Exploring London: Broadway Market, Hackney, east London

Surprisingly I'd never made it down to Broadway Market despite east London being the part of town I  most frequent when I'm not at work. Then it's west all the way! As a self-confessed foodie, it had been on my list for a very long time and I'd been desperate to pay it a visit. Sadly I didn't think it through and went for brunch beforehand so I couldn't fit in anything else. But I did buy my boyfriend some beef jerky as a present and he proclaimed it the best he'd ever had! So make a beeline for that stall if you're a fan!

It is a food paradise in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Hackney. Stalls upon stalls of fresh produce and street food every corner. You'll find popular London favourites such as Meringue Girls, Le Swine and Nonna's Gelato. There's also a huge variety of shops, delis, pubs and restaurants either side of the market so you definitely won't be going hungry. My list was growing longer the further I walked down - so many I want to visit!

If you've got a full belly like i did, there also endless vintage clothing at pretty decent prices to rummage through and stalls selling quirky little interior knick knacks. It's the type of place you can spend hours soaking up the atmosphere. Be warned, it does get extremely busy. We got there around lunchtime and it was heaving so go a little earlier to beat the crowds. I've heard it opens at 9am! I'll see you there...


OOTD: Smart casual

Burgundy silky blazer: Topshop (similar)
Black tunic: ASOS (similar)
Black skinny jeans: New Look
Grey suede court shoes: H&M (similar)

So we've now hit Autumn eh? How the hell has that rolled around - wasn't it Christmas like a few weeks ago?! Gone are the bare legs and sleeveless dresses. I always find this time of year so difficult to dress for. I don't want to get into wearing tights too early yet I don't want to freeze to death either as the temperature has definitely been dropping. So skinny jeans and a blazer will be my go-to outfit to suck it up! Despite my boyfriend commenting I looked liked a middle aged woman off to a christening, I actually really liked this outfit. I felt well put together and maybe a little bit trendy too. It's been a while since I've felt like that!

This weekend will be consisting of a monster viewing of houses - it's finally time to take the plunge and become an adult. I've got a night out in north London tonight for a friends birthday with tomorrow consisting of being lazy and attempting something from my old friend Mary Berry. Who said I don't live a rock and roll lifestyle?!


Restaurant review: The Happenstance, St Paul's, London

I love wandering around the city but it's very rare that I actually go out in the city. I always seem to stick to the outskirts - namely east London. But when The Happenstance got in touch to see if I fancied sampling their cocktail and lunch menu, I decided to break the habit. The restaurant is located a stone throw away from St Paul's Cathedral and once you're inside it doesn't feel like you're in the city at all. If I'm perfectly honest, the reason I stay away from the city is because of the certain types of people who tend to venture in those places. But on a Sunday afternoon, it was a pleasure to be in the centre of London. My mum and I had such a wonderful afternoon at The Happenstance and got on the tube home with big smiles on our faces. We're still talking about how insanely good the cocktails were.

To get things started we both decided to pursue the cocktail menu. I opted for a Goldfish in a Bag as I'm a sucker for a novelty cocktail. On the rocks, the cocktail consisted of Tanqueray Gin, Hanger One Vodka, tonic and rosemary - delicious. Just the right strength, it was refreshing and seriously addictive. My mum, after much deliberation, decided on the London Spritz. Served in a wine glass, this fruity drink consisted of Tanqueray Gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint and soda. Once again, a good solid choice. So far so good!

When it came to ordering my food, I decided in a second that I definitely had to try the chorizo scotch egg with a smoked paprika mayonnaise. They arrived warm with a perfectly runny yolk and a subtle kick thanks to the spicy sausage. My mum opted for the crispy squid which I definitely stole! It felt light but with a good crunch - no chewy squid rings here! By the time the starters were scoffed it was time for another cocktail to sample! As a massive gingerbread fan, I decided to order the Gingerbread Man. Served in a martini glass with a sugared rim, it consisted of vodka, gingerbread syrup, lime and apricot. Pure Christmas in a glass - so sweet but with a hint of spice. The Tiki Punch was on the cards for my mum. She's a massive fan of sugary sweet coconut cocktails so it was right up her street. Coconut-washed Barcardi rum, banana liquor, pineapple, lime and stout. If mine was Christmas, this one was 30 degrees on a Caribbean beach without a care in the world. Delicious!

Then it was on to the mains! Butternut squash and cheese are pretty much my two favourite things so I just had to have this creamy risotto. Topped with chunks of pillow soft butternut squash, flavoursome bay leaves and creamy mascarpone, it hit the spot. Filling, comforting and addictive. The roast beef got very high praise indeed from my mum who claimed it was the best beef she had tasted. We certainly can't cook beef like that in the Warner household!

Taking one for the team we pushed ourselves to order dessert. Creme Brûlée and pecan pie were the finishing touches. Good solid choices that complimented the meal well. We waddled back to the tube very happy women indeed.

Thanks for making our Sunday The Happenstance!


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