Friday, 17 February 2017

March 2016 in a Nutshell

Hello and welcome back to Teh Travels, your resource for all things teh and travels (or more likely, all things Neeshar). After a brief absence from blogging, normal programming will now return. While you can expect the usual posts, I'll also be including monthly recaps. The reason for this is that when you spend a long amount of time in one place, it can be difficult to compile a bunch of stuff into one coherent and interesting blog post. The recaps will begin in March of last year, when we moved to London. The idea for monthly recaps comes from the very talented Chelsea of Venturing On

Our March began in Macclesfield, an Industrial Revolution town south of Manchester where we experienced real snow and looked after a cat with a bald belly called Pan.
While we had enjoyed staying in Macclesfield, we were excited to move on and experience the big city: London. We had visited London twice before as tourists, so had already ticked off much of the tourist to-do such as Big Ben, the British Museum, and Little Venice.

To acquaint ourselves with London properly (in typical Teh Travels fashion) we explored the markets. Still cold enough for scarves and cardigans, we appreciated the mulled wine and cider stalls that many markets offered, as well as an array of food stalls. Broadway was one of the first that we checked out, and would return several times while in the nearby area of Bethnal Green.

Brick Lane was a fast favourite, with everything from cheap sunglasses stalls to antique typewriters to vegan baked goods. Food from cultures all over the world were represented here, from Indian to Chinese to Ethiopian to Caribbean to Polish to American to Spanish...and everywhere in between. A stand out for me were the coconut pancakes from Benny Buttons (made with coconut flour and coconut oil and coconut sugar yaaaas).

Next on the list was Camden Lock Market (which I always mistype as Camden Lick). We had already established Camden as somewhere we would return to again and again because of the delicacies to behold. Experiencing the vegan and gluten-free bakery Cookies and Scream for the first time was mind-blowing and everyone needs to try their doughnut ice cream sandwich. The peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are also to die for, and their milkshakes (I've tried almost every flavour) are so rich and creamy and tasty that they're a meal in themselves. Another stall I couldn't get enough of was Mama's Jerk Station, which make amazing bean patties. They've closed their Camden branch unfortunately, but they still operate out of Pop Brixton, a box park in the south London suburb of Brixton. And speaking of Brixton, in March I attended my first London Vegan Meetup through when I decided to tag along to the Brixton Walkabout. I learned of all the splendours of the Brixton market and Pop Brixton, as well as the second most amazing vegan bakery in London: Ms Cupcake.

I took Yannick to Brixton on my birthday so that he could taste what all the fuss was about (I may have been a little bit of a raving lunatic when I got back from the walkabout). Though they were no longer serving the cookie dough flavour cupcake, which I had popped my Ms Cupcake cherry on, they always have a beautiful spread out in the cabinets. Oreo flavour is an oldie but a goodie. As well as having splendiferous cupcakes (need there be more?!) Ms Cupcake serves as a mini vegan supermarket, with products such as Almond Dream ice cream, Vego bars, Tofurkey meat substitutes, and Nakd bars (these have become an important part of my life, but luckily they can be found in any supermarket in London and I don't have to venture all the way to Brixton for my fix).

While in Brixton we had a wander around and saw the famous David Bowie memorial. Only two months after his death, there was still a small mountain of flowers to honour the late singer.

To return to the topic of food (this will be a common theme in these London era recaps), we ventured into Pizza Pilgrims in an attempt to find a Neapolitan-style pizza that could live up to our high standards. Luckily for us, Pizza Pilgrims delivered! Their marinara was so saucy and garlicky and basilic that it blew Franco Manca out of the water. While Franco Manca's pizza was definitely better than average, it just didn't compare, and when you take into account their bad wine, Pizza Pilgrims won hands down (their wine was much better and they once gave us a carafe of prosecco for free).

Food and drink aside for now, March was when we house sat in the south-east suburb of Putney for Milo the cavapoo and two gorgeous sister cats. Now, almost a year later, I still miss his little face (though I don't miss washing him after he had rolled in fox poo). I was also a functioning member of society by applying for and receiving my National Insurance number, and got a Netflix subscription. Many TV show marathons were on the cards.