Breakfast at the Regency

The Regency is an amazing breakfast and lunch spot just off the well beaten Victoria Street track, on Regency Street. Trust me, if you go around lunch time you will know it by the queue stretching back out the door. Don’t let that put you off though – they are experts in queue management and whatever the size of your group you will have a table waiting once you’ve placed your order. On that note, remember….. NEVER sit down before you place your order. If you do you will be politely asked to get back up.

In terms of menu expect standard breakfast fare, oversized omelette with chips, liver with chips, giant burger with chips and so on. You get the picture! A full English is about £5.50 including tea or coffee and a choice of baked beans or tomato. Its not the cheapest in the area but it’s close enough and the novelty value and slick service make it well worth the extra 50p!

I ordered beans on brown toast with mushrooms and a tea. It was massive.

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Its not often I get particularly excited about tea, I’m just not very fussy, but the tea they serve here is excellent even though it comes out of a pot that has presumably been stewing a while. They manage to get the milk just right too.

Other things to note:

– the place was used to film a scene in Layer Cake. I’ve never seen it but anyone who has seem to know it as “oh yeah, the caff in that scene!”

– it is the work place of the shouty lady. Go. See.

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Things lately

Its been a busy week in London! Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to:

Free yoga in Hyde Park

On Saturday I grabbed a place at a free yoga class in Hyde Park, put on by Lululemon in collaboration with a new spa called Como Shambala. 70 lulu mats were laid out ready but you were welcome to bring your own mat if they were full.

The class was taken by Adam (Hemsley?) from boys of yoga and I loved it! It was a super strong flow with plenty of core, glutes and bits of martial arts mixed in. I hadn’t been to that kind of class in quite some time so admit I struggled a little bit felt so good afterwards.

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The only thing to watch out for is try to get a mat in the shade! It was a sunny day and the mats became hot to touch towards the end.

After class Como Shambala put on smoothies and snacks in the Met hotel opposite. It was a great spread and I felt very lucky to be there.

Wine tasting at Bedales of Borough Market

My friend is a wine expert at Bedales and invited a couple if us to one of a series of wine tasting sessions she is running. For £30 you get generous samples of several wines and delicious cheese and charcuterie platters. No pictures as it was an intimate group of 16 and it felt a bit awkward to take photos but the venue was beautiful (in the space above the bar) and everything was lovely.

Dinner at Slemani, Edgware Road

I love Edware Road and this Kurdish Iraqi restaurant was pretty great. The portions were massive and the chicken platter Ben and I shared was delicious. We also got some dips, falafel and stuffed vine leaves to share. We were very full by the end.

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Sunday in Dulwich

Visiting Dulwich has been on my list for a while. It’s not far from where I live and the pretty streets and multiple parks caught my eye ages ago when I ran through them on a random run from Southwark to Norwood Junction. It was a great decision!

We jumped on the train and arrived about 12.20, heading straight for breakfast at Brick Street Bakery. It wasn’t the most welcoming of places – it was group seating and the server was pretty unhelpful when I asked about the system for finding seats – but luckily a couple got up from the bar style seating in the window just as we were speaking to her so it wasn’t a problem. On the menu was all day breakfast, grilled cheese and a sandwich and salad of the day plus a few pastries. I went for the grilled cheese and Ben ordered two boiled eggs and soldiers.

We definitely had nothing to complain about foodwise! The grilled cheese was a huge great attack on a plate, with loads of cheese oozing out and spring onions mixed in. Check it out.

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Ben’s eggs came with about 18 soldiers in fresh toasted sour dough. They were stacked 3 high! I was too full to taste them but he informed me they were good.

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Afterwards we wandered up Lordship Lane. Its lovely and has tonnes of nice shops including an Oliver Bonas and a Picture House cinema! We will definitely be back in the near future.

It was a nice day so we decided to walk partway back to Streatham. It was like walking around one if the villages round where I grew up with quirky cottages, flower filled gardens and pretty much no traffic. I know where I want to live when I grow up!

Feed the snake! Cricket at the oval

On Friday I went on a work outing to the 20:20 cricket at the Oval. Cricket has a somewhat stuffy reputation but after going to a 20:20 match in Sri Lanka a few years ago my perceptions were totally changed. Now Sri Lanka is something else, there’s lots music and people dance and cheer like they’re at a music festival. I recommend.

The UK version doesn’t quite match that but it’s still worth a visit. The main difference is that people here seem to use it as an excuse to drink and chat with not much cricket watching or dancing going on. Which is a lovely thing to do on a summers day! We saw a Surrey Middlesex match and enjoyed it a lot.  There are plenty of drinks around, beer is £5 whether you buy it and I had a couple of gin and tonics made with fancy natural mixers (I can’t remember the name sadly!) Which were £5.50 for a single or £6.50 for a double. Excellent value for London!

My (admittedly infantile) favourite thing about the evening was when lots of people in the crowd started building towers from empty beer glasses and chanting “feed the snake”. The stewards did not like this and much hilarity ensued as the cup snakes were passed around in an effort to avoid the approaching stewards. I found it hilarious and such a nice, English thing to happen. At football the stewards have to deal with fights and risk of the crowd trampling at each other. At cricket it’s a few drunk and roudy city workers building towers from cups. Excellent!

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After the match we made a quick exit to get to my friends birthday party in Shoreditch at Summer Tales. I’d bought us £12 queue jump tickets and was pretty excited about this but sadly it turned out I’d bought then for the week after and there was an epic queue to get in. We ended up at the Benito’s Hat in King’s Cross getting Burritos. I love Benito’s Hat so while I was disappointed about Summer Tales this was A-ok.

Run report: Wimbledon Common trail series and Run Through Brixton

Being back in London has been full of ups and downs but one of the ups has been getting back in my running stride and trying a couple of local races.

The first was a 10k in Brockwell park with Run Through. I had a free morning and wanted to up my distance before the half marathon I’m signed up for in September so signing up was a no brainer. I discovered its a very pleasant 4k run from my house to the park and decided to jog down. Arriving half an hour before the start it was easy to find the sign in desks and back drop and it was reasonably organised. The only negative was a bit of a nightmare finding toilets: the ones we were directed to were locked, and the ones after that, until eventually we ended up back at the first ones about 15 minutes later. Oh well, it was a nice way to meet a couple of other runners and see the park which is lovely. I can’t believe I’ve never been before!

I wasn’t optimistic about my time for the race. In general I hate racing 10ks as I can’t stand being out of breath and races with laps  (this one had 3) are usually even worse. However, once we got going my competitive spirit came out and I just couldn’t stop the urge to pass people, especially while running up hills. I don’t know why but I seem to excel at running up moderately steep hills! In the end I finished in about 52 minutes which wasn’t too shabby considering I’ve cut my training to 3 days a week and have been avoiding speed and tempo sessions like the plague.

The goodies at the end included a banana, flapjack and a medal. Not bad for a cheapish (£12) race. They run a few around London and I’d sign up again.

On Wednesday evening I’d signed up to the third run in the Wimbledon Common trail series. I was meant to be doing it with my friend who is a Wimbledon Windmiler but she was really ill. It was 30 degrees on the day and a mission from work and my flat so I was pretty sure I was going to drop out but with a lot of encouragement from my friend I decided to go for it.

The start was a bit intimidating-there were 50 or so, mainly club runners who all looked a bit serious! Happily though it turned out to be a really friendly race with marshals who clearly new a lot if the runners and cheered us on enthusiastically.

The course was a small (1k) lap followed by two larger ones. Up to the end of the first large lap I wasn’t feeling great. The course was lovely and it was reasonably shaded but somehow it just dragged. I promised myself the whole way that I’d just drop out at the 4 mile point. Once I got there though I decided to keep going and walk up hills as and when needed. I made it round in about 1 hour 11 and while I felt very hot by the end (prickly face, ick) I recovered quickly and was glad I did it.

The course, all within Wimbledon Common on trails, was lovely. Its been absolutely ages since I did a trail run and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it.

The good experience was sealed off with chocolate, fruit, a mug and a chat with another runner originally from Cardiff. Its so rare that I speak to anyone new in London so this was nice!
The series is finished for the summer now but definitely one I’d do next year.