New Russians, Art and Tarot Readings

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We started with an Argentinian breakfast, Alfahores, a gourd of mate, and homemade sourdough…

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I’ve really grown to love mate, or atleast the culture surrounding it. Last year Delfina showed me how to drink it and I’d been craving it since. You sit with friends and fill the gourd with yerba mate and hot water, drink it slowly before topping up and passing to the next person. It’s very thick and smells a little bit like tobacco, hence why you should eat it with something sweet and stimulating like alfajores.

It’s very satisfying but is quite intense, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Also, no, I don’t have a recipe for the sourdough because I’m nowhere near dedicated enough to make it!

We jumped on the tube and a woman smiled at me – breaking news! No, but really it was lovely and reminded me to smile more because it’s simply impossible to dislike someone if they smile so sincerely at you.

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Unsure how to kill time, we hopped off at Green Park and walked for a bit, debating visiting the Audrey Hepburn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery although deciding not to as we didn’t want to rush.

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We came to Itsu, which I’d been looking forward to since we left London in January, before slowly making our way to The Arts Club to meet a friend of mine. Although, I have to say there’s hardly a nicer way to let food digest than to lay your head on your lover’s chest in Green Park.

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On the way, we went past Fortnum & Mason which, I have to admit, is the place to go if you want the quintessential British afternoon tea. Their displays are a feast for the eyes!

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Early to The Arts Club and slightly anxious for being severely under dressed, we dived in (it’s one of those places where you name has to be on the list so it was a big deal that we were allowed in before my friend anyway).

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Although, I’m thankful we had the guts to jump in and wait inside because I spotted some John Stezaker on the walls!

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I took this selfie as the New Russians who dominated the garden area with a peculiar looking wedding massaged their newly botox-d faces. See how I was dressed? The glaring looks were inevitable.

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We spoke for several hours about art, wine and Orientalism. I live for these kind of chats, I swear. Unfortunately, as we decided against getting food and settling for a good pot of tea instead, my fuel soon ran out and I took refuge in a nearby Tescos. Much to my delight, someone had the idea of selling giant Bourbons and Custard Creams so I did technically get my afternoon tea in that day.

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We walked through St James’ Park which is actually one of my favourites despite the tourists.

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Mostly because of the enthusiastic squirrels.

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We were suitably hungry but resisted more food as we were on our way to Dalston to meet up with Delfina and Co. for Dalston Street Feast which is exactly what it says on the tin. A feast, in the streets. What more could a girl want?!

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Dalston is in East London, in the midst of the was-dangerous-now-trendy area of Hackney. I mentioned Shoreditch in my Kreuzberg post but it’s basically where a lot of students lived because it was so cheap and naturally brought along many pop-up galleries, cafes, restaurants and general subculture lifestyle. So now it’s really sought after and you’re guaranteed to find good food fusions and spontaneous mariachi band nights

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Anyway, back to Dalston. I was especially excited for the street feast as I’d been craving obscure foreign foods as soon as I realised that khachapuri felt native for me.

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There was so much to choose from, mostly very meaty, but I found the gem Mama’s Jerk Station in the corner. I settled for sweet potato fries with veggie patties and it was amazing. Go there, that’s all I can say.

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I’ll probably dedicate a post to Dalston Street Feast later on, there’s just too much to say.

We waddled home, looking forward to tea and the rest of yesterday’s Tiramasu. London is the best at this time of night. Dark enough so people are switching their lights on but light enough that you can still see all that’s happening around you. It’s when London feels the most peaceful to me, even in the busiest bits.

Delfina did my tarot when we got home, which was scarily accurate and quite eye-opening. I take what they say with a pinch of salt but it gets you thinking anyway. Time went by, eyebrows were drawn, and we finally got to sleep at 4am.

A day well-spent I think.

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