Tag Archives: tapas

Heading to the Big Smoke for a trip through history…

First of all, apologies for such a quiet weekend but I thought I would give you guys a chance to miss me after posting so often lately. My boyfriend and I headed to the Big Smoke for a cheeky weekend away after I had managed to score us some tickets to see Major Lazer a few months before. Both very excited, we decided to plan a weekend around the gig and used it as an opportunity to go and visit the Natural History Museum and head to our favourite – Camden Lock Market. Both of us love visiting London and doing the touristy bits, but we are also both in love with learning about nature and natural history (both massive David Attenborough fans!).

I had never been to the Natural History Museum before, Mark had only been once several years ago, and we were both excited to see the fossils, animals and dinosaurs. After a train ride to London, we headed straight to the closest tube and arrived at South Kensington, just outside the Natural History Museum – it was very easy to find but navigating between the crowds of people was hard work. We decided to head to a nearby tapas bar we spotted – Casa Brindisa.

We had a delicious meal of patatas bravas, spicy king prawns in garlic oil, smoked chorizo on toasted bread and aioli on toasted country bread. It was incredible and accompanied by some delicious sauvignon blanc, all picked out by Mark who has very good taste when it comes to food. On nearby tables, others were enjoying mixed meat and cheese platters, more wine and pesto covered peppers, more prawns and omelette/quiche-style dishes. It all looked and smelled delicious and was freshly prepared in the open kitchens, which we could see from our table, by extremely helpful staff . The meal set us up for the afternoon ahead and it was lovely to have some time to sit, eat and chat about what we wanted to see. I wish I had thought at the time to take pictures of the food and restaurant, but I was too busy enjoying myself! As a big lover of tapas, I would heartily recommend this restaurant.

Afterwards, we headed into the Natural History Museum and started to make our way around the exhibitions – which I seriously cannot believe are free. They are incredible and I salute the people who put them together.

The Natural History Museum, London

 

Whale skeletons

We spent ages looking around the rock exhibit, I don’t think I have ever been interested in rocks before and will never be again, but the diamond display really got me excited. I did tell Mark that if he ever were to propose, that I wouldn’t say yes unless he got the biggest diamond in there and stuck it on a ring – okay, it would be too heavy, but it was so pretty I could just stay home and look at it!

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend..

I was fascinated by the reconstructed skeletons of pre-historic animals, dinosaurs and the charting of their existence alongside our own and that of the planet – it truly is incredible to realise how insignificant we really are in comparison to the planet.

Terry the T-Rex head

We saw so much that I will have to cut down the amount of pictures, but my highlights were the insect section and learning about swarms, watching the ants and picking out soldier ants as they walked across the branches, and seeing a scorpion pounce on its prey. I also loved the section with huge stuffed creatures that I will probably never see alive in front of me in their natural habitat, such as the polar bear, the black bear, the woolly mammoth and even the dodo!

 

The Dodo – the now extinct bird of my father’s home country, Mauritius

The polar bear

He’s behind you!

We also checked out the theory of evolution and work of Darwin in On The Origin of the Species – I found this part really interesting and it was great to see how man had developed over thousands of years into the modern-day visitor to the museum. Among this exhibition, we found the parts of the “Lucy” skeleton which, of course, I had to have my picture taken with!

Lucy and “Lucy”

Finally, just as we were about to head out, we discovered another section that we had missed which was all about marine animals and had lots of huge creatures and skeletons including the whales (pictured above) and mammoth skulls. They were amazing, such vast frames that made us look positively tiny ¬†in comparison. It was incredible to see how such vast creatures had gradually shrunk over time. Sadly, after this, (we had already spent nearly five hours wandering around the museum) we found a whole other section on dinosaurs that we would have loved to have seen, but there was a huge queue and we had to head to our hotel to check in. But we will definitely be returning to check out that section. Instead we walked out through the gift shop and found some very cute toys we wanted, but knew we didn’t really need…

Me and my new friend

Explorer Wolfy

It was a great day and was only about to get better… check out my next post to find out why!

A day of vintage shopping and exploring off the beaten track in my favourite city

After a week of stressing about lots of little things, it was time to unwind over the weekend by spending a little time with my loved ones and trying something different. Saturday was spent in Norwich with my boyfriend, after waking up first thing, we decided to head to the city for a day of browsing the lanes – neither of us needing to buy anything just fancying a look around the city in the sunshine.

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First of all we went to the Patisserie for a drink and some gateaux – I indulged in the double chocolate, while Mark went for the chocolate mousse combined with fruit smoothies and chocolate milkshakes. Absolutely delicious – I can never resist this place because all of the cakes look so gorgeous.

After, we headed into the lanes where we wandered among the cobbled streets for hours, popping into little boutique and vintage shops, found adorable cafes and delis that we had never seen before, including one that was selling a type of venison salami. The sun came out in force and it was a beautiful day, which only added to the feeling of being on holiday – I love when you rediscovered a place so familiar to yourself just by wandering off the beaten track.

After a few hours, we suddenly came across this huge vintage and antiques shop, Looses Emporium, which looked incredible. We were instantly sucked in and began to explore the enormous warehouse and its contents. We found some amazing items – mainly furniture that made me wish I were moving out so I could fill my home with these unique pieces – but also books, clothes, ornaments and much, much more. Here are some of my favourites:

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A vintage Lotto machine..

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A throne!

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Obviously need one of these for above the mantlepiece!

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Still in perfect working condition – such a beautiful tone to the music that you just don’t get from iPods etc…Image

As suggested by my friend – a sex gong! Haha

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And my favourite item of the day – a classic novel..

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Then, after two and a half hours of exploring (which included a flea market we found upstairs where Mark bought the purple 50’s bowling bomber as pictured above and an original 1960’s kimono), we moved on to Aladdin’s Cave, which was just down the street where I had to persuade Mark not to buy a life-size statue of Jesus for his new living room.

Both stored were amazing for one-off pieces and for finding something a little different, something we both love to do. Mark is moving into a new house, that his mum and step-dad are renovating in order to rent out, with one of his mates at the start of November and he is really excited to furniture shop for his own home. The place he shares now with two friends is filled with furniture and items that don’t belong to Mark, either to the others or they were given to the boys. He is definitely getting to that point where he wan’t to have a home to call his own and to have all his own things, rather than just a room in a house.

It was an amazing day and nicely rounded off with a meal in a Tapas restaurant we discovered which had the most amazing food. We shared a selection of dishes including Patatas Bravas, prawns in garlic and oil, mozzarella sticks in breadcrumbs with garlic mayonnaise, meatballs in a tomato sauce with peas, and a phenomenally tasty chorizo, bacon, and pea stew in a smoky tomato sauce that fired up my taste buds.

It was so nice to spend a day with Mark, just the two of us, exploring somewhere we both love. We haven’t had enough couple time lately and haven’t appreciated each other as much as we should so it was nice to be together away from everything and everyone at home.