Australians and Kiwis know their coffee and it was well over a decade ago now that the so-called ‘3rd Wave’ coffee boom started in London, led largely by a string of Antipodean entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the market. Coffee in London used to suck, and now it doesn’t. This Kiwi-run café is another ‘under the railway arches’ business in Bermondsey hidden off in an industrial estate, opposite a data storage warehouse. You’d never know it existed if it wasn’t for the sandwich board sign on the street.
Great coffee here is a given – the beans they use are ethically sourced from Mission Coffee Works Roasters and they offer the usual selection of hot drinks – I usually go for the Flat White which is very well made. Not all coffee shops however offer a range of savoury New Zealand-style pies made on the premises by an in-house pie maker.
Owner Mike Meehan also runs his other business from here – the highly acclaimed Pie Cart that sells their range of pies at markets all over the city. I like the beef and cheese pie which is a deep-filled thing of beauty. Also on offer are freshly made Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pastries and sandwiches, which also look very tempting. Drop in when exploring this fantastic area on a weekend.
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When the words ‘Chocolate Factory’ are mentioned, immediate images of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are conjured up! When we told the children we were actually going to visit a chocolate factory, we were met with quite a bit of disbelief and an awful lot of checking that we were actually going to visit a ‘really, real’ chocolate factory! Cadbury’s World, set in Bournville in Birmingham allows visitors to enter and experience that ‘real’ chocolate factory for themselves. Easily signposted from the M5, Cadbury’s World is easy to find and access by car and there is ample car parking available. However, you can also just as easily arrive by train and walk just a few minutes from the station to the attraction itself (National Rail also do discounts on tickets if you arrive by train). Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by staff and shown to the timed entry queue. We had been provided with pre-booked tickets and noticed that although it was early (9.30am) there were no further tickets available for the rest of the day…if you are planning on going, best to ensure you have pre-booked so you don’t turn up and get disappointed… As you enter, you […]
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As we move fully into Autumn, London ramps up its events, with festivals, live art, concerts, plays, and more. In the past, we’ve covered events such as the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival, the Totally Thames Festival, and the Underbelly Festival that all go on during this month. Well, we’ve brought you five new events that you may not have known about until now. From spy-filled casinos to wandering through other people’s homes, there are plenty of unique things to do in London during September. Let us know your own favorite September happenings in the comments.
###Secret Cinema – Casino Royale
Starting in June and running through September, immersive theater experience Secret Cinema had to extend its run on this show because it kept selling out. While the location may be secret, once you get there, you’ll find an entire cinema transformed into the titular gambling hall with plenty of nods to the film’s events and locations. It’s a little on the pricey side depending on the package and the evening you choose, but no one walks away from a Secret Cinema experience unsatisfied.
Taking place on Saturday the 14th, Streetfest comes back the Oval for its 11th year. Streetfest is all about the celebration of underground urban culture from art to music. The latter is the reason that most people choose to go as the festival typically posts an impressive lineup of DJs and performers, though the street dance competitions, workshops, and visual arts displays bring in plenty of people as well. Streetfest also features its own version of Speakers Corner, a place for people to deliver poetry and spoken word performances to reach your soul.
###Chihuly Nights at Kew Gardens
Artist Dale Chihuly designed the great glass chandelier for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s entrance hall and from August to October, his work is on display in Kew Gardens. These beautiful glass sculptures are best seen at night when they are illuminated, and music from guest artists plays as you wander through the exhibit, with a different musician each night providing the soundtrack. If you’re feeling a bit hungry or thirsty during your visit, Kew Gardens’ Pavilion Bar and Grill will be open along with the shops. Since each night is different, you may want to experience it more than once.
###Open House London
On September 21 and 22, many of London’s architectural wonders open their doors and invite the public inside. Public buildings, museums, churches, schools, and even private homes are part of Open House London, presenting a unique opportunity to see many places that are closed to the average person 99% of the year. You can check out the full listing of participating properties on the website, which features more than 800 different buildings. This event is a unique opportunity to see London as never before, so it is in your best interests to engage in an opportunity that comes only once a year.
###London Design Festival
If you haven’t had enough design at the V&A, you can check out the London Design Festival, which runs from September 14 to 22. The museum hosts the festival, but events related to it can be found throughout the city and include artist exhibitions, art installations, architectural lectures, fashion showcases, and more. Of course, there’s more to do than simply look at the work of others, as the London Design Festival also offers activities and workshops that will let you show off your own artistic skills and improve on them. There’s no shortage of things to see and do during the festival, so it’s best to check out the website and plan accordingly.
The London Fiver – Five Things to Do in September – Londontopia – The Website for People Who Love London
Heligan Caravan and Camping Park was the third stop on our tour of the South West and we’d deliberately chosen this 5-star rated, dog friendly, campsite as a quiet and peaceful resort where we could relax in the evenings in beautiful surroundings and spend a day at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which is right next door. The campsite is close to the popular and picturesque Mevagissey Harbour. The first thing we’d say is don’t follow your Sat Nav to get there! The campsite know this too well and it is clearly written on their website, however, we didn’t look at that before we set off, so I’m reminding you now if you’ve booked or are thinking about going soon! We realised too late and had already headed off down a long road marginally wider than the caravan and with hedgerows either side that were taller. If we’d met anything coming in the other direction we’d have been in a stand off! Anyway we didn’t, and arrived unscathed and very relieved, phew. We were greeted warmly by the Heligan campsite staff and shown to our pitch, directly opposite the play area which was perfect for our little ones. The roads around […]
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On Bank Holiday Monday my husband and I decided to take the kids to Ripon Races Family Day. We went to the Alice in Wonderland themed race day last year and enjoyed it so much we were excited to return for the last family day of the season at Ripon. Over the summer holidays there are more than 200 race fixtures up and down the country, including 50 special family days. Family Days differ to the usual race days as there is additional entertainment for children such as face painters, ballon modelling, cup and saucer ride, barrel train ride, Kiddie Cub Kart, bouncy castles and fun slides. We had tickets for the Club Stand which is the most formal of the stands but as the dress code is more relaxed on family day we didn’t have to worry about getting too dressed up. Tickets to the Club Stand were £23 per adult and as part of Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ initiative (when accompanied by a paying adult) it doesn’t cost anything for the children to go. This makes it great value for our family of 5. As it was one of the hottest days of the summer […]
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