When You’re Craving Sophisticated and Fun BBQ…or Happy Hour :)

Canary Wharf is like a self-sufficient little island within London.  There are so many stores for shopping, bars, and of course, restaurants and eateries.  One of those restaurants is an American themed BBQ place, called Big Easy.  Big Easy is the nickname for New Orleans, Louisiana, and right here in Canary Wharf, a little piece of New Orleans exists…Canary Wharf  style 🙂

Today, I went there for lunch with colleagues since it’s one of my three remaining days in the office here.  The structure of course, typical of Canary Wharf, is quite majestic and futuristic looking.

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We sat at one of the tables overlooking the water, and they turned on the heating lamps which was really nice of them.  Even though it is technically summery, it was quite windy.

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They have daily specials for £20, and today’s was the “The Big Pig Gig.”  It includes pulled pork, ribs, chicken, beans, and of course, cornbread!  It even comes with a “schooner” of the house brew…

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Three out of the five of us got the Monday special.  We were hungry today!

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Gotta love those bibs!

I actually came here about a month ago for happy hour, and I loved the vibe.  It’s one of the reasons I decided to come back and try it as a group for lunch.  It’s lively and fun!

I think my colleagues will be back again next time!

 

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Highly Recommend Duck and Waffle for Drinks and Nibbles

I’m leaving London in a few days, so Friday my colleagues and I went out for a last hurrah!  Dinner was at Duck and Waffle.  The 40 floor completely glass elevator ride to the restaurant offers magnificent views of London, and when you get to the entrance you’re greeted by elaborate chandeliers and the Gherkin building.

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We had a beautiful table right by the window. Here’s the inside of the restaurant:

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Their cocktails are unique in that it’s not always the consistency that you expect.  For example, my friend got a Bloody Mary and it looked like white wine in the glass.  Here’s a picture below of my drink and the Bloody Mary in the background:

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The portions are very small, so I would definitely recommend coming here when you want a light dinner. After dinner we went back to sit in the cocktail area where you walk in because it’s just lively.  On one side you have the Gherkin, and when you look down you see Sushi Samba below with the large colorful tree of the outdoor part.

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Overall, I’d recommend it for some drinks and nibbles!  It’s a really lively and fun environment, and Sushi Samba is literally just down the spiral staircase from Duck and Waffle.

Dublin, You’re a Good Craic

I had to go to Dublin for work these past two days.  I loved it!   Such a quick trip from London to Dublin.

I couldn’t check in right away, so The Marker Hotel let me go to their spa to change.  Had to go to work! Hi!

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The hotel is so beautiful and modern…

I walked to to work afterwards.  Their financial district is very modern.

I liked it so much I took some photos at night too:

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So many companies have moved to Dublin, assuming for the great tax advantage.  I saw Facebook near my hotel.

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After dinner I was able to talk a walk and get the feel of the center.  Grafton Street is their main shopping street with all the typical stores but a few more unique to Ireland as well.

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And of course the one and only legendary Temple Bar…

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The next morning I had to get breakfast near work, but I was impressed with this great little place called The Natural Bakery:

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There’s my massive cranberry scone… it took a lot of hard work to finish!  So good with an Americano…

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My second day in Dublin I had a little over an hour before I had to run to the airport, so I tried to turn it into a mini pub crawl.  Okay, a very, very mini pub crawl…  My colleague suggested O’Neills, so I went there first.

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This is the original part of O’Neills that has been there the longest.  So many beers on tap…if only I had more than an hour…

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But when in Dublin you have to drink a Guinness…

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The second stop of the pub crawl was going to be Stags Head, but it was really dark in there and it was such a beautiful day outside.

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Instead, I decided to go back to Temple Bar.  They had live music in the middle of the day.  So fun, I wished I didn’t have to go to the airport 😦

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I specifically had a house brew in mind, so I went for a Smithwick’s Pale Ale.  So crisp!

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Cheers!  There’s the band performing inside…

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I walked back to work to get my bag, and all of these bars I walked through had live music.  It almost reminded me of Nashville.

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I’ll be back for you in the future, Dublin!

 

Borough Market by London Bridge

My friend I went to Borough Market yesterday.  It was extremely, extremely crowded when we first got there around 1pm, but towards 4pm when some vendors started packing up it was most pleasant to walk around and buy different things.

This was the side entrance that we walked through:

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(my friend in the white shirt!)

Then we got a beer and waited in line for a really popular grilled raclette cheese sandwich.  We saved calories by splitting it!  My friend goes skiing a lot in the Alps, and she was saying how this is really popular after skiing with heavy red wine.  Delicious!

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Then we walked around and looked and looked at some of the vendor stands:

We took a quick walk over the water to enjoy the view.  The water looks about as clean as the Hudson or the East River lol but the view is nice:

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Walked back towards Borough Market:

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Had a glass of British rose wine (non-fizzy), which believe it or not was very good!  This whole booth actually was all British wines.

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When in Rome… lol… had a small cup of Prosecco Spritzer!

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Photobombing my own photo as we continued to the Spanish imports shop….

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(There’s my friend paying in the background…)

Continued on to look at some sweets, beautiful cakes, and fresh seafood

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That fresh Jurassic lobster above has blue tentacles, I thought it’s so pretty and exotic looking!

And then we walked around and went to Jose Tapas Bar which was also really nice.  Well it was a little stressful when the customer behind me spilled his whole octopus appetizer all over my back.  Then he felt so bad and he started rubbing my shirt with salt and a warm towel the manager bought him, and he said that when he’s not busy spilling food on people he works with fabric and clothing.  I managed to get the stains out, but here’s my selfie about 3 minutes before the spill:

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I can’t wait for the next adventure!  Cheers, people!

 

Blue Lobsters and Blue Bulgarian Pools

Yesterday the news reported that a Massachusetts lobsterman caught a blue lobster off the waters of Plymouth.  The Boston Globe reported that the odds of catching a blue lobster are ONE in two MILLION.  I found that really fascinating.  The color of the lobster is absolute mesmerizing.  There is something so electric yet tranquil about this color.  I was in bed last night thinking about what this lobster’s color reminds me of…  And I think I remembered…

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This is the pool at the Grand Hotel & Spa Primoretz in Bulgaria.  Their pool is seriously one in two million.  The fact that it has palm trees in the pool is awesome, and it’s like you swim up to a little island each time.  The color of the water is unreal, kind of like that one in two million lobster 🙂

Pine Cliffs Beach Club Canary Wharf: Throwback to my Porsche Design Sunglasses and Beer at Lunch Friday

I love that it’s acceptable to have a pint with lunch on a Friday in London.  I think we should embrace this culture in America.  It was particularly fun on Friday at the little fake beach club behind the massive office towers in Canary Wharf.  I think Wall Street should get on this bandwagon…. Anyhow, back to Monday…

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Having a Pint When London is Hot :p

London is glorious when it’s nice out. The pub culture and the beautiful streets just go hand in hand. I took a walk from my apartment (I mean flat) today from Canary Wharf to the Greenwich area to get some exercise and enjoy myself while it’s actually warm out. I love London when it’s hot!