Last week saw the arrival of September in a whirlwind of autumnal Instagram posts. It may be one of my favourite social media platforms but when everyone lacks imagination and creativity and posts pretty much the same stuff I find it so dull. September IS my favourite month, I can’t deny it but precisely because of the beautiful weather it tends to bring. Yes, the mornings are cold and crisp with a dew on the grass and crunch leaves underfoot but days which head into the mid-2o’s is perfect for me and I’m not ready to give up on summer yet. Be careful what you wish for, once the warmth is gone we won’t feel it again until May which is an awfully long time away.
We packed so much in, breakfast dates, theatre dates, dinner dates as well as catching up with friends, our niece’s first birthday party and finally returning my Mum’s dog to her rightful home. I feel so mean that I’m so happy about her going home but August has passed in a blanket of dog hair and breaking up fights. It’s felt so much and we had a blissful Sunday where Boo and Maddie just curled up together and reestablished their home.
There’s nothing I love more than London when most people are still asleep. I used to see the city a lot in the small hours when I’d go to and from night shifts at Samaritans in Soho, realising that the only people around were night shift workers and it always felt so magical as though you were all in a little secret about how beautiful London is without the millions of people. We took a train into Charing Cross before walking up through a deserted Covent Garden for breakfast at The Black Penny after reading a review in Time Out. It didn’t disappoint and my gluten-free, vegetarian cooked breakfast was one of the best I’ve had.
After breakfast we continued exploring, stumbling across hidden hotels down cobbled streets and pretty shop fronts away from all the hustle and bustle.
From there we made our way up to the roof gardens at John Lewis on Oxford Street to check out the Etsy pop-up and and enjoy a lunchtime drink or two…
On Tuesday Pete and I went to the National Portrait Gallery after work. We have membership and were treated to an after hours private members screening of a photography exhibition by American William Eggleston, famous for portraiture and colour photography. We meandered round and giggled at people taking everything terribly seriously, not helped by Prosecco. It’s a joy to visit places after hours and have a bit more time and space to explore and I was captivated by the Creative Connections “South of the River” project. Our lovely evening was topped off with dinner on the third floor restaurant with lovely views over the Trafalgar Square rooftops.
With all the to-ing and fro-ing in town there’s been plenty of time to soak up late summer sunshine by the river and I stumbled across another BFG dream jar. Perhaps I should do the trail after all.
National Orchid Day
A new exhibition is taking place at No Such Place in Covent Garden as a collaboration between National Orchid Day and street style photographer Daniel Bruno Grandl. I popped along to the preview evening showcasing some of the most stunning orchids I’ve ever seen and the opportunity to take a personality test to find out which orchid is most representative of my personality. Apparently I’m a realist! Taking that to the max, I decided to prevent inevitable train woes on my way home by stocking up on salted caramel ice cream from cute Covent Garden ice cream parlour Udderlicious – do check it out if you’re in the area!
Theatre at The Globe
Further proof that summer isn’t done yet, we were toastily warm at The Globe on Thursday evening to see ‘946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips’ by the Kneehigh Company. We’ve seen several of their productions, always so stylish and inventive and they have an extraordinarily loyal and loving following. It was the perfect date night after working from home, packing in an 11 mile half-marathon training run and cuddles with the kitten.
Dinner with Friends
Friday night was local and low-key, catching up with my friend Julianna who runs interiors store Barnaby & Co. After a recommendation from a fellow South Londoner, we opted for Indian street food restaurant Chai Naasto in Beckenham and it was uh-mazing. Such good food, brilliant staff and one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had in my life. Which is saying something because there have been many, many cocktails in the last 20 years.
Our niece Florence celebrated her first birthday over the weekend so we drove up to my brother’s on Saturday for a little family party. She absolutely loved it and was the life and soul. I’m so happy to see everything working out so wonderfully for my brother after many years of unhappiness. A second chance is a wonderful thing and he really deserves it.
Chilled Out Sundays
And so all that was left for this long and busy week was to potter. We tidied, I re-arrange the kitchen and somehow managed to create extra space that we didn’t realise we had. A little bit of painting, some herbal tea, a short training run and it was a blissful relaxing day, the perfect end to a hectic week.