Prufrock Coffee

This isn’t a review. This is a simple suggestion. If you’re (ever) in London, and you drink coffee, go to Prufrock Coffee.

It’s very easy to take a city like London for granted. I’m not talking about the things you haven’t done yet, at all. I’m talking about the things you have done, and do regularly, that you could do even better. Let’s talk chains. Specifically, the coffee-selling ones. The Starbuckses, the Prets, the Costas, the Neros. They are fine. They do the job especially well when you’re looking for something quick and cheap, right? But, why should your coffee-drinking experience be limited to a description that involves cheapness or quickness?

If you solely drink coffee as a matter of caffeine dependency, you should probably stop reading now. If you love, appreciate, and enjoy coffee, head over to Leather Lane over in EC1, my friend. There, you will find the best coffee to be had in London. Yes, the best.

A friend took me there to treat me to an after school snack, of sorts. He had been raving about this place for weeks, but my schedule hadn’t allowed this indulgence up until now. It was an unmatchable coffee drinking experience. Unlike Maxwell House’s false claim, it truly was good til the very last drop. So good! And it’s no wonder, either. Their baristas are national and world champions.

The seating area is open, spacious, and airy. This is definitely a welcome change from the usual cramped, dark, and almost dingy setting offered by most London coffee shops.

If all of that is not enough, the baked goodies are delicious. Perfectly executed. Go ahead and treat yourself to a brownie bite for 50p. I’ll assume you deserve it. And if you don’t, well…

An espresso with soy milk, brownie bites, a latte, and cheesecake

Where was your last great coffee-drinking experience?

An (easy) Autumn Dinner Template

I’ve been teased about a few things in my life. That’s OK, I’ll still acknowledge you and say hi when you ring up my things at Marketplace. Even today my friends find amusement with some of the things I choose to do, and tease me accordingly. For example, I recently offered one of the four clementines that were tightly packed into my purse to Cici when she casually mentioned hunger during a Sunday Funday. Or, after six straight hours guiding a visiting friend through the shops of Westfield, to whack out a small container of granola and start munching. Basically, when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, and its usually best for all involved that we don’t let me get to a state where I’m feeling hangry. That being said, I’ve learned that in spite of the potential of being teased, it is best not to be unprepared. I won’t last long at all when I’m feeling low in energy.

Someone so serious about snack-packing is even more serious about their meals. I think we’re all clear on the fact that I’m that someone. Anyway, breakfast is usually covered in the way of a banana and some of the granola that I make every Sunday. Lunch can be as easy as random veggies and some oat cakes that I’ll dip into hummus (not homemade, sorry) that I usually have hanging around. But, dinner gets hard. In the cold months, I like it hot. Or, at least warm…

What’s a girl to do when she has no leftovers she can easily warm up, and is gosh dang hungry? Aha! I glimpse the butternut squash I grabbed in a moment of seasonal inspiration at the market. I decided I would roast it to make a super warm salad, topped with poached eggs. And then that’s what I did.

You, coming into the door on a cold winter’s night, could also fix something similar up to the background sounds of your grumbling belly.

TEMPLATE FOR AN AUTUMN DINNER

1. GO GREEN:It’s always good (for you!) to have a leafy green as your base. I chose kale, which I ever so slightly steamed.You could also roast it!

2. PROTEIN: I poached two eggs to have them all runny and yummy on top of the salad, but beans, leftover meat, or quinoa could also work! I had some bean sprouts nearing the end of their prime in the fridge, so I sprinkled some of them on top too!

3. CARB: I was feeling too lazy to also cook up some quinoa (even more protein!), but if you’re feeling it, add some of your favourite cooked rice, quinoa, or pasta to the mix!

4. SOMETHING ELSE: I had a carrot in my veg drawer, so I grated some of that onto the kale and sprouts.

5. A ROASTABLE ROOT: It helps (your body) immensely if it bursts with flavour, adds colour in the form of beta carotene to this nourishing meal, and is bursting with vitamin C. I used butternut squash, but I’m sure a plain white potato would be fine too. Here, I used a butternut squash.

Method: Mix or layer your component parts in a deep plate or regular ol’ bowl. Dress or season as you wish.

To roast a squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, or 200ish C. Use all your might to cut into quarters. I failed at that, it was just uneven pieces. Drizzle with some olive oil. Sprinkle with stuff (I used sea salt and paprika). To boost this meal’s legitimacy, I put garlic cloves atop each piece of squash, so that that flavour could be infused as it roasted. Then, put the pieces in your pre-heated oven for an hour. I used the wait time to prep the other bits and to also put together cross-examination points for a criminal advocacy small group session – such is my real life.

Note: If you want to be boring (or are short for time), you could just boil the squash, but expect much less flavour.

Twists! (but don’t shout)

I knew this morning would be rough. I didn’t hang up the phone until 11 30 last night. This was after a conversation with a friend that had taken ages to happen. It needed to happen, actually. It had been too long. With time differences, these can be hard to arrange. When we did finally hang up, I wasn’t even ready for bed.

Fast forward a few winks to this morning. My ‘harbour-sounds’ alarm goes off at the latest possible time – 6 30. Queue the internal debate: do I want to sleep more now, or will it be possible to fit a bit more sleep into tonight? I think of the pleasant smell of the entryway at triyoga Soho, where I practice. I think of how badly my body needs a good lengthening stretch, and how good it can feel to heat up and sweat. And then off I went.

Rachel Okimo, who guides the Tuesday and Thursday early morning vinyasa flow classes at triyoga Soho, definitely threw it down. Every class is different from the last. Somehow the sequences she selects are always fun and challenging, with just the right degree of familiarity. (Who doesn’t love to just pop into their favourite asana (pose) when things get a bit tough?)

Today’s focus was on twists. Twists are supposedly good for detoxing the body, breathing oxygen into our sometimes neglected sides, and lengthening our spines. I thoroughly enjoyed the practice today. So much. It was just what I needed, after a few days of feeling lethargic and low in energy. I left, as always, with a definite pep in my step.

My favourite asanas from today’s practice were all of the warriors. I especially loved when we did Warrior II with a twist to the opposite side. It felt so deep. So good.

As if that wasn’t enough, one of my favourite songs came on!

Wherever you are in your day, wherever you are in your life, I hope this song has the same uplifting, positive effect on you as it always has on me.

Paper Aeroplane by Angus & Julia Stone

**Yogis out there, do you prefer to practice with or without music? If you enjoy music in the background, what is your favourite song?

Melancholic Nostalgia, or something

Yesterday was one of those truly great days.

My friend Cici and I are actually thinking of making Sunday Fundays a tradition, now that we’ve had two in a row. Both involved London’s infamous Boris Bikes. This one was a bit special, really. We pedaled from close to the City, up to Camden Town. Then we parked our bikes and made our way to Hampstead Heath. Our destination? Keats House. Here, we were treated to performances and readings by the Keats House poets, some skilled artists and poets featured on the open mic, and finally, the headliner, Warsan Shire herself. It was actually amazing. It’s very rare that I participate in cultural events in this wondrous city. I’m here on a mission, after all. But, I am so grateful to Cici for opening my eyes to this poet, as well as others. All their words yesterday put me in a state. Last night, and all day today.

The only way I know how to describe this state is to call it melancholic nostalgia. An extremely pensive type of sadness for what has happened and what will happen. See, my mission in this space is almost done. I will be leaving it soon. Along with it, many experiences, people, and, thus, countless shared memories.

Just as Cici was the one to introduce me to the fabulous artist that is Warsan Shire, I have been blessed to have been influenced by certain other revered individuals, who have shown me countless ways of being, seeing, and making.

That’s where this blog falls in. I want to share the things I make, do, and see. Mostly what I make. And, mostly in the way of food! All of my favourite things are attached to specific moments with specific individuals, and always resulted in the creation of particular memories. I refuse to keep it to myself! After all, life is for living, not living uptight