Fake Valentine’s Day

This weekend I had some holiday to take, so Gary and I planned to celebrate our Valentine’s a couple of days late. We booked at meal at one of our favourite London restaurants, The Big Easy in Kensington and decided to spend the afternoon in London.

Our trip started with a quick post-lunch visit to Cinnabon in the Trocadero to get our sugar on. I’d had a funny turn on the train on the way in and felt the need for a sugar buzz – which is what I got and I sat giggling for a few minutes. It was yummy. Then we popped into the HMV which is closing down 😦 From there we headed to Spitalfields Market, where one of my friends has recently got a job in the NW3 store there. They have some really really lovely things in their shop. I bought a gorgeous oversized cardigan. It’s so cozy I never want to take it off. We had a look around the market and then went for a coffee at Starbucks. I hadn’t tried one of their Vanilla Spice Lattes yet, so took that opportunity – I’d totally forgotten how gross their coffee was since they started to put two shots in. The Pumpkin Spice Latte was so nice I just figured this would be too. I was wrong. I’m sorry Costa, I’ll never stray again…

Next we headed to Kensington to find the Whole Foods Market, which we had heard so much about but wanted to see for ourselves. We didn’t have a lot of time before out seating at the restaurant, but we managed to see the whole place. I definitely want to go back to eat at the food court upstairs, and the produce they had looked amazing. They even stock my favourite yogurt from The Dairy Collective.

From there we headed to the restaurant, and I collected my frequent diners card 🙂 I, of course, ordered one of their famous frozen Margaritas – raspberry flavoured this time. They’re so good. I love the salt around the rim of the glass. Gary ordered a BBQ chicken sandwich with caramelised onions, shoestring fries and coleslaw. I had steak, mashed potato and sautéed green beans. My steak was INCREDIBLE. Cooked perfectly medium rare. In fact it was all amazing and I had to be careful not to just inhale the whole lot.

(clockwise from top left) China Town, reflection, cocktails, ice cream, steak, Piccadilly Circus, Cherry milkshake, Moomins!, Cardigan, Hearts
(clockwise from top left) China Town, reflection, cocktails, ice cream, steak, Piccadilly Circus, Cherry milkshake, Moomins!, Cardigan, Hearts

We had a look at the dessert menu but didn’t fancy anything from it, so we left and walked towards our tube station where we’d seen an ice cream place on the way down. On our walk we passed Christie’s with some interesting furniture in its window and a really pretty looking rare and 1st edition book store. It was closed unfortunately but might deserve a visit another time! The ice cream shop was called Scoop and served proper gelato ice cream. I had white pistachio ice cream and raspberry sorbet and Gary had caramel ice cream and raspberry sorbet. Both delicious. It wasn’t until after this that I remembered another ice cream place I’d wanted to visit in Soho called Gelupo. We decided to head that way anyway, so we could at least find where the place was for next time. We discovered it’s just down from Bubbleology and Snog which I love! Can’t believe I’d missed it before! They have an amazing ricotta, coffee and honey ice cream that I’d tried at the Good Food show and I’d love to try again.

From here we had a walk through China Town, all decorated for the Chinese New Year and then we walked to Covent Garden. We wanted to visit the Cyber Candy store and have a look around. We managed to buy quite a few cans of American soda – the Vanilla Coke from America tastes so much better than the stuff they used to sell here. And I found a load of Moomin themed Finnish sweets! Best of all they’re free from artificial colours and flavours, of which I’m allergic to. Thank God for European food laws. (No horse jokes now please!)

After here we walked through Covent Garden where they had some huge L.O.V.E. letters where people had written messages on metal hearts and padlocked them to the letters. It was so cool! There were also a load of massive decorated eggs as part of a Save The Children auction initiative (a bit like the phone boxes they had last year) Some of the eggs were amazing!

We headed back to Euston from here, and got the 10pm train home. It was such an amazing day. The weather was crisp but not cold and there was no wind. The sun even shone! Such a good day.

Yesterday we stayed in bed late and then went food shopping (rock and roll!) and had a message from Gary’s Mum asking if we wanted to go out for lunch. So we ventured out to an American Diner near Northampton called Buddies. I had some amazing macaroni cheese with garlic bread followed by pancakes. (I still haven’t made pancakes at home for Shrove Tuesday yet!) Later in the evening we decided to make a recipe we’d found on Pinterest for a cherry-vanilla milkshake. It was okay but not as sweet as we thought it would be and didn’t taste of vanilla or cherries. But it was morish and surely must count towards one of my 5 a day!

Today I have been mostly doing chores and watching The House on Haunted Hill, which I’d never seen before. It’s not bad but not good if you know what I mean?! It’s back to work tomorrow, but since I love my job it isn’t a bummer 🙂
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