Husband and wife duo behind Black Axe Mangal have created something pretty darn special. Dubbed London's 'haute kebab joint' by critics, serving up a rockin brunch (and tidy dinner I've been told too). A unique menu from the woodfire oven features a smash of Asian, with flatbread that wants to scream Middle Eastern and damn tasty cuts of meat.
Often it's the basic creature comforts I crave most when travelling for extended periods of time. To stretch out... nothing beats that delicious couch + Netflix combo after a day of exploring. To create a home cooked meal.... with the bounty of produce I've picked up from the local markets. To open a damn window... and breathe in fresh air (not set at the prescribed 24°C). Plus who else wants to easily throw on a load of washing without hauling ass and undies to a laundromat?
Booking on Airbnb gives you the flexibility and convenience that only a home away from home can provide. Not to mention experiencing a neighbourhood like a local which is the ultimate way to explore a city.
We started our European summer adventure in London to visit my sister. I wanted a spot within walking distance from Shoreditch, Angel and Islington and close to all her favourite digs. I knew that after our 24 hour transit I wanted to ease into our holiday in an Airbnb, a few days to settle into the time zone, laze about and catch up with friends. I left my booking run pretty late and thankfully stumbled across a 2 bedroom loft-style apartment in Old Street. The photos were catching and although there were no reviews, I took a gamble and bingo!
The apartment felt like we were staying with old friends from the moment we unlocked the door. Airy and spacious with a lived-in feel. There was something comforting and welcoming about the decor. Eclectic but not cluttered, boasting heaving bookshelves, a fully stocked kitchen (having an actual cheese board and cling wrap for leftovers IS necessary), comfortable beds and a decent sized bathroom for London standards. Plus the clincher, the location! Walking distance from all my fave spots (which I'll share soon in my travel guide).
I found out later that this was owner Shamim's first foray as an Airbnb host (hence no reviews) and handing over the keys to strangers. He was an absolute pleasure to deal with and I'd highly recommend anyone looking for a central location with a bit of space to check it out. It is the perfect accommodation for two couples, a few friends (if you don't mind sharing a bed) or a young family as the shower has a bathtub and only one flight of stairs.
View the property on Airbnb. Map showing location below (only a heartbeat away from it's closest landmark The Brittania).
Surprisingly finding good coffee in London is near impossible. After a little research by my friends Dave and Karina we found Milkbar's sister cafe Flat White. A teeny tiny cafe with amazing coffee and gorgeous food. Seriously Starbucks ... why would you.
Best birthday ever xx
I felt oh so very spesh being taken to F&G by Bridie. Its always heartwarming to know that its one of your favourite friends favoured haunts. It was one of my favourite lazy London experiences.
Greeted by the barista with an impromptu quiz "DiCaprio v Franco" we ticked and launched into debate. Majority hands down DiCaprio circa Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of New York. However Leo is like a fine wine and just gets better with age. My friend Maddy can vouch for that when she stalked him in Sydney (HA). Come to think of it pretty sure I had a crush on him when I spent my pocket money on TV Hits. And then being freaked out by him as Gilbert Grape and in the Basketball Diaries. Oh to be young.
Right in the heart of Soho, F&G is a breeding ground for friends catching up over good coffee and delicious gourmet cafe food (think Sayers). French toast crammed with cheese and ham off the bone, blimey!