#WhenImNotReadingBooks: A Day of Culture in London

A Day of Culture in London

Hello readers!

In case you can’t tell by the title, I have been off adventuring again.
Despite having spent three years going to a London University, I still find that there is SO MUCH still to discover! Because of this, every time I go to meet my friend who lives in London, she always tries to introduce me to a different area of the city, or we look up any current events that are on and check them out!

What I Read

Okay, so I lied a tinsy bit in the title, there was still SOME reading on my day out.
One of the things I love about going to London is the train journey. Getting trains used to give me MAJOR ANXIETY. However, now I see it as an opportunity for overindulging in uninterrupted reading time. For this trip, I chose Personal Demons by Kelley Armstrong, part of the Women of the Otherworld series. These books are awesome lightweight paranormal fun with lots of sass and sexy heart-fluttering love interests to boot. This installment was about a chaos demon infiltrating a rogue group of supernaturals in Miami and was a perfect choice for the journey, I gobbled it up!

Kelley Armstrong Book Personal Demons

What I Ate

For lunch, my friend and I visited Borough Market – a great way to combine sightseeing with drool-worthy grub. Providing people with produce for over a 1000 years, Borough Market is certainly a well-established hotspot. The fact that the stalls also live under a train line bridge causing the world to shake every 10 minutes or so gives it that distinctly urban feel!

bread street foodvegan cakes street food

Borough market is one of those places I’ve always stumbled into on the way to somewhere else and so I’ve never been able to stop. This time, I got the full experience and wow, there were so many amazing things I didn’t know what to look at first!

I LOVE that we are living in the age of creative street food. I’ve never been one to get ‘excited’ about eating and I don’t like cooking, but street food appeals to all the senses – the spices wafting through the air, the clinking of spoons stirring and mixing, food sizzling and oh, the colours. It’s so alive, and it’s almost like watching a dance as the cooks’ twist and throw and scoop!

street food londonstreet food london

It’s also so exciting to see so many styles of food in one place, from good old fashion British all the way to Indonesian. There’s also plenty of vegan and alternative options so there’s something for everyone!

It took me AGES, and at least 5 trips around the market before I was actually able to settle on one thing for my lunch. I went for a lamb box with fresh salad and a creamy chilli sauce (yum!) while my friend had a vegan snack box. We also shared two fruitacular smoothies between us after trying about 8 different free samples. We eventually went for an exotica (mango, pinappe, passionfruit, apple and orange juice),  and a high kick (kiwi, pineapple, strawberry, banana, spirulina, linseed, apple and orange juice. See a fresh juice bar and I will always be first in line!

street food london snack boxesimg_5373eds.jpg

After chowing down on some spectacular lunch, my friend and I also took the time to check out the graffiti mural created to commemorate the victims of the 2017 terror attack, which included Borough Market. It was so great to see how much joy the mural was bringing, with so many tourists flocking to take pictures – turning something negative into a positive, that’s the Brit way!

Street art Borough Market
What I Saw

So the event that we decided to check out for this trip was an Art pop up called Sense of Space (see more here it’s still running until the 18th May). The concept is 4 separate rooms that aim to engage all your senses and relax you, promoting mindfulness in an ever-busy city. On some days they also run events like yoga and silent cinemas, but we didn’t get to see any of these.

The first room was The Doodle Room completely covered in, you guessed it, black and white doodles! Every wall, floor, and crevice was full of playful images which took the artist 4 days to draw. While the room was small it would take hours to look at everything in there. I kept trying to work out whether the artist had duplicated any pictures but I couldn’t find anything that was the same! It must have taken ages to come up with so many different drawings.

the doodle room sense of space

IMG_5413

The second section was called the Infinity Garden, which was my favourite! It’s also perfectly set up for Instagram culture. This room had beautiful pink blossom trees, which were reflected from every angle by mirrors attached to the walls, giving the impression that you were in a forest. As you walk through, the lighting also changes and you’re serenaded by instrumental music. I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t also pump in some flowery smells, I think that would have been really cool!

zen garden Sense of Space.png

The third room was called The Motion Box, which was basically a dark room with a big screen that used gesture recognition – so you could jump around like a big nerd waving your arms, jiggling your hips and do air kicks (actually, maybe that was just me), and then you could see yourself in bubble form on the screen. This was fun for about a minute, and then my friend and I were ready to move on to the final room!

The final room was the Zen Studio, which had lots on beanbags and mirrors. I think this is the space where you’re supposed to be able to practice mindfulness and thoughtful reflections, but to me, it felt awkward and squished and it was very warm, so we exited this one pretty quickly too.

Motion box sense of spacezen room

Overall, Sense of Space was a really interesting experience. I’m not sure it quite achieved what it was hoping for in all areas, for instance, the first two rooms were fantastic but the second two were a bit of a let down, and the Zen room didn’t really promote relaxed vibes. Also, because the rooms were small, only a certain amount of people could go into a room at a time – as the first two were the most interesting, this caused quite a big hold up, and you did kind of feel like you were keeping people waiting at times when you wanted to soak up the experience and stay longer! Ultimately though, this was a really interesting and unique free art installation that I would recommend, and you can get some great pics out of it too!

~*~

Let's Chat

Are you a fan of street food, art or popups? What are your favourite places to visit in London? Or if you’ve never been, where would you be most interested in visiting? Let me know in the comments!

17 thoughts on “#WhenImNotReadingBooks: A Day of Culture in London

  1. Great story, and the level of detail you go into about the market made me smile.
    I don’t usually care for it ordinarily, but if there’s a street stall serving paella from a massive frying pan I’m always up for a pot or two of the stuff.
    The Zen Studio bit would make me feel a bit awkward as well – I’d be sitting there wishing there was another Infinity Garden.

    Are they velour trousers you’re wearing in that picture?

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed!
      I don’t usually get excited about food and lots of people either, but with this, I WANTED TO EAT THE ENTIRE MARKET. Except maybe the dried spices section…

      Paella is awesome, as long as it’s not a fish one!

      What are velour trousers?

  2. I love the composition of you on the mural. It’s almost like you vanish into it, that was cool. I’d spend all day in that doodle room, looking for a duplicate. Like being in a 3D cartoon strip…

    You don’t like trains? I always found them a relaxing way of travelling, but then I’m not a blonde woman…Your experience is no doubt vastly different from mine. I’d travel by train more often if it didn’t seem to cost hundreds every time.

    The last time I was in London in October, I ate at a restaurant in The Royal Albert Hall before we went in for a concert. Living the high life that night!

    • Thanks! It was really hard to get a pic with no one else in it as it was a busy day. I must admit, looking at it now though it would be cool if you could see the whole heart and I had stood a bit more to the side.
      Yes, exactly!

      I didn’t like trains (past tense), now they’re my favourite mode of travel, it’s the only transportation that I can read on for a bit without feeling ill! But yes, I used to find them really confusing and claustrophobic, I also always worried I would get off at the wrong place. Now I get them on my own with little problem, I even manage okay on foreign trains now so high five to me!

      Oooh, that sounds very fancy, and awesome. Sounds like a fun excuse to get dressed up as well. 🙂

  3. Thank you on behalf of this country’s economy for you’re choice of flavor in that fruit drink , there’s a shortage BTW of kiwifruit worker’s here so are trying to intice tourists to fill that gap , about £10-11 pr/hr it works out 2b .
    Great camera work there NINETY NINE !
    that zen room ! WOW
    Notice how the SOULLESS cast no reflection, just their SHOES!
    WOW
    Could even be the werewolves of London,
    Awhooooo ,
    That would be cultural.
    YES to street food , no to road kill unless really fresh ,
    ART ,
    Y
    E
    S
    popups ,,
    What be these beasts ,smooth pants?

  4. I love this post! I love London! And I absolutely love your pictures!!
    Also the foooooooooood I’m making all the heart eyes.
    (But seriously London is like my fave city and I’ve only ever been once I NEED TO GO BACK!!)

  5. Oh wow. I work in London but now I’m feeling the need to go for a proper day out, these places look amazing. And I know completely what you mean about using a train journey to catch up on some reading!

    • I imagine when you work there it must sometimes be hard to get up the enthusiasm sometimes – I certainly found that being there for university as you’re almost too close to it. I enjoy it much more now because it feels like more of an ‘event’ to visit!

      I hope you get to enjoy a day out soon! 😀

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