Brunch at Shoreditch Grind

Ask my friends about my diary management skills and they will laugh so hard that gin is inelegantly snorted. At work I am an Outlook invite ninja, living for those accepted meeting invites like I’m a junky waiting for my next hit. But at home? Lol. NOPE. I normally just get SO EXCITED at planning new things that I immediately say yes and then forget about it until about an hour before when a friend texts to remind me. So yes, I was the idiot that double booked myself for brunch last Saturday.

Now, when most people double book themselves they make it better by cancelling one. Me? Yeah I just went ahead and made it worse by adding in another brunch. Because I’m a sucker for punishment. And because I really like brunch.

So that was the plan, an operation of military precision. Three brunches in three hours, all at different cafes. I was fucked.

This dumb pilgrimage started at Shoreditch Grind, and for once in my life I was on time. Turns out that love, money or education can’t make me turn up when I am supposed to…but brunch? Two minutes early bitches.

Shoreditch Grind isn’t the first thought for most peoples brunch escapades, its little, busy and literally no-one knows where the food comes from because WHERE THE HELL IS THE KITCHEN. I decided to start by taking it easy and going for the classic smashed avocado and chili on toast, with a flat white on the side naturally. As the avo on toast got put down in front of me I was pumped, this brunch challenge was literally the best idea I have ever had.

Status update after first brunch
Mood: Excited like a brat on Christmas morning
Hunger level: Concerningly content
Thinking about: How big my hair will get in the rain by the end of the challenge

Brunch at Ozone London

Because of my frankly stupendous planning the second brunch was a short walk round the corner to Ozone. Sensibly Ozone had cornered the loud kiwi group in the basement where we would be the least disruption to other diners. In about ten minutes we had talked our way from travel to the NHS, and by the time we got our coffees we were in some kind of giggling vortex.

I did have mild panic at Ozone, that all my plans would have been for naught, because we didn’t receive our food until 45 minutes after sitting down. While this was a welcome break that allowed me to digest my first brunch (and slam back some coffees) it also meant that the pancakes I ordered (buttermilk pancakes with tonka bean labneh, blueberries & almonds) had to be eaten in 15 minutes before running to the third venue.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Well, I ain’t got no wisdom so I attacked the pancakes like a feral cat on a can of tuna and ran away before anyone else had taken their first bite. In this brunch adventure I may lose friends but at least I will gain a lot of brunch.

Status update after second brunch
Mood: Fearful
Hunger level: Fit to burst
Thinking about: Why the flying fuckles I got myself into this? This is not a hobby, this is a mental breakdown.

Brunch at Blixen

After escaping Ozone I was too full to run, so I pretended I was Miranda and galloped to Blixen about 15 minutes away. Charging through the door I expected to be greeted like Mo Farah at the end of a marathon… instead I was close to being sectioned when my friends found out this was my third brunch of the day. Sometimes people just don’t understand the dreamers.

I may have got a little over excited when a flat white arrived at the table moments after I sat down (think Leo finally winning an Oscar levels of excitement), but rather than Blixen recognising my brunching prowess it turns out someone else had ordered it and I had to wait for my flat white like a pleb.

Going for my usual poached eggs on potato rosti, it was a battle of wills; Rebecca vs brunch. I was post-Christmas lunch full at this point, but with the support of my friends I did it…I god damn did it.

Status update after third brunch
Mood: Crying like a small child
Hunger level: Won’t need to eat for the rest of the year
Thinking about: Getting a certificate of achievement made

My thoughts after this brunching insanity? Its good to have goals in life and to aim high when setting them. I mean, you could train for years for a shot at the Olympics, or you could try doing three brunches in three hours on a rainy Saturday in London. Your choice.

After all that there really was only one thing for me to do, find the closest wine bar to toast my achievement.

 

Brunch spots that I love

Three brunches in three hours oh god what have i done

Duck and Waffle reflections at night

I had a bit of an epiphany at 5:30am. This was unusual for two reasons, firstly because I don’t normally have epiphanies, I normally sidle up to an idea and casually buy it a drink, and secondly I was voluntarily awake at 5:30am which is unheard of. The epiphany was this: London makes you work hard to be happy.

The reason I was conscious at 5:30am before work on a Wednesday was for brunch. Some may quibble that brunch before the sun has risen is not brunch, but fuck you I am a hobbit and if I call it brunch…its brunch. A friend was leaving London and wanted to go to Duck and Waffle before she left, and at a weeks notice the only booking we could get was at sparrows fart o’clock. We decided to go for it, I mean we were drunk so of course we were up for it at the time.

The day came and I think we were cursing the very name of Duck and Waffle. Tired, groggy and awake before the tube was running this seemed like literally worst idea that anyone had ever had ever. Who in their right mind would wake up three hours early to go to a restaurant – particularly when its still dark out? After the traumatic commute (Londoners are extra weird that early in the morning) we arrived at Duck and Waffle and took the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lift up to the 40th floor. In that short lift journey everything became amazing.

Sunrise from Duck and Waffle

All of a sudden London was the city you see in the movies. We drank coffee as we watched over London at night. The lights below making it seem like the city was full of possibilities. We ate the namesake dish as the sky started to blush with light. By the time we moved to the bar for champagne London had given us a magical sunrise.

Then the epiphany happened.

This brunch has made me almost speechless with love for London, it just felt so special, but I never would have experienced it if I hadn’t got up at an ungodly hour.

This is exactly what London is like. There are almost limitless incredible experiences to be had, but you have to go out and grab them. Generally these amazing things either require you to be super organised, will mean you have to scrimp and save, find new reserves of courage or just be absolutely exhausting. But they are there and can make you feel like all the shitty and hard bits of London life are worth it.

The danger is that if you don’t make the effort with London it will suck. The far easier option for me would have been to say no to the insane early booking and just not go, or go to a local cafe – but then I would have missed out on seeing London at its best.

Morning at Duck and Waffle

This next level London is particularly hard to unlock when you are a baby expat and don’t have any friends here yet. Since you don’t know anyone the easiest option is to sit at home and watch tv – easy but it means you are missing out on your life. So you have two options, grow some balls and see London by yourself or grow some balls and go outside your comfort zone by asking strangers along with you. Either way balls are required.

London makes you work dam hard to find happiness. If you take the easy option you will miss out on the incredible, the magical and the taste of champagne before sunrise. Fuck the easy, it’s time to find the London you see in the movies.

Runawaykiwi in a box

Hello ducks

Its been a long couple of weeks at Runawaykiwi Towers. For those not in the know, I am an event manager by day and we are now 22 days away from my next biggie: One Live London. It an amazing beast to be working on, but also stressful enough for my colleagues to pack me in a box for a bit to calm me down. The video from my last event is below, and trust me when I say that it doesn’t event begin to show the passion of the day. I think I am going to schedule a few posts to go out in the next few weeks, because my life is all about One Live right now.

I am so excited for this bank holiday weekend, honestly could not have come at a better time (thanks bank holiday scheduling gods!). I’m going to be as anti-technology as possible this weekend, because I know what I’m like, I’ll turn my laptop on to blog and wind up five hours later buried in a risk assessment or loading bay plan. So three days of a closed laptop, phone on airplane mode and flat whites on tap it is! Its crazy how much time I spend in front of a screen, I mean it is work, hobby and how I connect with my friends (and how I avoid getting lost in London!). I might go to extremes and try to replace my online life with IRL, real time fruit ninja anyone?

Some seriously good times have been had amongst this stress ball fun. I went for an evening of perfume and cocktails with Jess and Emma last week, which started well when we were sat at the same table as a couple on a first date – yes we of course were totally unobtrusive and did not mock the guy at all*. None of us were quite sure what the event was, but I had just the most amazing time sitting in a train station talking absolute bullocks with two of the coolest chicks I know. Sometimes you just don’t realise how much you needed your friends until you are sitting next to them, pairing shots with perfumes and whispering nonsense.

Blixen London

What else to update you on?  Oh there is a wicked cool new brunch spot near Liverpool Street. Its called Blixen and the design/fit out is beautiful. The important bit of course is that I would marry the barista the coffee was so good, and they were more than happy with my request to change out spinach for avocado. Winning so hard I went back three times in three days #fangirl

Anyway things on my non-technology horizon this weekend is to discover a couple of new coffee places, try on dresses for my sisters wedding (if you see any white dresses tweet me!) and I might even make a cake.

Love you kids, life may be stressful but by god it is fun.

Xx

 

*lies all lies, we were horrific.

Orphans Kitchen Brunch

Because what is a trip to Auckland without a serious amount of brunch? Two highlights for me were Orphans Kitchen in Ponsonby and Dear Jervois on Jervois Road, both suggested by my big sister. As mentioned before in New Zealand it’s not about just getting the poached eggs right, its all about brunch innovation. I genuinely can’t think of a café in London that even comes close to matching these two in the innovation stakes. I think you could say that Duck and Waffle et al are comparable food wise, but they are high concept restaurants, these Auckland beauties are just humble cafes. Humble cafes that kick the London offering to the curb.

Orphans Kitchen

My visit to Orphans Kitchen got off to a sunny and entertaining start. The table next to us was obviously a group of old friends, but when the waiter went over to take their order there was a shriek and hugs all around. Turns out one of the group had just come back from overseas, but instead of a normal off the plane welcome had decided to pose as a waiter in Orphans Kitchen to surprise them, super cute.

Brunch at Orphans Kitchen Auckland

The food here was tricky, I honestly couldn’t find anything I wanted on the menu. Talk about innovation, there was no easy ‘poached eggs with bacon’ offering here, and I just couldn’t picture the end product from what was on the menu. But getting hangry I let my sister choose for me, and by gods it was good. Mum went for the breakfast panna cotta with kiwifruit and buffalo milk (why had no one thought of a breakfast panna cotta before?!?!), my sister for the black rice pudding with tamarillo, blood orange, and banana (above) and chosen for me was the  roasted avocado with bacon, feijoa and vine tomatoes…heaven.

Dear Jervois

Dear Jervois brunch

Dear Jervois was an interesting one, I LOVED it and my parents had the opposite view. It was all down to how busy it was. In London I am 100% used to battling the crowds to get to food, and while I refuse to wait for brunch I find sitting cheek by jowl totally normal. My parents however are used to the kiwi luxury of a more peaceful spaced out brunch, which is not what you get at the very popular Dear Jervois.

Dear Jervois sage fried eggs

But as always the food is most important. Well maybe not the coffee is important to and we had to send back the first round because they were cold. Eh. Anyway the food was yum, the highlight for me was the sage fried eggs that just did something stratospheric to my taste buds. I would have married those eggs if I could. And the interior was beautiful, for those who did have to wait they wrote their names in a chalk pen on the tiled wall. Love.

Oh and the second round of coffee was AMAZING.

Dear Jervois coffee