Sunday 21 February 2016

A week in London

It's been a while since I posted something.
I'm sorry for my absence!

My January wasn't that interesting (just me trying to eat and live healthier and actually succeeding! Let's hope I can keep this pace...) but February has started well, beginning with a two week break from work.

During the first week I went to see my sweetheart in London. As he was working long hours I had the week days all for myself. I knew that was going to be the case already, so I went prepared and used my days to see friends and places which I usually don't have time to see when I'm only there for the weekend.

I arrived on Friday. As the frequent travellers out there will appreciate the flight can be quite tiring, so we usually try to do something in the local area for dinner. We went to The Wine Gallery and I ordered my usual gyoza and the quinoa salad which are both delicious.

On Saturday we had a family afternoon and evening with my bf's parents, starting with a walk through Hampstead Heath (one of my favourite places in London), followed by dinner at a local pub, and taking in a play at the Hampstead Theatre.

The play we saw that night was Rabbit Hole, some of you guys may have heard of it, as there is a movie production that came out in 2010 starring Nicole Kidman.
It's definitely worth seeing, the actors were all excellent and it's one of those plays that makes you spend the journey back home thinking about it. I think my boyfriend would agree, as he was sitting quiet next to me on the way home. It's near the end of its run (ends March the 5th), but if you get the chance head over to the Hampstead Theatre for an evening, it's a lovely theatre.

Sunday was a lazy day, we had my bf's parents over for brunch, trying out the bagels from the new bagel place close to the flat (B Bagel Bakery Bar). Afterwards we headed down to the Duke of York Square to go and have a look at the new hang at the Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi is quickly becoming one of my favourite galleries, as it always surprises me, sometimes in good ways and sometimes "bad" (it isn't actually bad, but more shocking, like the time they had flags made out of human hair).

Monday was kind of a "me" day. I finally managed to get my first London haircut. A friend of mine that used to live in London (she now lives in Italy, go and check out her amazing illustrations!) recommended that I go to Pimps & Pinups, situated in Spitalfields. Even though I've been visiting London regularly for more than 2 years now I have never been in that area. That early afternoon I left that area with shorter hair and a lot of new impressions.

Lesson learned that day: don't hold your cup of tea (thanks for that good service Pimps & Pinups!) while your hair gets cut, your next sip is going to be hairy!

I can recommend that hairdresser team, as they are (by what you can see on their instagram) quite creative with hair colours. I wish I was more adventurous with my hair, but at the moment I'm quite happy with my natural colour :) The head massage that came with the haircut was quite possibly the best I have ever had (don't we all go to the hairdresser to enjoy a good head rub?!).

Tuesday I went to Canary Wharf to see some friends. One for a coffee, one for lunch. I spent the afternoon at the Tate Modern. Now I have to ask you my dear readers, what is so attractive for artists to use human hair to make some art? I'm sorry, I really don't get this trend! Besides that I really enjoyed the Tate Modern.

There are two ways I like to take to reach the Tate Modern:
  1. Take the bridge from St. Paul Cathedral
  2. Walk along the South Bank.
Either way you get amazing views. I usually come from one way and leave the other.

At the moment they have an exhibition of Alexander Calder. I didn't see the exhibition as I was a bit rushed for time, but I stopped for a moment to look at the video they were showing outside of the exhibition. It looks like they have done an event (couldn't find anything about it on the www) where they combined the mobile of Calder with music. It was just a short impression of that video, but I liked the idea of transposing a piece of art from one medium to another.

On Wednesday I met another friend for lunch, this time on Oxford Street. Close by was the new flagship store of Lush and OMG, have you ever been in there? If you like Lush, you will enter to Lush-paradise! I ended up leaving the store with: 1 Dragon's egg, 1 Lover lamp, 1 Intergalactic, 1 Guardian of the forest, 1 Ladybird and 1 other bubble bar that I can't find its name anymore (it's similar to the comforter but with a butterfly on it). That week I ended up having way too many baths!

Guardian of the forest
Thursday was the day I promised my bf to meet him for lunch... that never happened! It's all because of a book. Did it ever happen to you that you start a book and are not able to put it down? That book for me was Disclaimer from Renée Knight. At 11 am I realized that my book would not allow me to leave it there halfway, so I had to cancel the lunch date. Luckily my bf's hectic work schedule meant that this came more as a relief for him!

Thursday was probably the day with the best weather during my stay in London and I spent it mostly reading in the flat. I felt bad about it, so at 2.30 pm I decided to go for a run. Put my gear on and went out. For the first time I managed to run to Battersea Park. I'm sure I'll run back there many other times as it's such a nice run. After the run I took a comforter bath while constantly reading.

I managed to finish the book on Friday morning, just in time to go and join a class of one of the french schools for a workshop at the Royal Academy. This is becoming some kind of a tradition for me, every year in February I can join one of the education workshops at the RA. The first time I did so I got a little bit upset that we don't have this kind of "service" in Switzerland, but then I realized that what the artist does with the kids during that morning is quite similar to what we do with our class before and after we take the kids to a museum. The new exhibition at the RA is called "Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse". I'll go back for myself next time I'm in town to take more time to look at the exhibition.

Saturday was another lazy day, but Sunday had an early start as we went to Shoreditch to meet some friends for brunch. However, the brunch wasn't actually the reason why we had an early start. We decided to do a little pre-brunch browsing at the Columbia Road flower market, which apparently is best visited as early as possible to beat the crowds. Since I was leaving the next day I did't bought any flowers, but I kind of want to go back at some point to buy a lot of it! The brunch itself was at the Peruvian restaurant Andina, certainly a very unusual take on brunch!

I really enjoyed this week in London because:
  1. I spent a lot of time with my bf
  2. I managed to see a lot of friends that I haven't seen for a long time
  3. Having more time on my hands actually allowed me to do a lot of things I wanted to do for a long time

Most asked question of the week:
"When are you moving to London?"

Lesson of the week (or what the voice inside me says):
"You are not anymore a tourist in London, so stop acting like one and spend crazy amounts of money!" - boyfriend agrees.

Have a good one!