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Food: Atrium Brunch, Camden, London

You’d expect an early morning, cancelled train to cause havoc and wreck plans, this wasn’t the case for myself and Adam on a round trip to London last week. We were upgraded to a faster train and arrived a whole hour earlier than expected. 

I, rather rarely, had nothing planned for my day in the city. Ad had a meeting mid afternoon and I joined for the journey and to keep him company either side of the afternoon. 

With plenty of time, we headed North after arriving at Euston station towards Mornington Crescent and Camden, passing people on their way to work and uni, running about in suits and trainers and gym buddies sweating post work out. 

Feeling a little peckish after waking at 5:45am and having had no breakfast, we were ready for something to fuel the rest of our undefined day. 

Food: Europa Independent Italian, Bristol

After wandering all over Bristol and with a three hour performance of King Lear at the Old Vic Theatre ahead of us, Ad and I decided to have a hearty lunch to see us through the play and to dinner. 

Knowing we fancied our favourite (Italian) we walked past Europa on St Stephen's Street. A quaint restaurant with seating outside and an open front door with cheery staff working away, we headed in for their advertised lunch menu of starter and main for an impressive £6.50

St Stephen's St, Bristol BS1, UK

Daycation: A Trip To Bristol

This years Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate show is William Shakespeare's King Lear. The Old Vic has a fantastic reputation for training the next big thing in acting for theatre, TV and film so it's a great way of seeing up and coming talent before they hit the big time and seats to see them come with a hefty price tag. This year, Ad's friend Daniel was in the performance, so we headed down to Bristol for what I'm dubbing a 'Daycation'

We've had this day trip planned for quite a while, neither of us have been to Bristol before and apart from the matinee performance we didn't have any other specific plans of what we wanted to see or do with our day; winging it is quite fun, as is doing it without the aid of google maps, sometimes. Haha.

Catching an early morning train from Birmingham's New Street and arriving at Bristol Temple Meads shortly after 10 we had some time to wander before the show. 
After gathering our bearings on leaving the station we headed towards the main hub of the city. Students were everywhere we looked, as were morning meeting go-ers with their breakfast in a bag and coffee in hand. People watching can tell you so much about a place, we could tell we were in for good coffee and great hangout spaces.

Brain Dump: 05

Hello, Welcome, Hola! 


This week I haven't really sat still and if you follow me on Twitter you'll know my cosy netflix and chill on Friday was needed, big time.

Tuesday was spent gallivanting in the rain. Going from place to place to shield from the rain, eventually acquiring a nice and dry table in Albion, with access to strong wifi and a pot of strong coffee. I sat there for a couple of hours blogging, getting on top of life admin and doing a spot of planning for the summer.
Birmingham, UK

Culture: Visiting the Serpentine Pavilion

Outside the Serpentine Pavilion on one of the construction blocks.

Last week (Apologies, this post has been sat in my draft box for a while...my bad.) Adam and I went to London for a day in the city. After spending a few hours wandering around the central streets we headed over to Hyde Park, Knightsbridge (Yes, it was a longggg walk as Ad kept reminding me.) After a stroll in the blazing London sunshine we retired to a small spot by the pond in the shade for a picnic, it was all rather British, especially as we discovered we were by this point, both sunburnt.  

After a lovely lunch, we crossed over to the Serpentine Pavilion. Each year the Serpentine Gallery host a vast 'Pavilion' 
Serpentine Gallery Pavillion, London W2 3XA, UK

Food: La Ballerina Italian, Covent Garden

La ballerina in Covent Garden is a nice little independent Italian restaurant right next to the Royal Opera House with a lovely pre-theatre and three course lunch menu for both meat eaters and vegetarians too.

Ad and I have been there a few times for their in-expensive, generously portioned slice of Italy. Their menu is small but has plenty of options ( I always think smaller menus are winners) and has great  starters, main and cheeky puddings for both lunch and dinner. An elderly couple sat next to us in the restaurant were having an amazing looking pudding (Next time we go in we're definitely having pudding!) following a starter, drinks and main; you could tell they were regulars, coming in for their weekly outing of dinner and a show. I hope that's me and Ad one day. Too cute.

Starter: Tomato and mozzarella.
Opting for the starter, main and coffee deal at £15 each: we chose the tomato, basil and mozzarella  for our starters, followed by vegetable lasagne for me and mushroom pizza for Ad, then two straight up strong black coffees for me and my mega coffee addiction.


Tomato and mozzarella: A clean and simple starter packed with natural flavours with the addition of vinaigrette, which was a great way to cleanse the palate for the Italian feast to come!  I adore buffalo mozzarella, paired with beef tomatoes and basil; it's heaven in a starter. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

8 Bow St, London WC2E 7AH, UK

Brain Dump: 04

I've decided I really like summer. This summer so far has been great (disregarding the horrid and unpredictable British weather) I've been to new places, seen things I've never seen before, explored my own city and spent quality time with loved ones despite the 6am alarm and 40 hour work week.

It's such a great feeling to enjoy your job on the daily, yet be able to step away on days off to take time out and hit that pause, then refresh button. I've got quite a jam packed month ahead; going here there and everywhere, in search of new adventures and the pursuit of chilled happiness. 

Birmingham, UK

Birmingham: Museum & Art Gallery

Last Saturday, Ad and I spent an afternoon wandering around Birmingham's Museum and Art Gallery. I've lived in Birmingham, UK for 21 years and have never been to this incredible treasure trove of art, ceramics and artefacts. It really shows that we don't appreciate what's on our doorsteps enough. With a central location and free entry I don't have any excuse, so with an afternoon off, we braved the central Birmingham Bullring crowds to get ourselves a culture fix.

London: Notes Coffee House

Notes Coffee House on St Martin's Lane, a hop skip and a jump away from Trafalgar Square holds a special place in my heart. It's not for its terrific home roasted, ethically sourced coffee or its chilled  out inner-city vibe, It's because it was the setting of my first date with Ad. Suffice to say the date went well, haha, we have been together over a year.

St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4EA, UK

Birmingham: The Cosy Club Dinner

With seats at the Birmingham Hippodrome to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of Shakespeare Triple Bill, Ad and I spent the afternoon moseying around Birmingham's Grand Central Station, High Street and Bullring shopping centre before retiring for an early dinner at The Cosy Club.
The Cosy Club, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Birmingham Royal Ballet : Shakespeare Triple Bill

A week ago Ad and I attended the opening night of the Birmingham Royal Ballet's Shakespeare Triple Bill at the Birmingham Hippodrome. 

Pre ballet 

We made quite the afternoon of it, browsing the shops, then having an early dinner at a quaint restaurant where they served up a flavoursome quinoa treat, but I'll talk more about that tomorrow (click here) once out tummies were full we headed over to the Hippodrome, being early we perused their up and coming shows, operas and touring productions before taking our seats for the 7:30 start. 

A photo posted by Clo Tomalin (@helloimclouk) on

Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham, West Midlands B6, UK