Food

I’ll be dreaming of ice cream

Sat in La Gelatiera, I wish I could live here. Firstly, their ice cream and sorbets are divine – absolutely amazing. My choice was a cup containing two scoops – one dark chocolate sorbet and the other honey, rosemary and orange zest. The dark chocolate sorbet has a beautiful texture and a deep flavour without bitterness, whilst the honey, rosemary and orange zest has just very subtle hints of the latter ingredient, leaving a fresh rosemary taste partnered excellently with the sweetness and flavour of honey. Delicious.

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The shop itself is small for sure, but in a cosy and quirky way. Little wooden stools and benches surround two little tables. Colour is added through painted wood strips in muted reds, pinks and blues. I even like the light fittings. I love the attention to detail put into this fun and petite place.

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And I’m not the only one who is taken by the delights on sale here. There has been a constant stream of custom here since I’ve been sat admiring, some of whom were obviously regulars and other baring all the marks of a tourist. This place appears to appeal to all. And I can see why, I would certainly take any excuse to come here again and again. After all, I still have an array of ice cream and sorbet flavours to try, including sour cherry and meringues, matcha and tea, pear sorbet, basil and chilli, and raspberry tart. Not to mention coffees, hot chocolate, milkshake, and a small selection of bakery-esque nibbles including croissants, brownies and macaroons, all of which I can only imagine would also be pretty fantastic. Though for me, it’s the multitude of chilled flavours that I’d look forward to delving into the most.

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Free WiFi is available here also, though I think I’d be wary of sitting browsing for too long simply as I wouldn’t want to hog a table, especially if custom here is as regular during the week as it is today, a Saturday. But that isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to sit in this cheerful space all day (and eat ice cream for every meal). Just be sure to bring cash if spending less than £5 if you don’t want to pay a 20p extra card charge. Prices are £3 for one flavour, £4 for two, and £5 for three – worth paying to taste this.

La Gelatiera does take away tubs too, as well as catering. Ice cream birthdays and weddings please! I’ll also be picking up a stamp card on my way out to get my eighth scoop free – yes, I think I probably can wrack up that many. Anyone in my life, be prepared to be dragged here to indulge with me soon!

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Fun

A great night out… sober.

What counts as a great night out? For many, a bar or night club might spring to mind. But what if there was another perk of your early twenties beyond partying stamina and being of a socially acceptable age to frequent many forms of night life. What if there was a way to have a great evening out and not wake up in the morning with a hangover. What if you took that fiver reserved for club entry and went to the theatre.

National Theatre’s pop-up, The Shed

At the start of my second year of university in London I decided that I would make more of this city. After all, if you’re forced on a daily basis to negate your student bubble when standing in the armpit of a commuter on the tube, you may as well laugh to yourself in the theatre when the man next to you grasps a ticket on which it says that he paid forty-five pounds more than you did. So, having established that with a National Theatre Entry Pass this evening will be affordable, it’s about time I said how enjoyable it is too.

I can’t deny that, when pouncing on the release of cheap theatre tickets, one has to take a punt as to what sort of show they might be signing up for, but in my experience, it’s a gamble worth taking. The first performance I saw was one called People. It was a simple production about the future of a stately home and the aged occupants, but it was full of wit and humour and great acting. I emerged from the theatre beaming, already primed for my next visit.

The Magistrate

Following this, I saw some better known plays – The Magistrate and One Man Two Governors. Of the latter all I can say is that you have to see it for yourself.  Yet, it was the most recent and smallest of productions I’ve seen, a play called Table showing at the National Theatre’s The Shed, which had me raving. It was an intimate venue and a heart-felt play. I laughed and I cried, which is quite something for someone who a year ago would barley chuckle at the TV. It was an evening out that I certainly won’t forget, which stands as quite a stark contrast to a drink fuelled clubbing experience.

Perhaps some people favour the drunken night out as a way to lose themselves, but one can still most definitely get lost in the theatre. It is a different way of relaxing, but without doubt a fantastic one. Of course, if you still fancied a drink to wind down with beforehand, there’s many a ‘happy hour’ along Southbank – Las Iguanas two-for-one cocktails are always a winner for me. But in truth, I’m yet to see a play that needs it; I always have a great night without. So it suffices to say, if making more of London is on your to do list, I would highly recommend the theatre as a excellent place to start.

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Food, Fun

In search of a catch up Cafe destination that isn’t Costa

Having lived in London for two years now, I feel that meeting a friend for a catch up in a mediocre coffee chain just won’t do. In search of something a little more individual a list of must visits have emerged. Labi deliThe Labi Deli near Fulham Broadway (west London) caught my eye right away. The gallery of cakes, coffees and lunches, as well as the shop front had me interested, and the menus had me sold. On this warm summer’s day I’m craving the Raspberry and Lemonade or the Paradiso smoothie, a mixture of pineapple, coconut and passion fruit.

My second curiousity falls with J + A Cafe in Sutton Lane, hidden away in between Farringdon and Barbican tube stations. The food here looks pretty pricey for a student, but that’s not to say there’s not things I would eat. Plus, the tucked away nature of this Cafe makes it all the more intriguing. You’ll find me there sipping a pear & elderflower soon.

If I was venturing further north in London, I would, without doubt, frequent Highness Cafe & Tea room. Time Out users are aghast that Time Out itself gave the place anything less than five stars. The cakes here look delicious and I can’t wait for an opportunity to try one.

Other’s that have drawn my attention include Morena Bakery -who wouldn’t want to sample the goodies on a menu that looks like this!Morena bakery menu

 

Also, Cocomaya – a chocolate shop, come bakery, come cafe (depending on which one you visit) – is said to be a nice place for lunch; I’m sure I’d probably make a cheeky purchase of some chocolates too. Alternatively, in the Clapham area, Birdhouse Cafe Battersea is said by some to be achieving close to cafe perfection – quite a claim! Fleet River Cafe, near Holburn, could also be a hit as it has wifi, so I could spend many an hour there if it’s as nice as I hope it is! And if I can find it, I’d like to make a visit to Candid Cafe nestled somewhere near Angel, which sounds like the perfect place to escape.

So, lunch, drinks and cakes anyone?

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