The North Series: Crouch End

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Crouch End
Day Tour

What to do and not to do in this northern part of the city

I’ve been told Crouch End has never really been a destination, but if you happen to stumble upon that direction, you sure can have an awesome day out!

Get rid of that terrible Saturday hangover by feeding your palate at Beam. Great for brunch lovers, with plenty food choice, from shakshuka to the traditional eggs benedict or avo toast, and delicious freshly made juices, coffee and teas.

If you need home deco, then you’ve reached a great area. We’ve managed to score a couple of great gems in the area: Junk N8 Disorderly for fabulous vintage/ antique furniture and Jealous Gallery and Print Studio for very funky art.

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One of the things that we liked about this neighborhood was just walking around discovering new little shops or stopping by to admire quirky things like the clock tower in Crouch End’s main road. There’s plenty of little cafes and bakeries, but Dunn’s is renowned in the area as it’s been providing fellow citizens with bakery since almost 200 years ago! Legends.

Another little shop close to our heart is Soup Dragon’s Toy shop. Family run, offers great and unique pieces for kids. A perfecto stopover if you are heading to some family event and don’t want to come empty handed.

As the ease into the evening, it’s time to relax. Book yourself into a Fierce Grace session (closest one is in Muswell Hill) to unwind all the week stress and finish your night trekking to Alexandra Palace (‘Ally Pally’) for a rewarding post-hot-yoga beer whilst seeing the sun go.

What a wonderful day that was!

TCB xx

Mad Hatter Meetings

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Breakfast at Sketch

#SpanishGalsDoItBetter

It’s 8 o’clock on a Monday Morning, and Patricia and I have decided to kick start our week with a banging breakfast at one of London’s Iconic venues: Sketch.

It is rather unusual for us to wake up this early (we are Spanish, after all) but business calls and we like to confuse people, so why not breaking the routine and go for a fantastic banquet?

Sketch has always been one of my favorite spots in Central London. Tucked away off crazy Regent Street, this gems is to me where fashion meets art and meets food. And here I’ll tell you why.

Views from The Parlour for Breakfast

Views from The Parlour for Breakfast

For starters, the decor is super. It’s like you are visiting an art-gallery inside of several restaurants, bars and a hip egg-shaped toilets.

Sketch consists of the Lecture Room & Library, the Gallery, the Glade, the Parlour, and the East Bar. Personally, I find it very difficult to choose a favorite room. Each one of them has a very different style and that style makes it shine on its own. I love the pink life at The Gallery and the fresh cones with tea are a killer, but then again the Glade and its whimsical yet dark forest style and food are also damn good.

The East Bar is more intimate and dark, probably great for a date and the parlour works fabulously if you want to catch up with friends while offloading yourself from shopping.

Each single detail at each one of the rooms has been thought after, from the waiter outfits down to the cutlery.

Now the food. The food is another level.

At the Lecture Room you can enjoy a Michelin-rated menu (still yet to try) whereas at the Parlour you can enjoy a casual breakfast and all-day menu. The Gallery and the Glade offer high-tea and lunch, respectively.

For the occasion, we dine at The parlour. Tea, coffees and juice were running through the table as we frantically discussed our weekend and the wide selection of eggs (hello tempura scotch egg, I’m looking at you) certainly made our day. Not to mention the pancakes, YUM.

We’ve also had the chance to go for tea at The Gallery (read our review here) and we could not recommend it enought. It will leave you wanting to come back for more tea and scones, the latter are fresh and to die for.

Jewelry from Thomas Sabo    Paradise Collection   ; China from    David Shirgley

Jewelry from Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection; China from David Shirgley

Finally, the toilets. It’s funny to think that somebody would go to a restaurant just to check out the toilets. But believe it or not, this is what happens. And understandably so. I’ve never encountered such thing, and you should see it with your own eyes. Unisex egg-shaped toilets (with a forest soundtrack whilst you go do your thing, in case you need help), with fish-eye mirrors and bonker lighting. It’s like I’m in Alice in Wonderland all over again. How wonderful.

TCB xx

WHAT WE WORE:

Laura wore:
Uterque Pink Feather Top
Tommy Hilfiger Houndstooth Skirt
J’adior Slingbacks
Delpozo Pink Bag
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection

Patricia wore:
Zara AW19 Total Look
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection


Summer Loving in Chiswick

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Summer is about to finish, and we are all looking sad about the fact that we need to go back to reality and get to work til the next proper holidays. 

In my case, on top of the holiday blues, I have to move out. Let me tell you, not a fun job! Especially if you have to do it twice, like in my case...

Of couse, it is all very exciting to be moving to a new place. There's vast opportunities to do so much decor and detox on your wardrobe! But this fun bit only comes right at the end, when you barely have any energy left...BUT let's stay POSITIVE! Despite no money left, there's always tones of things to do in London with budget. YAY! 

One of my favourite neighborhood visits this summer was Chiswick. It is rare that my gal team and I head west, but when we do, we make sure the trip is worth it. 

Our perfect day out started at the Urban Pantry for brunch. A tiny little aussie-inspired cafe that serves a delicioso menu for those who wake up hungry. Everything looked so great it was tough to only choose 1-2 plates! 

If the Urban Pantry is too busy, you should head down to No.197 Chiswick Fire Station, which despite its name, is a restaurant. This venue is gorgeeooous, and it even has a little courtyard where to sip espresso martinis :)

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After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to walk. You guys know I don't drive (crazy, I KNOW), so I walk and walk and walk everywhere. Specially if I treated my belly to such royal meal. And Chiswick is perfect for it! We paraded the high street, stopping at Foster Books to get some new (or old) reads, Bayley & Sage and the Macken Brothers Butchers if you are in need of groceries, and Chief Coffee if you are in need of a pick me up. If we talk antiques, then The Old Cinema is your spot. And if we talk beauty, I am a sucker for Cowshed.

Of course, a visit to Chiswick wouldn't be complete without a romantic walk by the Chiswick House & Gardens. If it's a sunny day, you can even sit down, relax, and have a picnic there. 

It felt so pretty, that we played alike. 

TCB xx

Christmas In The City

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I can't believe we are only two days away from December, where did this year go? I am not going to start recalling how great this year has been; there's been awesome times and not so nice days, BUT, if there is something I am exciting about this December is the xmassy vibe that London gets. 

People are cheerier and more willing to spend (yikes!), most streets are full of pretty fairy lights and restaurants and shops have the best displays. I love this time of the year! Just wandering the streets makes you feel completely different. Of course, I wouldn't advise you going to the city centre over the weekend as you may then hate Christmas (the over-crowding is surreal) but it is worth checking out any other time of the week. 

That's what my team and I did recently, and I thought I'd share our lil day out with you. It started early in Covent Garden, precisely to avoid crowds, which turned out positively to our benefit as we met the market providers to the Apple Market, where you can get little crafts for Secret Santa or the perfect Christmas decorations for your home. 

For those beauty lovers, you certainly need to stop by The Abnormal Beauty Company from Deciem. They may not have all the products on your wishlist (check Fenwick if so), but the customer service is great. I also love having a pit-stop at Laduree, just in case they have a new special edition box and I have an excuse to indulge into my favorite macarons.

After wandering around the Piazza, we headed for breakfast to The Ivy Soho Brasserie, which has one of the best Christmas decorations in Soho. I mean, it's whimsical, really! Food was great and so was the ambiance, the service and the check! I had eggs benedict and waffles with berries & yoghurt (I was hungry, ok?) and I was in heaven. I can't recall when was the last time I had such a hollandaise sauce. MMM mouthwatering NOW.  

After we filled our bellies up, we decided to continue with a long walk across Carnaby, Regent St and Oxford St, taking in all the pretty lights in preparation for Santa's arrival. After all, what's best than taking in what the city has prepared for you?

TCB xx

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WHAT I WORE:

ZARA Red Boots
ASOS Star Dress
Tartan Scarf
Gucci Dyonisus Bag
Rayban Round Sunglasses

Dating Richmond for a day

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Morning careless readers! Today I've been up earlier than usual and I feel buzzed! Work out, shower and a coffee by 8.30am? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK. I am sure I will be having my second coffee before lunchtime but hey ho! It felt good. 

Last weekend I went with my beaut pal Ines for a stroll in Richmond, which to us living East, felt like a day out of the city. And I must confess, it was delightful. I forgot how pretty, rich and clean the West feels, everything is picture perfect. Even more so now that Autumn is coming.

Since it took us 1h to 1h30m to get there, we decided to make the most of it. And so should you. What can you do in Richmond? You may we wondering. That's FAR, you may be thinking, too. Ok, you are absolutely right, but it is definitely worth the trip. Specially on days like this, while seasons are changing. 

Start your morning by jetting off to Richmond Station and start strolling down the river, it is beautiful out there! If you are lazy you can take a ferry but it is a very nice walk and if you are lucky and the sun is out, there will be plenty of ambiance. If you walk long enough, you'll enter an enchanted little path that will lead you to the dreamy Petersham Nurseries. That my friend, is a MUST. 

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Name may ring a bell as they have a shop and a deli in Covent Garden, but the true deal is in Richmond. Fine dining at a glasshouse? Yes, please. Feeling like Cinderella while being treated to yummy food and shopping the coolest flowers and home deco? YES, PLEASE.

Food at their Cafe (not to be confused by their self-service Teahouse, next door) was exceptional, and more so was their service. Prepare your wallets (average lunch incl. a bottle of wine ~£60-80) and your palate, cause you are in for a delicious treat. 

Menu changes fairly often, so TCB suggests you to ask the somelier to pair your wine with your food (they are extremely helpful!) and to have 1 starter, 1 main and obviously dessert. It was difficult to choose what was best, but our favorites included the Bucatini Verde and the Grilled polenta. Yep, we went veggie for the day. 

After your well-deserve meal, you can either continue the adventure by sightseeing deers at Richmond Park and sipping coffee at Pembroke Lodge Cafe or Gates on the park, you can get rid of all the calories you've indulged by heading to the Golf Course oooor head back to the city center and walk by the little antique shops around Brewers Ln. 

All in all, the perfect day in the city. Gah, love being a tourist in London.

TCB xx

The Sky is your Garden

Have I mentioned how deserted The City is on weekends? Perfect hotspot for a shoot.

Once again the Spanish Mafia went for a stroll and this time ended up having breakfast at the Sky Garden. It was long overdue!

Probably my favourite skyscraper to date in terms of what you can get out of it: best views and no entrance fee for it. The only drawback I'd highlight is that the food is not at its best unless you pay for an upgrade and go to the restaurant or the brasserie on top floors.

In any case, any excuse is a good excuse to dress up so I braved the weather (sunny but SO cold) and here is the result.

TCB xx

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WHAT I WORE:  

ASOS White Monochrome Dress

Ouigal Heeled Glitter Sandals

 

Bonkers

Probably known as the financial district in London, The City is an area that never fails to surprise me. It's full of bankers in suits ready to splash the cash on an after-work session (at Dirty Martini or Coq d'Argent, obvs) during the week and yet desert on weekends. Quite fun to envision! And kind of a pity, there are many cool places around the area that are as enjoyable on a weekend.

I also find it very interesting that in less than a 2km to your right is Shoreditch, which could not be more different: creatives, artists, and fashion designers who could care less about splashing the cash or wearing a suit (they meticulously have though of it but they don't want you to know, that kewl); and about 3km to your left is the West End. How amazing is that? That's one of the beauties of London. DIVERSITY, PEEPS!

In any case, in this little area that we call The City there is an oasis from the 14th century: Leadenhall Market. I discovered it during one of my lunch breaks when I was working nearby and I instantly fell in love with it. The architecture of this arcade is remarkable and it stands on where it once was the centre of Roman London. Curated with selective shops, cheesemongers, butchers and florists, this place remains a hidden gem for many. Go there during the week to see the business buzz or during the weekend if you want to get a beautiful (and deserted) picture. 

Either way, it's a must! Do not miss it.

TCB x

WHAT I WORE: 

ASOS Baker Boy Hat
SheIn Stripes Top (very much Comme Des Garçons but 10 times more budget-friendly)
Pull&Bear Scuba Skirt (old)
Christian Louboutin Pumps