We gotta dance with the devil on a river to beat the stream.








































The choice of restaurant to end the hard lockdown phase and celebrate the beginning of the end of the quarantine (*knocks on wood*) was quite prosaic. Turns out I had a huge craving for a well-served pizza, after a few disappointing experiences at trendy places which were all about the dough while severely neglecting the toppings. So, Pizza Express it was.


Our local branch was still closed, so we plumped for Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town, boasting some interesting historic buildings and a marina where boats and pedalos navigate the Orwell River bordered by a very pleasant promenade, dotted with restaurants and cafés.


It was a beautiful day, the fried polenta strips were delicious, the beer was cold, and having a real espresso after four months of instant coffee was glorious. We walked off lunch with a stroll around the neighbourhood, had a smoothie at Kaspas and a scolding from an old lady because we were apparently sitting on the steps of some museum’s emergency exit. We were a bit miffed but promptly left, only for me to look back 100 steps later and find a bunch of cackling teenagers sitting on the very same steps we were shooed from, with the very same lady happily standing behind them.


Excuuuuuse me? I turned on my heels, salivating for blood; but as if guessing my violent intentions the woman disappeared inside the huge wooden doors. I was curious to know why was my bum so unworthy, but not enough to pay for admission to NOAH’S ARK BIBLE MUSEUM. Well, maybe next time.

Now my riverbed has dried, shall I find no other?

Woke up feeling too cute for Northeast London, so I took myself to Suffolk with my poodle hair and iridescent sequin sneakers to spread some glamour.

In other words, I drove 100 kilometers to buy sausage rolls.

But it’s not just any sausage roll. These are Pump Street Bakery’s sausage rolls. It is an artisan bakery located in the beautiful village of Orford in Suffolk – which in addition to being a top bakery also provides the visitors with riverside prettiness and a castle.

Quick stop at Butley’s Oyster Inn for a cider; actually I just wanted to pee, but these potato chips happened (and matched color with the drinks). Note to self: next time I order sweet potato fries must remember that because they are sweet they go better with mayo instead of ketchup.

At home we dined on our Pump Street shopping. That was my quiche and base was so incredibly light and tasty. Bacon would have improved the experience, but that area of ​​Suffolk is a middle-aged hipster’s paradise so you gotta keep a vegetarian percentage on the shelves. I’m fine with that.

You talk like a man and taste like the sun.

My neighbour has gifted us two small tomato plants in return for something we’ve done for him (I have no idea what). Didn’t have the heart to tell him I have absolutely no idea on how to look after these things. I’m a lazy gardener at  best and not at all interested in growing food, but I’ll give it a go – until they’re finally dead and ready for the bin.

But will you look at my huge, lavender roses? Too beautiful.

The boy’s carbonara never fail to delight, the new decking has made the garden useable again, I had a truly ghastly experience with Starbucks’ new summer beverage (should have stuck with my beloved strawberries and cream frappuccino) but this sunset has cheered me up.

T’was a good day. The cat agrees.

Can you hear the bumblebees swarm?

Tea and cake in the garden. Bringing out the old mismatched china (I have loads of it; too many trips to Lewes to stock up on cheap cute things) and a store bought victoria sponge because – hear me out – it’s kinda too hot to bake.

I used to love Pip Studio, but I hardly see it in shops anymore. These days I find the crockery a bit too busy, but their glassware is often beautiful. Unfortunately they’re not UK based and I’m afraid of ordering breakable goods that are going to travel far and unwilling to pay VAT. I’ll wait to see if anything nice pops up on Ebay.

Boring stuff I ate.

Mostly carbs. When your cake starts to burn on top while remaining liquid raw inside – that’s a worry. I just radically brought the temp down and hoped for the best. The outside was slightly charred but the innards were fully cooked, so I’ll declare this a win.

(I need to get a better oven)

Rainbow Hill and Yellow Yolks

Uma das peculiaridades de Notting Hill é que o bairro não precisa de primavera pra ser colorido. Tudo bem vir caminhar pelas ruas de casinhas geminadas em rainbow colours no meio do inverno; tem cores pra todo o lado e de quebra você não vai ter que andar feito devoto em meio à procissão de turistas atraídos pelo mercado de Portobello Road (a feira de rua é só aos fins de semana, mas todas as lojas estão abertas de segunda à sexta). Se vier em fevereiro é até capaz de surpreender os primeiros blossoms brotando nos galhos das árvores.

Findo o compromisso, vim descansar os pés e encher o buchinho aqui:

A Eggslut é uma rede de fast food sediada em Los Angeles cujo menu de sanduíches é todo baseado em – you guessed it! – ovos. Como boa eggmaniac (outro bom nome pra uma franquia desse tipo?) eu tive que ir experimentar assim que soube que eles tinham aberto uma filial em Notting Hill.

Gostoso? Até que sim, mas vai pesar no bolso. Um sanduíche de ovo com uma fatia de queijo e duas de bacon (daquele jeito fino e torradão americano) por £9.50 eu achei bem caro (o menu do site não traz os preços, já que isso varia de acordo com a localização). Eles justificam os preços com o velho papo “qualidade dos ingredientes” que a gente sabe nem sempre ser verdade ou justificar a cobrança. O fato é que um sanduíche com carne e um suco saem por quase 20 lilis, aparentemente quase 3 vezes mais do que é cobrado em LA.

Eu não queria ovo frito, mas não achei no menu nada que viesse com ovos mexidos e não fosse vegetariano – você pode adicionar extras, mas o preço começa a ficar ridículo. A oferta de bebidas é limitada a suco de laranja, café, coca cola e água, já que em TESE é uma rede de breakfast food e americano é meio bitolado com essa coisa de bebida, mas a loja tinha clientes na hora do almoço e se você quiser uma cerveja vai ter que ir pra outro lugar. Os pontos positivos foram rapidez no atendimento, lugar tranquilo pra sentar e fazer uma refeição, produto entregue fresquinho e bem apresentado e, para o caso de você estar evitando carboidratos, eles servem o seu pedido com uma saladinha ao invés do pão. All in all uma boa se você estiver com o bolso forrado e querendo experimentar uma coisa diferente – mais ainda se for egglover (juro que eu vou abrir essa franquia).

I’m not cut out for the modern life.

Fui comer churros em Fulham num desses Market Halls, mas já estava lotado quando chegamos e eu realmente não curto a) me encarapitar em banqueta alta ou b) dividir mesa comunitária com hipsters. Com ninguém que não seja de minhas relações, na verdade. E como nenhuma das opções de rango me pareceu particularmente apetitosa a ponto de me fazer reconsiderar meus princípios, resolvi virar as costas e ir explorar a área.

*hashtag crítica social foda*

O entorno da estação de Fulham Broadway é bem fraco de restaurantes (o que talvez explique o market hall abarrotado de gente), mas tropecei nessa Côte Brasserie que a) é uma rede de restaurantes de inspiração francesa, barata e inofensivo e b) que eu ainda não tinha tido a oportunidade de conhecer. E estava praticamente vazio – muitas vezes mau sinal, mas quando a comida é boa então pra mim é a glória porque *humanos*, o que tenho a ver. Haha. Sentei-me:

Esse Kir Royal veio MORNO. Porra, Côte. Já começamos mal. Guardei a vergonha no bolso e pedi pra trocar, e o cara ficou um tempão tentando achar uma garrafa de blanc de blancs que estivesse gelada. Mas valeu a espera e a cara de pau; ninguém merece beber espumante em temperatura ambiente, até porque como dá pra ver na foto o bagulho nem borbulha direito.

Porém nota 9 honrosa pra essa tradicional sopa de cebola. Eu diria que faltou um tiquinho de “kick” no tempero, mas talvez essa seja só a minha preferência pessoal. O queijo comté estava perfeito no papel de conferir a decadência necessária à essa sopinha, e o sourdough do tamanho certo; nada pior que uma fatia de pão que literalmente tampa a tigela e pra chegar na sopa você precisa tirá-lo do prato ou afundar tudo, o que sempre faz uma sujeira do cacete.

Eu não resisto a um cassoulet e apesar desse aspecto digno do #ComidasFeia ou do r/ShittyFoodPorn, estava até gostoso. Especialmente essas linguiças de Toulouse. ♥ Reclamações: podia ter mais feijãozinho né. Porção pequena se você estiver com muita fome.

Em resumo, até que a rede não decepcionou. Não pedi sobremesa porque doce francês não é muito a minha praia e well, eu tinha ido a Fulham comer CHURROS, né? E antes de desistir do market hipster hall eu tinha feito essa marmitinha aí embaixo:

O que dizer? Super bonitinho & instagrammable and all, mas a) pelo preço não são os melhores churros que comi na vida e b) parte do menu que consta no website ou em fotos de redes sociais NÃO estava disponível. Eu não queria churro magrelo dipped, eu queria churro gordo recheado a la BR, mas esses só tinham dois sabores: chocolate ao leite (ew) e doce de leite (ok, boring). Os recheados de chocolate branco ou geléia de frutas só existem na internet pra ganhar like? Que porra é essa, Love Churros? Tem que ver isso aí, hein.

This day is an invitation.

And it’s just for you. You’ve got a reservation for the 17th of June.
Open your eyes and let the Sun break in for a while; there may be something
that you’ve never seen inside.
Feel how your heart beats like a heavy machine, the sound of the traffic like a silent dream.

Lunch date at the favourite lebanese followed by a long walk in one of the last beautiful days of the autumn before it became wet and windy.

Dim Sum Sundays

In a city with such a huge offer of cuisines and new amazing places opening every week it sometimes may seem foolish to eat at chain restaurants; but I do like some Ping Pong every now and then. Food is flavoursome and nicely presented (I love their char siu buns, the chicken rice pot and the pork puffs), their service is friendly and on sundays you get a great deal: unlimited dim sums from the menu with a bottle of prosecco.

My favourite branch is located in the heart of the city, just a few steps from the magnificent St Pauls Cathedral; if you turn the corner you’re immediately blessed with that stunning view of the church dome rising from behind the sheets of glass at one new change building – old and new complementing each other. And if you fancy dessert you can always pop to Bea’s of Bloomsbury for one (or maybe two?) of their lovely blondies our cupcakes and a cup of tea. The perfect sunday afternoon sorted.

Disappointing feedings.

Sometimes you have to accept that a restaurant you really enjoyed going to isn’t really that good (anymore? never was?). Went to Wagamama at Finchley Road and the staff was hopeless. They took ages to seat us (when there were plenty empty tables, they were just not clearing them up), got our food order wrong, the bao buns were hastily made and dried up, the food portions were small and the dessert I used to love (the banana katsu) is now nothing but three small bits of fried fruit + a scoop of ice cream. And they only brought us one (we had ordered two). I think it’s going to be a long time until I go back – if ever.

To make myself feel better I swung by at Lanka and ordered a couple of sweets to take home. I didn’t eat the macaroon, but the pear tart was a bit on the dry side and detaching from the (very hard and tasteless) bottom. Oh well. Not a great day on the eating department for me.

On the other hand the japanese “honey” sweet potatoes I bought from the japanese grocer store near Lanka were a hit. So delicious! Too bad it cost almost a fiver for a small bag with four potatoes.

Rain or shine.

From blue skies to the sky literally falling in five minutes. We sought refuge inside a cute little café (tired of chains, really, especially in places like Hackney where the offer of independent shops is so vast) just for a cuppa brew until the rain stopped – ended up ordering food and staying a couple of hours chatting away, way past the moment when the sun started to peek from behind clouds again. We posed for each other in front of live walls and huge grafitti murals, sat in the park with iced lattes and talked some more.