My top 5 things to do this long weekend.
1. Have a festival in your garden!
Pack a picnic, some instruments, bubble machine, bunting, great beats and some friends, and pile onto any green space and enjoy! Canal side is a bonus and you may even know a friend (like me) with a dinghy for the extra exhilarating boat rides! (trust me, it really is VERRY exciting!). And I wouldn’t have any outdoor gathering without my Cool Bar keeping drinks cold as well as being a useful table. Light, practical and extremely awesome.
2. Visit Wales for a weekend of adventure
Wales is incredibly beautiful and really not far! For those who love the outdoors, you can try surfing, coasteering, hiking, sea kayaking, horse riding, and even cliff jumping for the more daring! Weekend packages cost £225 and include :
2 nights at the 5 Star Preseli Venture Eco Lodge • home cooked food Friday evening meal to lunch on Sunday • 2 half day adventures plus the coastal Hike • all specialist equipment and qualified guides • minibus transport for all activities • train station transfers
Visit preseliventure and get adventurous!
3. Embrace flower power at Columbia Road Flower Market
I'm verry lucky to live quite close to this glorious market, and with my passion and love for flowers and plants, it really is little slice of floral heaven. (My minature banana tree is still going strong and is a reminder of my Zambian and Australian upbringing :) You find yourself quite easily and suddenly wanting everything and inspired to be a (balcony in my case) landscape designer! As well as the flowers & plants, it is the atmosphere that is so electric, humble and groovy, with other little unique shops dotted around and quaint deliciousness hidden in cobbled pockets. There is always some wonderful live jazz music filling the air with an effortless cool vibe, as well as the intense scent of flowers and the characterful 'chant of the barrow boys “Everthin’ a fiver”.
The vibrant and iconic Brick Lane (where I first started trading at the upmarket) is just down the road and well worth the visit, so there is plenty to see, taste, smell for the day, and loads of oh-so-funky bars and hang outs for the evening. And lets not forget the famous Indian restaurants that you must try at least once in your life, and the iconic Beigel Shop & bakery open 24 hours (you'll see the queue) - An absolute East End institution.
4. Try a quirky, unusual restaurant
If you haven’t already, you should try the dining experience at Dans Les Noir. It is a unique sensorial, social and human experience where guests dine in total darkness and are guided and served by the blind and visually impaired.
This is an amazing opportunity to realise how lucky we are to have our sight and how we manage without it .. for a few hours. I encourage anyone to push their boundaries and challenge any potential fear of the unknown. We are quite capable beings and you will be surprised how quickly you adjust. Such a worthwhile experience for so many reasons, but mostly, to realise how fortunate we are to be able to walk out of there and see again. And how much we take it for granted. I remember it felt like I was floating as there was no roof or ground that you could see - only black. What I missed most was all the different shades and types of light that we see - soft, dappled, bright, dim, ambient, flickering, sharp, cool, warm, coloured ... seeing really is such a miracle and joy. Trying to guess what you are eating is certainly tricky! (all delicious of course). You think you know ... but then nothing is certain without your eyes. Utterly fascinating. I loved every minute of this truly incredible experience!
Another fabulous find is the exotic Archipelago in London.
A feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, it is filled to the brim with interesting, exotic artifacts and treasures from around the world, and is cosy, intimate, excting and delicious. And to top it off had amazing service. A truly unique dinner that I didn't want to end!
Discover an uncharted culinary adventure as you experience many wild and wonderful tastes and cultures. “ We take pride in our exotic ingredients like crocodile, kangaroo, zebra and bison, and celebrate the traditional with chicken and fish as well as inspired vegetarian options. Our aim is to broaden culinary knowledge and experience, to celebrate diversity, and to show that the unfamiliar can be exciting, delicious and very good for you. All our ingredients are organic, free range and are either farmed or are part of a nationally recognised culling programme. We use nothing that has been irresponsibly taken from the wild.
5. And if it's rain..
(be grateful we have fresh clean water), curl up on the sofa wrapped in a kimono dressing gown and ...
Open a bottle of prosecco (bubbles are always welcome!). If you have the time to try and make something new, I would highly recommend Poppy and the Bee’s Mushroom Gyoza- Little Samurai Dumplings of Deliciousness, or if relaxing is of the essence, order something totally delicious from Deliveroo. Get amazing food from an incredible selection of local restaurants delivered super fast, hassle free and still warm! What's not to like?!
Whatever you do this long weekend, remember to smile ... because afterall, happiness is contagious! :)