Sunday, June 14, 2015
A London Travel Guide

A London Travel Guide

Amongst all the cities I've ever been to, London is definitely up there with my favourites. The last time I visited was back in 2007 so I felt a return was in order. It only takes a 2hr train ride from Liverpool Lime Street so it's super easy to go and come back in the same day. 

First stop was Brick Lane! It has vintage shops a plenty, the famous curry mile (basically a whole street of curry takeaways and restaurants) and more street art than you can shake a stick at. It's definitely the more urban side to London with a lot less tourists. Of course, it's still a busy part of London but a lot more quaint with small roads lined with restaurants, bars and cute boutiques. It's definitely a must visit.

If you're a vintage lover, then a visit to London should definitely involve a visit to Blitz Vintage. When I stepped in the store, I thought I was going to faint when I saw how much vintage there was...or maybe it was just the 25 degree heat that day, who knows? The shop is over two large floors with everything from your classic Levi shorts and mom jeans, to flannel shirts galore, suede skirts à la 70s, , 50s shoes and bags...basically, what I imagine a vintage store to be like in my dreams. The shop is well organised and clean making it easier to look through everything...I honestly think I'd need a whole day to look through everything properly, it really is worth a visit. There's even a little coffee shop next door where you can enjoy a cuppa mid shopping spree.

This was inside at a vintage fair, which I believe is called Brick Lane's Vintage Market. There were tons of different vintage suppliers to look through, an absolute treasure trove of goodies. As we were only there for the day, we just had a quick browse round but if I had more time (and more dolla) then I definitely could have stayed for a few hours. Again, if you like your vintage then pop into the Vintage Market, you will cry with excitement.

The last, but not least, vintage store we popped into was Rokit (<- click there to shop their online store). Rokit first burst onto the scene way back in 1986 with a stall in London's iconic Camden Market. Fast forward to 2015 and they have 4 huge stores scattered around London. They've got everything from classic 50s, 60s and 70s dresses to grungy 90s denim, check shirts, band t shirts and leather jackets. If you're new to vintage and aren't sure where to start, Rokit is a great place to go as they really have something for everyone and pieces that are a cheaper, more authentic alternative to trends on the high street today. They're always reducing things so be sure to pop along and find yourself a vintage bargain.

These two photos above are at BOXPARK in Shoreditch. You may remember it from The Apprentice (see what I'm on about here) where Alan Sugar challenged the candidates to open up a pop-up store. The urban shopping street was opened back in 2011 and is said to be open for four years following, so I guess that may mean your last chance to visit is this year! 

BOXPARK is built up of stripped and refitted shipping containers to provide unique, low cost pop-up stores. It's filled with a mix of fashion and lifestyle brands, galleries, cafés and restaurants making for a fun, living community of brands and an enjoyable shopping experience. It's not like your usual shopping center at all, it's an open, outdoor, urban shopping street giving it a much more unique feel. Definitely worth a visit if you want to discover some new, innovative brands- perfect for a sunny day in London.

Located on 35 Brewer Street is this neon delight, Lights of Soho. We wanted to fit in some sort of exhibition/gallery into our trip to London and I heard about this through another blogger so we decided to fit this into our little itinerary of the day. Lights Of Soho is an art gallery and member's lounge...much to our embarrassment when we asked at the bar for drinks but got turned away because we weren't members. I've never felt so Jenny from Brooklyn compared to Blair in Manhattan from Gossip Girl in my whole life, sad times. 

However, you are allowed to wander round and look, that doesn't require a membership. There are fantastic art pieces and neon lights creating a cool, creative urban space. For those that do live in London, and fancy joining, it's the perfect place to rub shoulders with other creatives in a creative, chic location with food and drink on offer and invitations to events. Maybe if I was from Made In Chelsea and had the salary to match, then yaaaah darling Lights of Soho would be totally my go-to hang out place, yah.

After a day of walking round and seeing the sights of London, we built up quite an appetite. As recommended by good old trusty BuzzFeed (see article here), we hit up Franco Manca aka. the best pizzeria in London. Their iconic sourdough pizzas are made on site by specialised artisans from Naples and are, to put it bluntly, bloody delicious...the pizza, not the artisans (though they weren't bad either). I ordered pizza no.3 which had courgettes, basil, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta & Franco's your mouth dribbling yet? I also added extra toppings (because why not?) of sweet potato which was just oh-my-gosh-amazing and worked so well together- there was a party happening in my mouth, just so many beautiful flavours. I pretty much cleaned the whole plate. My friend ordered the traditional Margherita which she also polished off without stopping, so I think I can confirm that she liked it too. 

The place had a nice bustily atmosphere and was decorated beautifully. You could also watch the artisans at work on the pizza right in front of you. We went to the Franco Manca in Soho but there are also 12 other restaurants in and around if you're a pizza lover, this place is a must eat. 

As well as all the vintage browsing and pizza eating, I also had my first ever Snog in London. in the frozen yoghurt company...ok, glad we've established that. Since my eyes are clearly bigger than my stomach, I still managed dessert after a whole pizza...though in my defense the pizza did not leave me with that stodgy, full feeling so I felt I could fit this in too. I went for the chocolate flavour with some crushed Oreos on top, an absolute dream and half the calories of ice cream, it's a win-win situation really.

I hope you enjoyed this post today about London and it gave you some recommendations whenever you visit.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Liverpool Sound City 2015 | Day Three

Liverpool Sound City 2015 | Day Three

Here we are with day three of Sound City! I'd already been feeling pretty ill the week before so come the Sunday I was feeling pretty worn out so only managed to see a few bands and ended up leaving early, my ears had pretty much had enough too.

I managed to see Canadian band, Single Mothers, which in all honesty, weren't completely my cup of tea and bit too 'heavy' but still entertaining nonetheless! Also, does anyone else think the front man looks like Alan from The Hangover? Just me?
The Cribs! This is the only shot I managed to get as it was near enough impossible to get to the front, really need to get myself one of those photographers passes next year...

However! They were amazing and it's really rekindled my love for the band so I've been listening to them a lot ever since. It was the rowdiest I'd seen the crowd the whole weekend with several people falling over the barrier from crowd surfing and then doing it all over again which some guy did, as I saw him go over the barrier about 5 times and come back into the crowd again...
And here is myself, because well, I guess it's nice to make this blog a bit more personal once in a while. I seem to be looking pretty chuffed with myself, mainly with the fish & chips I think. As well as a fish & chip van, there were plenty of quirky food stalls to everyone's taste such as a noodle bar, hot dog bar, burger bar, and more. FYI: These chips were the best fish and chips I've ever tasted...I may or may have not also had them the day before...
Another new band I discovered was Fizzy Blood from Leeds who was playing in one of the small tents on the festival attracted quite an audience with people spilling out of the tent standing on their tip-toes (ie. me), trying to get a look at who was behind the music. They took the show outside onto the festival site, as you can see from above, which attracted even more of an audience and made for a perfect photo opportunity for me heh. Would definitely recommend seeing them!
Lastly, I caught a bit of Edinburgh's finest, The Merrylees who finished off the weekend very nicely.
And that's a wrap! Liverpool Sound City was such a great, unforgettable experience. It's a great festival to discover new, diverse acts in a brilliant city and beautiful location without the hassle of camping. I'm so glad I decided to get tickets and go despite exams looming not long afterward...even if I fail (touch wood) at least I can say I saw Wayne Coyne wearing a green rubber ring frog on his head.

Lots of love, Lucie Rose x