5 Best Tapas Restaurants in SE1 London

Now today is national paella day and with that in mind I thought I would do a post about some of the best places in SE1 to get your spanish food fix.

I studied Spanish many years ago at school. I love the language, the people and the food. Especially the food. In recent years there have been quite a few tapas restaurants open up in the SE1 area and we can’t get enough of them as a whole family. I have two little ladies, one who loves all food and the other who is quite (very) fussy, but we all love tapas.

Here are some of our favourites:

Lobos – www.lobostapas.co.uk

We are regulars at Lobos, the staff are great, always chatty and very helpful when one of the littles ladies wants a dish without something, or just want more breadsticks, they are only to happy to help. The interior is industrial but cosy and we haven’t had a bad meal there.

Brindisa – www.brindisakitchens.com

These guys were there from the beginning of Borough Market, with a stall, a shop, a restaurant and now more restaurants around London. We love this place too, but generally very hard to get a table, as it is very popular and you can’t book. It is best to get there early for more than two of you, unless you are happy to sit outside. We have done that many a time in the rain and shine as the food is worth it. Sometimes we get to sit inside but it isn’t always great as we end up on the high tables, not so good with smaller children.

Mar i terra – www.mariterra.net

I was on a train to Charing Cross once and saw the name on the side of the building and had to check it out. This is a hidden gem in Waterloo, tucked down a side road under the arches. It is family run and traditional. In the hot London sun you can eat outside in their garden/yard but be quick as it is the size of a postage stamp, but very welcome in the summer. They are also very friendly with the kids.

Jose – www.josepizarro.com

This place is always busy, very hard to get a table and no booking, in a true tapas taverna style very small tables and you can end up standing up, but again worth it. Their food and service is excellent and will try to accommodate you if they can.

Bar Tozino – www.tozino.co.uk

Tucked in one of the arches another favourite place to visit Maltby Street Market, Bar Tozino does some amazing Jamon’s, we are also a fan of their wine selection and their pickles.

#nationalpaelladay

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Obsessed with The George

I recently posted on Instagram about The George in MontClair, New Jersey. It has been designed by beauty legend Bobbi Brown. I have become slightly obsessed with the interior, it is just beautiful and many of the interior design magazines have been writing about it (The Cut, Architectural Digest etc).  She uses red and the union jack against dark greys very carefully which gives the rooms just the right amount of pop.

So I had a good look around to see what great accessories you can use to get a similar effect to update your greys and whites. Using the reds, tartan and union jack subtlety just like Bobbi Brown.Bear and Bear throw

This large tartan throw over the bed will be perfect to give some bright colours to your bedroom. Tartan throw by John Hanley – Bear and Bear

Union jack cushion

I love a union jack cushion, but my husband won’t let me have them. Don’t worry I don’t usually listen to him so they will appear shortly.

Union Jack Cushions – Red Candy

Red telephone

A Wild and Wold 746 telephone from Robert Dyas. These phones always speak to my love of retro and there is no need to worry about getting your finger stuck on this one, it has been totally updated.

 

I love this Faux Book which actually has gin inside (you’ll look well read but can have a sneeky drink) available form Fortnum and Mason by Chase Distillery.

Union jack mini

You can’t get more British than a red mini with a union jack on top – This will add a bit of fun to the room without going ott from TK Maxx

telephone closet

Not so subtle but I blinking well love this, it is a closet, yep a closet. I can’t tell you how much I want this. If you get it, I want to see pictures!! From Maison du Monde

I also wouldn’t be able to help myself from jumping out of it in a superhero outfit!

Thank you

Sam x

the main image is taken from The George website. credit: The George.

Nice Fanny Pouch! (aka bum bag/belt bag)

When I was a teenager my sister, brother in law and mum saved up their hard earned pennies to take to me and my niece to Disney World. Then it was a holiday of a life time and growing up on MTV, LA Law and Dirty Dancing of course the US of A was exciting.

My sister had done a lot of reading up on what you should and shouldn’t do. Taking stuff on rides was a no-no, bum bags were the way to go in order to keep your belongings whilst hanging upside down on the highest, largest, fastest rides in the world.

The blog post by Ainsley Louise – Inspo – Fanny pack, reminded me of the day we were waiting for the Disney parade to start. We were early and eager to have a good view. The crowds started to build and a lady stood next me, in order to pass the time she said started conversation. Her opening gambit was “Lovely Fanny pouch” pointing to what I thought she meant my nether regions. Slightly shocked and moving closer to my sister, she said it again “nice fanny pouch”

Now we didn’t know in the US, fanny meant bottom, as it means the complete opposite part of our body parts in the UK, there was my sister and I thinking she was complimenting my lady garden and not my bum bag.

I am so glad that the fashion industry have decided to rebrand the Fanny Pack/Bum Bag to the Belt bag. Now no 13 year old is going to get complimented on her lady garden, but quite possibly her designer belt bag.

Here are my favourites:wandler belt bag

Anna Belt Bag Kiss

clare v belt bagClare V Fannypack

 

zara belt bag

Zara Belt Bag

Top shop belt bag

Top Shop Panther Bum Bag

 

Chloe belt bagChloe Pixie mini suede and leather belt bag

Love

Sam x 

 

 

The most instagramable reusable coffee cups around.

Bando coffee cups

Image credit: Bando

I love coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, vanilla latte, I have them all. Coffee is my friend, I have a coffee from a coffee shop once a day, it is my little treat in the morning on the way in to work.  That means that I have used around 350 non reusable cups a year.

Although I put my coffee cup in the recycle bin it is better to have to not recycle them in the first place so recently I bought a Thermal mug from Paperchase as it was on sale and thought it is better than nothing. Now I have started looking around at all the other stylish reusable mugs that are out there.

Not only will you be helping the environment but your pocket too, most of the big chain coffee shops have discounts on their coffee if you bring in your own reusable cup. I have also noticed that they fill your cup up to the top so you get a little more coffee for your buck too.

See this article in the Telegraph to see what you can save when using a reusable cup when buying your coffee in the UK.

I had a good look around and here are my favourite and most instagramable reusable cups:

bando selfridges1

Bando at Selfridges

The thirst is real paperchase

Paperchase

 

Kate Spade

Kate Spade at Trouva.com

 

Carol Gardner

Caroline Gardner

bando selfridges

Bando at Selfridges

Coffee is the answer

Paperchase

 

Kate Spade at Selfridges

Kate Spade at Selfridges

What I would really like to see is the big designer houses really making these wanted accessories, imagine a Louis Vuitton or a Gucci cup? These would be all over insta and Pinterest as the next big accessory.  I would personally also love to Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham all over this.

Thanks

Sam x

Here’s to feeling like a donought.

Here’s to having put your heart out there and feeling like a doughnut because it wasn’t reciprocal, here’s to not reading a situation and making someone else feel like a doughnut when they had put their heart out there. Here’s to finding the man whom I wanted to finally buy this doughnut for and him not fancying it so I got to eat it. Here’s to Valentine’s Day whether you love it or loathe it, Eat the doughnut. Happy Valentines Day whom ever you love xx

But, Can I keep my socks on?

I recently went for my health check, annual asthma check and smear test all in one go with the surgery nurse. I don’t believe in doing things by halves.

On arrival the nurse asked me what I wanted to do first, I said “Lets get the worst job done first” (I have been reading a lot of time management books recently and this is what they tell you to do, do the worst job first). So she said “Pop your trousers and Knickers off and lay on the bed”.

I said “Ok. But, can I keep my socks on, as it is pretty cold in here?” She laughed and said you are funny. I love being told I am funny, so took the compliment graciously whilst naked from the bottom down (but still with socks on) and jumped on the bed.

I have this habit where I like to make people feel at ease, even when there is no need for me to do so. Like making jokes when you are about to have your smear test done and  trying to make the nurse at ease, when she probably sees 10 badgers a day. (When I say badgers I mean, your lady garden.)

She then pointed to a piece of tissue and told me to cover my badger (she didn’t say badger but you know what I mean) I said “You are lucky I trimmed for you, otherwise we would have needed a bigger tissue”.

All in all I think it went quite well.

#smearforsmear