I know I say this every month, but how quickly did July fly by? It’s been a scorcher here in London, a proper summer this year. It’s been a whole month since our wedding, we’ve said goodbye to our guests and settled into everyday life and honeymoon planning. After much deliberation, we’ve booked our trip to the Caribbean for about 10 nights in October – to St. Lucia. Any recommendations or tips on where to stay, what to do, places to eat, etc are highly appreciated! In the meantime, on Friday next week, we are jetting up to Sweden for the weekend for a few days in Stockholm which will be a first for me. My new lens is in for a workout. Can’t wait to give it a whirl in a new city.
But first, a look back at July through instagram:
1. A sleepy cat. When Oakley’s not tearing up paper floor lamps and chasing flies that have slipped through the open Summer windows, he’s a cute sleeping pile of fluff. He seems to fall into dreamland in any direction he happens to be twisting when his eyelids start to droop. This was one of my particular favourites. It would take some serious yoga skills for any human to feel comfortable like this.
2. Afternoon tea at The Ampersand. This one is a bit of a #latergram by a few days! The day before the wedding, we met for an afternoon tea at The Ampersand in South Kensington with some of our friends and family who had bought plane tickets and jouneyed from far off destinations to celerbrate with us. This is me with two of my best friends from New York – Tara and Tara. Tara on the left I met at university and Tara on the right I’ve known since we were about 4-years-old. The three of us have many great memories and it was amazing to have them both in London with me at the same time for the first time.
3. After the ceremony, before the party. Another #latergram. My friend Ewelina took this photo of Jorge and I after the ceremony finished while we were waiting for a quick shower to pass so we could go outside and throw confetti. Isn’t he so handsome in his bowtie? It was such a beautiful day and this little break was what we needed before the party began. We wandered the back streets of Chelsea for a bit taking photos with the photographers, but Ewelina’s shots turned out just as pretty.
4. First after-wedding photo. There were thousands of photos taken the day of our wedding. I’m planning to share a few with you in a wedding post – maybe next week, if you’re interested? This was the first taken of us, married without the wedding attire. My parents stayed on a few days, so we went out for a Lebanese lunch with them at the new(ish) Comptoir Libanais in Sloane Square. After lunch, I took my mom into Zara (she’d never been!) and then we all took a wander along the river before saying goodbye. The next day we went back to work and they went off to the Greek islands for two weeks…!
5. Anthropologie. It’s so dangerous to have an Anthropologie shop just around the corner. While I don’t often buy clothes there, I’m always snooping around the kitchen section eyeing up all of the pretty bowls and tableclothes and napkins. One of our wedding presents was a gift card to spend there, so we had fun with that one. The shop is, of course, a bit overpriced (example – I bought a card there for £4 and then found the same exact one in the Chelsea Physic Garden gift shop for £2.50) but I still love it. It’s fun to look at the creative displays around the shop as well. It makes me want to buy a house… some day!
6. Stumper & Fielding. One Sunday, Jorge and I ventured over to the colourful streets of Notting Hill. Sunday is a great time to walk down Portobello Road when the market stalls aren’t there (at least if you’ve experienced the chaos of the market as many times as I have) and we were two of only a few people in the lovely Stumper & Fielding. It’s a shop that sells mostly men’s stuff – classic British style with a contemporary twist – but some we both love it. I took photos while we were there so I could write a guest post on Jorge’s blog earlier this month.
7. A yellow door. The real reason I wanted to go to Notting Hill that day we went into Stumper & Fielding was to find this yellow door with the blue brick walls and creative number sign. I saw a photo of it on Flickr ages ago and wrote it down in the little to do list I keep on my phone. It’s a long list of little things I want to see before I one day inevitably leave this city. It seemed a good day to tick it off so we ventured out to find it so I could take a photo of my own. I love a good colourful door, don’t you?
8. A morning in the park. I know I’m always sharing photos of my weekend mornings in the park, but with St. Luke’s Gardens and its beautiful rose gardens across the street, it’s become my favourite way to kick off a sunny Summer Saturday. First, a trip to Paul for a gourmandise and an English breakfast tea with milk and one sugar to go. Then, swing by Waterstones on my way back toward the park. This trip resulted in a Caitlin Moran book, a few Stockholm guides to make plans for next weekend and a card to write to my grandma. It’s a drawing of our street – how cool is that? Armed with goodies to keep me entertained, I sprawl out on the grass for an hour or so. Bliss.
9. The simple things. Oakley loves to spread himself out on top of anything and everything that I’m working on at any given moment. Sometimes this involves walking over my keyboard and sending emails before I finish writing them or closing all my windows. Other times it means curling up right in my magazine pages. This Sunday, he felt content to watch me from across the table, drifting in and out of kitten slumber. He turned 6 months old on Monday this week. He’s grown a ton!
10. The Chelsea Physic Garden. On one of Jorge’s working weekends, I spent an afternoon at the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden. It was a spontaneous visit that came about on an early morning walk, following the direction a random cat that walked out in front of me because I had no other plans in mind. It rained briefly during the 20 minutes I spent inside the greenhouses and I enjoyed watching the water run down the glass roof while I was surrounded by tropical plants and warmth. I was surprised how many they had there from the Canary Islands which reminded me of visits to Tenerife!
11. Oakleys “helping” with the blog. Oakley just loves attention. He wants to be part of everything, though he gets cranky with too much touching. This afternoon he just sat there watching me while I put together a blog post (which I’ve actually scheduled out a few weeks from now, so you know what’s coming. Eventually he fell asleep with his head on the keyboard so I switched to reading for a while. He’s definitely taken over ruling the flat as he sees fit…!
12. Evans & Peel Detective Agency. Not far from my office, there’s a hidden little place down a side street in Earl’s Court with a 1920’s prohibition vibe. It’s called Evans & Peel Detective Agency. You ring the bell, the “detective” comes to let you in and takes you to a basement “office” with 1920’s decor. He writes down your “case” and asks a few questions to gather clues. We made up one about a missing person. Then he leads you through a revolving bookcase into the cocktail lounge/restaurant. We went after work one night with Dimple and Monty. I got a “Wobbling Journalist” to drink with a suggared orange peel. Terrible light for photos though!
13. A new lens. Meet my new toy!It’s been a long time since I’ve invested in a new lens – a few years probably. The ones I was using currently didn’t give me too much flexibility. I was shooting up close or I was shooting with a long zoom. This one is going to be brilliant for everyday and has a pretty wide range to work with. The only downside so far is that it’s a bit heavy so I’ll stick with my little Lumix for nights out and any time I’m not carring a big enough bag.
14. A mid-afternoon tea break. Walking around central London can be hard work, especially in this heat, so Jorge and I thought we deserved a tea break the other day after an few hours of shopping. We went to check out The Riding House Cafe which was on my list, but it was jam packed with a 20 minute wair for a table. So we crept back around the corner to this tiny little branch of Workshop (more of a coffee bar than a cafe) in Fitzrovia. It had a bit of an awkward atmosphere as there is only room for about 10 people and you’re all looking at each other on sofas with itty bitty low tables but the drinks and sandwich we shared were great.
15. A Liberty London ice cream van. Parked on Regent Street just outside of All Saints, we stumbled upon this lovely Liberty print ice cream van just after our trip to Workshop – how cool is that? Sadly we were too stuffed full of lunch to indulge but definitely going to get one next time I’m in the area if it’s still there. I think all ice cream vans should be covered in Liberty prints. How much prettier would Summer be? At least the millions that drive down my parent’s street all summer with their sill ice cream van songs…
16. The London Wetland Center. I spent hours walking the pathways that wind through the peaceful meadows and bogs of the London Wetland Center in Barnes last weekend. It was one of the hottest, sunniest days of the year. The best part? The Peacock Tower that looked out over the whole property. These guys were at the entrance. I’ll share some photos on the blog soon!
17. Homemade scones. On Sunday, I thought it would be nice to relax with a cream tea in the afternoon. I decided to dig out a recipe and make an attempt at baking my own scones to smother in clotted cream and strawberry jam. Turned out to be a good idea – They were gigantic because I couldn’t find a smaller circle cutter, but tasty nonetheless. I’ll post the recipe on the blog eventually. Stay tuned!
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KatieJuly 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm
I bookmarked this hotel in St. Lucia after Joanna Goddard blogged about staying there.
Oakley is getting so big and is just so cute! Looking forward to seeing more wedding photos. You and Jorge look fantastic. I love your hair! And I can’t wait for the scone recipe. All of mine have turned out hard as a rock. What Lumix model do you have? I’d like to get a decent point and shoot that’s lighter to carry around.
littleobservationistJuly 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm
Oh, that hotel looks fantastic. Thanks for the link! I read Joanna’s blog too. I’ll have to dig around for that post. And yes, Oakley is growing super quickly. Thanks about the hair 🙂 My camera is a Lumix GF5 with a 20mm pancake lens most of the time. It is great for macro stuff like food and little details, not so good for a full scene in the distance, but would be with a different lens. It’s light, so I love carrying it around. 🙂 Hope all is well!
KatieAugust 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm
Thanks for the camera model, Steph. It would be nice to have a little point and shoot with interchangeable lenses. All is well!!