to the capital

Every year for the last few years, I have applied religiously for tickets for the iTunes festival. This year, I got in a bit of a strop with the whole thing and decided to boycott it. However, after a bit of pestering first from my sister and then Sophie, I eventually gave in and grudgingly applied for a few shows…and then, of course, I won two tickets to see the Lumineers.

For various reasons, I had to go into London much earlier than necessary, which worked well as I also had to go to Tiffany (what a drag…). As luck would have it, Sophie was stationed at Marble Arch – fate was clearly working with us this week – so I whiled away the afternoon along Oxford & Bond Street until she was done.

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We had to fit in food before the show, so we headed to Camden and found ourselves at Honest Burgers. We sat at the bar, looking out into the street.

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I went for the traditional Honest Burger, sans cheese, while Sophie went for the special. They arrived quickly, and we promptly dove in.

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The burger was great – the caramelised onions were definitely my favourite part – but the rosemary salted chips were something else. Definitely worth all the buzz I’ve heard about them! The service at HB was also great, by the way, really fast and really friendly – great experience and I would definitely go back.

After dinner, we couldn’t resist the intrigue of nitro-ice cream and popped next door to check out Chin Chin Labs. After some deliberation, we split the flavour of the week, Coconut (Sun) Cream, topped with salted caramel sauce and honeycomb. The ice cream was fab but obviously what is really great is the theatre of watching them make it. The guy explained it as he did it and it all looked SO cool! We were just in time as they were actually in the process of closing, but you’d never have known it – the guys working there were super friendly. Sadly all my pictures were absolutely rubbish but if you’re in Camden, it’s definitely worth a visit and their special flavours change all the time so you can visit again and again and not get bored!

Anyway, we ate it outside and took in the sights and sounds of Camden Town at dusk.

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And then, finally, it was time to head to the Roundhouse for the night’s main event. There was a massive queue, but in true Apple style it all moved very quickly and very smoothly and before we knew it we had grabbed our drinks and bagged a spot more or less at the front.

The support act of the night was Phox, a 7-strong band from Wisconsin, who were very good, actually. The Lumineers themselves were absolutely brilliant. They looked like they were having so much fun up there and I developed a serious girlcrush on the girl singer.

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My highlights were undoubtedly Ho Hey, which they sang half of with no microphones at all and a lot of audience participation, and Submarine, their new single and our house anthem from last year. It was really, really fun: it’s been a long time since I saw a band live like that and I forgot how much I enjoy it! The Roundhouse was a fab venue, too; small enough to be nice and intimate but big enough to get a good atmosphere going.

We finished the night in Farringdon, catching up with Emily at the Exmouth Arms and making some hilarious new Australian friends before heading back to Emily’s to continue the catch up. What was meant to be an “early-ish night” turned into an elaborate session of stalking One Direction on twitter (the shame), but all too soon it was bedtime for babies and then Sophie and Emily were off to work yesterday morning.

I spent most of the day wandering around Spitalfields and reading in the sun, which was very lovely but not very blogworthy, but I do just have to give a quick mention to Brill on Exmouth Market, which is fast becoming one of my very favourite places in the world. Excellent bagels (I had avocado, lemon & paprika – delicious) and so, so friendly. I want to be a regular there more than anything!

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These couple of days were probably the last time I’ll see Sophie and Emily for a while so it was lovely to have a proper catch up and, as ever, a slightly bizarre experience. Even if it did make me super jealous of everyone getting real jobs in London, it was a great way to round off the summer before I head back to Exeter on Sunday!

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