23 Jun 2013

Instafood round up #3: where to eat in London... and beyond!

I figured, Instafood... It's not all about me making food, is it?

Hint: no it's not. It's about eating food. All of it. Everywhere. And when it's super tasty, I want to share it with you. So expect my Instafood round ups to mix in recipes and restaurant reviews... and they could welcome a little Instadrink sister soon ;)

Beigel Bake
159 Brick Lane
There is but one place to eat a bagel in London. This is it. £1.60 for a smoked salmon and cream cheese? It doesn't get any better. Or cheaper. Plus, the shop is 24/7 and also sells bagels by the billion (12 for £3 makes a great birthday feast, just sayin') as well as bread loaves and cake slices. Walking down Brick Lane without grabbing a Nutella bagel is very difficult once you know of Beigel Bake.

Meat Liquor
74 Welbeck Street

The name of this place is pretty self explanatory: eat meat and drink liquor. The story started with #MeatEasy, a pop-up restaurant selling burgers and cocktails to a crowd that grew so big the team decided to relocate in Central. Meat Liquor has a no booking policy, so get there early and proudly wear the stamp that'll grant you access to a world of tasty wonders. 
The choice of burgers isn't too large, but will satisfy any meat lover (and vegs too, btw!) and the cocktails... The cocktails are AMAZING. I went for a St Lawrence since I really love maple syrup, and loved the bittersweetness of it all. 
Also, get the deep fried pickles. You'll thank me later. 

The Breakfast Club
Soho, Angel, Hoxton, Spitafields, Battersea

The Breakfast Club is EVERYTHING you'd want from a breakfast place. It has a very, very large choice of delicious brekkie options, good coffee, great smoothies, and only the most fantastic decor I've ever seen (especially in the Spitafields one!)
They also do burgers, sandwiches, and even mac'n'cheese as well as cocktails for lunch and dinner.
And if you ask to see the Mayor in the Spitafields branch, you'll be taken to a secret bar for super exclusive cocktails... On your way there yet or what?

La Choza
36 Gloucester Road, Brighton

Believe it or not, but I do actually get out of London sometimes! I was down in Brighton a couple weekends ago and cured a littler, erm, post-drinking fatigue, with some excellent Mexican street-food. I'd never had quesadillas before and I pretty much fell in love with them. Despite eating outside on a windy day after waiting 30mn+ for a table, everyone I was with really enjoyed their food and I for one regret I don't live in Brighton... I could definitely do with another round of chorizo quesadillas!

20 Jun 2013

Hoarding material memories

My room has been an absolute mess recently as I prepare for my holidays.

My summer promises to be an excellent one this summer, especially compared to spending two months working as a cleaning lady last year. It all started with my internship, followed by a little weekend discovering Brighton, and is about to take off for an incredible two weeks as I a) continue my journey exploring Britain by heading up North for a long weekend, b) attend Glastonbury for the first time ever, and c) take a week off from life to lay on the beaches of Sardinia and show the boyf around Paris.

You'll hear more about all that soon, but today I want to focus on the mess.

My room has always been full of stuff. Bits and bobs piled everywhere, dozens of old postcards stuck to the walls, boxes after boxes full of books and old school notepads... It never stops. My mum was always — and still is — amazed at how much stuff I could collect and never throw away. She had this way of looking around my room with a half judging, half amused look, which I could very well read as "How can my daughter be so different from me?" (A much larger problem with many, many examples that I won't dare try to solve today.)

You'd think I would have matured and grown out of it, and this especially since I found out in the meantime that I'm actually allergic to dust! Stacks of trinkets and old things don't do well for me.

But ey, looks like I'm a hoarder through and through.

Committing to things makes me feel more grounded. I get to look around my room and see the things I have loved and still do, and the things that have changed. It's a sort of who I was, where I've been, how did I get there. My collections are material memories of every single little part of my life.

I have loads of earrings, boxes filled with old photos, stacks of books I will never read again and notebooks I barely even open anymore. I keep clothes I used to love and cards I've been given and have a recipe book collection that's been going out of control. And that's only things I can categorise.

Throwing away things breaks my heart a little because it feels like letting go of the memory.

As long as I've got a material reminder for it, I know I won't forget about it.

So I've kept the Macbar macaroni-shaped tupperware I got in New York last summer, and the letters my cousin sent me when I was 8, and the ticket for the terrible opera I went to with my housemates a few months ago. (Now that I think about it, I should actually probably throw that one away...)

Problem is, I've had a thing for moving recently. Remember that one time I had to fit all of my stuff in the boot of a car because I was leaving France for the UK? My dad sure remembers.

Plus, there's also millions of new memories waiting to be made. I need space for these.

This is a pledge to get rid of stuff. I've had the urge to throw away things recently; a consequence of my closet being 'cannot fit any more hangers/three shirts on one hanger' full. I am going to do it. I will empty boxes and fill bin bags and eBay the shizz out of my dust catchers.

Then I'll replace old memories with new ones and fill my room all over again.

16 Jun 2013

How to make the most of your internship (and get one!)

Someone needs to re-motivate themselves to blog, ey?!

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently interned four weeks at Company magazine, hence the lack of posts. The experience was fantastic and I did my best to make the most of the four weeks there, and after spending my days writing web stories and researching the Interwebz, I have to admit blogging was the last thing I wanted to do.

But since it's now finished, I figured I'd share a few internship tips from my work experience on the Features desk at Company... Who knows, some of you might be interested?

- Make sure your CV is free of spelling mistakes and up to date. Simple but necessary.

- When writing out cover letters, always adapt them to whoever you're sending them to. That includes the person you're adressing, but also the company you want to intern with. Do some research, show you know what they do and insist on why you are the right person for this particular placement. I'd also advise to be a bit audacious with the letter if the company allows it: make jokes, send a hand-written letter, make a video... Something to get you noticed, without going past the limits.

- Yay, you got the internship! Now, make yourself heard. You want to make the most of your time there, be useful, and hopefully be remembered. So if you have an idea, share it! If you have an opinion that you believe to be interesting/critical/original on an issue, speak up. Ask if you can be credited for things you did. Be polite and remember you don't know everything, but show you're not just a plant pot.

- Always do something. If you're at a loss for things to do, let others know you're available. They probably could use some help, and it would be a shame for you to waste your internship by staring blankly into nothingness.

- When given something to do, take notes. It'll help your figure out where to start, and will avoid having to ask people to constantly repeat stuff...

- ...But do ask questions if you don't know how to do things! Better ask once and do it than try a million of things that don't work and waste everyone's time.

- Internship over, sad face! Still got ideas? Keep in touch with the company, make yourself available and suggest things you could do for them.

- Get your hands on the July 2013 issue of Company and read Alexxsia Elizabeth's feature 'How to be a good intern.' Pretty much sums up what not/to do.

Some of these might be more applicable to internships in the media than in other domains, but I think the general idea is valid. One thing's for sure: by doing that, I definitely made the most of my internship and had an absolute blast while learning a lot. You can have a look at some things I wrote for the website here, here and in here. And you can even see my face on the website! :)

And finally, the ultimate piece of advice...