London Cocktail Week

This week is London Cocktail Week – I had no idea that it existed until recently, but am so happy I found out about it and (obviously) decided to participate. 

Basically, you pay £10 for a wristband which gets you deals on drinks at participating bars all week, as well as a cocktail book and a free drink. They also setup Old Spitalfields Market as a “cocktail village” where a ton of different bars have stands and give out free samples.

A couple of friends and I visited the cocktail village on Tuesday evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the setup. Various bars and/or liquor brands had stands at the market. They were making drinks, handing out recipes, and providing free samples. The majority of them were making cocktails that could be made at home, as well, which sent us all into DIY mode. I think I had every type of alcohol imaginable and was having such a great time. 

My favorite was probably the Bookers Gin Bar or Don Papa’s Rum Bar (though I am super jealous of the mini Patron bottle that Marisa’s tequila came in – and she got to keep it!).

Due to work and the head cold I am rapidly developing, I have not participated in any LCW festivities since Tuesday, but can only imagine how great it is going to be on the weekend. Maybe we will stop by again for some more deals. I’ll definitely be looking out for this next year, though, and going into it with some more planning!  





Roadtrip to Bozcaada

After such a successful and productive day in Instanbul, the following day was a series of unfortunate events. Seriously, we couldn’t catch a break on anything. 

We started the day using up our Museum Pass one more time by going to the Chora Church on our way out of town. It’s a Greek Orthodox Church that is meant to be absolutely stunning. One wrong turn on the drive there doubled our travel time and when we finally found the church, we discovered that it was being renovated. We could still go in, but could only see the entry ways and not the sanctuary. It was beautiful, nonetheless!



Upon leaving the church, we got extremely lost on our way out of Istanbul. It was not wrong turns as much as it was inability to take the turns we needed to take. We would turn down a street only to find that a car had parked in a way that pretty much took up the entire street. Mike spent probably 90% of the time reversing down steep hills and narrow alleys to get us back onto a drivable road. 

After about an hour of trying to get out of Istanbul, we were finally on a main road. At this point, Google Maps screwed us over and took us through these remote country towns with one lane roads and nowhere to stop for lunch. We stopped off in one town to find a place for lunch, but saw literally no women and decided it wasn’t a good idea. A trip to Burger King (finally!), two ferries, and a couple of hours later and we were finally in Bozcaada!


Our Airbnb in Bozcaada was a quaint and charming place, but did not have wifi or air conditioning. It was also pretty far out of the main town and we quickly realized there would be no good way to get to town without the car. We dropped off all of our stuff and just started walking. About halfway to town, two girls stopped and asked if we wanted a ride and we happily accepted. This may or may not qualify me as a hitchhiker…my mom would not approve. 

The port area of Bozcaada is really cute and has tons of restaurants and shops. Bozcaada is a big wine place, with about 7 wineries on the island, which is actually why we decided to make a stop there. It was the weekend of the harvest festival, and the island was absolutely packed (which we assumed was because of the festival), so we started walking around to find the festival. It didn’t exist. At least, it wasn’t what we expected. We couldn’t find anything having to do with the harvest or any special stands. We settled on doing invidual wine tasting at each of the wineries downtown, only to find out wine tasting is illegal. It was not our day. 

When we finally accepted that wine tasting was not going to happen that night, we decided to go to dinner. There was this adorable cobblestone street that had a ton of restaurants on it, all with tables outside, and we picked one that had a table available (most were fully booked). After selecting our food and ordering a bottle of wine, we were all finally able to relax. That is, until Sarah spilled her wine glass. All over me. And my white shorts. Red wine. We were both in a state of shock and Mike was embarrassed. Sarah and I both swear it happened in slow motion!! There was no good way to rectify the situation, so I accepted that I was going to deal with it and we all moved on. About a minute later, I went to reach for something and sent MY wine glass flying to the ground. I watched it shatter and at that point Sarah and I both started this mix of laughing and crying. Mike wanted to leave. I’m actually shocked we did not get kicked out of the restaurant!


The plan after dinner was to take a taxi to the Airbnb so I could change and then go back into town. We set off to look for a taxi and could not find one anywhere. Not at the taxi stand, not in the streets, not near any restaurants/hotels. We decided to just stay in town so there I was, waddling around with my bag in front of me, trying to hide my wine stained shorts. 

We went for a few more drinks before heading back to the Airbnb. After such a disaster of a day, we all passed out praying for a bit more luck the following day. 

Foodies Festival

On Sunday, a couple of my flatmates and I had a day that was 100% dedicated to food. The “Foodies Festival” was on at Clapham Common (our neighborhood Central Park) which was essentially a festival of food vendors, street food stands, and other promotional stands, some not even related to food. 

  [Hungry Hippos]
I tried to have my Instagram cap on throughout the day and snap a ton of cool pictures, but I did not entirely succeed. However, I did try to get some photos of the random food I ate and cute little promotional signs – sorry, I’m attracted to the most random things. 

I ended the afternoon at the pub with macarons, and ended the day in bed at 7pm so in my book it was an extremely successful day and I couldn’t be happier! Currently dreaming of more food festivals in the near future, but will at least be paying a visit to Borough Market soon enough!

[I was so excited about this lemonade cocktail stand…and my pink lemonade gin fizz!]     [This is one of our neighborhood pubs – I’m absolutely obsessed with the beer garden which has these little seating areas that make me want to snuggle with a drink in front of the fire]