Catchy title eh? I couldn’t think of anything better, as I’m too busy lying in bed digesting some amazing (homemade) smoked salmon and scrambled eggs that we had for sofa-based brunch and recovering from cleaning the kitchen afterwards. That’s how you do this long weekend business, right?
I love bank holidays. When you finish up work on a Friday, knowing you can do stuff Saturday AND Sunday and still have a chill day. The best. I definitely try and do as much as possible over the long weekend – and here are my eats, drinks and adventures from a particularly well-spent one…
(Oh, and you’ll find out what those AMAZING looking things are in the featured image too!)
Saturday PM | Livin’ it up in Stoke Newington
So, Stoke Newington is one of those London areas people who live there rave about. I’ve never been, but for a friend’s birthday on Saturday, we took in some of the local nightlife and a new contender for my top five London pizza joints…
Our first stop was a birthday dinner at Apollo Pizzeria, which I won’t say TOO much about as I have a full review coming soon – but let’s just say, it was pretty damn tasty and rather affordable. Even if I did end up with cheese and tomato down my chin. Hot stuff, right here.
After dinner, we visited a few pubs to watch the Champions League final, which I pretty much had no interest in, so instead took in the surroundings. First up was The Coach and Horses, which had lovely exposed brickwork, cute decor and bright flowers in the bathroom. Although it was busy, we managed to grab a seat thanks to most people being crowded around the big screen for the football.
During half time, we decided to migrate just up the road to The White Hart, which was even busier and not as pretty, boo. They did have a nice little beer garden area, although unfortunately it closed quite early in the evening. We ended the night heading down to Dalston’s Efes Snooker hall hoping for a game of their Plonk Crazy Golf – but in another bit of bad luck, it had already closed by the time we got there.
Despite the slight hiccups, it was fun to explore a new area and catch up with friends – and it turns out that the night bus journey back from Stokey isn’t all that bad either!
Sunday Lunch | The Polish Bakery
Sunday lunch came courtesy of The Polish Bakery, who were hosting some press, bloggers and influencers at London’s Ice Tank to launch their new Chia Seed bread and showcase some of their other wares. I took Conor along and we turned up unfashionably early, so ended up going to Pret for a little bit to kill some time.
I tried some of his coffee and, for the first time, DIDN’T HATE IT. I think I’m making some coffee-based breakthroughs.
Back to the Ice Tank, it’s the first time I’ve been to the space and its’ SO WHITE (an Instagram dream. Unless you’re me and trying to go all out colourful on your Insta. Breaking the mould. Except, not really).
The first thing I tried was their Ko³odziej sourdough bread, which tasted AMAZING with some brie. Based on traditional Polish recipe, their hand-finish sourdough bread doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives, just simple ingredients imported directly from Poland. In fact, all of their breads were lovely, and I had a great time getting about a week’s worth of carb intake. Well, I had some of the veggie snacks too, so it’s okay, right?
Except for, y’know, the cutest little bite-sized cakes. And the HUMONGOUS chocolate doughnuts, which I couldn’t even manage a whole one of. It was all so tasty though, especially the Cool Jelly Cheesecake – a cheesecake topped with, you guessed it, tasty fruit jelly. There was also a Sweet Cheese Bun in our goody bags, which I’ve fallen a bit in love with – definitely tempted to make the trip to Wembley for another one.
The Polish Bakery have a focus on homemade, ‘good’ food – with an ethos of eating well but treating yourself too. Which is basically my outlook, but with perhaps more indulgence than would be recommended….but hey, that’s what Bank Holidays are for, right?
The Polish Bakery
Stonebridge House, 272 Abbeydale Road
Sunday PM | Vegan Freakshakes & Happiness at the Canvas Cafe
I’m not actually vegan myself. Hell, I’m not even veggie. But basically, I just like good food’n’drink, and will pretty much eat anything that tastes nice – with an added bonus if I’m feeling like it’s doing my insides (and outsides) some good too. So for some Sundayfunday times, I went along for some vegan treats and a boost of happy vibes at the UK’s first ‘Happy Cafe’.
The Canvas Cafe’s spread was incredible, seriously. Their vegan quiche absolutely blew my mind – I’d have had no idea that it was vegan if I didn’t already know! I also fell a bit in love with their raw chocolate bites and tasty hummus.
After filling ourselves with tasty treats, we got to explore the newly-opened Museum of Happiness tucked away behind the cafe. Rather than a traditional museum filled with artefacts, which I was sort of expecting, it’s actually an interactive community space where Londoners (and visitors!) can share what makes them happy, take part in happiness-boosting activities and generally just take in some positive vibes. We did a little bit of meditation, and laughing yoga, then headed back into the cafe for one final treat…
The climax of the evening was the launch of The Canvas Cafe’s brand new Vegan Freakshakes – already picked up on by the likes of Metro, Huffington post and Cosmopolitan before being launched to the public. The freakshake trend is blowing up in London at the moment, but unfortunately vegans and those with lactose intolerances have to miss out on the fun. Well…not any more.
I was mega-excited to be part of a select Yelp team to get a first taste of the vegan shakes, and OH. MY. SHAKIN’. GOD. Literally, these are amazing.
I went for the Chocolate shake (duh), topped off with a vegan meringue and nuts/vegan choc sprinkles. The shakes are made using coconut milk ice cream, soya milk and whipped coconut milk as a cream substitute. Honestly – I wouldn’t have even realised they were totally vegan and lactose-free.
The Canvas Cafe is an absolutely lovely, creative and welcoming space – if you want to know even more about it read Emma’s review here! I loved the food, drinks and people and definitely plan on heading back for another vegan freakshake when I need a happiness boost.
The Canvas Cafe
42 Hanbury St
London E1 5JL
Monday | A Day Indoors
Today, I have done a lot but not a lot at the same time. By that, I mean, I haven’t left the house.
We did make delicious smoked salmon and spring onion scrambled eggs though. So easy, so delicious (and works brilliantly on The Polish Bakery’s seeded bread).
Thanks to fitting in all the excitement over the past two days, I’ve definitely enjoyed having a chilled day where I can relax and write and try and prep myself for a hopefully productive Tuesday at work. Bank Holidays, can we have you every week please?
What have you done with your bank holiday weekend?
(and SORRY to anyone that works weekends. I’ve been there and my thoughts are SO with you)