London in Bloom, New Discoveries and Saying Yes

London in Bloom | Miranda's Notebook

I like to imagine these little round-up posts as the blog-world equivalent of me saying ‘how about tea, cake and a chat?’ and proceeding to fill you in on all my news (and, of course, listening to yours too). So, if you can, picture yourself in a favourite London cafe (perhaps Petersham Nurseries or Bageriet), teapot to hand. Here’s what’s been on my mind lately.

++ London Flowers ++

I really do think London is at its most lovely this time of year. Wisteria and apple blossom are vying for attention, and lilacs are coming into their own too, filling the air with scent. The city’s fashionable shops are getting into the spirit of the Chelsea Flower Show and are transforming their shop fronts into blossom-bedecked visions of beauty. Here’s a photo I snapped of Fenwick over the weekend – doesn’t it look lovely?!

London in Bloom | Miranda's Notebook

If you find yourself in the Mayfair area, then besides instagramming Fenwick, I highly suggest stopping by Sketch for tea and macarons, or brunch, or both (naturally, I went for both). This year, Sketch is hosting its very own Mayfair Flower Show, and the restaurant looks truly stunning. It’s always been a venue worth seeing, but it looks especially magical at the moment.

Sketch London | Miranda's NotebookThe main staircase in the entranceway, dripping with real flowers that smell divine.

Sketch London| Miranda's NotebookAfter brunch of crab & fennel salad with toasted brioche (and a mimosa), I couldn’t resist tea and a dainty macaron. 

The flower show at Sketch ends on the 29th, so be sure to get there asap!

++ Saying Yes ++

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. Although I’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy, I’m a big fan of many of Shonda’s other shows: Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and The Chase. Shonda’s book is about a year in which she started saying ‘yes’ to the opportunities that came her why, to getting in shape, to trusting her instinct and embracing her fears. Although already incredible successful, Shonda realised she was struggling with unhappiness, and her story of reaching for more joy and fulfilment by committing to saying ‘yes’ for a year is truly inspiring. Now, I’m also a firm believer in saying ‘no’ (and I think Shonda is too), but listening to this book has opened my eyes to what ways I can say ‘yes’ to more in my life. I think I’ll have to devote a blog post to this topic soon, as it’s definitely got me fired up! If you want a great taster of Year of Yes, watch Shonda’s brilliant TED talk.

London in Bloom | Miranda's Notebook

++ New Discoveries ++

Another thing I love about London is there’s always a great new place around the corner, simply waiting for you to discover it. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Hart & Lova, an adorable bakery just a 1/2 hr walk from my flat. This place has the best chocolate and almond croissants I’ve had in a long time, and their cakes taste like those in the best French patisseries. My waistline can only be thankful that Hart & Lova isn’t just around the corner from me, and I’m trying to confine my visits to once a week at most, but it’s definitely become my new favourite place for leisurely Sunday brunch with friends. Another great foodie discovery that I made recently is the cafe/deli Baker & Spice in Chelsea (opposite a really lovely gallery, Tanner & Lawson, which is also well worth paying a visit).

Fenton House | London in Bloom | Miranda's Notebook

++ Different Ways to Socialise ++

Although I think meeting friends for tea & cake or a glass of wine is always a good way to spend time, lately I’ve been trying out more interesting ways to socialise. Seeing gallery exhibitions, going for walks, working out together…I’m trying them all, and it’s bringing a wonderful new dimension to many of my friendships. I recently found out a girl friend of mine has started lifting weights too, so we’ve set a Friday night date to practice our pull-ups together. Yay for girl power! Do any of you have any good ideas for alternative ways to spend time with friends?

How about you? What have you been up to lately? 

*Wisteria photos taken at Fenton House garden.

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