Thursday, 30 September 2010


Kasia's on Bedford

Being a fan of the homely pierogis from Veselka, I was on the lookout for alternatives as a comparison. While wandering along Bedford Ave in Williamsburg I found Kasia's, an old-school diner that specialises in Eastern European comfort food. It wasn't in any of my guidebooks but judging from the interweb, it seems to be a local favourite.

For a bargainous $6.45, I chose a mix of 7 dumplings (2 x meat, 2 x mushroom + cabbage, 2 x potato and 1 x sweet cheese) served with sour cream and apple sauce. It was a hearty and peppery feast, accompanied by an ice cold Brooklyn lager served in a chilled glass. I returned to the city satisfied and chiding myself for not venturing to Williamsburg to eat before this.

Brooklyn baby

On one of the hottest days in the month, we decided to walk across the Brooklyn bridge. By the time we were done, I needed to collapse. But it was worth it.

Friday, 17 September 2010


Wednesday, 15 September 2010


The Draft House @ Tower Bridge

On Sunday, a few of us headed south of the river for lunch at the newly opened branch of The Draft House. It's a top class pub serving a comprehensive list of draft and bottled beers and classic bistro food.

Staff were not only friendly but genuinely excited about the venture and happy to recommend their favourite beers and best dishes of the day. We shared a couple of starters: cured arbroath salmon with watercress and a couple of the mini burgers. The burger meat was very good quality although it was a little cooked for my liking. The mains were excellent: my pork belly with creamy mash dotted with small chunks of black pudding was comfort food perfection. Mmm, crackling.

With 50% off, our food bill came to just over £50 for six people. Great value indeed. Will be back.

Heron Quay

Shad Thames

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Everyday is like sundae*

Chin Chin Labs is like no other ice cream placed you've ever visited. Forget the rows of brightly coloured icy mounds and free samples. At Chin Chin in Camden, there are only three flavours: vanilla, valrhona chocolate and a 'flavour of the week' - which on our visit was earl grey tea and victoria sponge.

So we joined the queue and waited eagerly. There is no pre-made icecream; every serving is made to order in front of you. Once the selection is made, the ice cream base is poured into the stainless steel mixer and then the liquid nitrogen is dispensed with much drama, filling the front of the store with steam. Once the nitrogen combines with the ice cream base, it's mixed for only a few seconds before it forms solid ice cream.

Each ice cream includes a free sauce (choices include raspberry and salted caramel) and topping (from popping candy, metallic sprinkles, crystal sweets and honeycomb). The ice cream is incredibly smooth and full flavoured - the earl grey/sponge was afternoon tea in a mouthful. Being the weekend, I thought this place would be full of children but as it was a 30 minute+ queue to get served, mainly the big kids were playing! I'll definitely be back for another Willy-Wonka-does-icecream experience.

* As Morrissey has been in the papers again (for all the wrong reasons, mind), it was only fitting to borrow this title.

Now the sun will always shine

Always loved this song and Carol van Dyk's voice. Bettie Serveert were one of the most underrated bands of the 90s.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cox Cookes & Cake

There's a bit of a buzz at the moment about Patrick Cox's new Soho venture into food - Cox Cookies & Cake. It was a little late in opening but aesthetically it fits right into the Brewer Street surrounds of restaurants, bars and er, adult shops. When I visited, Patrick was at the store with a few friends, so it looks like he's going to be more than just the 'name over the door'.

There are only a few cake styles to choose from but they differ from the standard cupcake in that they contain a fruit filling and are topped with pop art style decorations. Worth a visit also for the club-like dark interior and witty fluorescent light installation by Tracy Emin.

Cheshire Street

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Late Summer Bandstand Busking

Loved the chilled out California sounds of Chief followed by Caitlin Rose's dulcet country tones, heard for the first time live last weekend. Nothing like a bit of weekend Bandstand Busking.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Growing up in the Australian 'burbs, I longed for the bright lights and big city. The FACE was the first magazine which really spoke to me as a teenager interested in art, design, fashion and alternative culture in general. These were pre-internet times when international magazines arrived weeks (or even months) after their publication so each issue was highly anticipated.

The 'Summer of Love' issue featuring a young Kate Moss photographed by Corinne Day was a defining moment, igniting my love of British music, design and style. I knew from that moment I had to live in England some day. After graduating from university and armed with a two-year saving plan, my dream became reality. Ten years later, I'm still here. Corinne, you changed my life. RIP.

East London