Is The Cost Of London Living Getting A Big Too Much? You Do Have Options!

There’s a whole lot to love about living in London. We have always lived close to London growing up and it was only ever a tube ride away and as Rach got older she decided to make the move to the big city. London city is so alive and diverse that no matter what you’re into or what you’re looking for you can usually find it only a tube ride away.

While there are many cities across the UK that are amazing and we love visiting the Big Smoke really does have it all. Are you a foodie? Don’t worry, London has you covered. Wine fanatic? London has some of the classiest and coolest wine bars anywhere in the world! Into art? You can’t throw a rock in the capital without hitting a gallery packed full of exquisite and challenging works. And theatre? There are so many incredible shows that you will have to see!

While there are certainly cheaper places in the country to live most Londoners (including us) consider the high rent and cost of living completely worth it.

Don’t get us wrong some months can be a struggle and it can be hard working out finances but there is no need to stress though as there are things you can do about these worries.

We have always been fairly good at saving money, but there are also times when you would rather not spend your savings on say your broken down car. When something like this happens it’s important to know that there are places that can help you!

There are many options available to you, but knowing the right one to suit your needs can make the difference between resolving your problem or digging yourself deeper and deeper into an avalanche of debt which of course we don’t want!

Credit cards aren’t always a bad thing and in actual fact they can work in you favour when further down the line you are looking to get a mortgage. Be sensible and remember to pay off your credit card before you start paying interest.

Credit cards- These can be helpful, and many come with attractive 0% interest rates for an introductory period. Just make sure that you pay off your debt within this window or the interest rates could spike rather quickly.

Secured loans- Secured loans are ideal for those who are lucky enough to own their own property and may not have the best credit rating. Just make sure you look for a lender who gives you an APR and monthly repayments that are manageable for your circumstances.

It is perfectly possible to live on just £40 a day in London inclusive of rent, bills and living expenses. It may just mean you have to keep an eye on your spending. Do you really need to buy a coffee every morning? Could you take a pack lunch to work? Could you save yourself some money by walking part of the way to work?

That’s not to say that you should become a recluse because what fun would that be? And what would be the point of living in London if you’re not going to do any living.

Pizza Pick Up Review

Pizza Pick Up is an authentic Italian wood fired Pizza Restaurant located at the North End of Peckham Rye just a short walk from Peckham Rye tube station.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner Nic who told us about the history of the company and how it originally started as a street food unit serving pizza from the back of a 1961 Volkswagen Splitscreen which we thought was so cool.

Nic has an incredible amount of passion for his restaurant, you can tell he absolutely loves what he does and this completely shines through when he is serving customers. He is in his element and you can tell he just wants to make sure everyone has the best time whilst eating great food.

The real marble tables at Pizza Pickup are any bloggers dream and so was the natural lighting that was shining in through the windows.

The menu had so much choice and it all sounded delicious! We were stuck with what to choose so we asked Nic for his recommendations.

We each had a Bellini to drink, Rach opted for the strawberry Bellini and Annie had the Peach one. Both were delicious and were just the correct right amount of sweetness.

For starter we had a basket of Focaccia which if you don’t know is wood fired Roman flatbread. It was cooked to perfection and went well with the second starter we were recommended to pick which was the Bufalo Crudo.

The Bufalo Crudo was Mozzarella, prosciutto ham and rocket salad. The portion size was incredibly generous as you are served an entire ball of Mozzarella. The Mozzarella was soft and creamy on the inside and as we mentioned above it tasted delicious with our Foccacia.

For main we had three pizzas, yes three and we managed to eat all but one slice (we are not joking)- we certainly don’t order food only to take a photo of it.

Our first pizza of choice was a margarita because let’s be honest you cannot go to a pizza restaurant and not try its margarita pizza. It didn’t disappoint and the tomato to cheese ratio was perfect.

We also went for a pepperoni pizza because if you cannot tell by the t-shirts we are wearing in our photos this is a firm favourite of ours. Pizza Pickup were generous with the amount of pepperoni and the pizza was cooked to perfection.

The third was a Quattro Stagioni which was tomato, mozzarella, beretta ham, artichokes, mushrooms and black olives- a test to know whether or not a pizza passes the test of being a good pizza involves picking the pizza slice up an trying to eat it without any toppings falling off, this one past the test with flying colours and it was packed with toppings! This pizza was packed with veggies and we especially liked the artichokes as it isn’t something we usually opt for on a pizza, so it was great to try something new.

For dessert Annie is Nutella obsessed so she went for the Pizza Cioccolato Nutella & Sea Salt which was essentially a Nutella Pizza (The dough was slightly softer than a normal pizza). Oh my it was SO unbelievably delicious and just thinking about it as we write this post is making us want it all over again.

Rachel opted for The Tiramisu as it was Nic’s grandmas recipe so we couldn’t really say no. It wasn’t like your traditional Tiramisu as it wasn’t swimming in sauce, but Nic actually informed us the English make it wrong and it is intact supposed to be slightly dr. Nevertheless it was absolutely delicious and we would definitely recommend if you are a coffee lover.

As you know a Two Brits review wouldn’t be complete without a toilet review! The toilet was situated at the back of the restaurant, it was clean and we just have to mention the beautiful sink they have had fitted- it is the sink of dreams.

There is also outside seating area which was perfect as it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. We made sure to make the most of it whilst we were waiting for our food to arrive and had our Bellini’s outside looking out onto the green.

We always love trying independent restaurants and Pizza Pick Up did not disappoint. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable and it was just all round an amazing meal.

By the time we left at 6pm the restaurant was buzzing and the atmosphere was alive. Pizza Pick Up was everything we expected it to be and better. A pure delight to have spent our afternoon in this little gem of a restaurant.

Pizza Pick Up are available for private events including weddings & parties. How incredible would it be to have pizza served at your wedding!

Pizza Union Review

We had never heard of Pizza Union before, we know right?! Are we living under a rock! But when we were contacted and asked to write a review we jumped at the chance.

We love Pizza it’s one of our favourite foods, especially when cooked right and something we always opt for when we are eating out or getting a take away.

We visited the Dalston branch of Pizza Union which is a new branch that has recently opened. It is located just a short walk about from Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland station.

The staff at Pizza Union were really friendly and explained how the restaurant worked! You order your food and they give you a buzzer that will vibrate when your food is ready to pick up. The service was super fast which we were pleased about as we were so peckish.

The pizza’s are all freshly cooked in a giant pizza oven which took up the majority of the kitchen.

We both ordered a 12inch pizza each and a side salad to share. We loved the fact the pizzas were thin crust (Roman Style) instead of deep pan as it doesn’t feel so heavy and you can actually taste the flavours of the pizza.

Rach went for the Regina which was tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, Ham, mushrooms (which she removed) and black olives. It was really tasty and we loved the addition or Parmesan cheese as it is one of our faves!

Annie went for the Carne which was topped with chicken, beef, pepperoni, onions and rosemary. Basically a bit of a meat feast lol. The rosemary really made the pizza it was so delicious and we would definitely recommend if you are a meat eater.

We ordered a side salad as well which was priced at £3.95. The salad we opted for was the Pizzeria (which was essentially a pizza in a salad minus the dough). It was yummy but definitely only as a side salad as it wouldn’t be filling enough as a main.

For dessert- yes we went all out we ordered the Dolce Classico which was a warm dough ring with Nutella and mascarpone. Seriously it tasted as good as it sounds, Annie was in Nutella heaven as it’s one of her favourite things in the entire world. We would definitely order this again!

We were offered frozen margaritas as well but we both decided to go for soft drinks instead. Although when we return we will definitely go for the raspberry margarita it looked delicious.

The pizzas are SO SO cheap! You can order a margarita for just £3.95, which is just crazy. The most expensive pizza is only £6.50 so again really good value especially for London.

Pizza Union is open 7 days a week from 11am till late, they do not deliver so you will have to visit one of the branches to enjoy the pizza or order a takeaway and collect it yourself. It’s also important to mention they do not take bookings like most fast food restaurants.

Dalloway Terrace Brunch Review

Dalloway terrace has been on our brunch bucket list for as long as we can remember! We tried to visit in December but they were fully booked and we sadly couldn’t get a table.

Dalloway terrace is an Bloggers dream, from the decorations, the crockery and the food everything is a photo opportunity and trust us when we say we took SO many photos.

It was Annie’s birthday and Rachel surprised her with Dalloway Terrace for a birthday brunch and we couldn’t have been more excited.

Prior to visiting Dalloway Terrace Rach booked two weeks before as you cannot book anymore than two weeks before. The reservations on the Dalloway Terrace website had all gone so Rach went on book a table to reserve our 2 hours spot.

We didn’t realise that Dalloway Terrace was part of The Bloomsbury Hotel so we were surprised to see that it was when we arrived.

We were shown to our table and although Dalloway Terrace is outside (well in a Terrace) it was warm as they have several heaters. We were sat by the door and there was a slight draft but nothing that a blanket couldn’t fix.

We ordered our usual coffees, Rach went for a soya latte and Annie had an Americano with a dash of soya milk. We were really surprised with the size of the coffees as we usually find restaurants always serve the smallest coffees but not at Dalloway Terrace we got a mug and of course we fell in love with the mug and wished we had them at home ourselves.

We ordered a basket of pastries to start which included pan au chocolate, pan au raisin and plain croissants. We did ask for them to be served to us before the rest of our food but unfortunately this didn’t happen and all our food came out at once which was a little annoying but never mind.

Rach ordered the pancakes (obv!) which were served with lemon curd, berries and maple syrup. There were 3 fluffy pancakes on the stack which is pretty standard for London brunches. The berries and lemon curd worked really well together and of course it was then smothered in maple syrup. The maple syrup came in a mini jug so you could pour as much or as little you wanted – obviously she used it all!

Annie went for the avocado on toast which normally came with poached eggs but she opted to have scrambled eggs and they were more than happy to accommodate this change. The amount of avocado given was unreal, it was basically a whole avocado on the toast, some of it was smashed and then there were big slices of avo too. There were also a handful of cherry tomatoes on top too which had been roasted in the oven to perfection.

The portions sizes were very generous at Dalloway terrace and this is one of the reasons as to why we loved it so much and why would we return. We do find when going for brunch in London they are very stingy with portion sizes, usually we get a teeny coffee or a pathetic amount of avo or salmon – not at Dalloway though!

We spotted an outside seating area which was also beautiful (everything about this place is) and we will definitely be visiting again the summer and making use of this area. We can imagine taking a lot of pictures in the summer here!

The toilets were located in Bloomsbury hotel and on our way to the toilets (which were clean FYI) we spotted another restaurant which was The Coral Room. We recognised it straight away from Instagram and just had to step inside to have a look. It was beautiful and we noticed they serve the same food so always worth a try it Dalloway Terrace is busy.

We will definitely be returning to Dalloway Terrace we were not disappointed and it was everything we hoped it would be.

Bens Canteen Brunch Review

Bens Canteen has been on our list of places to visit ever since our bus drove past it one afternoon. We are quite observant especially when it comes to food places and as soon as we walk or drive past somewhere that looks cute we head straight to Instagram to see pictures and more importantly check out the menu.

Bens Canteen had also be recommended to us by a number of people so we knew we would enjoy it. However we were warned that sometimes its very busy and you have to wait. We were lucky when we went that we took the last table of two, and people arriving after us were being turned away. That being said, it is definitely worth the wait.

There are two BC currently in London, one at Clapham Junction and one in Earlsfield. However one will be opening in Batteesea Powerstation too!

There is an extensive brunch menu, but you can also enjoy lunch or dinner here too. They also often have deals on during the week as per the picture below:

We quite fancy returning for the bottomless brunch which is £25 per person, which includes any item off the menu and 2 hours bottomless prosecco.

On this visit we sampled the Flatbread Smashed Avo and the Big Ben (basically a full English breakfast). The big breakfast was huge and you got 2 eggs cooked how you want. We opted for poached which were cooked to perfection.

The flatbread smashed avo was simply incredible and we would recommend this to anyone who visits. We chose to add the chorizo which was a good idea too. As Rach doesn’t like eggs this was the perfect option for her.

100% we would return to Bens Canteen and we cannot wait to visit the new one in Battersea.

Farm Girl Brunch Review

We have wanted to visit farm girl for so so so long ever since we spied some lovely pictures on Instagram. What blogger doesn’t want to visit Farm Girl? The menu is so instagram!

A couple of weeks ago we tried to go to the one in Notting Hill but the queue was ridiculously long so we gave up and decided it wasn’t meant to be.

After a photo shoot in Chelsea we thought it was the perfect opportunity to try farm girl in Chelsea instead. We looked on the map and it looked kinda far out and a bit of a walk from any station so figured it would not be as busy as Notting Hill.

Farm Girl in Chelsea is about a 30 min walk from Sloane square and 15 minute walk from Gloucester Road, so be prepared for a walk. However both walks are beautiful, we did both, we walked from Sloane Square to Farm Girl along the kings road, wishing we were rich enough to afford to buy our clothes and Home wear from the gorgeous shops.

We wandered back to Gloucester Road after we had finished. This walk (we followed google maps!) took us down some stunning streets with beautiful houses and the fact that it was a gorgeous winters day also helped.

We arrived at Farm Girl and we were seated instantly. We were sat slap bang in the middle of the restaurant kinda in the isle and given menus. Then a very friendly waiter came and took our drinks order. The drinks menu alone is massive, there’s like and entire A4 page dedicated to the many drinks that Farm Girl offer.

We knew we wanted to be adventurous and try something new, but we also knew that we didn’t want a matcha latte as the last one we tried was gross (not from farm girl might we add!).

We asked our waiter to recommend some drinks and quizzed him about a number of the different options. We told him about our past experience with matcha so he suggested we try the charcoal one as he really liked it, but the past experience really put us off. We then spied flavoured lattes and the waiter gave us an excellent description of the flavour so we decided to go for one rose latte and one lavender latte so we could share.

The way these drinks are made is that the hot water used is infused with either rose or lavender to give the coffee a subtle flavour and we could certainly get the subtle taste and both were surprisingly yummy. Rach preferred the lavender one and Annie preferred the rose one so that worked out well. The lattes cost £3.60 each so quite a standard price for a coffee in London and these did come with rose petals in!

For the main we didn’t know what to order but like we do every time we go for brunch we become nosy and started to look at the dishes coming out the kitchen and being served to other guests to help us make a decision.

In the end, Rach opted for the Avocado Toast which was served with lemon juice, fresh coriander and a sprinkle of pomegranate served on sourdough toast. There was also the option to add a poached egg for an additional £2 but Rach didn’t. The dish cost £8 and was relatively small and not the most filling especially as we have been elsewhere and got much bigger portions. That being said the added pomegranate was a great addition and really make the dish. We probably wouldn’t opt for this if we went back again purely down to the portion size.

Annie went for the Oven Baker Aubergine dish which was baked in a tomato and chickpea sauce with a mint and tahini yogurt dressing served with sourdough bread. There was also the option to add a poached egg for £2 but Annie also didn’t bother. The dish cost £9 which was fairy priced. The dish was incredibly tasty and there were lots of delicious flavours coming through, we would definitely recommend this dish if you visit.

Now we want to end this post on saying how exceptional the service was here at the Chelsea branch of farm girl. All the staff were so passionate about their jobs and were very knowledgeable. The staff were just so friendly and took so much care in ensuring all the guests were happy. We particularly loved how the staff crouched next to the table to be on the same level or sat on a spare chair to take your order or answer any questions.

In addition we didn’t like being sat in the isle as we kept getting knocked and as a spare table came free at the back of the restaurant the staff were more than happy to move us there. They carried everything across for us and kept making sure we were happy- it has to be said as well the lighting was SO much better as the free table was in natural lighting (you have got to think about these things)!

We were quite surprised when we took a trip to the toilet to find there was only one toilet, it was up the top of a staircase and logistically getting in and out of it whilst someone else was waiting was interesting. That being said it was clean and they replenished the hand towels frequently. We loved the staircase leading up to the toilet and the actual toilet itself was decorated charmingly.

Farm girl Chelsea has made a lasting impression on us, and we will certainly recommend this place for food and drinks to everyone – thank you

Lonely London: The Best Solo Attractions On Offer

Although there are two of us we also like to be very independent, we love travelling on our own, shopping on our own and going on long walks on our own, you get the gist we are still very independent. We absolutely love our own company and we are defiantly not the kinda people who are embarrassed to do anything on our own.

Many people who visit London will often visit on their own, and although it’s very very easy to find somewhere to stay in London it may not seem as easy to find things to do on your own. So to help you out with this we have compiled a short list of things to do when visiting London exploring some of the best solo activities in the heart of where we call home, London.

Theatre- Finding the perfect activity when you’re on your own in a new city is always a challenge. In a place like London, though, you need only think of what the place is famous for to be able to start coming up with some ideas. Having a long history in the field of performing arts, theatre can be one of the greatest choices in this situation. Not only will you get the chance to enjoy some of what London is known for, but you will get to do it in a way which doesn’t require someone else to make it fun. Most people will enjoy a play once they get into it.

History- Being an incredibly old place, visiting London to soak up some history is always a pleasure, even when you’re by yourself. Museums are the perfect place to go when you’re looking to burn some time enjoying a slice of the past. London is packed with different options, from the Natural History Museum to the numerous heritage centers found around the city. This sort of activity will be perfect when the weather is bad outside.

Artwork- History might feel a little bit too dry for your tastes during a break, and something lighter might be on the cards. For similar reasons to visiting museums, going to art galleries is a great way to learn about a place and the people who live there. London is home to loads of important galleries, and is a great place to learn about art from across loads of different eras. These are some of the best value attractions London has to offer, giving you hours of entertainment for nearly nothing.

Sightseeing- A lot of people will go to cities like London simply to see what’s they have to offer in regards to sights. Websites like vlondoncity are some of the best to help you with this, giving you the chance to learn loads about the place before you get there. From Big Ben to Windsor Castle, you have plenty to explore on your journey to London.

Fitness- If you are into fitness we would definitely recommend trying out some of the fitness classes that are available in London! There are so many and if you type #londonfitness into Instagram you are bound to find one that you like. There are also lots of free running clubs, running is a great way to explore the city, it’s one of our favourite things to do when visiting a new city.

Coffee & Brunch- London’s brunch scene is booming so what better way to spend your morning. There are so many amazing brunch spots you are bound to stumble across a few on your travels. Have a coffee stop in the afternoon and make sure you go to an independent coffee shop the coffee always tastes SO much better!

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking into ways to make the most out of your next solo London trip. An adventure like this doesn’t have to be boring, and most people will be able to find loads of different activities which they will really enjoy. Of course, you won’t know until you’ve researched it, though.

Brunch Review 202 Notting Hill

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Notting Hill and had planned a fun day out at Notting Hill in the sunshine and of course a brunch, which is in our eyes the perfect Saturday. The weather was awful so we basically ended up going to Notting Hill just for brunch. We had a number of places we want to go in Notting Hill for brunch but this time decided to try out 202.

202 is basically a boutique shop and a restaurant, so when you arrive it feels you are entering a shop. However the restaurant takes over the top floor and the basement is the cute boutique shop. It has quite chilled vibes and there are a couple of communal tables.

We were taken to our seats, which were in the corner of the restaurant close to the kitchen. If you ever go, do not accept these seats as they are in the most annoying location ever. You constantly have staff brushing past you with plates of food and we found it hard to fully relax as it was so busy and noisy by our table.

We did happen to notice a cute outside terrace out the back of the restaurant and there was also seating out the front. had it been a warm summers day we would have definitely opted to have sat outside.

We both ordered coffees, which were small and overpriced but we needed our morning coffee fix and we took a cute picture of them too! The coffee was REALLY strong so it definitely woke us up a little bit, Rach opted for a Soya milk latte and Annie had an Americano with Soya Milk.

Rach went for the French toast with bacon and maple syrup which was £10.50 and Annie went for the 202 healthy cooked breakfast which came with avocado, poached eggs, tomato, spinach on brown toast and that cost £12.95. Annie was originally going to go for the smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese and watercress, but it was £17.50, they charge an absolute fortune for smoked salmon (we would like to hope it’s the crème de la crème of salmon at that price!!)

One thing we would like to mention is the toilets becasue as you probably already know this is something we comment on in all of our brunch reviews. the toilet were situated in the shop in the basement definitely are not something we would rave about. We always judge a place by their toilets and the toilets were not up to standard considering the feel the restaurant is going for and how much they charge for brunch. We thought it might be because of where the toilets are located, it does mean that members of the public are free to the use the toilet.

We both really enjoyed our food, it was tasty and portion sizes were generous. We are glad we have visited and ticked 202 off our list of brunch places. Would we return, probably not, but we still had a lovely time.

Ole & Steen

Oh my gosh we have found the most amazing cafe/bakery that we HAD to share it with you! Ole & Steen is a Danish bakery and can be found in, Richmond, Canary Wharf and St James Market. We stumbled across this place on Richmond High Street, the queue was overflowing outside and this is what drew us in (we wanted to know what all the fuss was about).

The cool thing about this place is the ordering system, as soon as you enter there a little stand where you take a ticket with a number, this is then your number to be served. You then order at the counter and can either eat in or take away.

 

The choice and variety is amazing that we wanted to buy everything. As it was lunch we both had a toastie made with brie, bacon and avocado. This however wasn’t a normal toastie, this was made with a foccacia and tasted incredible.

There are many other things to choose from including open sandwiches, salads and baguettes. There is also so many different types of bread from rye bread to different flavoured foccacia.

To top it off the sweet selection is unreal, with a variety of sweet buns, tarts, pies and croissants. The raspberry slice was incredible, basically shortbread biscuit sandwiched together with raspberry jam & icing and topped with dried raspberries, we are drooling thinking about it now!

You can of course order drinks too including tea, coffee and soft drinks.

 

Watch this space as they are opening one in Victoria soon.

London Bucket List

Sometimes its just nice to write things down, we feel that when we write things down we will actually do it, so we have decided to write our London bucket list. Despite living in London, we sometimes feel that we take it for granted and do not appreciate the amazing city we live in. There are so many things we want to do in London and by writing them down, hopefully we will one day we will be able to tick all things off the bucket list. We apologise its a very random list!

We also have a long long list on the notes section on our phones (we have become addicted/reliant on our notes!) of places we want to brunch, but we won’t share that one with you as it will ruin our Brunch Series posts.

Let us know if you would recommend these places, or what we should add to the list!

1) Climb over the O2 – we have wanted to do this for ages and ages so will definitely be climbing over this iconic building soon

2) Dalloway Terrrace – this place looks like bloggers paradise and the food also looks divine. Check out their Instagram and you’ll want to visit too!

3) Madison – based at St Pauls with views on London we really want to go here for a drink or two

4) Run the London Marathon – now this is probably our most crazy idea on the list, but its something we have always wanted to do. We enter the ballot every year with no luck, but hopefully one day we will get the chance to run the marathon.

5) Sky Garden – this is free to visit with beautiful views on London. Crazy that we haven’t been yet, maybe Christmas will be a magical time to go.

6) Bottomless Brunch – we aren’t really fussy as to where to go for this, but we have never attended a bottomless brunch so this is a MUST DO!

7) Ministry of Fitness Class – as if you can go to Ministry of Sound for a fitness class. How amazing would the atmosphere and workout tunes be!

8) Swim in the Serpentine – so they use the Serpentine in Hyde Park for triathlons but you can also pay to swim in a small section of it yourself. Its only £4.20 for adults, and although does look quite disgusting, it would be something very different to do!

9) Afternoon Tea Bus Tour – b bakery offer the opportunity to sit on a London Bus that takes you on a tour of London whilst eating afternoon tea, how amazing does that sound! The same company also offer a gin lovers tour, we could be tempted!

10) Watch the sunset from Primrose Hill – we love Primrose Hill and its so easy to get to from Baker Street. A lovely walk through Regents Park, past ZSL London Zoo and up the hill and boom, the most stunning view of London.

11) Go for a run through Richmond Park – we love Richmond Park, and once went on a walk through the park to see the deer, we really want to run through the park.

12) Go to Protein Haus for a smoothie – we have followed these on Instagram for a while now and keep meaning to head to Canary Wharf to try one.

We know we shall be adding to this list as the months/year/blog goes on!