Monday, 30 October 2017

The whole picture: October 2017

Miss my September round-up? Catch up here.

What I've done in October

Freshest in my mind as I write this is my three-day trip to the Lake District with a couple of friends for a hen do. It wasn't your usual hen do, consisting instead of cottages and lakes, long muddy walks and autumn leaves, home cooked meals and whisky by a roaring fire. I returned to London feeling so relaxed, I can only imagine what a full week would have done to me. Suffice to say the Lake District is firmly on my list for a longer visit in future.

I also took the opportunity to visit Knole Park, a National Trust property not far from where I live. It's something I want to do more of - so many people focus on exotic holidays abroad, despite having seen very little of their own country, or even their own county. The house itself is beautiful, and the deer roaming free in the grounds are an added bonus - and autumn is by far the best time to visit this Kentish jewel.

But I think the most bizarre event of my October was my evening at the London Dungeon. It was the press launch of both the London Dungeon's Halloween special Necropolis railway, and of Krispy Kreme's Halloween doughnut range.

To cut a long story short, I found myself on a tour of the Dungeon with Tom Daley, clinging onto a friend for dear life in the scary bits (that Ripper bit, though!) and carrying home a (thankfully not-life sized) coffin full of doughnuts on the train.

What I've eaten in October

At this point it would be easier to list what I haven't eaten this month. A shocking total of three afternoon teas is top of the list, including an afternoon tea for fussy eaters like me, a somewhat disappointing Alice in Wonderland themed tea, and a board game themed afternoon tea to celebrate the launch of Tunbridge Wells Monopoly (full blog post about this one to follow).

Onto the savoury, and my love affair with buffalo chicken really intensified this month. Shortly after declaring the buffalo chicken burger at Meat Mission to be the best in London, my decision was thrown into disarray by this offering at Brewdog. I'm still suffering split loyalties to be honest. Guess I'll have to go back and try them both again...

For work, I tried the new vegan and veggie menu (I'm neither) at American chain The Diner. The overall opinion was decidedly average, but the extent of The Diner's veggie and vegan options is impressive.

My favourite slurp of the month was the enchanting Harry Potter cocktail menu at the Booking Office bar in St Pancras. It ties in with the British Library's new Harry Potter exhibition, but if you want to just sit at the bar and get tipsy in a magical kind of way, that's OK too. Top tip: grab yourself a bar seat, watch them whip up your drinks, and order yourself some bar snacks to soak up that absinthe.

Perhaps I'm finally growing up, but I can finally see the appeal of paying a bit extra for a drink to sit in a serene and impressive setting like this, rather than doing battle with the masses in happy hour at Be At One. For an extra dose of ooooh, order the Camouflage Coupette and watch the candy floss disappear as your pour in the potion.

Talking of playing with food, brunch at Beyond The Grounds in Tonbridge consisted of a delectable stack of pancakes, and this DIY hot chocolate.

The Lake District mainly consisted of delicious and warming home cooked food, but on the the last day we ventured out for breakfast at Granny Dowbekin's, a tearooms/cafe in Pooley Bridge. At this point, the luxury hot chocolate (whipped cream, marshmallows, Maltesers, solid chocolate spoon) had been talked up to me for two days at this point, so it would have been rude not to. I followed it up with a Full English and was good for nothing expect lazing in front of the fire for the rest of the day.

Oh, and then there was the Fireball, but that's another story for another day.

What's coming up

I've not currently got much planned for November, which makes a pleasant change. The main event is a trip up to the top of London's rarely-opened BT Tower - watch this space for pictures. I should definitely get some exercise in at some point if the above food intake is anything to go by too.

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