From Home with Love.

home_smallIs there anything more beautiful than being woken up in the early morning on a day off, by the postman who requires a signature? Not at all, if the cause is a parcel sent from Salzburg with love!
So instead of sleeping in, I sat in the kitchen with a cup of tea, all my flat mates still fast asleep, unpacking a piece of home.
Fine, Dudn and Hias sent me the loveliest things from home and actually succeeded quite well in making me a little home sick. Hias sent me chocolate and sugar for moving into the new flat – bread and salt is supposed to bring good luck, but knowing me he decided better 😉 Also I got schnapps and Manner, magnets from Salzburg, the monthly program of “our” repertory cinema *hach* and a very amusing letter, written by Dudn and Fine: reading it one can recall perfectly how they gradually got drunk while writing it. I’m touched girls, for thinking of me, even over a bottle of Jim Beam 😉 Guys, even though I got woken up because of you – you made my Friday, thank you!! 😀

anna II_smallOn Sunday Anna came to visit me! She stayed over at our place and although we only spent one afternoon and one evening together, I’m sooo happy we met up! We even managed to squeeze some sightseeing in the little time we had and took a picture on the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing.
The rest of the time we spent over tea, cookies and Chinese food, talking, catching up almost a half year and gossiping, as if someone just hit Pause the last time we saw each other and the conversation went on like without interruption. ❤

And finally, to finish up that series of things from home that come to our apartment, a big parcel from mum arrived today. This time I was already awake and was running down the stairs happily when the postman rang. Over the last two weeks, mum was announcing that she’ll send a surprise for the new flat and that she’s constantly working on it. I have to admit, I was a little afraid, of what she would send us. Not that I wouldn’t appreciate it, but with my mum one never know what ideas she might have 😉
home II_small   Anyways, the surprise arrived today – and what a lovely surprise it was!! I opened the package and I only saw colours! It was a HUGE CLOURFUL PATCHWORK BLANKET! So beautiful and so many colours and so soft and warm. It’s like a hug from mum, travelled with the post form Austria to London ❤ I cannot say how much it means to me, thank you mum!

Lots of Love to everyone at home, thank you guys for thinking of me.

XX, Angie

 

 

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a fancy evening

Last week Gonzo and I went out for a fancy dinner – a good excuse to finally wear my fancy high heels 😉 And at this point a warning for the girls: London is beautiful, but I recommend strongly only dare and wear heels when you are accompanied by a strong man who is offering you his arm and prevents you from falling over at the uneven pavement. 😛

barnyardlogoGonzo took me to eat at Barnyard, where he works. This way I could finally meet his colleagues and get an idea of how the restaurant looks like, as till now whenever he started a “you know, today at work …” I had my imagination running wild in order to provide a suitable context.
So, the restaurant doesn’t actually looks that fancy when you first enter. The interior is simple yet chic, and the waiters wear lumberjack shirts. But that illusion is quickly changed by the friendly host, who tells you that you have to wait approximately 45 minutes to one hour for a table and, most of all, when you have a look at the menu. Oh. I know, the critiques praised the oh-so affordable prices in barnyardthe haute cuisine restaurant but for us, basically still living on a student’s budget, it was fancy enough. 😉
As I said, the waiting list for a table was long and we were hungry, so we had dinner at the bar. Gonzo was in charge of ordering (he knows the menu inside out), and the portion sizes being small, we basically ended up ordering half the menu and occupying way to much space on the counter. While eating chicken wings, corn bread and piccalilli we were entertained by Gonzo’s fellow bartenders, who also made sure that our glasses never were empty. I could talk about the great food now, but I think I’d rather write about the drinks.
To accompany our dinner, Gonzo chose a Shandy for me and a beer for himself. And if, like me, you don’t know what the heck a Shandy is, let me enlighten you: it’s a cocktail on the basis of beer. Yes, I know. Sounds strange but is surprisingly yummy! It somehow tastes like cold mulled wine. 🙂
But I think the reason why I will definitely come back to visit Gonzo at wok is that they serve alcoholic milkshakes! (!!) Needless to say we had one of those fancy things for dessert – along with proper dessert, of course. Why choose between chocolate waffles, popcorn ice cream or a banana-rum milkshake when you can have them all? Hehe.

To finish off the evening we headed over to the basement bar of Dabbous, for a nightcap. Apparently Dabbous is a well know name in the London world of hospitality (1 Michelin Star!) and its founder is also the owner of Barnyard. I was sipping my Fitzrovia Spritz, as Gonzo casually introduced me to all the important people around: that’s Oskar, who presides over the bar and here is Joe, head chef of the Barnyard. I even shook hands with Ollie Dabbous himself!

Thanks Gonzo, for taking me out for dinner. I don’t know if I mentioned the word fancy often enough in this post, but I’d like to point out, that I fancy you very much.

XX, Angie

for further investigation:
http://www.barnyard-london.com/
http://www.hot-dinners.com/Gastroblog/Latest-news/ollie-dabbous-to-open-second-restaurant-barnyard-on-charlotte-street

Feeling Spring-ish

Here’s a hard one for you: Spot the difference.

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Ok, I’ll give you a hint: The picture on the top and the bottom differ in about a month – It’s finally getting spring in London! Well, spring-ish. Yesterday it was raining… But anyway, before that we had 8 consecutive days without rain! *yaay*

In all the parks the flowers and trees are blooming and the local youth is showing off their belly buttons. I too tried to go out without my winter jacket, in order to look cool and hipster, you know, but soon decided that I might wait a little longer with following the new spring fashion. Seriously, I can’t understand how they do it. How can a Brit be so resistant to cold? Yes, sun is shining, it is sunny and nice, but after all it’s only march and pretty chilly actually. So hold on, cool kids out there, summer is yet to come and if people are going all crazy and bare flesh for the first rays of sun, I’m afraid we’ll all be running around naked by August.
My grandmother taught me not to go bare feet in moths written with an R. I guess the same applies to showing off your belly button.

XX, Angie

PS: Spring officially starts in a week, 20th of march 2014! 😀 😀 only three more months to go for summer!

Goodbye Queens Park – Hello Stratford!

Ok, so I don’t even know if anyone is actually reading this little blog of mine, but anyway here is one very useful life advice for you: never move house when on PMS. Just don’t. Makes the whole thing unnecessary emotional and dramatic.
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The headline pretty much sums it up. I’ve moved out of our lovely under-the-roof-almost-artistic-feeling-room in Queens Park in order to live with Gonzo, Andrea and Maria in a flat in Stratford. I want to stress a flat! A flat! That means: a living room! a kitchen table!! and no cockroaches that crawl out of the microwave – yes, the only thing nice about the house in Priory Park Road was our room and the front door.
Alright, but I have to admit that it’s very hard for me to say Goodbye to Queens Park as I really like this area. I fell in love when I first arrived with Kathi in late September and we walked down Salusbury Road: little cafes, an old book shop, small eateries and very british row houses.
But as a wise friend said to me: You moved to London, it’s a city. If you want it all cute and village-ish, move to a village. Well, I suppose that’s right.
Also, living in that room without Kathi would have been kind of sad anyways, so I’m glad I’m moving out… somehow. And that plan of Andrea and Maria and Gonzo and me living together in London had been around for months! We’ve been talking about this since summer, when we discovered that we’ll all move to London in autumn. Well, and now it’s about time to make it real.

Here we go, a new chapter in the London adventure. I’m actually really excited!

XX, Angie

Hey Ho kleiner Stern

I remember that since a couple of years, Kathi and me were semi-serious joking and dreaming about moving to London and making it big, after we both finished studying. But when last year in February she won the Austrian Wedding Fashion Award with that absolutely stunning dress she designed and made herself, all of a sudden everything became real. The first price of the competition was a 6 month internship in a bridal dress company in London! I remember vividly: I was sitting in my room in Milano, it was a grey and rainy winters day when Kathi called me and said “Now there is no backing up, you have to come to London with me!”

Kathi started the internship (that soon was converted into a regular employment) in September and I came a little later, after spending summer in Italy. At first we suffered a little culture shock, I have to admit, but we did quite well and soon learned to enjoy a good cup of tea and adapted to London customs, like for example: always wear an umbrella, even when sun shines, mind the gap, not get killed in traffic when looking at the wrong side while crossing a street and most of all say sorry, even when somebody stepped on your foot.
I was studying in Salzburg for three years and another one in Italy. I felt like I haven’t spent time with my little sister in ages and so I really enjoyed sharing that adventure with her. We had the most amazing time in London, always trying to squeeze as much possible into it.
When she started packing a few days ago, I felt absolutely horrible. I always thought that packing suitcases is so promising, it means new adventures ahead! But seeing someone else doing it is actually really sad. But hey, for Kathi it definitely means new quests, experiences and impressions to come, as she has a very good job offer, a loving boyfriend and a summer with lakes and mountains waiting back home. As I took her to Liverpool Street Station this morning, I almost couldn’t believe, that she was now moving back to Austria and I was really sad, when I saw her leave in the bus.

But after all, we’ll always share that big adventure and a lot of lovely London memories. – And she already planned to come for a visit! 🙂

Danke, Kathi, für die tolle gemeinsame Zeit! I vermiss di jetzt schon! Die Koch-Kurse, Museums-Erleuchtungen, Film-Abenden, Park-Spaziergänge, Sing-Alongs, Einkaufs-Nachmittage, Tube-Gossips, Foto-Sessions, Mode-Beratungen, Friday-Dinners und so viel mehr wedn ma ganz fürchterlich fehlen!

Danke für alles! I hab di lieb – bis zum Mond und wieder zurück ❤

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XOX, Angie

Sunday is Fun day! … And Saturday too! :)

Alright guys, I know that this may sound weird, but Kathi and I kept saying that we constantly felt like on weekend trips to London. No, for real! As Kathi was working form 9 to 18:30 from Monday to Friday, there never was a lot of time really to do things during the week… but the weekends were ours!

We’re living for the weekends!

On our very first weekend together in London we hit Oxford Street (obviously) and went for some serious Sightseeing (read here).

??????????I particularly remember one very rainy and grey Sunday in October when we decided to explore Camden market. Of course it wasn’t raining yet when we left house and so we both got soaked up wearing only our converse – but hey, that’s the London spirit! 😛 We hopped from booth to booth and sought shelter under their awnings, admiring all the colourful whosits and whatsits. Eventually we couldn’t resist and got some necklaces and jumpers – and a pack of sharpies in all the colours of the rainbow!! 🙂

And of course Mum came to visit in October! 😀 It was really nice to show her around the city and go shopping together.

On a sunny Sunday at the beginning of November we had a proper tourist day: in the weekend IImorning we went to the Tate Modern museum, but soon found out that modern art is a lot more difficult to understand than we expected.

Kathi (very dry), looking critical at a nude form Picasso: “Yes, sure. Now they present it as art, but I bet back then he only used to paint her as part of the foreplay to some great and very creative artist-sex.”

So we had a lovely cup of tea in the museums café with a magnificent view overlooking the Thames and St. Paul’s. Then we discovered the activity booth for children and started painting ourselves 😉
For lunch that day we had “the best Fish’n’Chips in town” in a small restaurant located in the bridge pier of Tower Bridge. After a walk in the sunshine along the Thames we went home where we warmed up (it was sunny, not warm!) with some tea and watched The Breakfast Club.

weekend IOh, and one crazy Saturday morning we spontaneously decided to go and see the last show of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Noël Coward Theatre. I called the box office, we got the last two tickets for the afternoon show, we got ready and off we went to see the play. I have to admit that it was quite expensive and I kinda insisted on seeing it – but it was absolutely worth it!
The staging was brilliant! The stage design comprised a wonderful enchanted forest, a big moon and a derelict ballroom. All the elves were dressed like hippies and sang Hare Krishna, whereas the humans wore more modern clothes, yet very classy and neutral. I felt like the happiest person in the audience, as this was the very fist Shakespeare I saw in London and Kathi was so delighted by the costumes 🙂

As with the beginning of December I started to work at Byron, it got a little tricky to arrange our weekends. Usually I have some shifts on Saturday and Sunday, but we tried to keep our weekend-trips going 🙂 I think we managed quite well.

weekend IIIOne Saturday I was off surprisingly and so we went to the V&A museum to see the Club to Catwalk – 80’s Fashion exhibition: lots of nylon, neon and naked skin!
We resisted the urge to apply for some aerobic classes or get a permanent wave afterwards and instead went to the South bank Christmas market, where we had mulled wine and Bratwurst. It felt pretty Christmassy but of course tasted nothing like home!

One of the loveliest days in January was definitely when Kathi, Gonzo and me had lunch in Soho and we met Michael who he took us to the BBC! (read here)

And in February, some more visitors came! Linda and our Dad honoured us with a visit! They were really lucky as spring sent the first warm sunny days 🙂

weekend IVOn the very last Saturday in February I only had to work in the afternoon, so Kathi and me got up early to seize the day. First we had caffé and cornetto at “our” Italian café. We took the red double decker to Greens Park and had a quick look into Hard Rock Café before we went to see the Change of the Guards.
Trapped in a crow of tourists in front of Buckingham Palace we overheard the following conversation, which explains it all.

Little Girl, wearing a tutu: “I thought you said they’d dance.” – Mum: “No, honey, I said they’d march.” – “Oh, I thought they dance…” – “…but the Queen’s doing a dance in her pyjamas. Right there in her bedroom, where the big balcony is. Do you see?”

After that insight about the Queen’s morning procedures and some nice tunes (like Grace Kelly!) we had lunch at St. James’s Park before we headed towards Bricklane.
At the Spitalfielsd Market we bumped into a pop up Vintage and Desig market. It was really fun strolling around the booths and looking at all that super fashionables and handed down clothes. We made our way around Bricklane and White Chapel, admiring the colourful graffitis, curious shop windows and hipsters in the streets. We even found Fashion Street! To finish that lovely afternoon, before I had to run to work, we had chocolate cake at Patisserie Valerie *hmmm*

Summing up, I think I can say that Kathi and me definitely always made the very best out of our weekends together!

XX, Angie

A boat and a pub a day…

In Austria all the pupils and teachers had a week off for term break – and our Dad used this time very wisely and came for a visit to London! *yay*
Organization was a little tricky though, as both Kathi and I had to work last week. So we ended up taking turns in showing Dad around and unfortunately hardly managed to spend some time the three of us. But I think we did really well and squeezed all the best out of it.

On Saturday, when Dad arrived, I had to work an evening shift, so Kathi went to pick him up at the station and afterwards they came to visit me and have dinner at Byron.

Although I had to close the restaurant on Saturday evening, we all got up really early on Sunday morning. Well, I admit I had some troubles getting up so early, so we just went for a quick coffee at Starbucks and then rushed to the Guard’s Chapel where we attended the Sunday service. It was really beautiful, as the Band of the Coldstream Guards was playing.
Afterwards we walked trough St. James’s Park, up to Trafalgar Square, St. Martin in the Fields and Leicester Square where we had lunch in a very British Pub. Dad was smiling from ear to ear as he had a pint of beer, bangers and mash and a scotch egg.
In Covent Garden we came across some closed streets, a lot of broadcasting vans and a small crowd of people obviously waiting for some celebrities to arrive. It took some time until we realized that it was the day of the BAFTAs and that the ceremony was held in the Royal Opera house. So we skipped that part to get out of the crowd and went back to Trafalgar, where I left the lovely party and headed to work. Kathi and Dad went on to Westminster, Big Ben and over to the London Eye where they spontaneously decided to go the London Dungeon. Crazy guys! Later they went to see the Tower Bridge and St. Katerine Docks at night.

On Monday Kathi had to go to work again. Over breakfast Dad and me decided to go to Greenwich today. Our plans got a little postponed as we had to change tube line at Baker Street and decided to have a quick look at the Beatles Store there. Wow, that shop is simply amazing! They sell everything, absolutely everything with portraits, LP covers and song quotes of the Beatles on it. Even Christmas ornaments in the shape of the Yellow Submarine!! Ok, needless to say that we basically spent the whole morning in that store. 🙂 And, as we were already close, we had a look at Madame Tussaud’s (from the outside – too many people queuing anyways) so we can say we’ve been there. With a bit of a delay we finally made it to Greenwich, where we met up with Gonzo.
And, as the headline suggests, we went straight to the Cutty Sark. It’s an old British tea clipper that has been converted into an amazing museum. When I first saw that you had to pay entrance I was quite upset, as I thought we have to pay to simply go up there. But as we got in, we discovered that the whole hull of the ship had been turned in to a great, multi-medial museum. Dad, Gonzo and me really enjoyed walking trough the first and second deck learning about the times of tea trade, the life of sailors and nautical exploring. The highlights were obviously the little games and activities originally set up for children. 🙂 Our dear Brits simply know how to make museums fun!
We had lunch/merienda in a nearby pub, called “The Spanish Galleon”, before we had a walk underneath the Thames. Right! We crossed the Thames below ground! It was quite a strange feeling to walk in that tunnel, knowing that that big river is flowing right above you.
To get back to central London we took one of the boats that work like busses. As we went upstream, a London-by-night-picture-tour was basically included, as we passed London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Globe.
We met Kathi in Queens Park and had Dinner, at Jack’s, our favourite restaurant, where we took all our visitors so far. The wide rage of mezze is really tempting and so we ordered way too much food – but it was really good! To wind up the day, we went to the nearby Irish Pub for a pint and then went straight to bed. Sightseeing is so exhausting! 🙂

Dad and me started Tuesday with caffè and cornetto in a tiny Italian cafè Kathi recently discovered. It was absolutely lovely! The cornetti tasted like in Italy and some Italian chit chat with the owner made my day!
We took the bus down to Oxford Street for some window shopping and later continued our journey to St. Paul’s. We escaped a rather hefty rain shower into a nice Fish’n’Chips shop where we had lunch – and a Spotted Dick for dessert.
The weather in London changes fast – when we stepped out, the rain was over already. We passed over Millennium Bridge and had a quick glimpse into the Tate Modern. After seeing some modern art we felt very cultivated and decided that it was time for the daily dose of boat! Today’s choice was the Golden Hind, the boat of Sir Francis Drake, buccaneer and first British circumnavigator. Other than the Cutty Sark we had to explore the Hind ourselves, only with a small guide that was handed out at the entrance. Being a pirate’s ship it was significantly smaller, meaning we bumped our heads more often as we walked below deck. Now it started raining again, so we did what Austrians do best: we went for coffee and cake 🙂
After she finished work, Kathi came straight to Piccadilly Circus, where we met up and went to see The Commitments at the Palace Theatre. It was a really nice show, full of Soul, Funk and Groove!

Wednesday morning we all got up early in order to have breakfast together at that lovely bakery around the corner, before Kathi went to work. Dad and me went for a walk to Abbey Road and took some pictures on the famous zebra crossing right in front of the Studio. Of course I couldn’t help myself and wrote a nice quote on the fence ^^
I had to work in the afternoon, so Dad went to pick up Kathi from work.

Thursday was Dad’s last day in London. We had to get up super early as he had to catch his bus to the airport and I accompanied him. Seriously, I have some issues with getting up early, but when it comes to hugging Dad goodbye, there are no excuses! 😉

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Thank you, Papa, for that amazing time we spent together in London! Kathi and I enjoyed it so much having you here! Thanks for everything!

XXX

PS: sorry for that novel 😉