April: eat, see, do.

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April, I loved you so much I want to kiss you with tongues. I started you so tired that I felt like a zombie except instead of brains all I craved was sleep. Paradoxically, an Easter so rammed full of activity with family and friends was the thing that saved me. What I needed wasn’t sleep but a break from work and spending time outside doing things that nourished my soul. Done and done. Here’s what’s rocked my world in April.

Eat

Foodie weekend in London

Over Easter weekend we travelled up to London ostensibly to see our good friends Oscar and Izz. Our real mission is seemed was to eat all the things. The first night we walked to Brixton village market for food.

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I grabbed a red velvet whoopie pie that I took me three days to finish. It was good but so huge.

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We were in foodie heaven trying to decide which of the restaurants to eat at. While we were waiting, we had to try the Tamarind margaritas at a Mexican bar.

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I’d like to blame the blurriness of this photo on the alcohol but if this post illustrates anything it’s that I can’t take photos for shit.

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Quizzes are tough after margaritas, you guys.

Then we went to Senzala for crepes. Not only were there tonnes of veggie options available but all the crepes were available gluten free and they had gluten free beer. HWSNBN was in heaven. I opted for the Fermiere aka cheese, tomatoes, spinach and garlic mushrooms. So, so good.

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Verdict: go here, eat all the things. You won’t be disappointed.

Breakfast at No. 67

The next day we went to No. 67 in Peckham for breakfast. It’s an art gallery and the space is light and airy with a gorgeous kitchen garden. I devoured the veggie breakfast which included two scrambled eggs, halloumi, bubble and squeak, beans, roast mushroom and toast.

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It was seriously yummy, my only slight quibble is that my sour dough toast was charcoaled. Being British I, of course, said nothing.

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Lunch/dinner at 90 main yard

After a long walk along the canals we ended up in Hackney Wick at 90 Main yard. This was obviously the week for eating a number named restaurants. 90 Main Yard is a cross between a hipster gallery and an Aladdin’s cave. HWSNBN ate carappacio and then ribs. Oscar had veggie chilli and I had macaroni cheese with parmesan and truffle oil so good it enveloped me in a white and saintly light.

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Verdict: SO FRICKEN AMAZEBALLS

Afternoon tea at Food for Friends

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Food for Friends is a Brighton institution. As a life-long vegetarian it’s the place I take the most fervent of my carnivore friends to show them that vegetarian food isn’t boring. I’ve been so many times I can order without looking at the menu. However, I’d never been for afternoon tea.  Obviously this heresy needed to be corrected immediately for my dada’s b-day.

So on Easter Monday (obviously lacking in calories from the previous days pig out) the Janvier’s and HWSNBN made their way through the Lanes to Food for Friends. I drank cups of chai and a kale and mint smoothie and eat Lemon cake with lemon curd and poppy seed cake.

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Verdict: foodgasm good. Did you expect anything else?

See

Orphan Black season 2

Are you watching Orphan Black? If so, can we talk about internet friends, pretty please?

If not, what do you have against clones, sharp and smart dialogue, and foxy ladies getting into trouble.

The basis premise is Sarah a grifter and con-woman comes across Beth, her doppelganger, minutes before Beth throws herself in front of a train.  Sarah steals Beth’s identity and discover that there are many other clones out there and shadowy scientific agency tracking them down. There are a couple of silly moments (ahem the tail) but the show moves so quickly its hard to keep up.

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What adds another layer of complexity is that Tatiana Maslany plays all the clones, frequently acting scenes out opposite her self and even impersonating other clones. For great swathes of the show I forgot that she’s just one actress playing many roles. She’s that good.

The show is darkly funny, suspenseful and based the Bechdel text in spades. Sarah is one of the female antiheroes out there and her compelling performance anchors the show. MOAR female antiheroes please.

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And then there’s Felix. The best chaps-wearing, foul-mouther, adopted brother and partner in crime in the world. I loves him.

Verdict: I’m addicted.

Eye-candy of the month

Yes, the song is gross and rapey. Just press mute and watch them dance.

Verdict: I’ll… be in my bunk

Do

Laaandan town

Over Easter, we went to London to see friends.

We saw the cherry blossoms bloom.

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We played in Victoria Park

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We messed about on pedallos. Or rather Oscar and HWSNBN did, I lay back like the lady of leisure I am.

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We wandered along the canal.

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Ending up stuffing our faces in Hackney Wick.

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It was a great weekend.

Read

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris 

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Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable. After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.’

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

‘On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years. For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself. Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.’

Wear

This month I have mostly been wearing mint green nail polish in honour of spring.

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And shiny blue nail polish to match my easter egg

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Can somebody buy me this t-shirt? K, thnx, bye.

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