London in January is no fun. During the run up to Christmas, the city comes alive with festive cheer, but secretly everyone is dreading the cold, dark and generally crap month that follows New Year. Today, however, it's February! *cheers* Although it's still cold, dark and pretty crap, it's not long until spring arrives, and for all you mushy folk out there, there is also Valentine's Day to look forward to. Today I met up with my friend, Alex, and we had a cute day out in the Liverpool Street area. Liverpool Street isn't all just office buildings and businessmen shoving rudely past ogling tourists, it's the gateway to East London and an interesting area consisting of both the old and the new. Alex and I started off with a hearty brunch (food is always a priority) and we tried out this Peruvian place called Andina, situated at the corner of Redchurch Street.
I've never really tried Peruvian food before so this was a new, exciting experience for both me and Alex. Brunch is served between 10am and 4pm at the weekend, however during the week breakfast is served until 11am, so we got there in the nick of time! After much deliberation of what to order, I opted for the Camote Pancakes, which are made from sweet potato and served with honey, coconut whipped cream and fresh berries. I also ordered a soya latte, which I was really impressed with as you could actually TASTE the coffee (I expected no less from a South American eatery.) As if that wasn't enough, the 'fuerza' drink also peaked my interest - it's made with quinoa, apple, cinnamon, milk and maca and reminded me a little of porridge. Alex went for the Green Vallejo smoothie, a refreshing mix of avocado, pear juice, mint, spinach and lime. She ate the Pudding de Doña Pepa, which is a vegan chia pudding with fresh fruit.
As a person with eyes bigger than her stomach, I wasn't sure if the pancakes were going to fill me up, however with the added cream as well as the fuerza, I was absolutely stuffed! For two people the bill came to £25.20, which wasn't too bad although I should probably stop making a habit of eating out for breakfast as my wallet is definitely not as big as my stomach! After we were sufficiently stuffed and energized, we walked down to 20 Fenchurch Street to explore the Sky Garden. Sky Garden is an enlarged dome that offers amazing views of London and features an open air terrace, restaurants and bars. Entrance to Sky Garden is free but you just need to book ahead to make sure that you can visit on your desired day. It's a really nice thing to do if you are new to London or are from London and are looking for somewhere to go for maybe a fancy dinner or a cute date.
Definitely worth checking the weather before your trip as well! We were very lucky. Seeing the sunset or even the city at night would also be amazing. Our final stop was a hot drink before Alex and I parted ways. We walked down to Aldgate and then along Brick Lane, one of my favourite places to hang out. There are a plethora of cute coffee shops, eateries and bars down Brick Lane; we discovered a quaint and quiet café called Yumchaa, which specialises in interesting teas. The place sells black, green, white, herbal and red teas and we spent ages mulling over which leaves to choose.
I opted for the 'Adventure' tea, which was a mix of apple, kiwi, hibiscus and caramel flavours. Alex also opted for a sweet rooibos tea - her's was 'Raspberry Vanilla'. All the teas are available to buy in store and online and at the Brick Lane branch there is also a tea tasting masterclass which takes place on the last Thursday of every month. A hot brew was the perfect ending to a lovely afternoon!
Thanks for reading!