So for my birthday Leigh bought me afternoon tea at the Savoy, which was on the London list and one of the things that I really wanted to do when I moved down here.
Although my birthday was a month ago we couldn’t get a reservation until May but we went on a Sunday at 5.30 which I actually think is the perfect time to go to tea!
Everything screams elegance from the second you walk through the door to the polished marble floors, glittering chandeliers and attentive staff.
We were shown to our seats when we arrived, although they were armchairs rather than seats and we were given a menu with 30 different types of tea - I chose Vanilla Black and Leigh had Assam Gold which they bought out to us in beautiful silver pots with silver tea strainers.
Then they bought out the sandwich and cake tiers. 5 different kinds of finger sandwiches - salmon and cream cheese, coronation chicken, cucumber, wiltshire bone ham and mustard and egg mayo. I don’t even like egg mayo but I figured if I’m going to have it anywhere I should have it at the Savoy and it actually wasn’t half bad.
We were allowed to refill the sandwiches as many times as we wanted so we refilled them twice and then had a fruit scone with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam and a plain scone which I put lemon cream on, they were very good.
When we were eating they started to play Happy Birthday on the piano and they bought me out a special cake for my Birthday which was really sweet :)
We were starting to feel quite full but then the bought out even more cake! 6 different kinds in fact, and they said we could have as many types as we wanted so we both chose 3 different types - I had a strawberry & pistachio tart, a mint macaroon and a peach cake. Leigh had a salted hazelnut cake with gold flakes, a chocolate cake and a strawberry tart as well.
Whilst we were eating the cake they also out more fresh tea and once we had finished the brought out even more cake!
I don’t know how we managed to eat the raspberry and pistachio cake that we picked because by this point I was SO full!
I have to say I felt that I expected the service to be slightly better. Not that they weren’t attentive because they did serve us and they were attentive but there were long periods where nobody came to see us but perhaps that is because we are a couple so they left us alone.
The whole day was really beautiful and the setting was perfect. I would really encourage everyone to do this. I don’t think it was cheap - because its a birthday present I don’t know how much it was but I think it was probably worth every penny.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to eat cake again though, we had so much!
Oh and ps. How amazing is this bathroom!
I have got such a good week coming up - I am so super busy. Although having said that it isn’t the best week to be busy as I have my final essay due in next week but forgetting about that for a second…..
Monday - Day off
Tuesday - Cinema
Wednesday - Drinking with friends
Thursday - At the theatre to see Singing in the Rain!
Friday - Leavers drinks
Saturday - Day school and birthday party
Sunday - Afternoon tea at the Savoy with Leigh
I’m going to have lots of things to write about :) Need to try and make another recipe soon as well. I just feel that I have got so much on at the moment and no time to take a minute.
So I thought I would document our whole moving/decorating process as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. That is, to make a house a home. I know that we are still only renting so it isn’t all ours but the landlady has said we can do what we want so it’s close enough for me.
The first exciting part was trying to figure out my colour scheme. Unfortunately because I am in a relationship and there is only so far I can push his patience I cannot make my house pink and cream but I have tried to find colours which reflect my need for girlie whilst keeping it slightly muted.
The living room had horrible old carpet, yellow walls, blue borders, horrific furniture and even worse curtains.
But we pulled down the curtains and replaced them with chocolate ones. We also covered the wallpaper in white lining paper before painting it cream and adding ‘Chocolate Fondant’ to the fireplace. This ties in perfectly with our new brown corner sofa, which is so comfy and lovely. The landlady replaced all the carpet so we will have a really nice clean, neutral room now! Leigh practiced the art of wallpapering which he is now a pro at so the room looks great.
The kitchen is my favourite room of the house, and for me it was one of the selling points of, especially as there is a cat flap already installed in the back door. There was some quite kitsch wallpaper on the walls which I did contemplate keeping but the room does look quite tired and it really needed freshening up, like the whole house really.
We have painted the walls a very pale yellow, the paint is called ‘Citrus’ and the kitchen filled will all my things and with the dining room table and added bunting has made it a really bright room.
Out the back there is a little garden, or concrete plot, but although it’s small there are still two levels to it and room for a table and BBQ which is all we really want anyway. There is also a tree for Pumpkin to climb which she has already started doing now she is in the big wide world!
In the main bedroom the walls were blue with a yellow border, with a blue carpet and yellow curtains. Quite frankly it was a mess and in desperate need of a little bit of love.
We have now painted three of the walls ‘Dusted Damson’ and the back wall a rather shocking shade of ‘Grape’. It is very bright but an amazing feature wall and we are picking out the white of the skirting board by having a white bed, curtains, and wardrobe which should look quite striking. My parents bought me a bed and mattress as a house warming present which was a huge help. It’s lovely being able to buy our own furniture but it’s bloody expensive!
Top tip: Apparently you can buy beds on Amazon! Who knew! The whole room looks so much better now it’s done and it’s nice to wake up and think, I painted all of this!
Moving on to the bathroom which we like to call an en-suite, although it’s actually a shared. It very nearly put me off the house because you have to go through a bedroom to get to it but then we had a think and the majority of the time it is just going to be us and if people do come over then we can send them through the spare room/study. The room is a good size and the shower is really powerful which is fantastic because the shower in our place at the moment is appalling and we have been having baths for the last 2 years so I’m looking forward to that. There was blue wallpaper up which makes the room quite dark so we stripped that back and we are painted it white to make it seem brighter in there.
Walking into the spare room through the bathroom the walls are currently wallpapered magnolia so I think the whole room just needs a bit of fresh paint and a clean and it will look much better. We are going to make the room into a spare room/study so we will have a sofa bed in there and my bookcase has already taken pride of place.
The whole house now looks completely different, it took ALOT of hard work, most of which we probably shouldn’t have done ourselves but I just think, ‘We want to live here for a couple of years so we might as well make the effort’. I love coming home and I am so proud of us :)
Guess what - my internet hasn’t been installed. I am having to submit posts at work and I can’t upload pictures here so I cant slot them into posts so there may be a delay in getting to see pictures of my new home :(
We will get there!
The last month of my life has felt so stressful, I’ve got myself into a right panic about things that I wouldn’t normally but it just felt like everything needed to happen at once. If it wasn’t work deadlines, it was decorating, or doing my essay, or packing. It just seemed never ending. It all got a bit better after my essay was in but I am so glad it’s all over.
Leigh and I took a couple of days off work and hired a van, after shopping around we managed to get one for 2days for £54 which was a brilliant deal (although we then had to pay £80 to refill the tank after we were done!) We had to get all over the country in 2 days so it was going to be tough but the company said that we could bring back the van Saturday morning instead of Friday night at 7pm if needs be. We needed to go to Bath and West Sussex in 2 days!
So we set off, Leigh getting used to the van driving quite quickly – we headed over to IKEA and managed to get there before they had even opened the ‘Marketplace’ so we grabbed a pastry and a cup of tea and then strolled round the show rooms. I love IKEA so much and I wish we had lots of money because I would of brought everything. Having said that we still managed to spend around £300 on all the bedroom furniture we needed plus a lovely cream throw :)
After we were done (which took longer than expected) we went back to the flat and started to move all the stuff into the van – the amount of STUFF we have! There just seemed to be so much. It took us a good couple of hours to pack the van up and we weren’t even done. We drove round to the new place and managed to throw everything out of the van in about 30min! By now it’s 4 o’clock which was when we were meant to be in Bath but instead we are trying to leave London at rush hour. We finally got to Bath at about 7pm, picked up the sofa, saw our new nephew William who was only born a month ago, stopped in for dinner at Leigh’s parents and then left again. We got back to London at 11.30pm and decided change the plans and not drop the sofa off at the house because it was so late.
Instead the following morning we packed everything else into the van which took hours! There were just lots of bits and pieces and bags everywhere. We lived on the first floor as well, so it was up and down the stairs which was knackering. Again running very behind we dropped the sofa and all of the STUFF (I dont think there is any other word for it) off at the house. Again it only took us about 30min to unpack the van because we were just able to chuck stuff in to deal with later. We finally set off to my parent’s house at about 1pm, several hours behind schedule and panicking because we wanted to drop the van off at 7.
Once at my parents we packed everything my brother had managed to get for us, a chest of drawers, dining and outdoor table, chairs for both, a bed, a mattress, hundreds of books and my best friend into the van and set off at 3. This gave us 4hours to get back to London, pick up the cat, unpack the van and drive it back over to Wembley. I still stand by the fact that we could of done it. We would have made it if we hadn’t tried to come back to London at 4pm on a Friday. Surely rush hour traffic is meant to go OUT of London not into it!!! It took us 3 hours to get back to London :( Our drop off time was never going to happen. So we slowed everything down after that. We got to the flat and packed up the last of the stuff, whizzed the Hoover around, picked up the cat and said goodbye to the flat. It’s been a good little home for the last 2 years, I got a bit upset actually because it was mine and Leigh’s first home together and that’s special. I headed to the van with the cat and Leigh locked up for the last time. I waved as we drove past and on to our future home.
Once we got to the house we unpacked everything else piling it into the living room and kitchen to be sorted with later and then we set about the task of trying to get the round dining room table through the front door. Leigh tried to unscrew the legs but they were stuck on (damn well made tables!) It was raining and cold so we abandoned the table in the front garden with the hope it would still be there the next day and we went inside to watch comic relief surrounded by boxes.
The original plan had been to make the bed up that night but we were so tired that we made up the mattress on the floor and slept there! Waking up the next morning Leigh went to take the van back while I started on the kitchen – it took me 6 hours to get everything unpacked! Once Leigh got back we tried the table again, taking the top off and the feet but it just would not fit. We even tried to get the front door off but it was stuck to the hinges. Then someone above taking pity on us sent round a very friendly neighbour who took the table into his own house and then roped the 3 houses between ours into passing the table across the garden fences and we finally got it in through the back door!
The whole weekend was spent unpacking and making the house look decent but we are finally there and I can come home and relax and not have to worry about a bloody thing.
I am not moving again for at least 5 years.
I have been so busy cleaning,packing and moving that I have had no time for blogging :(
I am writing a massive ‘cribs’ post though becaise we have done so much to our new home. Unfortunatly we dont have any internet for 10 DAYS! so its going to be delayed but I will get there eventually I promise.
Can’t wait for summer to get here!
Just made a to do list as long as my arm.
There are most definitely not enough hours in the day! Struggling to imagine that I will ever get everything done and I am so stressed out.
Still managing to find time to procrastinate and look at tablecloths for my new dining room table though.
My lovely new house! It has a white picket fence too!
So…Sorry for all of the cliffhangers and cryptic comments but I couldn’t say anything until it was all finalised!
Leigh and I have found a new place to live and not only is it Pumpkin friendly, close to the tube and near all of our friends but it is a house! A whole house :)
After spending months looking and some thought of trying to buy, we realised pretty quickly that we just didn’t have the cash and so would have to rent, which is annoying but I feel a bit unavoidable in London. Normally it would be a problem because all I want is to have my own house and decorate it which you can’t do in most rented properties but amazingly our new landlady is letting us redecorate the whole place any way we want and it’s all unfurnished which means we can start looking at building our furniture up which is very exciting because we will have things that are ours.
I am so looking forward to having more space, because although our current place is lovely, when friends/family come to stay currently they have to sleep on the floor in the living and if I serve dinner it’s eaten Japanese style around the coffee table which is all very quaint for a little bit but I soon found myself wishing that I could offer people a little bit more.
And we have found a little bit more! Just in case you didn’t get it – we have a house! With a white picket fence outside! There is a lovely sized kitchen and room for a dining room table so no more sitting on the floor and to top it all off there is already a catflap installed in the back door which leads to the ‘low maintenance’ (basically some concrete) garden – but hey, it’s our own outdoor space!, the living room is high ceilinged and a decent size too. Then up the STAIRS to the 2 bedrooms and the bathroom.
At the moment it is a little run down and in high need of a woman’s touch but once I have finished it will be the most lovely house in London. I have already been pulling out the paint swatches trying out different colours and what I think would work best and we have some furniture lined up including a corner sofa which I am nearly as excited about as the house.
Move date is set for 3 weeks time and I am so thrilled by the whole thing. I will of course be posting pictures and a progress report as the whole thing comes together so you can watch the house transform!
I am stamping feet happy :)
London has been bloody pissing me off today.
Here are a few reasons why sometimes I just wish I didnt live in the city:
- Today on the tube I got elbowed in the head. Twice. Did they apologise? Did they hell.
- Whenever the wind blows you get so much grit in your eyes you cant see the sights beause you are trying so hard to get it out
- Passive Agressive thrusting of newspapers/magazines/leaflets. If I wanted a newspaper I wouldnt have my head down and both hands in my pockets
- If (because I’m a decent person) I rush told hold the doors open because you you decide at the last minute to get off the tube with your pram, and I dont want you to get crushed, please say thank you. I now have oil and dirt all over my hands. You’re welcome.
- Homeless people by cashpoints. Anyone who knows me will know that I am a huge advocate for getting people off the streets and I give freely to those who need it but I dont need you to make me feel bad for getting my hard earned money out of the cashpoint!
- The rudeness of people. Seriously, did you need to push in front of me to get on the tube that fraction of a second quicker?!
- People who shout ‘Can you move down please’ - No I boody cant I’m already squished between crotch man and the woman eating a (very smelly) tuna salad. If you have to ask us to move then there wasnt enough room for you in the first place. Get off the tube and wait - shock horror - 2 minutes for another one!
- Personal Space. Or lack of it. Stop brushing your crouch against my arse and pretending its the tube moving. Ergh.
- The windtunnels created by the buildings. My hair and dress do not thank you.
- The constant beeping of car horns. You are in a traffic jam. Beeping your horn is not going to get you anywhere any quicker!
- The inability to go anywhere without getting filthy hands and black soot up your nose
- The distinct lack of fresh air
- The large number of people that are cooler than me
I feel better. Rant over!
So after being at our flat in Wembley for 2 years in April next year we have decided it is time to move on.
We would like to be nearer our friends on the other side of London and also near things full stop. We live in a housing part of town and there aren’t even any pubs around, not to mention a complete lack of fried chicken shops!
I’ve started looking around, although this may not have been the best idea because I keep seeing houses that I really like the look of! I just wanted to get an idea of what is out there. Our spec has changed since getting Pumpkin, I want a 2 bed house with a garden, as it would be really nice to have the space and to be able to offer our guests somewhere to sleep but we would have to be stretched for cash every month if we did that unless we moved right out of town. So I might have to settle for either a bigger 1 bed flat or a 2 bed flat, although we now need it def to be a ground floor flat with a garden (preferably) so that we can let kitten out. Not being near a busy road is also something we will have to take into consideration.
We are also planning on going unfurnished so that we can start building up our furniture and we have been offered a sofa and a bed to get us started. My brain is instantly screaming at me ‘Go online and look at home products!’ which is one of my favourite past times but I need to be sensible, although I am secretly planning how the house is going to look.
I am actually very excited about moving, although I will miss my beautiful big kitchen - something else on the spec. I need a nice kitchen!
We are going to start looking in Feb time and I cant wait!!!
Things have been so manic at the moment that I am completely letting my blog slide. I’ve been hectic at work – so busy in fact that I had to ask for a week’s extension on my essay which I hate doing, I’ve got to be really on it with the next 2 actually – one of them is due in when I’m away (6 weeks!!!!) so I need to get it done before I go.
The last few weeks have been quite eventful which hasn’t been good on the purse but lots of fun J It’s prob easier to put everything in the same post than cluttering up your dashboards so…
Diamond Jub weekend
On the Saturday I went to a one day festival called Field Day in Victoria Park, the rain held off and I had a really lovely day. It was nice to have some sort of festival esp as Glastonbury isn’t on this year. We saw several acts play including Hudson Mohawke and SBTRCKT. Danced so much and drank more than my budget but it was well worth it – everyone was in the Jubilee spirit and as I always find with festivals the atmosphere is what makes it most of the time. You never get unhappy people at festivals.
Sunday I’m ashamed to say we didnt go down to the river to watch the pageant but watched it all on TV, we knew that the crowds would be manic and that we would probably get a better view if we stayed at home! I did feel quite bad about not going down though - its history really isnt it.
On Monday I went back to my parents and had a jolly old time drinking and watching fireworks. There was actual more bunting back home than in London, the street we live on in London had nothing at all, it was quite disappointing!
The following weekend a group of friends and I went to a regatta. boating,drinking and posh frocks :) It was really enjoyable and the sun even came out - I wish I had pictures to show but I took them all on my film camera and I need to get them developed. But I will soon hopefully!
So it was a year since I moved to London yesterday.
I feel like I should do a little review of my time here, it doesn’t feel like a year at all!
The first thing that has changed is that I know the underground – not with exact clarity but I know roughly what stops are on what line and the quickest way to get where I’m going. I’d like to also state at this point that I still refuse to run for the tube, I just don’t get that they come every 2 min! No-one is in that much of a rush! And also that I still refuse to try and jump/fly through the door. When they start beeping even if I’m close I will let them shut.
I still, to my shame, have not really explored London. I am sort of sitting around waiting for London to come to me. I know its a lame excuse but I just never seem to have the time. Which is ridiculous because I could just go out after I finish work and have a wander but I’d rather go home and watch TV. I only have myself to blame!
The best thing about living in London is that my friends have all moved too, and so I still have my friendship group from Cardiff which is important to me. I have made new friends as well though, which I love. It would be no good being in a city without having people to share it with. Cheesy aren’t I J
The very worst thing about London is the pollution!!! My tissues are constantly black and I’ve become almost obsessive about washing my hands. People eating on the tube also narks me.
We are going to stay in our flat for another year but I think after that we will start to look somewhere – the area that we live is a bit out of the way with not too much around (pubs, bars, restaurants etc) so it would be nice to feel a bit more ‘in London’.
I need to revisit my list and really try and appreciate the city that I live in. I am quite ashamed that I still haven’t been to Notting Hill or visited some of the lovely museums on offer. I will only regret it if I don’t do it.
I am happy in London – I still miss Cardiff very much but I wasn’t going anywhere and it’s nice to feel part of something bigger even if I’m not taking advantage of it.
I have done so many wonderful things since I’ve been here and I still have so much more to do!
I love London!
So there I am about to get my haircut and my hairdresser comes over “Oh my God that was the editor of Vogue!”
My question is - what the hell was the editor of Vogue doing getting her haircut in my little hairdresser in Queens Park.
Also if I pay 40 for a haircut you’d think I wouldn’t still be finding split ends!!