Sunday, 20 September 2015

City Picks #2 // London Cafes and Culture

I've been lucky enough to visit London a couple of times in the past few weeks and since my last City Picks post went down so well, I thought I'd do another but this time focusing on something other than bars (although I did visit some more lovely ones this time around!).

First of all is Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. This was actually my second time here (I went at the beginning of July for the first time) and I adore it as it combines food and cats- two of my most favourite things. I would note that you do need to book in advance to ensure it doesn't get too busy but you are given an hour and a half slot in the cafe which is plenty of time to have a drink and some cake while admiring the cats. They have 10 cats that live in the cafe and you are welcome to stroke them and play with them. They also do lovely cakes- delicious scones and the best brownie I've ever tasted (warm and melty salted caramel flavour- I die). Although it's situated out in Shoreditch which is quite a trek from Soho, it's well worth a visit if you're a cat lover or don't have any cats of your own.

On Monday I was in London on my own and so I decided to pay my first visit to the Theatre Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue. It's been open a while now but has always been packed so I've never had chance to go before but it was the perfect place to warm up and kill some time. Again, it's a cafe that combines two of my loves. The walls are covered in signed posters and show memorabilia that I got very excited about. Showtunes from a huge selection of musicals are constantly playing (I was excited to hear a song from the lesser known musical Catch Me if You Can) and you can also purchase tickets for shows, take a quiz and every Saturday they run an open mic event. I happily sat with a hot chocolate and a book soaking up the lovely atmosphere and could have stayed all day.

Onto some cultural things to do- I'm sure everyone has seen the stunning installation in Covent Garden at the moment but even I was impressed when I finally saw it in person. It started to rain a bit while I was there so I wandered around inside, listening to some live music and checking out the small boutique-style shops which was so interesting.  There's also some great exhibitions on in London at the moment. I attended The Jam exhibition at Somerset House which I found so interesting. I grew up hearing The Jam as my family are all fans so it was great to find out more about them, plus it's really affordable to get in as they offer a student price. Other exhibitons that I thought looked interesting though were Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon at the National Portrait Gallery and Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A. Although you do have to pay to get into both of these, it's not extortionate and they'd be great to shelter from the cold this Autumn.

Olivia Ellen XXX

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