May 2018: Spring Staycation
Happy June! I can’t believe that we are rapidly heading towards the midway point of the year already. Wasn’t it just Christmas?
I began May in NYC and ended it in Alderney, with a couple of weeks at home in London in between. I’m going to focus on my time in London for this post because I think the New York trip deserves one or two of its own to do it justice. Also, the amount of content would get wildly out of control and you’d all lose the will to live halfway through.
The day after my return from NY, Sara arrived for Eurovision week so I was lucky enough to have a staycation immediately after my vacation. I love it when she comes to the city as we always adventure and try new places along with revisiting old favourites.
No 1A, Duke Street, Richmond
Sipped on: Elderflower & Earl Grey Fizz
Feasted on: House Salad with quinoa, edamame, squash, beets, broccoli & seaweed
The sister restaurant to the awesome No197 Chiswick Fire Station – No 1A is tucked away in a courtyard off Duke Street in Richmond. It might not be as architecturally impressive as it’s sibling but it has the same great atmosphere. We sat in the bright front area (there is a large second room with a bar in the back,) to avoid the blazing early afternoon sunshine. I had a refreshing gin cocktail & the same salad that I ate last September at the Fire Station. One of a couple of vegan options, the house salad manages to be light, flavoursome and filling at the same time. No1A doesn’t specialise in any one kind of cuisine so it’s a good spot if you need to cater to a variety of tastes.
Élan Cafe, Knightsbridge
Sipped on: Soya flat white
Feasted on: Pumpkin Vegan cake
Visiting Élan was a last minute decision after a snafu with the train into Waterloo (thank you SWR!) We were aiming to have a post-yoga lunch but before we knew it, 3pm had rolled around and it didn’t seem worth it to have a full meal with drinks + dinner on the schedule so cake seemed a good call.
Located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Élan is incredibly instagrammable and thus very popular. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait for more than a couple of minutes to be seated. That said, the service was disorganised and we then waited a while to be given a menu and have our order taken. One member of staff was new and in training, so it could just have been a bad day. Food-wise there were a couple of sweet vegan options on offer so I went for the pumpkin cake. It was moist and tasty but ultimately nothing special. Some of the ‘normal’ cakes did look beautiful though.
What sets this cafe apart is the decorative elements, phrases embedded in the floor and floral installations everywhere. There is a wall of flowers in the back room so if you can, try and nab one of those tables for fun selfies. As I hadn’t pre-planned this visit, I was dressed practically so I could hop in the ball pit later at Ballie Ballerson so I wasn’t at my most picture ready. If I do return I’d head there more prepared.
If you visit, head there for the vibe, not the food.