Alexander McQueen at the V&A

A few weeks back a friend and I decided to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V&A – I’d wanted to go for ages, but I just never got around to getting tickets. So when I found out she wanted to go as well, I took the chance to actually plan something rather than just thinking about it endlessly! We had a look at the website, and realised it was so popular that they couldn’t keep up with demand. They had ended up opening it up for 24 hours a day during the last days just to give people a chance to see it! By the time we actually tried to get tickets the only ones available were between 2am-5.30am the last Sunday and Saturday… You’d think that was the end of it, but I had decided to go, so I went. I’ve never been to a museum at 2am before, and I can’t say I think it was an ideal time to go, but it was absolutely, completely worth it.

Alexander Mcqueen was the first designer I could ever really pick out of the noise of the fashion crowd – I got into fashion a couple of years ago (before I properly discovered makeup) and he was the very first one that caught my eye; his designs were just so innovative and unique. So when I first heard about this exhibition in its first incarnation back in 2011 (in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum) I prayed that I would get to go at some point in my life!

I walked around the exhibition in a daze; just being so close to these masterpieces felt monumental, and seeing creations in real life that I’d previously only admired in pictures was pretty special (I wasn’t quite as moved as the guy who struck up a lament when he had to leave, but I think I also wasn’t quite as drunk).

One thing that I didn’t really expect was how inspired I felt by this exhibition. It made me feel like I’ve lost a lot of the things that used to give me direction in my life and that I need to get back to my roots and create a lot more. I think that really drove home to me the beauty of fashion – when it’s done right, it’s so much more than just clothes. Alexander McQueen was definitely an artist, and such a unique one at that. I am so happy I had a chance to go!

(Pictures borrowed from here and here)

Itadaki Zen

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I have a tendency to go to the same three veggie restaurants all the time, because I basically never go anywhere but central London. That’s a really bad habit which I am now doing my very best to break, though! There’s so many places to go in London that it seems like a horrible waste to only ever go to a few of them.

Basically, when I say I never go anywhere but central London, what I mean is that the only two tube stops I ever go to and from are Bond Street and Piccadilly Circus. So while Kings Cross might not seem like such a way off the beaten path, in my case it almost is! I decided to make the effort because there’s a vegan Japanese restaurant in Kings Cross called Itadaki Zen which I really wanted to go to.

I’ve been once before, but it was ages ago so I couldn’t remember what the food was like at all. I love Asian food, and I’d like to become more familiar with Japanese food in particular, but I found it really hard to get any veggie food at all when I was in Tokyo – partly my own fault for not doing research, I’m sure, but they did seem to put beef broth in many places where it definitely did not have to be.

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I love sharing food and maximising potential in meals, especially when you go somewhere new – if you can try three dishes instead of just one, why not!? So we opted to share some spring rolls, miso soup, tofu steak and some okara no iri-ni which… honestly I am still not sure what it is. Soy bean pulp and vegetables? It was perfectly okay, but I preferred the tofu steak and the spring rolls.

Final verdict is that the spring rolls were delicious, the rest of the food was good, and I’d definitely go again! I think in the end I do prefer some of the more fragrant cuisines like Indian and Thai, but I don’t have any real complaints. And as always, it’s such a relief when you go somewhere and you don’t even have to ask if the food is vegan because it all is! More like that, please.

Ruby’s of London

Today was a pretty wonderful day, despite the gruesome weather; I went to Greenwich market with some friends and had a vegan cupcake picnic by the observatory! Bit of backstory here: I’ve been mostly vegetarian since I was 13, fully vegetarian for the past three years, and mostly vegan for the past year. A few weeks back, I decided to take the plunge and become fully vegan – by that point, the only thing left for me to eliminate was non-vegan dishes when eating out, and cake. I have a sweet spot for cake! I know pretty much all vegans go crazy for a good vegan cake, but I didn’t understand it until I myself was in the position of having to pass up delicious looking cake that had not-so-delicious sounding ingredients.

I was very happy when a bit of googling around led me to Ruby’s of London in Greenwich market. They’re open from 10 am – 5.30 pm every Saturday and Sunday! I immediately rounded up some of my girls and demanded that we go try everything they had.

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I started out with a strawberry and vanilla cupcake that had unfortunately been a bit smushed by the time that I got around to taking pictures, but even though it wasn’t very photogenic anymore, it was super delicious! I also got the vanilla/blueberry drizzle that is posing so attractively above, and my friend had that sexy, sexy carrot cake loaf lounging beside it. The only downside to this beautiful cupcake stall was that it was so hard to walk away from the flavours I didn’t pick! I was very sad to leave, but luckily I’ve already had a request from a friend who couldn’t make it this week to bring her there next week. Not exactly a hardship!

Unruly Curls London

I think it’s fair to say that everyone who has curly hair has, at some point in their life, despaired of ever getting a proper haircut. So many hairdressers seem to think that you can treat curly hair just as straight hair; I’m not even a hairdresser, but I know for damn sure that that’s not true. I have had many a haircut in my day that I’ve either cried over, or just straight up fixed myself when I got home (or both, most of the time). No, “just some texture at the ends” won’t do a thing for me, thanks very much.

So because I’ve been hurt by so many people, I decided to find a hairdresser who knows what they are actually doing. I googled around a bit and decided to go to Unruly Curls near Shepherd’s Bush, and I am super pleased!

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I went to Grace, who’s an absolute darling. This was the first time in ages that I haven’t had to beg and plead with my hairdresser to get them to put in a few paltry layers – she knew exactly what I meant when I told her how I like it, so I felt like my hair was in safe hands.

I know they do straight hair as well, but if you have curly hair and you’re sick of pyramid head style haircuts I would definitely recommend them. It’s a five to ten minute walk from Shepherd’s Bush or Latimer Road; I found it a bit hard to find the first time, but well worth it.