fika london
Most people I know love Wes Anderson‘s films, but few have gone to Fika-esque lengths to celebrate that love. Quite literally turning their restaurant into a Wes Anderson shrine, the Swedish bar and kitchen recently launched a three month pop-up in Fika with an Anderson-inspired new menu, drinks list and – believe it or not – interior.

For pop-up predeliciton, they have lined the walls with Max Fischer’s signature tie and glasses combo from Rushmore, Ben Stiller’s tracksuit from The Royal Tenenbaums, as well as original artwork by illustrator Danijela Dobric.

When we popped along to sample the menu, The Manfriend and I were welcomed with two appropriately named cocktails; The Life Aquatic (dill vodka, elderflower and bitters, topped with lemonade and seperated into a glass and goldfish bag) and The Inventory (Cognac, chilli caramel, Absolut vanilla and cotton candy), which lets you play beaker-mixing cocktail chemist.

From their menu (which, ingeniously, is on a map of New Penzance) we sampled Darjeeling Gravad Lax (home cured salmon with darjeeling jelly), Foxy Doughnuts (homemade doughnuts with chicken liver pâté and apple and beetroot puree) and Tenenbaum’s Dinner (beef sliders with goats cheese, applewood cheddar, and brie) – my personal highlight.

Whether you feel like the long long sister of Margot Tenenbaum or not (ahem), you have to pay Fika’s pop up a visit.

fika london
fika london
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camden night market
The Camden Night Market is back and better than ever. Relaunched and running every Thursday until August 29th, Camden’s summer nights are now packed with activities; the most enticing of which is probably their new Sailor Jerry-sponsored Cocktail Trail.

The cocktail trail essentially begins at their pop-up Boat Bar in the West Yard of Camden Lock and allows you to travel through the market to enjoy four massive cocktails for £20. The folks at Mighty Fine Choc & Fudge have created the glorious ‘Monkey Mule‘ (Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky mixed with Martini Rosso, marachino and chocolate bitters topped with chocolate-dipped bacon), Chin Chin Labs has come up with ‘The Vanilla Fling’ (creamy vanilla nitro ice cream with cucumber essence and Hendrick’s Gin), and Cafe Chula have concocted a Tia Maria Espresso Martini.

When it came time to taste Honest Burger‘s cocktail – ‘Sailor Jerry Lemonade Buck‘ (Sailor Jerry rum mixed with Honest’s homemade lemonade, topped with soda water) – the Manfriend and I could not say no to a little slice of burger heaven. Rosemary fries, people. Their menu is my kryptonite.

As well as ping pong competitions from Pongathon, live bands, and a bevy of the usual food stalls, each Thursday night wraps up with an outdoor film screening from the Backyard Cinema crew. It’s all beanbags, deck chairs, and to-your-seat drinks. Upcoming films include Die Hard (8th), Made of Stone (the Shane Meadows documentary – 15th), Evil Dead 2 (22nd), and Human Traffic (29th). Purchase your tickets here!

camden night market
camden night market
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man of steel
This week, I came upon a work commitment that had me whisked into a Man of Steel screening…with little to no desire to see the film. It is not that I am averse to a superhero blockbuster, I simply failed to get intrigued by Man of Steel’s ad spots or Warner Bros’ seemingly over-compensative film description: ‘A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.’

I mean, duh. He’s Superman.

The film itself surprised me. What could have been a boring rehash of kryponite dodging and teenage lust is, instead, a cinematic masterpiece. In a similar fashion to his previous films, director Zack Snyder (“300”, “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch”) commands the screen with a titanic display of aesthetic magic (mostly in fifty shades of grey) and successfully tells a story. It is dark. Pleasantly so. It is convoluted, violent, and somehow still manages to segue seamlessly into a variety of intimate moments that bring the new Superman to life.

As Clark Kent, modelesque Henry Cavill ran the risk of flatlining and slipping into an unfortunate group of actors dubbed too beautiful to take seriously (looking at you, Tom Welling). You will be pleased to hear his acting chops are as faultless as his abs. There may be an identity crisis on the cards, but Cavill executes it – with the help of rather portentous flashbacks – better than his cape-wearing predecessors.

I have nothing to say about Lois Lane. I love me some Amy Adams, but Lane has always been an undeveloped DC Comics failboat in my eyes. She is brave and beautiful and annoyingly defunct of depth.

Though I was aware of the length of the film before I sat down, the last thirty minutes of the film felt pornographically CGI-heavy; a kindred spirit to War of The Worlds that will be sure to incite a slew of Marmite responses.

For the disinterested few who decided to bypass this movie (I was one of you!), I’d strongly advise you to change your mind. Flip that switch and check the London cinema listings for the next showing. At the very least, you’re going to earn a few brownie points from the boys while staring at Henry Cavill for two and a half hours.

hbo girls
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I live a lifestyle that involves very little television. While there are shows I love, I am likely to catch up on TV in large chunks. That being said, while in the ‘detox phase’ a juice cleanse I decided to spend two days in marathon of rest, relaxation, and TV escapism. When you spend your life gallivanting around London, nothing seems more indulgent than catching up on a few of your favourite TV shows.

First up, Game of Thrones – when everyone about me caught the Game of Thrones bug I wasn’t sure what to expect. From what I gathered from broken conversations, I was anticipating lust, intrigue, Kings, Queens, savage scenes, and dark forces. Unable to resist temptation – though it didn’t really seem like my kind of thing – I settled in to see what all the fuss was about. Thoughts? It’s graphic, it’s exciting, and very easy to see why watching the struggle for the Iron Throne keeps everyone on the edge of their seat. (I later learned it’s based on A Song of Ice and Fire – one of George R.R. Martin’s best-selling novels!)

After watching a series of plots disentangle and several characters meet their fate, I decided it was time to put something a little more light-hearted on. Though I was late to join the fan club, I am slightly obsessed with the hit US comedy Girls. Almost every woman I know can relate to the happenings in this dysfunctional group of twenty-something women, and watching the countless mortifications (and few triumphs) unfold around the beauty of New York is only part of what makes this witty dramedy a must-watch. The girl crushes are rampant; Lena Dunham not only stars in the series but also created it (alongside Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow), and she has amazing chemistry Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and Allison Williams .

To satisfy my ‘reality’ TV fill, I decided to finish my weekend watch with a few episodes of Entourage. Though it jumped the shark quite a few years ago, its depiction of celebrity lifestyle – following Vincent Chase on his journey to stardom – rings as true as ever.

It leaves no room for dispute: HBO is the TV Messiah. All of these hit TV shows (and many more I’ve loved; Sex & The City, The Wire…) are all aired on the network. There are a number of other shows I have my eye on (all here!)); for now, however, it’s back to the real world.

girls night in
Though I seem to have less of them than I would like, I am a big fan of a Girl’s Night In (Deliverance and movie marathons are a personal favourite). It doesn’t really surprise me that, when compared to a Girl’s Night Out, 80% of ladies said a night in with the girls was best for having a laugh.

Feeling inspired, I took to Pinterest today hoping to collect inspiration and plan a few future Girl’s Night In extravaganzas:

Pinterest ideas for a Girl’s Night In

girls night in
A Girl’s Night In with Southern Hospitality

girls night in 2
A selection of crafts for a Girl’s Night In

game night
Girl’s Night In meets Game Night

girls night girls dinner
Girl’s Night meets Girl’s Dinner: Pizza Party Style

bridesmaids movie party
The Bridesmaids Movie Viewing Party: The Ultimate Girl’s Night

Which is your favourite idea for a Girl’s Night In?