Homeslice – best pizza in London

Homeslice’s menu is a seasonal array of trendy ingredients mixed with classic favourites like margarita. With flavours such as caramelised onion, anchovy and black olives, you’re not exactly going to opt for the conventional.

At £4 a (generous) slice or £20 for a 20 inch pizza, it is cheap and the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted.

The mushroom, pumpkin seed and ricota is a must but here are other amazing flavours:

- salami and rocket

- chorizo and sweetcorn

The Wytches and Burgers // 03.12.14

One of the great things about being a complete music nerd in the heart of London is the abundance of gigs.

Every single night of the week you can explore the darkest corners in search of some delicious sounds to tantalising your musical desires. I’m making this all sound a bit raunchy, and it is. Music is a passion that takes over your entire being. Any other passion out there does exactly the same.

A couple of years ago, a struggling freelance writer on £50 per week with a fulltime job in retail contributing to most of my monthly salary, I needed to fuel my love for music and have a life too. I was working at least six days a week and gig tickets and albums were already draining what little income I had, yet like any addiction, I needed more.

I decided to do something about it, combine two passions and try my hand at music reviewing. An extremely competitive market, but why not eh?

The first role was Drunken Werewolf for approximately two years. The site has since come along leaps and bounds, but I could have missed this initial opportunity as the response from DW Editor went into my spam folder…

I know you should never look in your spam folder, but I do enjoy some of the messages; gastric band surgery offered to a size 10/12 (know your audience, guys), “Amanda from the Congo” wants to be my friend, hmmm shall I test that dubious new medicine? I don’t think so. It makes me chuckle.

Now News Editor and Reviewer for exciting online publication Middle Boop, I’ve had the opportunity to see the wonderful Benjamin Clementine, write about one of my favourite bands Fleetwood Mac and broaden my musical horizons even further.

Last night was the turn of The Wytches; grungy dirty rock goodness. It was a sold out gig and brilliant fun. Review to be put onto Middle Boop in the next few days so I won’t say anymore but here’s a tasty photo:

ScreenShot003

Also check out my Instagram for a couple of videos: http://instagram.com/sarponsford

However, the main focus of this latest blog post is another obsession of mine; BURGERS.

Having reviewed all the burgers I’ve had the pleasure of trying since moving just over one year ago, last night was the turn of Honest Burger; a popular chain, I do tend to stick with the independent business being one of those infuriating hipsters.

One thing I immediately like about Honest Burger Kings Cross is the relaxed vibe and Somerset cider (even though Sheppys doesn’t exactly TASTE like Somerset cider). It’s friendly, and the food smells goooooood.

ScreenShot002

After seating I decide to opt for the Tribute (Tenicious D would be proud) whilst my friend went for the Cheese. This is the third great thing about Honest Burger; it offers fries WITH THE MEAL! What is it with places and ordering a “side portion” of fries. No, you tight bastards, give me the fries.

On arrival, the burger doesn’t actually look THAT good. There is plastic cheese (although I am a fan of this, in a burger you’ve just spent a tenner on, hmmm maybe not) and two small crinkly pieces of bacon. However, the rosemary seasoned fries are delicious ESPECIALLY when dipped into bacon ketchup. Yep, you heard right; BACON KETCHUP.

ScreenShot001

As I cut open the burger, it is cooked to perfection. So pink inside, it is moist and kind of makes up for the sad bacon. The pickled cucumber are delicious as well as the American style burger sauce.

It’s still no Dip and Flip, but it was darn tasty.

gherkin

gherkingherkin
Next stop, the Scala and its £5 Strongbows…scandalous

Exploring London; the Ultimate A to Z

It’s Monday 7th October 2013 and we can’t fit one more thing in the Skoda. Moving from my hometown of Bristol to the Big Capital to begin my career in writing and start a new chapter of my life.

Two weeks before, I had to find a place in 48 hours. In London for just two days for a bit of training, I had nowhere to live through a very annoying housemate of a friend we call “Mard Arse”. A free room in my friend’s house at the exact time I’m moving to London. Perfect right? Mard Arse had other ideas and I was left finding a home at short notice. Despite the extorniate rent due the trendy neighbourhood of Brixton, it happened and I made two fantastic friends in my housemates.

Just over one year and I’ve moved from Brixton to Tooting and have had so many adventures in-between.

Tube surfing, gigs, fantastic food and great experiences; social media is a great documentation of a time well-spent, but it does lack that personal touch.

Going back to the chock-a-blocked Skoda (complete with Border Terrier, Archie) we’ve unpacked and it’s time for the parents to vacate. My parting gift was this:

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

 

My Dad has had this in his car for as long as I can remember. Dotted and streaked in highlighter are routes he has taken over the years and this gave me an idea to populate and personalise with memories of my time here.

The thing about the London A to Z is the black and white pages are so impersonal, yet its purpose is to get you to your desired location where memories are made. Within those pages are fantastic meals, new friendships and great experiences. A closer look and those lines are streets where you’ve lived, wandered down and even partied. The parks are areas you picniced, tube stations were you waited for a night-out and the squares are pubs you spent rainy weekends.  It needs a bit of colour!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

 

From amazing exhibition and talks (from the likes of Malala Yousafzai and David Bowie Is) to the foam claw and lobster bun at Bob’s Lobster, it’s my aim to fill this up!

And there’s so much more to add…

Rating Five Burger Places in London

I love burgers. Burgers with gherkins. Burgers with blue chesse. Burgers with onion rings. Burgers burgers burgers.

Having lived in the capital for just over a year, I have made it my mission to find the perfect burger. Not just an amazing burger, not just a really tasty burger, but the PERFECT burger. In terms of ratings, there have been a couple of eights and nines but I’m yet to find the ten; the MASTERPIECE.

Here is my summary so far rated out of five gherkins…

1/ Byron Burger

Byron Burger Clapham was probably the worst out of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean it was THAT bad, and there was colouring involved (yep, I’m 25). As you can see, there is a generous helping of red onion with a crispy toasted underside of the buns; yum yum yum. And the pattie itself wasn’t dry with the crunchy lettuce, but as you can see, but that is it. It does look pretty though.

Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 19.21.16

gherkingherkin

2/ Bodos Schloss

Bodos Schloss based in Westminster is an experience. Like Après Ski resorts, it was all cabin like and cosy. The wine was delicious and unlike many London restaurants, it actually came with fries. The cheese was delish and red onion marmalade, although there could have been more. The pattie itself was kinda dry, especially when I asked for rare, and the bun was a little dry too. The burger wasn’t the best but the atmosphere and feel of the whole place was great. The burger certainly wasn’t £14 worth of tasty though.

Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 19.18.19

gherkingherkingherkin

3/ The Gorringe Park

Having just moved to Tooting with two great friends, we’re exploring the area. From Brixton to Tooting can be a bit…quiet. But there are some really great places around, not to mention cheaper rent. One of the nicest pubs is The Gorringe Park. It has a little cinema downstairs (which shows films such as Ghostbusters), a library room upstairs and really friendly staff. There were delicious chunky chips with a lovely toasted sesame seed bun. Now, this isn’t a normal pattie, this is a pulled pork pattie. It was quite delicious, if a little messy.

Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 19.18.51

gherkingherkingherkin

4/ Bukowski Grill

The Bukowski Grill in Brixton market is a proper gem. There are just two, one in Brixton and the other in Shoreditch, and they do a burger called THE MOTHER. Oh my days. That, below, is TWO patties succulently grilled, crispy bacon, melted cheese, lettuce and a shiny brioche buns. These burgers don’t come with chips but with The mother doesn’t need chips. I mean, JUST LOOK AT IT. It’s really reasonably priced, has a really friendly atmosphere and outshines the three above.

Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 19.19.28

gherkingherkingherkingherkin

5/ Dip and Flip

This one has to be the best burger I’ve had to date! In London, and in general if memory serves. It is 80% American style burger and 20% roast dinner (bear with me). In there is American style mustard, ketchup, a really moist beef pattie, shreaded lettuce and GHERKINS. Yes, GHERKINS. I am a gherkin obsessive. They should be in ALL burgers. Now, that’s the 80% taken care of (with every element a beautiful moment) now the 20% roast. The speciality is the Dip and Flip. That dish to the right is a dish of gravy, perfect for soaking the brioche bun and that’s not even the best bit. The X Factor is the layer of beef or lamb. I’ll repeat; a layer of beef or lamb. I went for the beef and it was just as beautifully cooked as the patties and all the elements. A definite must for burger fanatics.

Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 19.19.57

gherkingherkingherkingherkingherkin

Women Fashion Power and a chilly London afternoon

It’s no secret that I am a feminist, and so are my lovely friends, so when the Design Museum announced their Women Fashion Power exhibition, we were there. There with BELLS on.

25 astonishing women showcasing their favourite outfits; those powerful I-can-do-anything outfits that make them feel that they can rule the world, and any boardroom too.

After a lazy morning shaking off the tiredness of too much wine and grub at the slope inspired Bodo’s Schloss (post to come), I made my way along the embankment. Despite the fact it’s a bit tourist galore (hello invasion of personal space) I couldn’t help but embrace their clicker-happiness.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.16.11   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.15.56

It is a rather pretty bridge, you have to admit, with the blue, castle themed towers and the toaster Instagram filter.

Today was one of those gloomy days with the odd spot of rain. Yeah, it isn’t the sunny glorious days that have you reaching for the Pimms but it does have its advantages if you’re a budding photographer/Instagrammer.

The above shot, if I remember correctly, is Brannan but not fully. You know this new Instagram update means you can adjust filters to mute down their sometimes abrasiveness so this is about 60% Brannan with an added contrast, brightness and vignette. I’ll make a note of these things for the future I reckon.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.14.04   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.14.20

The exhibition itself is about £12. There was a time not long ago where I thought this was extortionate (in a small museum sense). £12 for an exhibition? Really?! Well, I hope there is at least fireworks at the end. But since the David Bowie Is exhibition and Hollywood outfits both at the V&A, I have come to realise that it is all well worth it. The thought that goes into these shows is brilliant, and just remember the ridiculous cinema prices nowadays for shit like The Last Song and any other Nicolas Sparks adaptation.

The entrance of the exhibit was packed and there was an initial dread that you would be squishing around because the venue decided to let me a few more people than probably advisable but of course you fan out and explore.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.15.05   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.15.23

Going through time starting with the likes of the ultimate warrior Boudicca right up to grunge and the girl power of the Spice Girls, the outfits were just beautiful but even more so was the stories surrounding them. The stunning grey and crystal embellished gown above was special because the wearer’s children tell her she looks like a princess.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.13.34   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.13.19

As well as a lot of iconic Vogue covers featuring some of the world’s greatest supermodels, the exhibition really hit a personal note with the Spice Girls, a trend that epitomised the 90s as well as grunge. One item that caused a giggle was the ‘For Teens Only’ released in the 1960s when teens had their own disposable incomes and sexual freedom for the first time. With articles such as ‘No More Dates, No More Kisses – I’ve Lost Him’, it seems every generation goes through the same relationship issues, and they didn’t have Ben & Jerry’s either.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.13.49   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.15.39

Any powerful women’s exhibition wouldn’t be complete without a bit of Vivienne Westwood. I’m in no way a ‘fashionable’ person and this quote is what I feel is the epitome of clothes for women. It’s all about experimentation and discovering your personal sense of style  that makes you feel like your own goddess ready to rock.

Women have used fashion as a powerful, necessary weapon from the Suffragettes embracing their working-class roots and the party’s colour palette representing royal purple and green for hope to the Victorians dismissing their restrictive corsets and showing a little ankle.

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.16.45   Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 22.17.19

A brilliant and informative exhibition that we truly enjoyed, it then got a little better with a three cheese fondue at Zizzi’s and short riverside walk. Yep, my friends and I can be quite romantic when we want to be.