May, my last full month as an unmarried woman (!), began with cupcakes. It’s pretty amazing all that we managed to cram in – much more than I’ve instagramed: many wedding meetings and our ever present to do list, a spa day with Dimple last weekend, shopping, interviews, girly drinks, a haircut with the lovely Sinan at Hari’s salon, a night at the Regents Park open air theatre to see All My Sons and dinners out at Addies Thai, Bumpkin and Basaba Eathai. One of my favourite days of May that didn’t make it to Instagram involved a visit to The Cookery School for a night of pasta making with some fellow bloggers and travel writers. We also had an afternoon tea, a few sunny days in the park, a bit of shopping and plenty of playtime with Oakley. I also introduced sponsorship slots on the blog and said goodbye to Little London Observationist on its 5th year anniversary. Phew.
Here’s a look back at May through a few Instagram photos:
1. Hummingbird cupcakes. Dimple and I took a lunch time break one day in May for a sugar rush from the glorious Hummingbird Bakery. It’s totally overpriced and calorific, but oh so delicious. I brought one home for Jorge as well and we split them in half: one red velvet and one salted caramel. We also swung by my flat so Dimple could meet Oakley, who was about half the size at the beginning of May as he is now!
2. A living wall. Most weekends, I end up walking down King’s Road at one point or another. I was pleasantly surprised to come across this gigantic living wall covering a building in Sloane Square. I was equally pleasantly surprised to hear it is going to become a J Crew in May – the second one within walking distance which is dangerous but exciting all the same. The living wall was installed around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show but also a save the bees campaign that took off around London, even in the form of street art in the east end.
3. Sunshine in the park. I’m so lucky to live across the street from such a beautiful and peaceful park. On sunny days, one of my absolute favourite things to do is to walk to Paul to get my morning tea and then sprawl out on a bench or in the grass with a book. I’m reading Capital by John Lancaster which is really good and I’m determined to finish it in the next day or so. It’s 600 pages worth delving into and I have just a few more to go. It’s difficult to find reading time with all of the wedding preparations. Let’s not even get started on all of the magazines I have to catch up on.
4. Afternoon tea. One lazy Sunday afternoon, Jorge and I went to The Drawing Rooms at The Ampersand for afternoon tea. It was delicious and we didn’t finish it. We got through the sandwiches and one scone each, but the sweets on the top had to come home and even then it was two days before they were finished. We’re staying at the hotel the night of our wedding. It’s boutique, quirky and full of artwork that I love by Georgia Fiennes.
5. A bottle of whiskey. Toward the beginning of the month, the lovely folks at Alexander & James sent a bottle of single malt scotch our way so we could toast our dads for Father’s Day and as part of a Father’s Day gift guide I put together for the blog. I won’t see my dad on Father’s Day but I will see him just a few days later when he arrives in London for our wedding. I’m so excited to have everyone in London who is not normally in London mixing with my London-based friends and family!
7. Bunting in the square. Around here, everything gets flowery this time of year. The real blossoms come out, people plant their window boxes, they carry bags from The Chelsea Gardener with orchids sticking out the top. Windows are decorated with creative displays in honour of The Chelsea Flower Show and the streets turn colourful as well as businesses participate in Chelsea in Bloom. This is bunting strung across Duke of York Square next to the Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road, a photo taken one Saturday afternoon during the weekly farmer’s market that coaxes people out into the sunshine (or clouds, as often the case may be in London).
8. A dress. I rarely buy white because my skin is so ghostly pale, but I loved this dress that was on display in the windows of French Connection so I tried it on anyway. I ended up going back to buy it the next day. Now I am hoping there are plenty of bright warm days to come this Summer so I can wear it to picnics or garden parties. I guess I have to get used to wearing white pretty quickly since I definitely will be in less than four weeks!
9. Oakley yawning. I think this is my favourite picture of Oakley so far. He is normally very full of energy, so it was rare to capture him looking so clam. I took this photo as he was waking up from a catnap and let out a big yawn. I love that you can see all of his whiskers so clearly. Normally when I try to take photos of him, they turn out as big creamy coloured blurs of fur as he whizzed by chasing whatever he can find to chase in any given moment.
10. Gardening. The people who work at St. Luke’s Gardens keep their space looking beautiful no matter what the season. Roses are in bloom right now and I saw this lovely woman taking care of them meticulously the other day when I was sitting in the grass enjoying a few hours of afternoon escape. It’s a place I walk by every day and can see from the bedroom window and it’s nice to see the people who take such great care of it in action.
11. Another sunny day. This photo was taken the same day as the one above. Sitting in the grass, bare feet in the cool grass, an engaging book and my favourite Paul tea. It is my favourite treat to myself, to spend time here, the enjoy the roses, the sunshine, the cool breezes. Even sitting here for 10 minutes makes a huge difference to my day. And I’m nearly finished with that book. 37 pages to go. If you’re looking for something to read, I’d recommend it – Capital by John Lancaster.
12. Kate Spade shop. One of my favourite displays during the Chelsea Flower Show excitement was the Kate Spade shop on Sloane Square. They made an amazing effort to decorate and their efforts were photographed by many. There was usually a queue of people waiting to take photos whenever I walked by. Sadly it has been taken down now. It would be amazing if some of these displays that brighten up the area in May were permanent!
13. A Michelin star lunch. I’ve had quite an incredible month in terms of memorable experiences, and one of my favourites was Spanish tapas luxury lunch at Ametsa in Belgravia, a gift from a lovely company called TRULY. I wrote about this already with photos of our delicious dishes and the story of the amazing ceiling so I won’t go into too much detail. But, one of the things I appreciated most about this day was that it was quality time spent with Jorge doing something besides wedding planning which seems to have consumed our lives lately.
14. Chelsea Flower Show decorations. Near Sloane Square, everyone gets into the Chelsea Flower Show spirit and this was one of the coolest displays I saw (besides Kate Spade). It was outside a shop – perhaps an estate agent, I can’t remember exactly – and the windows were lined with a rainbow line of wellies filled with beautiful flowers. I had seen a photo on a blog earlier that week and sent it to Jorge. It didn’t have a location, so we were quite sure where it was and were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon it a few days later on an evening walk.
15. New kitchen plants. One of my favourite things about living with Jorge is that there are always plants in the house. Granted Oakley eats half of them now, but he can’t quite jump as high as the kitchen counter so for the moment these are safe. Jorge brought home some new herbs for the window by the kitchen sink: cat mint, bay, rosemary and lavender, a smell I love! While I have not been blessed with a green thumb, there’s something about having plants in the house that make it more cosy, more like home – maybe because my parents have always had them.
16. Oakley snoring. The best photos of Oakley seem to come when he is sleeping or just woken up! We bought him a new scratching post that has a soft round luscious kitten bed at the top so he can scratch his claws to his delight and then hop up on top for a snooze. I brought it in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner one night and the next thing I knew, I heard a funny noise behind me. He had fallen asleep with his face and paws at the edge of the bed and had started snoring!
17. Souk Medina. After Dimple and I enjoyed a day relaxing at Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden (which was lovely apart from the fact that it was a bit too noisy to be entirely soothing and they used plastic glasses for our champagne – who does that?) we were hungry. Taking advantage of the fact that we were so close to one of my favourite restaurants, we made our way to the Seven Dials and were led to a basement cave table at Souk Medina where we ate delicious tagines, drank strawberry daiquiris and were entertained by a belly dancer. This is a lamp that was in the entrance.
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