Gardening Leave: A last minute trip to Berlin

Tube strikes. They’re the bane of many people’s lives (whether you support them or not they are disruptive) and when the last one was announced it fell across my last couple of days in my old job. This chucked up the issue of “working from home” which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t have happened. So my old job put me on gardening leave for the last couple of days and I suddenly had a whole week off between jobs. I jokingly tweeted about taking the chance to sleep on twitter and my friend Rae of Love From Berlin intervened:

I quickly checked some flight costs and made sure she wasn’t actually joking and booked a last minute flight to Berlin to hang out with Rae her cats, eat loads of food and explore a city I’ve heard a million good things about. So that’s how I found myself on a coach at 4am on a Sunday morning on my way to Stansted airport (I can get the coach from basically outside my front door, that’s dangerous for me to know) and an adventure in Germany.

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A Bow Road BBQ

Bow road BBQ
Bow road BBQ

As I’ve mentioned a few times lately, I recently moved into a new place in Bow. I decided to try and take advantage of the good weather we’ve been having as well as the shared garden we have out the back of our flats. I decided to have a few friends over for a BBQ/Housewarming/Gin party. I stocked up on Meat from Turner & George (I got a voucher after their event lately and you can read about that here) and my friend Erica (I’m Being Erica) came round a couple of hours beforehand so she could make some poached chicken and summer rolls (or at least the bits she could do one handed since she broke her pinky and they stuck it in a cast). I also made a pretty good Summer Berry Pie but I got a bit drunk and forgot to photograph it, what you gonna do aye?

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Food, Gin, Zombies and N64

Reason number 1 for why I am poor: food. Whether it’s ingredients or that place that does that burger you just HAVE to try, I spend way too much money on the stuff. I love food, it is my one true love.

This weekend I took a trip down to London to see some friends (east coast had that £5 train ticket sale earlier in Jan, too good not to grab). I used to go down to London a lot, every month or so, but I’d not been down since last summer sometime. So many of my friends are living down south these days that it makes my London visits that much better. My friend Isobel sorted out an itinerary for us, including two different restaurants and a street feast. Isn’t it strange how as you get older your social plans revolve more around food than about which bar or club you’ll be going to (we did still do this as well, but shh)?

Her plan for us all was as follows:

–          Bone Daddies Ramen Bar

–          Back to her flat for Zombies (the Board game), N64, drink, and attempts to shave Matt’s head.

–          Hawker House Street feast.

–          Nasin

–          Patty & Bun (Sunday hangover food).


I’d not heard of Bone Daddies until recently, when suddenly my Instagram feed was flooded by pictures of ramen from various London friends. It’s a tiny place in Soho and surprise surprise, there’s a queue. The tables all come with jars of garlic, with a crusher, pots with hair bobbles to keep longer hair out of food, sesame gringers, soy sauce and chili flakes in oil. Anywhere that has this many things you can use to self season is good in my book. I opted for the Spicy Miso Rame (pictured below) and loved the stuff.



After eating we went back to Isobel’s and a few more people joined us. We played Zombies/N64/shaved Matt’s head before heading out to Hawker House.

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 This is a pop up event that happens in an old warehouse type building in Hoxton. It runs for 10 weekends in a row on Friday/Saturday nights. It has a couple of bars and then a number of food stalls, representing a number of London’s better streetfood vans. I tried as many as I could before getting stuffed, all of it was great.


Yum Bun – Belly Pork Steamed Bun


Breddos Tacos – Jerk Pulled Pork Taco & Baja Fish Taco


Bleeker Street Burger – Cheeseburger plus Feta Fries

Sunday was a trip to Patty & Bun, which I’ve been wanting to try for a long time but, due to how busy it gets we’ve been unable to. Well, I can finally tick it off the list and man, it was worth the wait. The burgers were so good, cooked just right and with great toppings. The fried chicken was also some of the best I’ve had in the UK.



Smokey Robinson Burger

Thanks again London, I’ll see you soon. I really need to start taking my camera with me for stuff like this. Sorry for the excessive use of mobile.