Thursday, 10 March 2016

A Weekend in London Part 1: Good Food and Alice in Wonderland

A couple of weeks ago (Valentine's weekend) I spent a lovely long weekend in London with my hubby. My brother and his girlfriend live in London so we were able to stay with them and we basically spent the weekend eating our way through some amazing restaurants.

I thought I'd do a little series of posts to let you know what we got up to. I didn't take millions of photos so my posts might be a bit word heavy, but I wanted to share with you some of the things we did and places we visited. I've split my rundown of our weekend into a couple of posts; there's a lot to tell so I don't want to bore you all at once.

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Saturday: Pollen Street Social

We wanted to take my brother and his girlfriend out for a meal when we visited, to say thanks for letting us stay over as it meant we didn't have to fork out for a hotel.

My brother picked Pollen Street Social; he and his girlfriend had visited on a couple of occasions and had loved it so they wanted us to give it a try too.

The restaurant is Michelin starred and owned by renowned chef Jason Atherton. It is located close to Oxford Circus.  Safe to say, this was the nicest food and dining experience we have ever had!

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Amazing Gin and Tonic 
with Pollen Street Social's Gin of the Month

The meal was delicious from start to finish. As well as being served the starters, mains and desserts we ordered, we were also treated to aperitifs in between each course. I tried Guinea fowl for the first time and it was just beautiful.

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Pre-starter aperitifs
The service, presentation and food itself were to die for. If you ever want to treat yourself to a fabulous meal out in London, you need to pay Pollen Street Social a visit.

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Pretty Decor at the Dessert Bar

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Delicious Dessert

After our long lunch, we headed home for a quick change and then spent the evening with a group of my brother's friends, celebrating one of the guys in the group's 40th birthday. Me and Adam were technically gatecrashing, having never met my brother's friends before, but we were made to feel so welcome it really didn't matter.

We spent most of the evening at The Magic Roundabout, Shoreditch, a really cool bar which is literally on a roundabout. It was a really great venue and I would recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

Sunday: Alice in Wonderland at the British Library

Before our trip, I had seen on Facebook that the British Library was hosting an exhibition all about Alice in Wonderland, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the book's publication. The exhibition included copies of original works by the author, Lewis Carroll, and illustrations that have been drawn over the centuries since Alice was originally published.

I have loved Alice in Wonderland for as long as I can remember, it is one of those classic children's stories that I can pick up and read even now as an adult. It's just so insanely whimsical and imaginative that I can't help but be drawn in every time.

So, I had to see the exhibition during our trip.  There was no photography allowed unfortunately so I can't share any pics.  We spent about 45 min to an hour browsing the exhibition; it wasn't huge but there was quite a bit to read as the story of how Alice was written, published, and shared with the world was told as you walked round the exhibits.  It was fascinating to see the original diaries that Lewis Carroll wrote in the 1800s, and to then see the various illustrations inspired by Alice that have been produced over the years.

There was also a pop up shop which was all about Alice; I had as much fun in there as I did looking at the actual exhibition! I could've spent a fortune on Alice themed trinkets and souvenirs, but I reined it in, coming away with just a colouring book (they're all the rage don't you know), a cute little 'What Would Alice Do' quotes book, and a book all about the history behind the writing of Alice, and Lewis Carroll's inspirations. I nearly picked up a large volume which contained all the Alice stories as well as all of Lewis Carroll's other works...until I remember last minute that I already own the same book but with a different cover!

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If you are a fan of Alice I can thoroughly recommend the exhibition. It is well worth visiting, particular as it doesn't have to take up a large part of your day, and the British Library is so handily located at St Pancreas / King's Cross - it couldn't be easier to get to. The exhibition is on until 16th April, and it's completely free.

I'll leave this post there and continue my tale in the next one. I hope you enjoyed hearing about this part of our weekend, let me know if you've seen the Alice exhibition or visited Pollen Street Social.

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