Sunny Sunday

March 16, 2014

Whilst every Fresher knows about Fresher's Week, getting wasted and missing 9am classes, no one ever tells you that you will spend much more of your time at uni in your room, binge-watching TV shows. This quickly becomes an integral part of your daily routine and you will wonder how you ever managed full days at school. As such, I've worked my way through several new TV shows since September, as well as some old favourites - including Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives - because, well, you only need 40% to pass the year right?

This has been the week that I have discovered both Gogglebox and First Dates - and, as an unfortunate coincidence, the week the spring sun has really begun to hit London. Cue daily struggles between bed with my new favourite power couple Steph and Dom, or the warm glow of sun in the real world. However, whilst it's acceptable as a first year uni student to spend weekdays shut in my room binge-watching TV, the weekends are a different matter - and with weather this perfect, today was made for exploring my favourite East London spots.

Helen and Chloe met me at Waterloo and we immediately headed to Shoreditch. Being one of the only areas in East London famous for being up-and-coming and, dare I say it, "hipster", anyone living within a three mile radius likes to make that proximity clear -  estate agents regularly con naive house-hunters into viewing properties in "Shoreditch", only for them to discover upon viewing that translates into "disappointing flat in middle of Mile End council estate". (Not a mistake you'll make twice, believe me). Anyway, as someone that does live within walking distance, the Brick Lane market has been a favourite Sunday activity since I moved here - and, as with everything in London, it only gets better in the sun!



The first dilemma - a familiar struggle for me - was what to eat for lunch. My favourite thing about the Sunday street market is the food, and the smells of freshly cooked Indian, African, Mexican and Chinese food (to name just a few!) mingled in the air whilst we made the tricky decision of what to go for...


Lunch turned out to be just the first hurdle. We then wandered past a choice of drinks, from Pina Coladas made in hollowed out pineapples to fresh fruit juices and smoothies, and cakes and puddings...



Oh, and an old guy playing chess. And working an umbrella hat.




We then wandered down to my new favourite shopping place in the world - Petticoat Lane market. If you're prepared to rummage through the typical cheap market clothing, there are hidden gems in the form of current season ASOS, Topshop and Missguided for anything between £3 - £15 an item. Last time I found a white panelled Missguided dress I'd been eyeing up online for a while for a £3 - it is a literal paradise for bargain hunters (or students running out of student loan!)

Feeling content and full, and with a couple of hours to spare, I suggested we walk over to Tower Hill and laze around in the park there. 


Me rediscovering an old favourite - the slush puppy....



Most of London appeared to have the same idea, and it was packed with tourists and Londoners relaxing under the Tower of London. After a couple of hours of soaking up the sun and people watching, Chloe and Helen headed back to Surrey and I headed home.

This weekend marks my last weekend of freedom before I start revision for exams - and the last weekend before I have to battle my TV addiction and remember the real reason I came to uni - and wandering around my favourite city in the sun was the perfect way to spend it. Now for just one more episode of Gogglebox...

Copenhagen

March 05, 2014

So I guess this post should start with my love for Borgen, and Birgitte Nyborg imparticular. 
If you don't recognise either of these names, then I'm flattered because you are clearly a stranger taking the time to read my blog. I have tried to force pretty much everyone in my life to watch Borgen, the Danish TV show that combines two of my favourite geeky things - politics and women in power, and centres around the life of the gorgeous Birgitte Nyborg and her rise to power as the first female Prime Minister of Denmark. Anyway, it instilled in me a love for all things Scandinavian - and I have been dying to go to Copenhagen ever since. 

So, despite the fact that my bank balance is very firmly in the red after my last two little trips, when Maddy got an audition for the Danish Royal Ballet I immediately leapt at the idea of being a groupie and going with her. Which is how on Saturday Maddy, Karis and I ended up getting up at 3am, still a little drunk from excessive wine drinking for Chloe's birthday the night before, and heading to Stansted Airport...


So, great things about Copenhagen.

1. The Danish pastries. I think a picture speaks 1000 words on this one. 
os



Just pure heaven really. 

2. Food in general. 

Because two Danish pastries just wasn't enough sugar for one day, for lunch we were tempted into Bertel by the amazing array of cheesecakes in the window... 




We quickly discovered that 'English Breakfast Tea' just isn't a thing in Denmark, which is a bit of a problem for someone who is as suspicious of flavoured teas as I am. Anyway, it turned out to be a good thing because I have completely fallen in love with Danish Cream tea - although that they don't seem to sell it next to the PG Tips in my local Tesco Metro, so it was a pretty brief love affair...

Oh, and Flodderbollers. The Danish teacake. Also heaven in a food form.

3. Bicycles. Everywhere.

The Danes cycle absolutely everywhere, and whilst it's annoying and downright dangerous in London, in Copenhagen they have their own special roads for cyclists and I am 100% sure this contributes to Danes being the happiest nation in the world. It's just impossible to be sad when you're riding a little bike with a basket on the front. 


4. Architecture

Copenhagen is just beautiful! Again, no words needed... 







5. Scandi fashion

I think Copenhagen might actually be my favourite place for shopping. Scandinavian fashion is so understated and simple yet on trend - I'm not sure I saw any shops I didn't like. The two department stores are Illum, the Danish equivalent of Harvey Nichols, and Magasin du Nord, which I preferred for its more down to earth style and the woman who gave us free Flodderbollers in the food court. 

Anyway, Karis and I spent a good few hours in the home department at Magasin du Nord picking items for our future fantasy house. Miss Etoile was a highlight...






And another good few hours on women's fashion. If I had a credit card I would have bought everything - fortunately my bank doesn't trust me (I wonder why?) and I made do with window shopping. As soon as I came home I went straight on the website to see if I could order my fave Scandi brands after payday, a couple of highlights listed below...

& Other Stories

Since I can never be bothered to actually shop on Oxford Street, I've never been to the older sister of H&M's store in London. After going in the one in Copenhagen, I think I'll be living there.



   








Won Hundred




Acne

Although I've always been a fan of Acne, mainly for the jeans and the spring knits, I fell in love with it all over again in Denmark..




Tiger of Sweden




 6. The People

Everyone is beautiful. As I discovered the moment I went through passport control and was met by a God who looked like a more chiselled Daniel Craig. In uniform. (Who was also old enough to be my dad, but age is just a number right...)

And, downsides. Just one - the price. Everything was absolutely extortionate - this coming from a student living in London. 

Other than that, perfect weekend! 

Oh, here's a pic of me fangirling over Christianborg Palace from Borgen...


Takk for reading!