Cocktails in the City

Delectable Cocktails, Fun and Games at Cocktails in the City

If you noticed me going slightly bonkers over National Piña Colada Day a couple of weeks ago then you’ll know how strong my desire of a good cocktail is. Whether I’m sipping one on an exotic beach somewhere in the world or dressed up to the nines in a fancy London cocktail bar, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ll have a cocktail in my hand.  Or even both hands on some occasions.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to win a pair of tickets to Cocktails in the City, a mini cocktail festival where a selection of London’s best bars serve up this season’s most delectable drinks along with some mouth-watering street food, funky music, and fun and games.

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Afternoon tea bus tour London

An Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London

I’m a born and bred Londoner so it’s only natural that I should love the quintessentially English occasion of afternoon tea. Afternoon teas with a twist especially take my fancy like the burgerlicious tea we demolished at BRGR.CO or the fun cocktail making afternoon tea at Hush. So when I heard about the tea by BB Bakery that is set on an old double-decker red bus and takes guests on a sightseeing tour of London while they eat, well you can only imagine how excited I was.

I boarded the bus with fellow blogger ladies Shikha and Char and we took our seats on the top deck where the tables were beautifully laid out with tiered trays of finger sandwiches, mini turkey salad rolls and mini quiches. After the obligatory foodie snaps, we delved straight into the savoury tier which went down a treat.  I loved that they provided something different to just the normal sandwiches that most afternoon teas serve.

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The Medieval Banquet review

An Evening of Festivities at the Medieval Banquet

Feasting with Henry VIII and his royal subjects was not how I ever envisioned spending an evening. But a couple of weeks ago, in the historic area of St Katharine Docks , we did just that. A four course meal, unlimited red wine and ale, and entertainment fit for a king awaited us at the Medieval Banquet.

We were led underground, past coats of armour and a wall lined with swords, into the depths of the Banquet, where rows upon rows of long tables were waiting to be filled. We took our seats next to where all the action would be, hoping that the other people joining our table were in the mood for a fun evening.

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My Foodie Addiction

Hi. I’m Ayla. And I have a foodie addiction.

A completely out of control, amazingly delicious addiction, and I thought it was about time I shared it with you (in case you didn’t already know).

I don’t just mean that I like eating. There’s a difference between being a foodie and just being a plain and simple eater (or, in other words, a pig) and, although Mr Ayla may disagree, I like to think I fall into the former category.

Food is such an important part of a country’s culture, and so dishes to try and places to eat are always one of the first things I research whenever I travel. I love exploring local delicacies and I’m always on the hunt for great foodie finds.  And when I find it I savour every bite.

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Bluebells at Emmetts Garden

Adventures in Kent’s Bluebell Woods

Springtime is just too damn pretty for words, and this year I wanted to visit some of the colourful bluebell woods that bloom in abundance around this time.  We live just on the outskirts of London, in Kent, so the “Garden of England” and its National Trust properties and gardens was the perfect place to go exploring.

With the promise of the little tea and cake shop that is always bound to be found at a National Trust property, I managed to persuade Mr Ayla to come along on this flowery outing of mine.  We headed to Emmett’s Garden where a cute little cottage (obviously Snow White’s home) greeted us.

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A Street Food Extravaganza at Deptford’s Job Centre

An employment job centre isn’t usually somewhere I’d consider spending an evening, but Deptford’s Job Centre isn’t exactly what you’d expect. Having been turned into a quirky relaxed bar, it now attracts a whole host of people, not just those who are on benefits or looking for a job. Every Thursday to Saturday evenings, Kitchen Hijack takes over with a mouth-watering selection of street foods from some of London’s best pop-up vendors.

As soon as I heard about this place from Kasha I knew it was somewhere I just had to try out. Street food and cocktails in a quirky bar? It sounded like my perfect place to spend an evening!

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Pink mini orchid

Post-Holiday Blues

Today, I am feeling rather sorry for myself.  I’m sat at home, having a sick day off work, thinking of all the things I should be doing but not having the energy to actually get up and do them all.

I don’t know whether it’s post-holidays blues after our amazing time in Cuba that’s making me feel so rubbish or just my body not wanting to cooperate with my head.  I can imagine it screaming at me now “STOP DOING STUFF!! I can’t keep up!! No, not listening?  Fine then, I’ll make you ill instead”.  Cue evil laugh from my weary body.

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Bloc Hotel London Gatwick Airport

The Perfect Way To Start A Holiday: Bloc Hotel Gatwick

Ever since I was a little girl, the start of a holiday has always been getting up at stupid o’clock in the middle of the night, the sky still pitch black outside and not a sound to be heard as we pack up the car to head off to the airport. When I book holidays now I will always pick the earliest morning flight there is, not only because it means we get more time away, but also because my older self still loves starting holidays in this way.

Mr Ayla, on the other hand, isn’t such a massive fan of the early starts. He moans and groans about only getting a nap for a night’s sleep and he hates having to wake himself up properly if he’s the one to drive to the airport while I relax in the passenger seat.

So ahead of our long flight to Cuba I thought it only fair that he get a good night’s sleep and we decided to try out an airport hotel for the first time.

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Fairy tale in Oxford

A Day Trip to Oxford

With only 24 hours in Oxford, we had a lot to squeeze in on our visit to one of the UK’s most popular cities. Only a couple of hours drive from London, Oxford is the perfect place for a short weekend getaway and has so much to offer both visitors and locals alike.

It was a chilly but sunny day when we arrived, the skies bright blue and the ground full of fallen leaves, making the city even more beautiful.

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Afternoon tea with a twist at BRGR.CO

Afternoon Tea with a Twist at BRGR.CO

Afternoon tea is one of those quintessentially English things that everyone has to do at least once in their life. Or preferably once every few months if you become addicted to it, much like I have.

London is chock-a-block full of a huge variety of places serving afternoon tea.  From a fancy high tea, traditional afternoon tea or a more modern tea with a unique theme; whichever one it is, I love them all.  Savoury snacks, warm scones smothered with clotted cream, different flavours of tea from all over the world, and enough sweet nibbles to leave you well and truly satisfied.

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