Weekend staycation in London: part 1

October 3rd 2010

London in August

Well, despite the near-constant rain we had a very fun staycation weekend. We kicked off on Thursday; after some drinks to see Nicky off to New Zealand, we grabbed a bite to eat at Chaat, a little Bangladeshi eatery on Redchurch Street. Unfortunately the food didn’t really live up to the tasty-sounding menu or convivial atmosphere, and was pretty bland.

Hoxton Hotel
Hoxton Hotel

We checked into the Hoxton Hotel after and found a trendy yet cosy room, with one bare concrete wall, fun cushions on the bed and a lovely luxe bathroom. Despite being just off Old Street the room was very quiet and we had a good night’s sleep – up early off home to feed the cat though!

Nude roastery

On Friday we stayed local, heading to the Hyper Japan expo (disappointingly smaller than expected) then dodged the rain to grab a coffee at the Nude Roastery. Recently opened in an unlikely-looking car park off Brick Lane, it’s the hub of Nude’s small coffee bean roastery, set up to supply their own nearby cafe (who make a mean eggs on toast) and other local coffee houses.

Nude roastery

It’s a great place to stop in for a warming drink, homemade brownie and a chat with the friendly and knowledgeable staff – and drool over the sacks of beans and expensive shiny coffee machines.

Malmaison hotel

We popped home to dry off then headed over to Barbican to check into the Malmaison in pretty Charterhouse Square. The room was plushy with a giant bed and lots of nice scented bathroom bubblies. Dinner in the brasserie was just delicious.

We were treated to an amazing little appetiser of pumpkin-filled gnocchi with pumpkin puree and balsamic, followed by goats cheese with roast veg for me and chorizo and squid salad for Josh, and a main of lamb for Josh and a fantastically rich girolle and samphire risotto for me – and some fries which we didn’t order but gratefully chomped down anyway!

Another little treat of cute and tasty macarons followed with coffee. And the English Bacchus wine I chose was particularly delicious too – the best meal I’ve had in town for quite a while.

Part 2 of our weekend (Portobello, Mexican food, cupcakes and a very special ephemera fair) coming soon…!

Note: Parts of this post were sponsored by Massey PR but my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased.

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Comments (9)

  • Kel

    October 3rd 2010 at 6:55 pm

    That's what we did for our anniversary in August – except our room had rock, scissors, paper pillows. And we ate different places obviously, that would be weird otherwise.

  • Helena – A Diary of Lovely

    October 3rd 2010 at 10:37 pm

    aaaw so jealous, everything sounds AMAZING!!!

  • James

    October 3rd 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Katie, I'm a fan of your blog, and I'm glad that you have had an enjoyable weekend, but I noticed that you thanked a PR company in your previous post, so I presume you have enjoyed pretty favourable rates at some of these places in return for blogging about them. Now I don't want to be mean, and I don't resent you getting a little back from the work you have put into your blog, but up to now I have assumed that everything you write is a genuine personal reaction, and now, well I'm not quite so sure. I guess the question I want to ask is, (and I hope you do not think I'm rude), do you feel that you have done anything that compromises your personal integrity?

  • littlepinkkitchen

    October 4th 2010 at 8:52 am

    That coffe place look amazing, and Brick lane is alaways top of my list when in London. Musn't forget about it next time I'm over!

  • katie

    October 4th 2010 at 9:53 am

    Hi James – to clarify – yes, this post contains some visits that were comped by a PR company, but rest assured I'd never write about anything I wouldn't endorse anyway, and when I do get things for free I'll always write an absolutely honest review (or not write about them at all, if they don't deserve it – as i have in the past).. I hope this doesn't compromise the blog but rather lets be write about things I otherwise wouldn't have found or been able to afford.. Perhaps I should be more explicit in explaining this in the future – thanks for your comment.

  • likeaskeletonkey

    October 4th 2010 at 12:10 pm

    This is my all-time favourite post of yours. Blogging about a UK staycation is such a clever idea and really taps into something I have been thinking about for a while which is that I am constantly escaping London for holidays; yet there is so much here that I never enjoy or explore or take advantage of as I am always buzzing around like a crazy busy worker bee and also getting in a rut of visiting my favourite places over and over.

    I'll be linking to this in my likes this week, and can't wait for the next one!
    PS. Have you been to counter cafe yet? Its in a bit of a random tucked away location, but oh boy. Best breakfast in London, for sure. x

  • Jill

    October 4th 2010 at 2:17 pm

    wow this looks absolutely wonderful.

  • Caroline, No.

    October 5th 2010 at 12:39 am

    The Malmaison dinner looks delicious. Hmm. x

  • James

    October 5th 2010 at 1:23 am

    Thanks Katie for your honest answer, and for mentioning the PR company in your initial post. I think it would be good to be explicit when you are writing about a freebie, and I suggest you be careful about accepting too many. They can have a corrosive effect. Each time you write, however honestly, about a freebie you lose a little authenticity, and it is that authenticity, the citizen journalist thing that is IMHO, one of the main attractions of blogs like yours.

    Good luck with your first house purchase!

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