While a full afternoon tea is sometimes a bit overwhelming with so many sandwiches, scones and then sweet desserts on top of all of that, I love a simple cream tea. A scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam and some English breakfast tea sip between bites.
On a cloudy Sunday afternoon, a group of mostly Londoners gathered around a wooden table in an upstairs room at Forge & Co on Shoreditch High Street. I invited Stu from Inspiring City to come along for a few hours of urban exploration and photography.
We were there to play a little game called Foto Ruta Clue, a photography treasure hunt around one of the most vibrant areas of the city.
We kicked it off with a handful of examples for inspiration, were passed a few standard photo tips (ie – rule of thirds, leading lines, direction of light, be patient!), grabbed a partner and wandered off into the wilds of East London with a set of eight clues and a map of the local area.
When Malibu asked me to be part of their #BestSummerEver campaign, one of the first experiences to go on my Best Summer Ever list was a night in the colourful Townhouse Deluxe room at The Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell.
Jorge and I have this quirky Georgian getaway in mind for a mini London staycation for quite a while now so we were excited to pack our overnight bags last Saturday and hop on the 19 bus for a trek to the east. We wove our way through unfamiliar side streets and arrived at a powder blue door across the cobbles of St John’s Square from their original big sister hotel, The Zetter.
If I lived anywhere near Bermondsey, I’d be a regular at this tiny street market that’s nestled in amongst the railway arches and a large council estate.
I met Jacintha, a lovely and talented Dutch photographer and blogger at The Cookery School’s blogger social back in May. That’s when I discovered her blog, Urban Pixxels, which quickly became one of my favourites to return to again and again. Her photography just blows me away. I find it so clean and refreshing the way she captures the world around her, including London where we both now live. Plus, thanks to her, my list of restaurants and coffeeshops to try in London has reached new heights. Below, Jacintha tells us a bit about her background as a serial expat, what we’d find if we took a peek into her photography bag and a bit about cycling in London versus Holland.
LO: Tell us a bit about yourself: Where are you from originally, how long have you been living in London and what brought you here? Where else have you called home?
JV: I’m originally from the Netherlands. It’s a great country to live in, but I’ve always wanted to experience living in other countries as well. The first time I moved abroad was in the year 2000, when I left my parents’ house to study and live in Paris. A big change, but when I moved back after one year I couldn’t wait to pack my bags again and do the same in a different country. That happened in 2003 when I got the chance to do my internship in New York. I loved that city! But I had to go home to finish my masters and then I found a job in The Hague (Den Haag). Last year, early 2013, I felt it was time for a change and that I needed another international adventure. I wasn’t necessary looking to move to London, but I found a job that allowed me to move here and so I did. I’ve been living here since March 2013.
What I enjoy least about cooking is the chopping, with one exception: herbs.
The fresh oregano I used in this recipe smelled divine. My lovely friend Sarah who recommended this recipe to me via epicurious has an urban garden outside of her flat in the middle of Manhatten and picked her own oregano. Making this bread made me wish I had a full garden of herbs I could pick from at will, but central London is short of green space and our windowsill is already packed full of other plants. My oregano was courtesy of Waitrose.
It’s a very simple bread to make, full of flavour and just the right slightly chewy yet airy texture. I like it untoasted with a layer of butter smoothed across the top. It’s also great dipped in soup.
Thanks to Malibu’s #BestSummerEver campaign which I’m thrilled to be a part of, Jorge and I had tickets to see a double bill of Apollo and MidSummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Opera House on Saturday Night.
Neither of us had been to the Royal Opera House and it’s a long time since I’ve seen a ballet, so we had been looking forward to this tribute to the work of the celebrated Russo-American choreographer George Balanchine. Both shows were performed by the St. Petersburg-based Mariinsky Ballet, a company Balanchine performed with himself from the age of 11.
There are no words in ballet, only movement, elegance and grace accompanied by an orchestra. I’m no ballet critic by any means so I’ll leave that to the pros, but it was a beautiful evening and an immaculate display of talent.