Category Archives: London

Portobello Road Market

Today I want to share one of my preferred places with you: Portobello Road Market. It is one of the largest markets in the world and it has food, fashion and numerous antiques and collectibles.

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It is open every day, however Fridays and Saturdays are the best! Starting with fruits, vegetables and amazing food, further down the road you can find amazing vintage clothes, new fashion, antiques and the most breathtaking accessories.  The best way to end the day is at one of the local cafés and patisseries!

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My favourite bit of the market is the corner with military equipment. Geoffrey Walsh sells World War I and World War II items such as medals, badges and even used gun cartridges. It’s an insightful stroll in time and I never get tired of exploring it!

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One tip though: the earlier, the better! On the busiest days with most of the stalls, the crowd can be pretty tiring and overwhelming.

Market opening times

09:00 – 18:00 Monday To Wednesday

09:00 – 13:00 Thursday

09:00 – 19:00 Friday and Saturday

Hope you’ll check it out!

With love,

Raluca

Afternoon Tea at Leonard Hotel

Enjoying an Afternoon Tea is a long-standing British tradition and a perfect way of replacing a coffee date with a tea one. One thing I have always said since I moved here is that you cannot properly experience London without the ‘Afternoon Tea’. Having some friends over for the weekend, of course it was a must!

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Where?

Our choice this time was Leonard Hotel which is centrally located in Marble Arch. The hotel is as British as it can get, with a classy, elegant and specious restaurant. The ‘Afternoon Tea’ is available from 1:00 to 7:00pm everyday.

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What?

We had the traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’ that is delicious and generous. We started with freshly made finger sandwiches with cucumber and dill, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise with cress, ham and mustard. The warm scones with clotted cream and gem followed. We finished with a selection of cakes, brownie and carrot cake, without being able to try the cupcake as we were too full. All this yummy things were accompanied by a tea that felt bottomless and was perfect.

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What else?

The traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’ was £19.50 per person. However, another option is available for those who want step things up a bit. The ‘Royal Afternoon Tea’ comes with a glass of bubbly, three-tier cake stand, mini desserts, finger sandwiches, tea and coffee. It costs £32.00 per person and it’s appropriate for a bigger celebration.   

The staff

The staff is courteous, nice and checks quite frequently is everything is all right. Although any allergies or preferences need to be communicated before the day of the reservation, we were able to switch some of the sandwiches on the spot which was were nice and appreciated.

Smoking Area

At the Leonard Hotel, they have the cutest outside smoking area. It is small but a wonderful alternative to smoking in the street.

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I strongly recommend Leonard Hotel for having a perfect ‘Afternoon Tea’ experience. 

With love, 

Raluca 

#MarchAgainstRacism in London

Today, 18th March, thousands of people united in the fight against racism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and in support of refugee and migrant rights. The critical moment to take a stand against all the injustice has come. It started at noon in Portland Place and peacefully marched to Parliament Square.

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In face of injustice, there are no age gaps and no division between classes. Toddlers, youngsters, adults, they were all present today, showing support against the growing racism.

The march was organised by the UK campaign group Stand Up to Racism, was supported by TUC, Unison, UNITE, NUT and many more and is part of a series of demonstrations taking place across Europe.

Just like in every year since 2012, speakers took the stage today and inspired the public. Speakers included: Shami Chakrabarti – Shadow Attorney General, David Lammy MP, Catherine West MP, Clare Moseley, Maz Saleem and many others.

Some of the messages on the banners were: Refugees & Migrants Welcome No to the Muslim Ban No to Racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism Stand up to Trump Black Lives Matter Defend Free Movement •

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With love,

Raluca

Scoop, a MUST-SEE

Scoop, a contemporary womenswear and accessories trade show, returned to its home this year bigger than ever before. Based in the exquisite Saatchi Gallery, the show hosted over 250 international contemporary designers, introducing new talents and showcasing collections from Nobis, Woden and many more.

Being a jewellery fanatic, I suddenly found myself in heaven. Not to bore you with too many details, here are most elegant yet electric brands:

DECADORN

Their ‘wearable earth collection’ consists of beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind, piece. The used minerals are breathtaking and handpicked mostly from Brazil and Uruguay. Polished and finished in the heart of London, I strongly recommend checking out their products.

S A N S O E U R S

Founded by two Spanish sisters, Sansoeurs jewels have unique shapes that express power and elegance. If you are looking for classy piercings, bold necklaces or diamond earrings, this is as far as you need to go!

XTRA-STAR

Because coloured gemstone jewellers are ageless, XTRA-STAR was hard to miss. Using beautiful coloured materials and contemporary designs, their collections are the embodiment of the modern woman: elegant, strong and beautiful. As they like to say, “Every woman is worth the gem!”

Hand in hand with fashion is food, and Scoop made sure we had the best experience! We enjoyed the shows while savouring a glass of bubbly and some delicious canapés.

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I strongly recommend attending the next show: 16-18 July 2017 at Saatchi Gallery, London

Feel free to share your opinion below, hope you enjoyed it!

With love, 

Raluca 

TOP FIVE LIVE MUSIC VENUES IN LONDON

Having trouble finding what to do on a night out with your friends, family or a date? Live music is the answer. London has some of the best live music venues in the world with a vibrant atmosphere, incredible talent and amazing food.

Here are the TOP FIVE LIVE MUSIC VENUES:

I. THE PIANO WORKS

Located in the heart of Farringdon, it is a non-stop live music venue. One of the best things about it is that the repertoire is decided by the audience and played by two greatly talented pianists and accompanying musicians.

Every Tuesday there is an open mic night that aims to discover talent and celebrate diversity. Additionally, selected drinks are only £4 and a full rack of ribs and sides just £10. Wednesdays, any bottle of wine is just £19. Great opportunity to try a vast variety of worldwide wines at an affordable price while enjoying your favourite song live. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Happy Hour offers are available from 5PM to 7PM with £5 cocktails and £10 house wines bottles. Best place to enjoy amazing food, drinks and live music.

Opening hours:

Mon / Sun: 7PM-1 AM

Address:  Entrance on Ray St. 113-117 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, London, EC1R 3BX

II. THE SPICE OF LIFE

The Spice of Life offers a diverse range of music events. The venue has plenty of room and an outdoor drinking space. It is perfect for after work drinks, chats and nights out, while enjoying the acts of new up and coming artists.

Every Monday night there is an Open Mic Night, while Wednesdays on lunchtime there are sessions featuring a wide range of jazz styles with the best of traditional, swing and mainstream bands and musicians. Coming nightfall, Wednesday and Thursday nights feature some of the finest national and international jazz acts. They aim to provide the new talent with a platform to develop. Thus, they are showcasing bands of many genres. On every first Sunday of the month, the atmosphere changes with the best unsigned country soul artists in London.

Opening hours:

Mon / Sat: 11 AM – 11 PM

Sunday: 12 PM – 10.30PM

Address: 6 Moor St, Soho, London W1D 5NA

III. APPLE AND PEARS BAR

Apple and Pears is one of the best live music venues in east London, with a lounge bar and a late-night basement bar. It is a neighbourhood cocktail bar, perfect for enjoying time with your friends, meeting new people and tasting some carefully crafted drinks. Additionally, you can sneak into the cutest garden area without worrying about catching a cold as it is heated. They offer a programme of live music events and acoustic sessions during the week and DJ nights at the weekends.

Opening hours:

Tue / Wed / Thu: 5 PM – 12 AM

Friday: 5 PM – 1 AM

Saturday: 6 PM – 1 AM

Address: 26 Osborn Street, London E1 6TD

IV. THE HALF MOON

The Half Moon is one of London’s longest running live music venues, with live events seven days a week, both during lunchtime and evening. It is a traditional lively pub with great bands and performances, freshly prepared food and an impressive range of beer featuring locally brewed favourites, English ales and continental classics. Many artists have performed and recorded here, such as Rolling Stones, U2 and many others. It’s definitely worth checking it out.

Opening hours:

Mon / Tue / Wed / Thu: 11 AM – 11 PM

Fri / Sat: 11 AM – 1 AM

Sunday: 12 PM – 11 PM

Address: 93 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15 1EU

V. The Vortex Jazz Club

The Vortex Jazz Club is a pleasantly small and unpretentious venue, with a diverse range of jazz from traditional to contemporary and commercial. The food is delicious, the drinks reasonably priced and the staff very pleasant.

Opening hours:

Mon / Sun: 8 PM – 12 AM

The Vortex Downstairs, is the Vortex’s second performance space. However it is open only from Wednesday to Sunday. On Sundays, sessions are featuring the best jazz musicians, on Saturdays there is soulful jazz, reggae and rocksteady, while on Fridays are late night gigs.

Opening hours:

Wed / Thu: 6 PM – 11 PM

Fri / Sat: 6 PM – 2 AM

Sunday: 6 PM – 11 PM

Address: 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ

Please let me know if this helped with your dilemma and don’t shy away from sharing your experience!

With love, 

Raluca