels on them and baby cakes and old fashioned sweets and faded signs with retro fonts - I could literally go on forever...
However I feel like these places, although extremely photo-worthy (my Instagram thrives off them) are sadly quite expensive as they are not large chains and therefore quite small-run businesses (I think?).

It had genuinely got to the point where me and my friends would spend whole days wandering through various areas of town, popping into these sorts of cafes/shops, spending hours in each one taking photos of all the food and decor, asking the waitresses tons of questions and then leaving without buying a thing.

(If you're interested, one of the places we did this was Ottolenghi near Angel, which is more well known but basically a cafe famous for its many cakes, giant swirly meringues, and also huge round platters of different homemade salads which you can pick and choose from. We spent such a long time there holding up the whole queue with our cameras that we felt awful leaving empty handed, so my friend reluctantly bought the smallest portion of salad she could find, which was still £10.50!)

Anyway, recently scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across quite a few posts of delicious looking pancakes which were tagged with the location The Breakfast Club, Islington. Apparently there's also one in Shoreditch but since one of my friends lives in Islington, and I know that area better anyway, we went to that one. It was even nicer than I thought it would be - the decor was so cosy and pretty with colourful (but not too bright) walls, corkboards spattered with hundreds of polaroid pictures, the retro fonts which I mentioned earlier, fairy lights, bunting and wooden tables.

After glancing at the menu I decided to order the granola with Greek yoghurt, pear and raspberry compote and flaked almonds (£5.50) while my friends went for the porridge with berries (£4.50) and the pancake stack with vanilla cream and berries (£9.00) respectively. I also tried the Beetle-Juice - a beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger juice, which was very strong but delicious if you don't mind a strong, bitter taste. Obviously we all took lots of artsy pictures which this time we felt we deserved, because we were actually buying things for once!

This is actually a photo my friend took *looks sheepish* because she was organised enough to bring her proper camera and the photos I took on my phone were awful. 

I'd heard mixed reviews about the actual food at The Breakfast Club - many told me it was the best breakfast they'd ever had while others said that, with such beautiful decor and atmosphere, the food let the place down. I thought mine was delicious, and even though I could probably make something similar at home, this was reflected nicely in the price range as the dishes which could be made easily at home (such as the porridge) were visibly cheaper. I would definitely recommend it, and I myself really want to go back there again at some point to try one of the savoury dishes like the avocado and poached egg toast and maybe one of the smoothies which sounded great as well. I also heard they do lunch and dinner there, and checked out the online menu - it looks surprisingly good considering I thought this was a place only for breakfast (the Super Green salad with buttermilk fried chicken sounds especially yum).