OMG the duck is freakin’

I remember when street food in London meant a ’99 for less than a quid or a greasy hot dog from Billy Bunters.


Spitalfields Market has become an area where many people pay top bucks for lunch, and the market is responding with much more choice. The Billy Bunter’s of yesterday, have been replaced by passion and talent, serving cuisines from all over the world. Working from vans, converted buses, caravans and yes, even an old train!

The ingredients are of a higher calibre and the dishes are undeniably healthier. Trendy street food has inevitably, become well, even more trendy.

Street food begun in communities where businesses with minimal start up and running costs thrived selling cheap, hot food to people on low incomes. Starting as regeneration, it’s ironic now that hip, street food is generally only available to those that don’t need much change from a tenner.

I’m spoilt for choice, come lunch time. In all the years I’ve worked around here, Spitalfields has never smelt so good! It’s time to write about Duck.

Founders  (Ed and Vernon), have spent years working with some of the best duck farms in the UK and have developed the best duck recipes, and cooking techniques. The result is The Duck Truck.


Rotisserie cooked, hand shredded crispy aromatic duck, with freshly shredded cucumber and spring onion, sweet hoisin sauce, and wrapped in a warm tortilla wrap or served as a salad. Tasty as Fuck, Duck

It sits there, stationary, all iridescent
Reflecting London, incandescent
The queue is long and time moves slow.
One crispy duck wrap, fresh to go
OMG the duck is freakin’
I queue again (my resolve is weakenin’)
Just one more, crispy duck wrap
The Original, the Best, and it’s on the map!

Try them out. They’re pretty tasty!

www.theducktruck.co.uk

Find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheDuckTruck1

and follow them on Twitter: @TheDuckTruck1

and Instagram: @TheDuckTruck

6 Lamb Street E1 6EA – Open 7 days a week

 

Lindsay x

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Girl Gang – We is a sisterhood, innit?

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It has been 20 years since The Spice Girls released ‘Wannabe” (man I am old!) and I remember it well. Rumoured to have been written in just 20 minutes, it topped the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks, eventually becoming the best-selling single by a female group in the world, and selling over 7 million copies worldwide by the end of 1997. Wow.

The Spice Girls helped pave the way for us women ( I am not forgetting there were plenty of empowering, legendary women previously… but that’s a different story…). The Spice Girls were trailblazers of independence, assertiveness, ambition and sexuality. They knew the power of a sisterhood. They gave us Girl Power, and are the epitome of Girl Gang.

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I was part of a small clique whilst I was at school, back then I was the runt of the litter, adopted by a group of sassy girls after a few years of loneliness. They were my Girl Gang.

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We lived the 1990’s. We survived falling in a bog (you know who you are) on our Duke of Edinburgh Award, we sang our heart outs to Oasis and Pulp, and pretended we didn’t like Take That, we used fake ID’s to get into clubs (it’s rude to ask a lady her age!), and covered for each other with boys, parents and teachers! There was an unspoken agreement of support and unity. Despite spending all of the 1990s sat on a wall in the worlds tiniest mini skirts, we had each other’s backs.

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As an adult I’ve (without intent) formed a grown up Girl Gang. They don’t differ too much from the young girls I knew 2 decades ago. I’ve worked with them and lived with them, partied with them, cried with them, travelled with them and said goodbye to them. These women have supported me during relationship woes, carried me home drunk, carried me through the mud at Glastonbury (whilst 6 months pregnant) planned my hen party, been my bridesmaids, cooked me meals, ate my meals…. I’ve missed them and I’ve loved them. They keep me sane and focused, and wild and drunk (less so now I’m a mother-that would be irresponsible…) They do not all live in close proximity, and they are often busy but, I have them.

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I lost myself when I became a mum, I was lonely. I didn’t know how to combine my old life with this new one. Until now.

Last week I went for dinner with a group of mums in my local area. We are a local Facebook group, a Whatsapp group and a mum group. These women are beautiful and strong. I have gotten to know them in the last couple of years. Most of them are women I have met at coffee mornings and baby groups. They are all different. Some of us are women whose paths would never had crossed if we hadn’t become a mum at the same time. In some cases, it’s the only thing we have in common. As I sat there scoffing my face with pizza and red wine, listening to these women talk and laugh together, I looked around at these mums and I realised something. I am once again part of a girl gang.

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We can chat, or we can cry. Drink too much coffee, drink too much wine (hic!), talk about our husbands and our kids, talk about work or lack of it. We can bitch and vent, and laugh. Or we can simply just be (netflix and chill?). Sometimes theres a birthday or a playdate or a happy hour but always, its us, the Mum Gang.
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I am thankful for my Girl Gang . We are there for each other no matter what. Just like our 90’s sisters before us, we have each other’s back. ‘We is a sisterhood, innit?’ 🤘🏻

 

Lindsay x

 

 

Follow the hipsters and join the queue…

Growing up, I was such a fussy eater. I know I caused my mum endless embarrassment. Like when my dad regularly ordered “6 ’99’s’ and an ice lolly ” from the ice cream van…  I just really didn’t like ice cream (grew out of that phase, thank God), and our treat from the Chippy on holiday, “6 fish and chips, and a small ‘just chips’, no salt and vinegar on the ‘just chips’…” (obviously). My poor mum had to deal with all of the judgy strangers who convinced themselves I was being punished (“Poor kid-not getting a 99….”). Awkward.

My friends used to joke that if it had any flavour whatsoever, I wouldn’t like it, and to be honest, they were always right. Travelling the world has fixed me, so to speak. There are still many foods I have yet to ‘learn to like’ (Tuna – bleurgh!) but my taste buds are pretty much open for business these days.

An Ethiopian friend introduced me to Ethiopian and Eritrean food a long time ago. It’s one of my favourite cuisines.  In Ethiopia, mealtimes are big, happy social occasions, even during times of woe and hostility.
It’s an exciting cuisine, and it’s not meant to be eaten alone. Traditionally served on a communal platter, it’s ideal for sharing, and Injera is it’s foundation. Eat with your hands! Yummy!

(Omg, just writing this is making me foam at the mouth. I love Ethiopian food!)

Injera is made from an ancient grain known as teff. It’s ground into flour, made into a batter, slightly fermented, and then fried on a heavy skillet. The result is a spongy and lightly sour pancake.

Ethiopia is one of the worlds largest producers of live stock. Great for meat eaters, as the traditional meat dishes are delicious too. Just double up your injera as cutlery and tuck in.

I’m not a vegetarian, but what most people don’t know, is that Ethiopia also produces some of the best vegetarian food in the world. (Yep all true).

On that note let me by introduce a little gem I discovered recently:

…(drum roll please)….  Merkamo Ethiopian

An hour to chill and procrastinate?
Head to Merkamo for the Injera Plate
Vegan and healthy and packing a punch
Perfect for those looking for lunch
Professionals, students, tourists too
Follow the hipsters and join the queue
Greeted warmly with a great big smile
That alone, makes it worth all the while
Find them in Spitalfields, the bright green stand
The best Ethiopian food in the land.

Merkamo Ethiopian is A-Maz-Ing! The food is packed full of flavour and they’ve actually made Vegan food appealing!

Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/merkamolondon and follow them on Instagram @ethiopian.spitafields

They are open daily 12:00-17:00                                                                                                                   Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW

Enjoy!

Lindsay x

P.S You’re welcome

 

And I Will Always Looovvveee EU….

One of the things I love about living in London (I know it’s Surrey now-but my heart belongs to London), is the diversity (and also the food!). So many different cultures walking and living side by side with each other. Walking down the street here, you could really could be in any City in the world. Everywhere I turn, there is Italian, French, or Greek. Not to mention our Non-EU friends Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Japanese, and I am not just talking about food.

It has been more than a week since our PM, David Cameron called the referendum. The Brexit referendum that sealed the fate for the entire continent. It should never have happened. The responsibility of the result rested on the British people.  We were not given enough information, and I for one did not feel educated enough.

Young Britons voted largely to remain, and it’s this multicultural generation that has lost it’s future.  In 20 years time, many of these Aged Britons whom voted overwhelmingly to leave (out of misplaced beliefs that this may reduce immigration or make us financially better off), will be dead. The consequences of their vote has left my son with an ambiguous future ahead.

The foreign-exchange markets tells us everything, we need to know about the financial implications. The consequences will not end here. The British vote will embolden Countries across Europe for similar referendums. Have you noticed how France still prints the French Franc conversion on all of their receipts? Trust me, they are ready to go at the drop of the hat.  It is only a matter of time before France will want its own referendum as I am sure, will Scotland. This is the beginning of the end.

Northern Ireland and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.  It was England whom drove this result. The Leave campaign promoted the idea of a Global Britain one with more room for immigrants.  I am no politician but it is clear to me that this was a racist campaign that has only created further hostilities and a wary future ahead for my son.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that all those who voted leave are racists but my Facebook news feed implies many are, and they have used this campaign as a platform to justify their beliefs and fist bump in racist glee.

We are now entering a world which will retreat from progress. One fuelled by mutual distrust, and nationalism. A world in which all those bridges are about to come tumbling down. I am grieving. The world as we know it, one of hope, equality and unity has changed forever.  After taking many steps forward, we have just taken one big step back.

England has surprised me and my heart is broken.`

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The Magic Garden. Magical.

One particularly chilly and overcast day this June, and after checking the daily weather report (let’s face it – I should have known better!) Mr Intrepid, BV and I decided to check out the new Magic Garden at Hampton Court.

I’d heard good things about it, and it was relatively local (2 train stops, a bus ride or a 30 minute boat trip).  Almost 2 years living in Surbiton and Fam-A-Lamb have never taken a River Boat (insert shocked face emoji here!) It seemed like a pleasant, outdoor option for a bit of a grey day, so we opted for the latter.

Turks River Boat Cruises did exactly what it said on the tin. For £8 for an adult return ticket (BV free), we hopped on and settled ourselves down for a leisurely and relaxing river cruise. Pff fat Chance. BV was wild with excitement (and a little bit suicidal). He ran around the boat’s cabin like a wild animal, followed (and saved from diving of the side) by daddy! So not relaxing! With the exception of my crazy, little hell cat – it was a delightful journey and I highly reccommend.

We disembarked at Hampton Court, whereby BV continued to run like a mother fucker- straight in to the path of an oncoming tractor! Fortunately for my poor heart, it was travelling about 2 miles an hour and I was able to save him. Again.

The Magic Garden itself costs £7.70 per adult (under 5’s are free). This includes access to the Maze. I believe it was free for a short time before the official opening  on 4th May by Kate (The Duchess of Cambridge). Gutted we missed that. On busy days there is a time restriction, however we got lucky with a term time week day visit. Boom.

The Magic Garden is epic. There’s water, and sand play, big slides and staircases with thrones at the top. Not to mention, a dragon, a unicorn and a coffee shop! Hurrah – we were in for a fun, caffeine filled day.

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There was plenty for my little bear to do despite being ‘under 2’, the astro turf alone proved to be a hit! The only thing to impair our Fam-A-Lam day out was the weather. It was so hot (bloody weather apps!) and we were all massively overdressed. BV had the luxury of the water features to run about it, however I am not sure the Mr and I could have got away with free spirited leaps through the streams. We were all so sticky and sweaty by the time we left – in fact that is my only criticism of The Magic Garden here, the lack of shade. If you are visiting here on a sunny day – ensure you have plenty of sunscreen and maybe a parasol.

BV day trip rating 10/10

Lindsay

Part Time Job – Full Time Mum

I love spending all of my days with BV, but with Mr Intrepid working most weekends, and evenings (he runs a pub), it’s an isolated life.  I have lots of lovely ‘mum’ friends that I can socialise with, however for these mums, weekends, and holidays are strictly family time. And for me, well, being a stay at home mum is mostly, pretty lonely.

3 weeks ago, I made the (mahoosive) decision to go back to work.  I didn’t make it lightly. I hoped to stay at home a bit longer, but mentally I needed to get back in the saddle, so to speak.  Although for 3 days at week at work I won’t make any money whatsoever (fingers crossed I break even), I hope this is a smart decision to keep myself in a career (and in a sane mind) and my family warm and fed. 

BV spends 2 days with his childminder (whom he adores) and 1 boys day with daddy. Lucky boy. As usual, he has settled in to this new situation better than me. I was nervous about this big step at first, and I miss BV so much, but it is getting easier.  I maybe in a job part time, but I am still a full time mum.  Work is the easy bit, to be honest.  The commute is tough (an hour each way – sometimes longer) and I am so desperate to get home to BV that I have become that person.  The crazed wild-eyed commuter, you only see in London. Elbows out, hard faced, and moving so fast you don’t know why they just don’t run all the way home instead?  I never thought that person would be me.  I climb the walls for that last hour in the office, then i’m flying out of the door.  The trains literally aren’t going to go any faster just because I’ve sprinted to get on one, but if I move as quickly as I can, I get to see my boy before he goes to bed…

Lindsay

The Sky Garden Snoozey Time

The Sky Garden, London’s highest public gardens is located at what is affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie”, or for the proper; 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Sky Garden offers 360 degrees of uninterrupted views across London Town, and 3 levels of gardens, bars and restaurants and an open air observation deck. The best bit? It is absolutely free! Hurrah! Tickets, however are limited and must be booked in advance.

I thought the Sky Garden would be a great place to take BV for his first views over the big city. I was wrong. He was asleep by the time we hit the queue and remained so for the entire time we were here….

The gardens itself are actually not that impressive. You should only really go here for the epic views over the City.

Fam-A-Lamb had a great time here (despite BV’s snoozey time) and we are likely to be back soon too. MIL would love it up here.

We were lucky, that despite it being November we had a clear (if a little grey) day. It is the first time I have seen The Shard this close.  We spent a lot of time (much to Mr Intrepid’s dismay) of attempting unsuccessfully to take Fam-A-Lamb selfies with The Gherkin (my fave London building). I blame BV and his bloody pram!

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At least we all got to see The Shard! oh wait….

…..BV and The Shard

Beany Green

Today’s featured Coffee comes from Beany Green, The permanent pop up opposite The Royal Festival Hall.

The site here is awesome, with ample seating.  It is located under the Hungerford bridge and decorated brightly by artist Shuby.  This colourful container is now a permanent fixture here on the Southbank.

Beany Green serves artisan Australian coffee (as the signs proclaim) and homemade food by Daisy Green, and for those that wish to stay in to the night, they also serve a selection of local Craft Ales.

The coffee was perfectly made (Flat White) and staff was very friendly.  This place is a great place for watching the world go by.

Rated: 5 stars *****