My perfect day in London

On Saturday I spent the day in London. Due to a combination of weddings, hen do’s and visits to my parents I have not spent a weekend in the city I live in for nearly 2 months. It was one of those perfect, spontaneous exploratory days, and to top it all off the sun was shining too. On days like these I am totally in love with London.

First stop was Granary Square in King’s Cross, the recently refurbished area surrounding the new Central Saint Martins building. This was my first visit to the square and came highly recommended, as did the Grain Store which is where we ended up. I had been warned that bookings for lunch are usually snapped up in advance, but as we were looking for just drinks and snacks they happily accommodated us in the bar area. Perfect!




The Grain Store is the new opening by The Zetter Group (famous for The Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell – winner of Hotel of the Year in 2012) and is headed up by Bruno Loubet, a French born Michelin star chef who has trained under Pierre Koffmann and Raymond Blanc. The result is a slick yet warm combination of great interior design, fabulous service and interesting yet reasonably priced food combinations. The all day bar menu includes a quirky mix of treats such as hot dogs (both meat and vege, with not a Linda McCartney in sight) and courgette, broad bean and prawn falafel. The presentation is very considered and our elegant beer glasses definitely pleased my prop stylist friend Davina.


The square outside was teaming with children running through the mini fountains in their swimwear, but we bypassed this and decided to sit by the canal and soak up some sun.  A great place to laze and people watch on a sunny day.


Next stop… ice-cream, where Google provided my second fabulous foodie surprise of the day. A short walk up the canal to Camden Locks resulted in a quite marvellous Heston Blumenthal style experience at Chin Chin Labs What we thought was going to merely be a pleasant ice-cream turned out to be a ton of amazing dairy fun! Chin Chin Labs is a liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour (the first in Europe apparently) and a great place to visit. You choose your ice-cream and your topping, then watch as they create it in front of you. Like something from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the small space is filled with liquid nitrogen ‘steam’ and toppings are sold in chemistry lab utensils such as test tubes and conical flasks.




I opted for vanilla with salted caramel sauce and my friend Davina had chocolate ice-cream (which was bitter rather than sweet) with a caramelised pretzel on top. It was delicious. At £4 a pop this isn’t an everyday snack, but is a fabulous treat and an experience that I guarantee you will talk about after. I certainly did…


I finished off the day with a trip to a beer garden in Dalston and a bit of dancing later on.  My perfect London day.  I love this city.

Grain store,  Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB. T: 020 7324 4466.

Chin Chin Labs, 49 – 50 Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF. Open Mon 12:30-6:30pm & Tue-Sat 12-7pm.

A little wedding inspiration

We all know that weddings can be quite a handful to organise. From choosing the location to finding the perfect dress, booking the band to creating the table plan (including the inevitable friendship fallout this can incur), weddings are a minefield of do’s and do not’s.

I recently attended the nuptials of a fabulous friend of mine Davina to her gorgeous fella Bash, and was blown away by the attention to detail and the creative and personal touches they brought to the event.  Held in a marquee in a field at Bash’s old primary school, the day was peppered with scholarly touches, with dinner-money envelopes being utilised as name cards and an old desk being used as the collection table for cards and gifts. Furthermore, Davina’s lovely mother had even hand-stitched printed tags of Davina and Bash’s names (the type your own mum used to sew into your itchy grey school jumper) onto yellow ribbon to tie around the serviettes.  These we proceeded to tie around our wrists festival-style and I actually didn’t remove it all week.


Unique themed name cards, table names and serviette ties

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School desk for the card collection and wedding book (image by Zelda Cave)

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The marquee before the mayhem (image by Jess Haskins)

The overall colour scheme was yellow, with a highlight of blue, and an extra theme of cricket also ran through the decorations. Table names were printed onto mini cricket bats and as per the finest summer tradition, there was a reference to fetes that saw games on the lawn including a coconut shy, skittles and even a traditional ice-cream stand.

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The wedding date on the cricket score board (image by Zelda Cave)


Guests enjoyed champagne on the lawn accompanied by a very happy accordion player

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The bridesmaids in yellow frocks with bright blue shoes (image by Zelda Cave)

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The gorgeous bride Davina enjoying her ice-cream (image by Hayley Young)

There were other wonderful touches.  Rather than one cake, Davina and Bash decided to opt for an array of flavours including passion-fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate and Victoria sponge (if memory serves me correctly).  These were all presented under a rather cute hand-stitched sign, made by a friend of the couple.

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Cake anyone?  Gorgeous hand-stitched signs (image by Zelda Cave)

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Ornate cutlery (image by Poptart pics)

Of course a wedding blog wouldn’t be complete without a detail pic of the bride in her dress.  Davina channelled Grace Kelly in her stunning backless lace gown with chic pearl headpiece.  No wonder Bash looked so happy.

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The first dance (image by Poptart pics)

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A cheer from the groom

If you are newly engaged and are in the early stages of planning a wedding I thought these images may inspire you.  I think the bride and groom did a great job.  I hope you like the pics.

Main holding picture of Davina Perkins and Bhaskar Maji arriving at their wedding, 20th July 2013 (image by Poptart pics)