A few weeks ago London was making me despair a little. But all it took was one lovely weekend and I'm back in love again.
On Saturday evening I found myself in super cool 'Lounge Bohemia' in Shoreditch, sipping apple pie and rosemary cocktails on a retro sofa, chatting away to friends. The cocktail bar that specialises in beautifully unusual concoctions (one of my favourites was 'Sgt Pepper'; its sweet lemony taste was counterbalanced by the sprinkling of pepper around the rim of the glass) can be found tucked beneath the buzzing Great Eastern Street. Inside it is a snug haven of laid-back cool where I would have happily sipped the night away.
Despite having spent most of Saturday working, I had set Sunday aside to crack on with some more essays. That was until I looked out my window in the morning and was greeted by a brightly smiling sun. Work would just have to wait. Because, frankly, life is too short not to enjoy a beautiful autumn's day wandering through the leaves.
After persuading my friend Lucy to swap the laptop and text books for coats and mittens, we headed out to Victoria Park. I am lucky enough to have two leafy escapes, London Fields and the much larger Victoria Park, within 10 minutes of my flat.
Walking through the park, kicking up autumn leaves like a child and chatting to my friend as the cold nibbled at my finger tips and blushed my cheeks pink, I felt extremely happy to be alive.
It seems we weren't the only ones who had headed to the park for a lazy Sunday. At the Pavilion Café people snuggled in the warm eating scrambled eggs and bacon sandwiches, or braced the cold in order to best enjoy the view. The smell of buttery toast and sausages was almost unbearable, but we had already made lunch plans so had to content ourselves with enviously eyeing up the food before heading back. But I have made a mental note to head here again for breakfast one day.
On our way back we passed several enticing looking pubs, including this one with a gorgeous pink bike propped outside.
However, as I've already said, we had plans. The plan was as follows: ROAST DINNER. Angel, Lucy and I had decided that we were all in desperate need of a hearty Sunday roast. I for one was starting to go round the bend at the thought of another pasta or couscous based meal, so the thought of a pub lunch made me very, very happy.
So in the afternoon we headed down the road to the cosy Pub on the Park at London Fields, for our well-needed doses of roast potatoes and gravy.
The meal didn't disappoint. At the end of the meal I couldn't move, but I was well and truly happy. I think it is safe to say that Pub on the Park have just found themselves 3 dedicated new locals...
My flatmates and I joined a crowd of thousands, managing to sneak our way to the front and get the best view for the firework spectacular. It felt heartwarming to be part of the amazing community atmosphere as we joined hords of Hackney residents decked out in winter warmers.
The event was raising money for the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust, a charity aiming to build a memorial to the 173 people killed in the Bethnal Green tube disaster during the Blitz. Accompanying the fireworks, therefore, played wartime music, both a chilling reminder of horrors past as well as an optimistic look to the future.
It was one of those moments that make you think how truly lucky you are.
As the fireworks started I was like an excited child, oohing and ahing as the bright lights erupted above me, shades of crimson and gold mushrooming into the darkness.
Once the last sparks had faded into the night we headed home, following as the crowd headed through Victoria Park before dispersing our seperate ways. I didn't want the day to end, but after warming myself up with porridge and honey, it was soon time for bed.
I love Sundays. And I love my city.