Today I met up with a really old friend for lunch at the Ivy Cafe in Marylebone.  I love that restaurant after visiting for the first time two weeks ago and I am going back for Christmas lunch with some friends in December. The service is really attentive and the restaurant is just so cosy and welcoming. They have also an interesting take on the Christmas wreath.

We started with a couple of delicious juices before moving on to the prosecco.

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We chose Zucchini chips to nibble on and I ate burrata followed by fish and chips, whilst Jo had Asian duck salad and fish cakes. All really delicious and left no room for dessert. Lots of exercise in order next week.

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If you want to know more about the rest of my day, here is a film of me exploring rain soaked London with some shopping in St Christopher’s Place as well.

I hope you have had a great Saturday as well.

LB

I love Christmas carols and there is nothing better in the run up to Christmas than going to a carol service in one of London’s beautiful churches, especially if it is candlelit.

It may feel a little early to be thinking about Christmas carol services, but the good carol concerts in London book up quickly.

Here are my top picks for the best places to sing Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers’ carol service at St Brides church on Fleet Street is on 28th November 2016 (6.15pm for 6.45pm start).

You can kick off the festive season at the famous, 300 year-old church of St Bride’s. The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is steeped in history. It is set in the centre of London on Fleet Street it has a long association with journalists and newspapers.



The Marie Curie Carols in the City  is the perfect opportunity to start the Christmas season off in style.

It takes place on Tuesday 6th December 2016 at Southwark Cathedral and starts at 7.15pm. Tickets may be £40 but it is for an amazing charity.

It will feature carols by candlelight, performances by the  baritone and composer Roderick Williams and the chamber choir Canticum. There will also be seasonal readings by celebrity guests. It looks like a cracking festive night out.

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St Martin in the Fields is one of my favourite churches in London and there are lots of carol services taking place there over the festive season, here are a couple of carol services that look really good.

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Finally the festive season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of London’s crowning glories, beautiful St Pauls cathedral. There are lots of  beautiful carol services in the run up and over the Christmas period. A great place to catch some Christmas carols in London in 2016.

You can find all of St Pauls’ Christmas carol services here. It is one of London’s most iconic buildings, another of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpieces. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

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I hope you find somewhere to sing Deck the boughs or Little Town of Bethlehem.If you know of any carol services that should be in the list, please let me know.

Happy carol singing.

LB

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I am really loving making these short films/vlogs, I am getting over my embarassment of filming in public. I’ve had some very curious looks from people in the street.

So click on my film, for a tour of my walk to work, a drink in the beautiful Marcus Wareing Gilbert Scott bar in St Pancras hotel. I was catching up with one of my oldest friend’s from university. There is a bonus appearance of the Spice Girl’s Grand Staircase from the Wannabe Video.

After a swift drink before my friend caught a train up North, I kept up with my good intentions by going swimming at Brixton Rec. Well done Laura,  I am trying to get back in the swing of exercise after being ill all of last week.

So here was my Monday, I hope you enjoy watching. Submitting this to Xanthe Berkeley’s #makefilms_dailyproject

Last weekend I went away with two of my favourite girls. We left behind our busy lives and escaped to Stratford-upon-Avon for a relaxing  weekend away.

After a really pretty train journey from London Marylebone, only taking two hours, with just enough time for  lots of catching up. We arrived in the beautiful market town. We jumped into a cab and headed to our hotel,  the Crowne Plaza, a short walk from the centre of town.

The first night we ate at The Oppo, highly recommended on Tripadvisor. It had a very cosy atmosphere and great service. I ate delicious scallops and steak and we drank a lot of Viognier.

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The next morning we got up bright and early and went for a great brunch at Bensons cafe. You can buy breakfast for only £5.00, tasty scrambled eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes as well as limitless coffee. It was really popular and people were turned away. You should try and go there early if possible.

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After breakfast we went exploring Stratford-Upon-Avon, you can feel how steeped it is in history. I took lots of pictures of all the beautiful Tudor buildings. There were lots of tour groups but we managed to get past them to some of the more peaceful corners of the town.

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The famous Stratford-Upon-Avon Christmas shop.

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The Stratford-Upon-Avon library, is housed in another what an amazing building.

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Crabtree & Evelyn has a very lovely spot.

We did a spot of shopping, I particularly liked Vinegar Hill. A great range of Christmas presents, these decorations caught my eye.

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Even though it was still October, they had a great Christmas range. Their displays were beautifully done. I love an advent candle, these ones were great. They also sell How to Hygge by Signe Johansen (who has a great Instagram feed).

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I love candles and I was really impressed by the display of St Eval Candle company candles. I plan to order some of these soon to replenish my stocks.

dsc00464We then moved on to White Stuff, where we all bought something. I really liked the 1970s changing rooms, reminding me of Edith’s House in Crouch End with its retro interiors.

dsc00473dsc00471It was a sunny day and so we went down to the river , some lovely places to explore. It was also lovely and peaceful away from all the crowds.

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Saying hello to the swans, trying to capture the perfect shot.

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After sitting outside in the sunshine, we went for afternoon tea in the RSC’s rooftop restaurant, a great spot with fantastic views.

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We were given extra plates of sandwiches and a goody box to take away.

Check out the amazing views.

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So all in all a great location for a weekend away, easy to get to, loads of beautiful buildings and just the right size. Go!

Some helpful details for you on our weekend

The RSC –  for details of menus or to book at table visit www.rsc-rooftop-restaurant.co.uk

For information on accommodation visit the official website – http://www.shakespeare-country.co.uk/

Where we stayed – Crowne Plaza hotel

Trains from London Marylebone- Chiltern Railways you could pick up a ticket costing just £7.00 and £5.50 if you book in advance.

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