Out and About: Bill's and the BCA

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sometimes weekends just mean brunch and a bit of culture. Can you believe I'd never been to Bill's before? They seem to be everywhere and were top of the list for reliability when I asked my cousin for a reccommendation for brunch in Wimbledon. I didn't think to book a tabel (doh!) but luckily they found us a table in about 10 minutes. While we waited I was free to peruse the own brand wares Bill's sells, from jams and marmalades to their own pink lemonade. A nice touch!

I cheated on my usual cuppa with a strawberry and bananna wasn't mind blowing but it was alright.

I went for scrambled egg on bloomer toast with a side of avacado. When a place gets eggs just right you should cheer! Way more filling than anticipated too.

The meat eaters went for scrambled egg on toast with bacon and smoked streaky bacon served on a toasted brioche roll...

...or the full on Bill's Breakfast: Cumberland sausage, fried free range egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, smoked streaky bacon and toast.

I had drink envy over this chocolate brownie milkshake...

After eating we headed down to Brixton, which looked beautiful in the sun.

It was my first time visiting the BCA, the black cultural archives site, situated in Windrush Square in the heart or Brixton. The BCA's mission 'is to collect, preserve and celebrate the history of Black people in Britain', and since their inception in 1981 they have amassed a collection of photographs, personal papers, records and other artefacts that catalogue this experience. The bulk of the archive is drawn from the 20th Century up until today and the site is the first purpose built heritage collection for the Black British experience. It's of huge cultural relevance to a generation who can feel alienated in the country their parents or grandparents emigrated to; my own father and paternal grandparents came to London in the 1960's from Jamaica and my maternal grandmother from Guyana.
The Staying Power exhibition currently showing is a collection of photographs pulled from the V&A's collection.

The photographs, including some by photographer Charlie Phillips who was profiled in Time Out magazine this week, capture a lot of the pain that came from being Black in Britain in the 1970's and 80's but also the style, the vibrancy and community spirit in places like Notting Hill. Just look at the Afro pics and hair grease from back in the day!

The BCA is open from 10-6 Tuesday to Saturday and is free entry. They have numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year, so plenty excuse to keep going back....I also wanna try the cafe. I have high expectations, it being Brixton and all.

Cream Coat Chic

Monday, 26 January 2015

Coat: charity shop
Jumper: Primark

Giggles with my baby sister who is not such a baby anymore, on a sunny but cold Saturday afternoon, feeling very This is England. I've been living in this oversized cream coat I picked up in a charity shop or 'special shop' as we call them in my family, over the Christmas holidays. I paid a shocking £7.50, which is such a bargain considering the quality and beautiful gold buttons. I'll also be living in my Docs seeing as winter is in full effect here in London. I really need to up my layering game as my main aim in winter is just to say warm - fashion flies out the window!

That Night

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

That night, a beautiful woman stopped us in the tracks of whispered conversation to tell us how in love we were. We laughed
And the others called us lovebirds
That night, as soon as we stepped into the venue, I read your anxiety and calmed you.
I knew just what to say. I always do.
We couldn't stop touching each other, just a finger linked through mine or a hand on the small of my back
And our eyes found each other across the room whenever we were apart too long.
We shared muted giggles and silly secrets in the car on the way home.
That night we realised we knew the tiny details of each other; a change in voice, a twitch.
That night was perfect
Like we almost were.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

 'American Beauty'


 'Thelma and Louise'


Sometimes the Internet is a wonderful place. I came across an old article on a website with the top photo, and was stunned to see a black Holly Golightly, originally played by Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. It was so shocking to see the mix of a classic movie with beautiful black skin, in a really positive way. Reading the article, I discovered the photograph had come from a project by two photographers based in Dakar, Senegal, Antoine Tempe' and Omar Victor Diop, who were approached by the ONOMO hotel group to take some images. They decided to 're-mix' classic movies and infuse them with a cast, style and feel that was representative of Dakar.

Above are some of my favourite images. You can see some more and find out a bit more about the photographers and the project here.

Do you have a favourite movie you'd love to 're-mixed'? I'd quite like to be Vivian from Pretty Woman!

Casual Monochrome

Friday, 9 January 2015

Joggers: H&M, £12.99
Turtleneck: Uniqlo, £4.90 in the sale
Fedora: New Look, £15
Boots: H&M (old)

I've definitely been rinsing this hat. And I lived in these super comfy, sweatshirt material joggers with elasticated waistband over Christmas. They hide a multitude of sins! This Uniqlo turtleneck (now half-price in the sale) uses Heattech technology so is warmer than it looks, and made this monochrome casual look.

Eat: Ethos

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

It's January. We all know we ate too much of mums Christmas dinner, not to mention all day long drinking is not just accepted but practically expected in December. But January is here. And we all want to get a little virtuous, whether that be joining the gym or just cutting the crap from our diets. In comes Ethos, a new vegetarian concept restaurant, conveniently located just behind Tophsop in Central London (don't act like you are ignoring the sales).

Ignoring the vegetarian hippy stereotype, thank God, the restaurant decor is sleek and chic - all white tiles, marble tables, blue furniture and modern tree branch feautures. I don't know, it works somehow!
But now. The. Food.

Hummus, guacomole and olives looked great as starters but I kinda just jumped right in there..

Every bowl and plate is bursting with colour and goodness at this self-serve restaurant. Founder, Jessica Kruger started Ethos out of a frustration from only being able to find boring and limited vegetarian options easily available on the high street. Ethos delivers fresh, 'deliciously different' meat free options, with dishes from around the world. They are grouped into foods that work well together but to be honest, after circling every beautifully laden table, I just wanted to try it all and heaped as much as I could onto my plate.

I just had to try these spicy seitan smoky BBQ ribs. They weren't actually spicy, but the BBQ sauce was smokily sweet.

The staff were friendly and very helpful, cracking jokes and making us feel completely welcome.


The way it works at Ethos is that you load up your plate and pay by weight. Simple but effective huh?
My plate came to roughly £15 and my friends' to roughly £20, so they're January purse friendly too.

This was my pretty full plate. The roasted aubergines were divine, the mustard and spiced potatoes fluffy, the loubeih (Lebanese green beans in a tangy cherry tomato sauce) a perfect side. The anti-oxidant salad basically made me feel like a Victoria's Secret Angel ate the same food as me.

Apparently the coffee is pretty good and they do take-aways too.

Even the Christmas decorations were stylish!

Ethos are also doing hot breakfasts at the minute and offer brunch at the weekend. Must try.
I was in no way sponsored to write this, I just really loved the food!