London Cheap Eats: The Beefsteaks

Did you crawl out of the warm comfort of your duvet this morning with a slight wine hangover from last night’s escapades? Craving a hearty Sunday roast, yet lack the funds to satiate your red meat fiending? Well, throw on those giant morning after sunglasses, hop on the Jubilee line as fast as you can, and get your broke self down to Maltby Street Market.  Speaking from personal experience, I’ve found a London Cheap Eat to satisfy any steak lover and more than make up for any weekend regrets. Meet my new bae – The Beefsteaks.

London Cheap Eats - the best steak and chips in London for less than a tenner.

Grass-fed, butcher’s cut British Beef, snuggled on top of triple fried chips, all bathed in some sexy AF Bearnaise. AND all for £8.

You can mix up the sauce and do a Chimichurri, horseradish or peppercorn instead, or you can have some taste and stick with the finger-licking worthy Bearnaise. They had a delish looking sandwich as well, but I wanted to feel fancy and have a budget steak dinner. Nailed it.

Maltby is worth a weekend visit to Bermondsey (check out some art galleries nearby while you’re at it), and Beefsteaks is by far my favourite food vendor there. Plus you get such a value for the price. Sure beats some dry falafel from the other guy.

More deets on The Beefsteaks and their schedule here, but for now they’re every weekend at Maltby Street Market. Hustle your way to the end of the market and queue up (worth the wait) for your succulently grilled heaven.

My Favourite London Art Galleries & Vlog

Sunday morning, after a relatively tame night eating curry and watching Troop Beverly Hills, I was simply starving for some highbrow culture. London is packed with art galleries and museums, so I figured it was time to fully take advantage of the beauty at my fingertips. Roping in my friend, Sasha, we set off to explore some galleries in South London, and best of all – they were both FREE. I vlogged the day, so you can experience the artistic delights (freaky Scooby Doo sculptures, gum murals, and light installations await!) from the comfort of your own home.

Also if you’re ever in London and looking to experience the art scene, the following are my top three favourite free (contemporary art) galleries in the city:

Newport Street Gallery
Newport St, Lambeth, London SE11 6AJ
Nearest Tube: Lambeth North (Bakerloo line)

Newport Street Gallery - one of my favourite London art galleries

Damien Hirst owns this haven hidden away in Lambeth. He curates the exhibits featuring some of his artist friends or includes work from his own vast personal collection. We saw the Dan Colen exhibition (featured in the vlog), and I highly recommend it. Dan is from the early aughts art bad boy heyday in New York, and reputation aside, his work was so impressive. Media ranged from sculpture (a full nude self portrait was eerily lifelike), to huge installations like the American flag work above, to murals made of gum and trash. The gallery itself was spacious, inviting, free of pretension, not too busy, and Hirst’s taste was everything I wanted from an exhibition. Can’t wait to go back.

Saatchi Gallery 
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square (Circle and District Lines)

Saatchi Gallery - one of the best art galleries in London

Tucked away in posh Chelsea, the famous Saatchi Gallery is a lovely reprieve from the toffs and tourists in Duke of York Square. Exhibits rotate through, but currently they have an entertaining selfie-focused event on featuring famous self-portraits (some even made to look like Instagrams). Saatchi was the first gallery I’ve visited in London, and I’ve returned several times without disappointment. It can get packed on weekends, so try to go on a week day if you can.

White Cube
144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
Nearest Tube: Bermondsey (Jubilee line)

White Cube contemporary art gallery in London

A new addition to my gallery girl favourites is White Cube in Bermondsey. It gained its reputation as one of the first galleries to give shows to contemporary British artist Tracey Emin, and has also shown the likes of Hirst and Marc Quinn. Our visit included an awesome light installation by Cerith Wyn Evans and “Playtime” by Damien Ortega – multiple works on game play and chance. White Cube was a bit more sterile (felt like 2001: A Space Odyssey), but the exhibitions, especially Ortega’s, were thought-provoking and the surrounding Bermondsey area makes a lovely weekend day out. Definitely recommend grabbing a flat white from Fuckoffe (yes, that’s it’s name) across the street.

What’s your favourite place to take in art in London? I’m always wanting to try new places, so let me know any recommendations you have!

 

My Favourite London Art Galleries

London Brunch: 202 Notting Hill

A funny thing happens when you don’t blog for months and months. You’ll be aimlessly scrolling through photos on your phone (in between mindlessly refreshing Facebook and obsessively curating your Spotify playlists), and stashed between selfies and screenshots of memes, stumble upon a forgotten set of photos, like a faint displaced memory. Since I’m currently wrapped in a duvet listening to Frank Sinatra, yearning for warm and easy summer days, I thought I’d reminisce a bit and take you with me to a dreamy brunch in Notting Hill.

Hungover, but keen to embrace the long London summer days and limbo period after classes end but before full-time work, my friend Halle and I set off in search of brunch. Another American, and sadly now back in the States, Hal is one of my best friends and a great exploring companion. She’s always up for trying a new restaurant, starting a conversation with strangers, or trekking through an unseen neighborhood, and I love her spontaneity and sense of adventure. On this day, we settled on Notting Hill and breakfast food – preferably in a picturesque setting. Not too difficult to find in this part of London.

Originally, we though we’d scope out Granger & Co, but the Notting Hill location was PACKED (pro-tip: always go early to the Notting Hill location), so we opted for a great alternative just down the road, 202.

In the heart of busy Westbourne Grove, 202 is easy to stroll by, but keep your eyes peeled for the namesake numbers and head in. On a sunny day like this one, the bright and modern space was particularly fitting.

Like Granger, there was a bit of a wait, but less overwhelming, and the queue is lined with Slim-Aarons-esque coffe table books to keep you entertained. You also might make a furry friend.

The vibe is decidedly casual, and you could show up in leggings and sneakers without shame. Packed with yummy mummies, foreign tourists and chilled out locals, 202 lacks pretension and is perfect for a no-nonsense brunch in a California cool space. I’m also just instantly smitten with any restaurant that has perfected eggs benedict….

Halle committed a cardinal brunch sin and ordered a salad, but quickly repented by adding on a side of crispy fries. The food doesn’t veer from the classics, but done well, they are always satisfying. Stuffed, but hangovers fading thanks to the healing powers of 202, we decided to traipse around Notting Hill. I mean, it’s really a London commandment: When in Notting Hill, thou shalt walk and photograph its Instagram friendly streets.

Enveloping us in its arms, the summer afternoon sun gave the shops an appreciative glow and almost distracted us entirely from the throngs of visitors along Portobello Road.

 

Notting Hill may have long ago completed its transformation from bohemian enclave to tourist destination, but it’s still worth a long, languorous visit. There are plenty of side streets lined with charming houses and scenic shops or brunch havens like 202 to escape the masses.

 

 

 

London’s Best Instagram Spot: God’s Own Junkyard

I know, I know, I’ve been extremely MIA from this weird corner of the internet. It’s a long story that involves me finishing my dissertation the day before it was due,  long summer days drunk on sun and tequila, interviewing and then being crushingly rejected from several jobs before landing my dream job, falling in love (read: lust) a thousand times on Bumble, and falling even more in love with the city of London.

Pinky swear I’ll catch you up on these chattier (aka dramatic) topics at a later date when I’m feeling a bit more poetic, but in the meantime I thought I’d woo you back with one of my new favourite places (and best spots to photograph) in London. This weekend my friend Jordan and I made a pilgrimage to an effortlessly cool, Instagram haven of neon perfection in….Walthamstow. For those of you unfamiliar with London, Walthamstow is literally east of Jesus waaayyy out in suburbia. After going to the end of the Victoria line, then taking a bus, then meandering around a cute village that felt entirely out of London, we finally found our fluorescent junkyard, God’s Own Junkyard, that is.

Eyes glued to my Google Maps app, I at first led Jordan astray and past our destination, but finally we entered our Mecca and boy was it worth it.

After a long trek with too little caffeine, I was convinced the shop would leave me disappointed. The candy-hued bonanza exceeded expectations, however, and I highly recommend you head there ASAP if you’re in need of inspiration. It inspired me to blog again, which is no small feat.

You can commission them to create a neon artwork for you, or just endlessly browse like we did. Luckily, they’re very welcoming to tourists, so you won’t feel guilty for taking photos and taking in the seductive glow. There’s also a cafe, so pull up a coffee (not too overpriced all things considered) or Coca Cola and embrace the cavalcade of color.

The kitschy, sometimes very sassy or raunchy, signs are perfect for a photo op. I call this one “me facing a Monday.” Cheeky.

Snag a spot on one of the couches and get a bit vibey.

Or take photos of your photogenic friends.

Dress (similar)

I honestly could have spent all day here, and surprisingly can’t wait to go back to Walthamstow to spend more time finessing my neon photography skills.

Coat // Loafers // Backpack

 Newly convinced that everyone looks better in a pink glow.

Pretending I’m Scarlett in Lost in Translation.

No, no I’m not.

Next time you’re in London I highly recommend making the trek to the dreamy junkyard. If you’re staying central, the commute isn’t too bad on the northbound Victoria line. No cameras allowed, but you can use a phone camera, so snap away. It’s a photographer’s dream and hasn’t yet been overrun by every basic betch looking for the perfect Instagram (I’m looking at your, Sketch).

Bring the Junkyard Home: