Sunday, 17 May 2015

Babies, beers, and burgers in London

I dont' know about you, but I can't resist a good alliteration when I come across one, particularly as easily accurate as this title. I wonder if it predates my working in advertising and marketing.

Stage two of update posts, I flew to London from Mumbai in early October 2014. I lived there for close to seven years and have both family and great friends there too so it's like a second home. I hadn't visited since early 2012 so it was long overdue to catch up with friends, as well as walk around and sort of catch up with the city itself.

The weather was lovely, a surprising Indian summer - and ironic in the circumstances - yet certainly welcome to ease me back into seasons after a few years near the Equator.

Starting with the babies I finally met my nephew Hunter for the first time, as well as Bella, the daughter of my dear friends Abby and Graham. I'm not sure what to add here, I don't usually write about babies at length - or at all. They're beautiful, cute, smiling babies - actually toddlers now as they've both just turned one.

I was also looking forward to checking the new and hipsterised craft beer scene in London - which barely existed when I left in 2011. Brewdog were still small, only available in a couple of bars in London and at social networking events like the first Twestival if I remember correctly. Now they have many bars of their own around London and are sold in Sainsbury's. I enjoyed checking out Maltby Street market in SE1, around the corner from where I used to live and work. There are like six or eight craft breweries under the Network Rail arches now. I loved the Kernel beers, I thought their reputation is totally deserved.

I organised catching up with a few friends at Brewdog in Camden which was an excellent evening -thanks again to those who came by, you know who you are ^^. I also managed to organise a couple of very interesting work related meetings during the week.

While I loved the food in India, I understandably didn't eat much beef and so I was glad to go and check out this other wildly popular hipster food trend: the humble burger, turned into a fancy food stuff. Plus I'd participated in the Kickstarter organised by Burger Bear so I wanted to try them.

Burger Bear @ Stokey Bear on Stoke Newington High Street, N16 
Over the course of a week I tried a burger in a nice café on Regent's Canal (nice burger), Meat Mission by Hoxton Square (It was dry, wasn't too crazy about it), Brewdog bar Camden (my favourite, actually), and Burger Bear in Stoke Newington on my last night in London (good burger but I think I was burgered out by that point).

Besides meeting babies and stuffing myself with craft beers and burgers, another idea was to think about where I wanted to live back in Europe.  I left after a week thinking I loved London and wanted to be close enough to visit for work or leisure on a regular basis, yet not live there. That's how it is for now at least and that's what I thought of while walking around the city and before I flew off to the Netherlands for the next leg of my little European tour.

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