August has been a quiet month in terms of blogging, I’ve been trying to take a bit of a break after the manic posting in July. I don’t think I could have carried on at that rate without driving myself insane! I took the time off to focus on my freelance writing a bit more and have added a new client, Alexie, to my list. Alexie is a women’s lifestyle website where you’ll find style, beauty and health guides – quite similar to the men’s equivalent, The Idle Man, who I also write for.
I’m also searching for a new job this month. Since my last “proper” job I really wanted to give freelance a go and learn more about journalism. In that time I took a course, started this blog, built up my freelance work, completed two internships and started working with brands. So I’d say it was all worth it as I now have a much better understanding of how it all works.
Apart from all that, this is what I’ve been loving in my free time:
You may have heard a lot of excitement over the restaurant Dishoom in the past few months. An Indian restaurant so good that long queues form outside, eagerly waiting to be let in. My intrigued family and I thought we’d go and see what all the fuss was about.
Though we had a few issues at the start, the result was worth the trouble. Firstly, we tried to book a table at the Covent Garden branch and were told that you can’t pre-book unless you have a party of six or more. And even then, chances are that there are none available unless you call at least three weeks in advance…
When we turned up on the day, we were greeted with a queue but were not alarmed as we’d expected this. What did alarm us, was the swift appearance of a doorman who tried his best to put us off by repeating over and over that we would have to wait at least three hours in the queue.
Undeterred, we ignored the hostile doorman and waited as we didn’t want to believe his ludicrously long wait time – and also because we are all very very stubborn. Around 40 minutes later we were at the front of the queue and throwing smug glances at the doorman who was avoiding all eye contact. Then we were invited inside to wait at the bar and enjoy some lovely Indian style cocktails for half an hour before our table was ready.
Some of you may be shocked that we even waited that long but that is what you should expect from a popular restaurant that doesn’t allow bookings at peak times. Also, it was so worth it!
At the bar we ordered some starters of samosas and fried okra and drank their take on a piña colada with a Bombay twist: “A little coriander, chai syrup, lime juice and rum.” The cocktail was topped with a sprinkling of paan masala – an aromatic mixture of nuts, seeds, herbs and spices – it was delicious!
Our dinner was also very satisfying and full of flavour. I had ruby chicken with rice and garlic naan and drank a rose and cardamom lassi. The service was incredibly efficient and fast. All the staff were friendly and the manager was around to check everything ran smoothly. It goes to show that you should never judge a restaurant by its door staff.
2. That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson
That Girl From Nowhere is a very well-written story about a woman who was adopted as a child. Through a series of events, she accidentally discovers her adoptive family and ends up more involved than she’d ever imagined. Koomson writes about the feelings of the main character so well that I believed she was speaking from experience. In fact, she based this book on a family she was researching at the time.
Following excerpts from two characters the book slowly entwines the their lives together in an entertaining, heartwarming and gripping way. The relationships between the characters are extremely relatable so you really feel involved in all of the events that take place. What I loved most about this book was its rawness and sense of reality. It is far from a frivolous fiction and explores real issues with expertise.
3. Bad Moms
I was always going to go and watch this film because of my love for Mila Kunis. But after watching it, I would recommend it to others too – regardless of how you feel about Mila. I was expecting a trashy comedy with no real plot as I have come to expect from most chick flicks, but this one was pretty damn funny and Kathryn Hahn’s character just got me every time.
The film follows a group of mothers who decide that juggling work with parenting and all its extra curricular activities is just too much to handle. They take a stand against the other mothers at the PTA (much to their horror) and turn a blind eye to the judgement that they receive. A hilarious comedy full of sarcasm and irresponsibility that reveals how a modern-day mother must truly feel inside.
4. Jake Wood-Evans
I was invited along to the Jake Wood-Evans press night at Unit London to view the artist’s latest work. Before this, I had never come across his paintings before but as soon as I looked them up, I fell in love. Something about the expressive brush strokes in his work is so captivating.
His portraits come to life almost. I love the bleeding of the colours into one another and the juxtaposition of real-life merged with an abstract quality. Each image has so much character and depth to it. The viewer is forced to focus on the lively subject of the painting with just a deep darkness surrounding it. There is so much to see on the canvas, some areas are laid thick with paint whilst others are scraped away and bare.
My favourite examples of Jake’s work are those where the subject’s face is distorted. They have an eerie yet intriguing quality to them as you stand transfixed and wondering, who could that person be…
5. Nuva Water
I was recently sent a pack of Nuva water to review and thought I’d share with you. It is award winning water after all, having won Best Flavoured Water last year. The product contains no sugar, sweeteners, additives or preservatives but surprisingly doesn’t compromise on the taste.
Most flavoured water that I have tried barely tastes of what it claims to be, so I was pretty pleased with Nuva as I was able to pick out every flavour that I tried: Cucumber & Mint, Ginger & Lemon and Melon & Jasmine. The Melon & Jasmine had the most subtle of all the flavours but could do with a little bit more as it’s such a nice combination.
The Cucumber & Mint was very refreshing and Ginger & Lemon tasted like a healthy lemonade. If you’re a fan of flavoured water I’d definitely give Nuva a try!
If you liked this post, check out: July Favourites
To keep updated on new posts, please follow and subscribe!