Tag Archives: summer

Sightseeing My City – Cocktail Making at Battersea Power Station

28 Jul

What do you do in London when it’s the weekend and the sun is shining? Get down to Battersea Power Station and take part in an outdoor cocktail making master class, that’s what!

Well, that’s what we did anyway.

Because everyone loves food.

Because everyone loves food.

Battersea Power station is a monolith on the skyline of London; a testament to a different time, and now a protected building, well-known to Londoners. Having been derelict for years, it is now in the process of being turned into a new development of housing, and is set to regenerate the area.

.... has a silver lining

…. has a silver lining

So this summer is the last summer it will be free for Londoners, before the works are finished. Enter the Power of Summer.

Battersea Power Station in all its glory.

Battersea Power Station in all its glory.

The Power of Summer exists to toast a new chapter in the stations history, with a 100 people capacity street market going on all week and at the weekends, boasting stalls like Bob’s Lobster and Randy’s Wing Bar. They offer open air cinema to the masses, with Premier Pods if you fancy a little more luxury, and hug beanbags for those who just want to snuggle down and watch a film in the sun.

Graffiti art at the Street Feast

Graffiti art at the Street Feast

“London finally has a chance to get up close and personal with this iconic building for what will be a truly unique series of events. We’re very excited about bringing the whole Street Feast experience to Battersea Power Station, along with Everyman’s inspired selection of films.” Dom Cools-Lartigue

Bob's Lobster - London renowned

Bob’s Lobster – London renowned

We were invited down to the Indytute Cocktail Making Class which was run by Ping Pong (one of our favourite places for Dim Sum) so we were pleasantly surprised. The sunny day (not as advertised, weatherman!) only made the day better, and soon we were head to head in a mojito making cocktail off.

cocktail champs!

cocktail champs!

let the battle commence!

let the battle commence!

Through the two hour session we learned to make original mojitos, blackberry and Chambord lovelies and hibiscus coolers, all with the original mojito as a base. We giggled along with the other guests and got very competitive, stopping only to sample the wares of (first) Dogtown’s amazing hotdogs, and then later on, after a good few cocktails, a pulled pork bun at Miss P’s BBQ. We spent a lot of time talking to the guy working the stall who told us all about how they smoke the meat for 14 hours and the history behind smoking. It made us starving, and also looking to go try out the smoked turkey they offer in Brixton around Christmas!

Have you ever tried a cocktail making class?

Festival Frolics and an Aversion to Tents

17 Jul

There is something about the summer that makes me want to lie flat in the grass and snooze. I’m not averse to having a pint of fruity cider in my hand and a book in the other, nor do I mind watching sport when the sun is in the sky, as long as I am in the shade and have refreshing drinks to keep me going.

This doesn’t extend to festivals and camping. Since aged 8, when I first went camping with a friend and her crazy vegetarian family, I have hated tents. It was my first time camping and I tried to embrace the ponies and the cows and the countryside, but failed quite spectacularly. I was eaten alive by mosquitos, and the nail in the coffin was when I got up one night and walked straight into one of the wild cows that are rife in the area. I vowed to always sleep in a bed in future. Close to toilets.


Fast forward 19 (shudder) years and I haven’t been a late bloomer thus far. The thought of sleeping in the ‘great’ outdoors is not so great, and the whole Portaloo debacle sets my teeth on edge. It’s a logistical nightmare for someone who goes to their cleaning happy place when they are stressed, and I would rather go to a place that I can only reach by plane.

So festivals are a bit of a conundrum. I don’t want to not go and risk missing out on any fun that my nearest and dearest may be having, but at the same time, festivals are not for me. I went to the Isle of Wight a few years ago (you can read about the experience here) and despite quite enjoying it, the rain totally put me off. I have abstained ever since, and as my little sister will tell you, I’m not really the festival sort.

So it’s slightly alarming that this year I have a hat trick of festivals to attend. This Friday I will be heading off to Love Box; a chilled day festival in London with work, and a few weeks later I am once again donning my tent and heading off to a festival in Newquay for a weekend of drinking, tanning and listening to music, with hopefully no rain clouds in sight.


Last weekend I went to Wireless festival in London, and it turned out to be really sunny and really fun. The acts were chilled (John Legend, Trey Songz, Miguel) but when Justin Timberlake hit the stage the whole atmosphere changed. It didn’t pass completely without hiccup though – I had chosen to wear a strapless playsuit to make the most of the sunny weather (fear not, I was heavily layered in sun cream to minimise the risk of looking like someone had gone at Casper the Friendly Ghost with a blowtorch) and I had to admit, I was loving it. Ive never exactly been fashion forward so it’s taken me a few years to embrace the one piece, but now I’m there I feel like I could take on the world! Didn’t think about the bathroom issue until I suddenly realised I was desperate to pee, and it dawned on me that not only did I have to use a Portaloo (I MUCH prefer the American Portapotty, it sounds much cleaner!) which is gross at the best of times, I had to essentially get naked. No amount of going to my inner special place or hand sanitiser was going to make this better. The moral of this story is as a girl going to a festival, think about functionality. It needs to lift up, not come down ladies!

We had a fantastic day people watching, singing along and hanging out for my friend’s birthday, and I think my festival malheureuse might be on its way out. We shall see!

Whats your most memorable festival experience?

Summer Days

13 Jul

I love my Goddaughters – they are like a tonic for the worst of days and their innocent giggles remind you of how fun the world can be. When their tiny little hands slip into mine as I meet them at the train station (What noise does a train make? Choo choo!!) and they chatter away to me, one in a really adult way to tell me about ballet and her tummy, and the other in the sing song baby of a two year old talking about the cute little chicks (ratty old pigeons), my worries and stresses slip away.

Last weekend was a girls weekend, and we had the most fun on a sunny day in London as I think I could ever have had.

We met and sat for a picnic; cocktail sausages and cool drinks in the sun while the little one chased the pigeons away. They kindly taught me to roly poly and hand stand (although in one uncoordinated case, how to nearly roll into a brick wall) and we played in the park and ate ice cream until we got to the carousel. Their little faces on the brightly coloured horses was the sweetest thing, AND THEN WE FOUND A FOUNTAIN.

It’s hard to put into words how much they enjoyed running in and out of the water and drying off in the sun, so I’ll share some pics instead.

Have a lovely weekend!