Pergola on The Roof

What I love about London is all the unique pop ups you get in the summer! As I don’t actually live there now it’s hard to squeeze them all in, but don’t worry I do find away! 

With an afternoon free when visiting my family for a weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with a friend and go to one of these lovely places! 

First on the list was Pergola on the Roof. Situated just past Westfield Shopping centre in West London and both of us based that way it was meant to be! Also helped by the fact it was a gorgeous sunny day (annoyingly though sunglasses were forgotten!) we headed up. We didn’t have a reservation but they do have a few seats available for walk ins. They obviously aren’t as swanky as the reserved ones, just being garden folding chairs but still in did us perfectly. Like I said annoying we forgot the sunnies, the stones reflected a lot of light so I did spend a lot of time squinting at my friend! Thankfully she didn’t take too much offence to it – well I hope she didn’t!! 

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Obviously the first place to start is the bar! After lots of debating we ordered two frozen margaritas…what they don’t mention is you can only get that from the main bar, frustrating but as it wasn’t busy not too irritating. They were pretty good, alcoholic slushes, what’s not to love?! Down side though, and yes we know why it’s the case, but they were served in plastic cups. When it’s around £8 a drink you would think that you would get at least a hard plastic glass but unfortunately not. This bugs me not because no one really likes drinking out of them but they aren’t exactly great for the environment. Maybe something they should think about for next year…or even their winter event! But let’s move on from that, they were refreshing which was exactly what you want on a warm summer day in London. 

After drinking and chatting food was going to happen. Starting with Breddos Tacos, we ordered a couple of Tacos (obviously haha) to share. And man, they were good! We didn’t look amazing while we ate them, but what are friends for but not to mock you while you try not to drop your food everywhere.

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With the second drink in hand we then moved on to 8 Horton Square. Describing 20170507_143625themselves as Mediterranean Food Shack, you really can’t go wrong. If we are honest though, we wanted chips, picky food is what we were after but with Salt n Sauce only serving them with their fish – I don’t think they had prepared for being so busy as they did have just chips on their menu! And with Patty &a Bun being so busy we went to 8 Hoxton Square. And oh we were delighted! With them doing deep fired baby potatoes with probable the best mayo ever we felt like we had landed the jackpot. Safe to say we got our own massive bowls and polished them off easily. I think we will actually need to head to their actual restaurant to try some more of their food soon…maybe when pop up season is over! 

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The atmosphere was perfect – lots of young people with friends, family lunches and definitely some first dates going on. It felt relaxed, yet energetic. There was a buzz that you only get with day drinks in the sun. 

Head up, and don’t forget those sunglasses! 

 

Urban Larder, Cambridge, UK

A few weeks ago I was passing through Cambridge in the morning on my way to London. Sounds like a bit of an odd route as I am now in Dublin but as a friend of mine lives there it worked nicely! We got some breakfast at the lovely Urban Larder (http://www.urbanlarder.coffee/). I’ve been following them on Instagram for about a year now and I was super excited to finally go. They have a wide menu from cakes to bagels to salads, plus all the chutneys and condiments you could need. They also sell the chutneys, jams and all the other condiment to take away too. I couldn’t get any this time as I only had hand luggage for my return.

I went for the Smoked Salmon Bagel, I was on holiday after all (ish, it was a work day and I wasn’t at work so it counts in my eyes). Coffee was an Americano as I can’t justify too much milk when I knew I would be eating a lot in London! They were both fantastic, as I img_20170116_142158_379write this my stomach is rumbling craving for it all over again. The bagel was toasted to perfection and still warm when it arrived. It had the perfect layer of cream cheese and they definitely didn’t scrimp on the smoked salmon. Their coffee is roasted by Butterworth and Son which is based in Bury St Edmond, approx. 30 miles away from the shop, so almost local! They also won “Micro-Roastery Espresso” award by Caffeine Magazine. And it did not disappoint. It was perfectly balanced, smooth coffee making it incredibly easy to drink. Unfortunately I didn’t have time for another, though maybe that was a good thing as I might have never left otherwise. My friend did make me feel a tad guilty as she only had toast. It was beautifully presented on a wooden board with jam and butter. She seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, though the toasted could have been warmer. But let’s be honest here, you’re never going to get piping hot straight from the toaster toast in any café!img_20170116_142343_267
The décor is adorable! They use a label maker to do all of their food labels which I absolutely love. My sister got me in to the idea, even though I have yet to purchase one it is on my list of things to buy. You can do so much with them and Urban Larder prove that. They have a great art piece, which I assume they made themselves; a very simple Dr Seuss quote made on their label maker, printed and stuck onto plain brown paper and framed. Great idea!

They are coming up to their second birthday this year and there is no sign of them slowing down! I can’t wait to head back to Cambridge and try some more of their food…and coffee!