18 ways to survive autumn in London

Summer is ending. Raspberries are out of season and the nights and the spiders are drawing in.

OH WELL. I’ve already moved on to my new boyfriend – Autumn – season of opaque tights, stained red wine lips and double helpings of carbs.

London by David Holt

You do need a survival plan for this time of year in London though – or it gets depressing, in a ‘being soaked by a massive bus splash and then questioning the meaning of life’ kind of way – so here is my list of 18 things I plan to do in London in Autumn to *BASICALLY STAY SANE*. (Please note I make no apology that 80% of these things involve eating).

  1. Dinner at The Dairy in Clapham – supposed to be an incredible restaurant – and autumn is the  time to eat in incredible restaurants so you can order desert with custard with the excuse we need the ‘nutritional value/warmth to SURVIVE THE WEATHER’
  2.  Noodles at the newly reopened Pepper Tree in Clapham –  my secret restaurant when I lived in Clapham. Except everyone loved it too. I had a minor stroke when I thought it had closed down. But they were just renovating it. PAD THAI I’M COMING BACK FOR YOU.
  3. See Gone Girl at the cinema – remember the cinema? I know I haven’t been for months either. Gone Girl is blatantly going to be  insane.
  4. Buy a leather jacket and maybe a big tartan scarf and definitely also an aggressive new eyeliner – October needs confronting with a strong look
  5. Make a vat of chicken casserole and eat it whilst watching Homeland and Downton Abbey – Lady Mary and Carrie Mathison are survivors and inspirations
  6. An autumn walk to pick sloe berries and make sloe gin – sounds idyllic, probably will descend into stealing berries from bushes outside people’s houses in SW London and making some kind of weird poison but I DON’T CARE I WANT TO DO IT
  7. See the Constable exhibition at the V&A – because I’m embarrassed I’ve been living in London for 8 years and never been to the V&A
  8. Book to go to Harry Potter Land and see the snow scene – I make no excuses
  9. Plant spring flowers – I’m thinking bluebells? Keep meaning to get down to Battersea Flower Station for some ideas
  10. See Live at the Apollo – tickets aren’t for general sale but you can apply and potentially go for free *how amazing is that*
  11. Plan a firework party/trip to Battersea Park or Ally Pally – honestly one of the best things about living in London in November, love the feeling of layering up for some communal pyrotechnics
  12. Make a roast dinner for friends. With cauliflower cheese as a focal ingredient…Oh and crumble
  13. Brixton Vilage for dinner – because I haven’t been for months and I’m getting withdrawal
  14. Shopping at Bicester Village which is definitely a bad idea but so what…
  15. A night at The Dogs at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium – I mean it sounds kind of scary, but also I DO own a sheepskin coat
  16. Drink beer/tour at a London brewery – like Meantime in Greenwich or By the Horns in Earlsfield (see the nice write up on ‘Go Earlsfield‘).
  17. Curry in Tooting Broadway – the South West Brick Lane
  18. Book a winter holiday – I mean…all of this is great, but I’m not Jesus – there is only so long you can go without summer

The photograph in this post is London October 13 2013 015 Conkers Clissold Park Hackney by David Holt.


London Sunday Blues

My first ever post starts with the Sunday night blues. Not just a London phenomenon, of-course, but as 5.30 strikes on a Sunday evening (the time I have completely un-scientifically decided SNB officially starts) there is a particular shift in the energy in this city.The trains roll back in, the buses at Clapham Junction are spluttering full and ironing boards come out all across the city with a collective sigh of resentment.

SNB was first described to me by my close friend and former housemate – (the daughter of two psychologists and therefore in my eyes, a total bloody expert) – and I always think of her (in a good way!) when I get that feeling of Sunday night dread. Which makes me feel a bit better. Thinking about the weekends activities is kind of cathartic too. So good things which happened:

  • Dinner with friends at Cah Chi in Earlsfield – a Korean restaurant. There is a BBQ embedded in your TABLE. And it is BYO. Therefore AMAZING. You should totally go. Sadly this contributed to total Friday night denial (FND = complete opposite of SNB) and me drinking so much wine unnecessarily in the pub afterwards that I was sick outside a petrol station for the first time, in probably my life.
  • Doing a city lit day course on starting a blog (ta da). My first course with them which was really practical and fun. I am so determined not to forget what I have learned I am staying up far too late on a sunday night to write my first post. I really recommend City Lit and want to sign up for some more things there – it is nice to learn about something totally different and they have loads of fun and random courses. Even basket-weaving. Why the hell not?

There were other nice bits too – like catching up with some friends I hadn’t seen for ages – but I am going to stop now before I sound like I have Competitive Weekend Syndrome – which is another very real weekend related syndrome and worthy of its own scientific abbreviation too.

Good night x