Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two Americans and a Brit walk into a bar...

Last Saturday proved to be a day of indulgence, when we met up with a friend of ours from San Francisco who is visiting London.

Of course this was too good of an excuse to get brunch, so we took her to one of our favourite restaurants, which I have written about here before, Caravan Kings Cross.

We started the day off with bubbly, after a little confusion when Kellie ordered a Mimosa (American, and much nicer sounding) instead of a Bucks Fizz (British, and less pleasing on the ear).  We spent the rest of the day switching between American slang (me) and English colloquialisms (Aaron and Kellie), which made for a lot of interesting conversations!

I ordered the poached eggs with aubergine purée and soutsouki sausage, whilst Aaron got the baked eggs with tomato pepper ragout  and chorizo, and Kellie opted for the parmesan grits with girolles and boar sausage.  

After this much needed sustenance, we headed over to St Pancras station, which is somewhere that I think all visitors should check out, as aside from the beautiful architecture, there's so much going on in there; lovely cafes and shops, a couple of pianos that anyone can go up and play, and various art installations and sculptures.

My favourite sculpture is 'The Meeting Place' by Paul Day, which features a giant bronze couple embracing, right next to where the Eurostar trains arrive and depart - the perfect icon to be placed in a train station, don't you think?   

The frieze of this sculpture also shows various mini scenes, which are equally as beautiful and captivating.

From here, we headed to Hoxton Square to check out the Blitz exhibition at the Daniel Blau gallery, but unfortunately, it was closed at 3pm when we arrived.  This was rather annoying, as we went out of our way (in the drizzle) to see this exhibit, and the gallery was shut during it's supposed opening hours!  

Why does my husband have leopard print socks, and I don't?!

So, to Zédel we ventured instead!  This beautiful art deco haven can be found a stone's throw from the heaving Piccadilly Circus, and boasts a cafe, brasserie, cocktail bar, and cabaret venue all in one building.

We started off with coffee and cakes in the cafe, before moving down to Bar Américain for a couple of French 75s.

By the time we left, we realised that we had spent 8 hours - a full work day - brunching, walking around town and sipping on coffee and was a lot more fun than the average work day though...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Geep! Hannah Battershell's first solo show!

I had the pleasure of attending the opening of a new art exhibition at the Curwen Gallery in Central London last week.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know by now, that the hubs and I enjoy visiting galleries and getting our culture on.  This however, was especially exciting, as the artist in question is my dear friend Hannah Battershell, and this is her first solo art exhibit!

Here are some photos of us over the years...

I've been friends with Hannah since we were around 16 years old, and I've admired her quirky artistic flair for as long as I've known her.  She has, of course had her work exhibited prior to this, however, as this is her first solo show, it is even more momentous - I am so proud of her!

Upon entering the exhibition, you will notice that Hannah recycles unique and vintage, but otherwise everyday objects such as tins and buttons and turns them into works of art.  The incorporation of these found objects in her work demonstrates her sense of imagination, and the idea that you can transform discarded objects into curiosities by giving them a new lease of life.

What strikes me is the attention to detail and the actual size of a lot of her work - magnifying glasses are provided, as at first glance you could miss the level of depth, three dimension and detail that Hannah layers onto, say, a tiny button.

Inspired by literature, as well as her own imagination, Hannah creates beautiful and fascinating works of art, which are both delicate and surreal.  Walking around the exhibition, you are transported to a fantasy world where everything is a little bit topsy-turvy - even if you don't, at first, realise it...

The exhibition runs until the 29th June 2013 at the Curwen & New Academy Gallery.  The photos I took for this post don't capture all the detail, and also feature the glare and reflections against the go along to the gallery and have a look at Hannah Battershell's work for yourselves.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Swinging the blues...

If you follow me over on Facebook or Instagram, then you may have seen that loverboy and I can be spotted dancing in the latest music video for Blue Harlem.

We filmed it way back in January - the first week of the new year - so it was nice to finally see the end result!

The video totally reminds me of the scene in Dirty Dancing (maybe just because I am obsessed with that movie...) when all the staff are dancing and having fun and Baby is mesmerized with them - after carrying that watermelon up there!

Aaron most definitely lived up to his reputation as the Brown Swayze...

We had a super fun time filming the video, and Blue Harlem play a great mix of sultry blues, jump blues and faster swing, so they are a really great live band to dance to.

If you haven't seen it already, then here it is...enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Friends, food and fun!

Can you believe that it is June already?!  The month of May has been and gone, and the second bank holiday weekend of the month was another cracker, with great weather and lots of fun!

I started the weekend off right with a little vintage shopping on the Saturday, followed by an evening of hot vintage sounds at Hellzapoppin', which was a special celebratory extravaganza for the host, Tim Hellzapoppin's birthday.

It just so happened that a friend of ours was visiting from San Francisco, whilst another friend had just returned to London from Portland, so it was super fun to have a little reunion, as the last time we all saw each other was at Viva Las Vegas!

Live music came from the excellent Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm, who put on a vibrant, entertaining performance.  There were also a selection of DJs including Tim, Mark Lamarr, Natty Bo and Paul Swingmaniac.

On arrival, I was a little worried that the music would be a little too 1920s jingly-jangly for my taste, but I needn't have worried, as there was so much awesome jump blues, R'n'B and swing that it was impossible to stop dancing!

Held at Annie's bar in Kentish Town, Hellzapoppin' was, in fact, hotter than hell, and I very quickly ended up looking like a drowned rat!  A sign of a great night methinks...

Sandwiched between Lola Devlin and Miss Turnstiles!

On Sunday loverboy and I dragged our tired sleep-deprived selves out of bed and headed to brunch with friends at Caravan in Kings Cross.

You may remember I mentioned going to dinner at this restaurant in one of my posts before Christmas.  Well, it is definitely one of my favourites.

The place is bustling with the perfect Sunday brunch atmosphere, and the perfect soundtrack to match (who doesn't like a little MJ to wake you up on a sunny Sunday?).  Despite the fact that the restaurant is pretty big, there was a constant line out the door from the moment we arrived, until after we left - this is testament to how popular this place is.

A refreshing bucks fizz (mimosa) followed by a spicy Bloody Mary got Sunday off to a good start, as did my coffee - did I mention that they make the best lattes at Caravan?  Well, they do.

Everything on the menu sounded yummy, and when the food arrived, everything looked delicious.  I went with the raclette spinach french toast, with bacon and watercress, plus a side of jalapeno cornbread.  Sigh.  So good.

On Monday I met up with a bunch of UK-based vintage bloggers!  It was so fun to finally meet up with these girls, after following them on their blogs and Twitter for so long.

We scoured the vintage shops of London... all the way from Brick Lane to Crouch End...

I also got to meet the queen of vintage hair styling, the barnet magician that is Ruby Armoire!

Unfortunately I had to dash off in the evening, so I missed out on cocktails with the time!