GAUCHO: Going out for dinner post lockdown

Friday 21 August 2020

Eating out has always been a huge part of my life and before March 23rd, I was doing it almost every other day so having to eat at home 24/7 was particularly hard. It's now been a couple of weeks since bars and restaurants in the UK have been allowed to re-open and I've made the most of it - I've eaten far too much of my own, terrible cooking over the past few months.

I know alot of people are still pretty scared to go out, which is why I wanted to write this post - to share my experience of this weird new world where something that used to be so normal, is now very odd - going for dinner.

black mesh off the shoulder top

Usually, I would double check my bag for my phone, card and keys. Now it's face mask, hand sanitizer and a plastic bag to sit on on the tube. Yes I know that's a bit extreme it but it makes me feel better okay?

Getting on the tube isn't quite as scary as I originally thought. A few weeks into lock down I ordered myself a contactless card because my old school one just wasn't cutting it anymore, obviously, so it's all good on that front and even though the tube is getting busier, I feel safe in terms of social distancing; with my mask firmly on my face and my plastic bag under my butt. I also tie my hair up and am very mindful throughout my journey not to touch anything. 

Sadly, I come across loads of people not wearing a mask.

Gaucho Steak

I got on at South Kensington and headed to Gaucho just a short walk from the station. Not quite full to its normal capacity to every other table, as they were limiting numbers, the place still had its usual buzz. With every other table empty, not only did it feel totally safe in terms of distancing but also a little more luxury than usual with more privacy and space. Being close enough to hear what the next table are talking about is a little pet hate of mine. 

We filled in a track and trace card and then ordered some cocktails! Pornstar martinis and then a little later, strawberry daiquiris. Yum.

passionfruit cocktails

Staff weren't wearing masks or any type of PPE for that matter. They were however, always cautious when getting close or moving things around on the table; not so much that it was a hassle though - just trying to keep their distance which obviously is a good thing right now.

Apart from that, it was pretty normal - just the odd dancing around the tables when walking past people to go to the toilet, but everyone was respectful of each other and we all had a laugh about how strange it was. There were a whole load of Uber eats bags going out through the night so obviously not everyone is as keen to get out just yet.

cocktails and burrata

I can't tell you how good it was to have have a real cocktail (or four), not just vodka and juice from the fridge at home; and also a three course meal. I started with a burrata, which of course was delicious. Then a fillet steak, cooked rare, with fries and mac n cheese on the side. We shared a sticky toffee pudding for dessert and finished up with a fresh mint tea.

By the end of the evening I had forgotten that corona virus was even a problem.

I cant speak for everywhere but Gaucho have done a very good job at maintaining their usual vibe in a safe way.

Have you braved a restaurant yet? 

Wearing my pretty mesh top from femmeluxefinery *gifted

Bicycle Adventures in London

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Now that I've started to settle into the new day to day normal, lack of travel through 2020 has become prominent in my thoughts; and whilst thinking of new ways to fulfill my passion in a safe way, I very quickly realised that there is still so much of London that I haven't explored yet.

I live just east of London, so between work and socialising, I spend alot of my time in Shoreditch, Soho or the city - rarely going further than Marble Arch. London wasn't really somewhere I thought of as an adventure; but I was very wrong there!

As soon as lockdown finished, I decided that if I cant travel (and as such, create content for my blog) the way I used to, then I'm going to make my adventures closer to home. With no choice but to stay put for a little while, I took the opportunity to go a little further out, take a different route and see where I ended up. With trains and buses out of the questions, I grabbed a helmet and hopped on a Boris bike.
Cycling was something I enjoyed so much whilst I was traveling and doing it now means I'm able to see London in all its glory, whilst keeping active (when the gyms were closed) and learning so much along the way. Rather than which station is next, I now actually know how to get from one place to another and what happens in the middle, funnily enough, you miss along when you're underground.

My current route starts at St. Paul's and from there, I head straight down to the river and join the cycle superhighway all the way through to Albert bridge; where I cross over to Battersea park.

Not only are the views on this part of my ride absolutely incredible, along the river, past the London eye and Westminster but this cycle specific road makes biking in London very enjoyable.

Discovering Battersea Park is one of the best things that has come from this whole ordeal. I just love the life inside it and often spend hours and hours there. I dont think I'll ever get bored.

The last leg of my journey is really cool. I found a riverside walkway which takes me all the way though to Wandsworth park and I really enjoy this part. Again, I've never really seen this part of London and I'm finding myself cycle past places that I see on Instagram all the time.

That's about as far as I've got so far but with my laps around the park, I've done as many as 31kms in one trip! I have a couple of friends who live in the area so now that lockdown has been eased a bit, sometimes, my trips are a little more leisurely and finish with a cold drink at the pub!

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