Sunday, 30 November 2014

Night tale @ Red

With gorgeous fairy-lights, quirky street food stands and delicious cocktail, the Night tale pop up market gracing Shoreditch this winter has got the perfect combination to keep the cold away. However, if you come here looking only for food, then you are in the wrong place; for this car-park-turn-party-ground is a well-balanced mix of music, alcohol and food for those seeking a good-time all night long.

Announced with red dangling lights and a large sign, you might have to wait for a small while to get in through the queue. The canopy design means you are protected against the elements and the coziness of the wooden benches, mismatch stalls and heat lamps all serve to keep you toasty and cheery. Guests DJs are on site to dish out some party tones and a clearing between the picnic benches and music deck gives you plenty of space to dance.

For those who want to enjoy a quieter time and sip some cocktail, the upper floor of the delightful fairy light wrapped structure is the place to go. Consisting of a secluded whiskey cocktail bar, you can enjoy the ambience of a relaxing evening whilst looking down on fellow diners and partyers. Or if you are feeling extra special, you can book a table in advance for £100 per head, which include all-you-can-drink booze, queue jump and free entry, as well as food tokens and tray service.
There are only seven street food stalls, the legendary Patty and Bun in their glorious new van is a definite go-to. Next door is the Voodo Ray pizza and other stalls include oriental style buns and slow cooked brisket in Italian baguette from Bathing Cows. Toilets are available between the main ground and the entrance with an attendant, so you can make sure your hands are clean before stumbling onto the dance floor.

The place gets quite busy with all the free benches being taken up by around seven. If all you wish is to grab a bite then this isn’t the right place for you, especially with an entrance fee.

Address: 288-299 Old street
Direction: From Old street station take the subway 1, go up the right flight of stairs and walk straight down the road. You will walk past a fire station and RED is right opposite a Sainsbury Local.
Opening times: Thurs- Sat 5pm – late; £4 entrance fee

Friday, 21 November 2014


I have always been a fan of Korean food, so when my friend suggested we go to Kimchee to celebrate another friend’s birthday (she’s quite a fine diner) as this is her favourite restaurant, I expected grand things from it.

Situated almost equidistant from Holborn to Chancery Lane, the oriental fusion d├ęcor of leaf green logo, dark wood panel and glimpse of numerous hollow bamboo stick lanterns inside stood out immediately. Inside is an open plan kitchen with decorative wooden screen and traditional wooden seating.

The exterior of the Kimchee - my first impression is that it resembles more of a fusion place

Matching interior with wood furnishing and open kitchen
I was especially impressed with the hallow space under the chair for storage, as most restaurants fail to address the cramped space issue for diners to stall their belongings. The menu is designed to resemble folded scrolls from ancient times with wooden front and back page.

The foods are listed in phonetic English translation with a brief description below, and although a little more pricey than your average Korean restaurant, there are more choices. Opting for Beef Bolgogi (marinated grill beef wrap in lettuce, served separately) and Yuk Hwae (A classic Korean dish similar to beef tartare with egg yolk as source).
Beef Bolgogi

Yuk Hwaek
The Beef Bolgogi was perfectly marinated and grilled, with some more charcoaled bits that give a perfect crunch alongside the lettuce. However it is the Yuk Hwae that truly captures my tongue. The egg yolk somehow completes the raw beef stripes and the dash of sesame oil with it combine to become an explosion of well-balanced flavor in your mouth. The smoothness and tenderness of the beef was an added factor and in no time everyone was fighting for a bite of it.

Me eagerly digging in :)

With fourteen of us we ended up ordering a lot of food but somehow we managed to get away with only paying £16.20 each – which is not bad for a restaurant charging around £7-8 for a dish.

The full menu is available here:

Address: 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA

Opening times: Mon – Fri 12:00 – 15:00, 17:30 – 22:30 ; Sat- Sun 12:00 – 22:30

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Minion fever

Successfully capturing everyone's heart in the Despicable me movies, these cute little yellow fellers are coming to the big screen themselves in May. There are countless merchandise out there for those with minion-fever, but they can never, ever beat making your own one!

I have found this pattern on Ravelry (link to the blog page with the actual pattern detail is posted below) and it amazed me how easy it is to make it! My version is slightly different to hers, but it's mostly the same and I will detail below!

Here's a photo of my creations:
Occasionally I lost count and they end up huge (far right). I have even made an evil minion :D isn't his hair amazing?)

To make the adorable creatures yourself, here's what you are going to need:

in yellow, black, blue, grey and white

I mostly buy them from ebay for about 2.50 for a ball of 500g, it's cheapest that way. Amigurumi are usually made of stiff, cotton yarn but frankly I like them soft and squishy!
For fluffy purple yarn go to Tiger! They tease out easily so it create an awesome crazy hair effect.

You can also get them on ebay, but I got 250 g bag from John Lewis for 4.50 so I know for sure it's sterilised. They will last you a while, I have made at least two dozen and I still got half a bag full!

Knitting needle

Stitch marker (optional, this will help you keep track of your rounds. Alternatively a safety pin will do)

Changes I made

Instead of using googly eyes, I crocheted them.
It's very simple!

White: Magic circle (6), then increase of 2 single crochet in each (12) then link with Grey and sc 1 and inc for an outer round (18)

Black: Magic circle (6), sew it on top of white circles in the center

Evil minion mouth:
White: start with 4 ch, skip one and sc in two for a triangle, repeat three times and sew them on in a curve line to resemble teeth.

Overall strap
Sew separately then added on to give it a more authentic look

I have also omitted any parts involving glue guns. And to make the hair and mouth stay I tied a knot at the end of the yarn before finishing the body.

Hope you like this!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Ice skating at Somerset house

Address: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Nearest station: Temple
020 7845 4600

There’s nothing more magical and festive than skating on an outdoor ice-ring, especially one with a gorgeous building as a backdrop. Transformed with marquees, magenta lighting and a giant Christmas tree ornate with vibrant bauble, Somerset house beckons you in with alluring christmasty vibe and charm.

Each ice skating session lasts an hour, and it’s best to arrive an hour early so you can deposit your bag at the cloakroom to the right of the Somerset house main entrance. It costs £1 for two items so make sure you grab your friend going in. No dangling items are allowed so make sure your phone or camera would fit into your coat pocket!

Let's get ready to skate :D
As a student, you get 50% off ticket price (which is £14.55) with a £2 booking fees; however this only applies to day-light session. It’s worth the extra money to go when it’s dark to make the most out of the festiveness. Having booked a 17:30 time slot, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t overly crowded, which was a big plus!

The initial round of skating (My sister is the girl in beige coat, too scared to go out)

The ice ring is smaller than expected – but offer an excellent view of the Christmas tree and Somerset house. As everyone makes the initial grip-the-fence round, classical music played softly mingling with the delicious scent of mulled wine from the adjacent restaurant.

Photo credit to my sister for capturing me in this beautiful lighting

The lightings change periodically from magenta to snowflake to my favourite criss-cross ice-fracture. Personally I find the music choice perculia, a mix of classical with an odd pop song thrown in. The surface was rather wet and slippery as well, not ideal for novice skaters.

Whilst it isn’t the best place to skate, the great atmosphere and setting was definitely worth a visit. It is afterall free to wonder in and take some photos, even if you don’t want to go to the ice ring.