We had a room on the fourth floor which was overlooking the back of the hotel, which meant luckily there was very little external noise. The room was the ideal base for the weekend, and featured a big comfy double bed, plenty of storage space, and a nice clean bathroom! It was basic but had all the essentials required including a little tea tray!
VOC Bar & Grill Restaurant
Once we’d checked into the hotel we took a short stroll down to bar and grill restaurant VOC in the hidden courtyard Varnishers Yard. The place was super lively on a Friday evening, and there was lots of people gathered around outside and in the bar where it was quite noisy. However luckily the restaurant was in the back and much quieter! VOC offer a relatively small menu but there is something to suit all tastes, specialising in steaks and burgers.
I was tempted to start off the evening by having one of their magnificent looking cocktails, however I managed to resist! I did however have the most delicious starter of grilled halloumi with plenty of olives on the side, as well as creamy hummus and pitta bread. It was quite filling but very moreish! Obviously I had to pick a steak as my main course, and so I went for the Scottish sirloin steak which was served with garden vegetables and a choice of sauce (BBQ, blue cheese, peppercorn, or wild mushroom).
I decided to go with the wild mushroom, along with a side of chips and
coleslaw, and it was all delicious! To be honest I was still a little
bit full from my starter, but the steak was very thick and juicy, and
cooked just perfectly. And then finally I had (shared!) the chocolate brownie, which was a bit too rich for me, but was beautifully presented and very chocolaty. I probably would have preferred it with cream or ice cream to lighten it up a little. The staff at the restaurant were superb and couldn’t have done enough to look after us, I’d definitely recommend VOC if you’re in the area!
With our full tummies we got on the tube to Oxford Street and had a little wander around a few shops and admired the pretty Christmas lights in the area. I always love how lively it is on Carnaby Street, and they had the prettiest Christmas decorations! Although the weather wasn’t great and it was raining for most of the evening, it was so pretty to see London so lit up. After a short bus ride back to the hotel, I had an amazing long sleep which I wasn’t really expecting, but I think the walking around had worn me out!
On the Saturday morning we went down to the hotel bar for breakfast, which was continental and consisted of a buffet of fresh fruit, toast, baguettes, croissants, and yoghurt. It was fairly basic, but it was exactly what I needed to kick start my day! And bonus points for having Nutella and a hot chocolate machine! The bar is in one of the old grand rooms in the hotel, and it’s quite small which is why I believe they do not offer the usual cooked breakfast in this hotel.
We had a fairly relaxed afternoon walking around Seven Dials and Covent Garden, and because we were so full from breakfast still, we decided to opt for a cupcake stop instead of lunch! Primrose Bakery do my favourite cupcakes ever and I find them so much tastier than lots of the other London cupcake sellers. They’re always so fresh and although their little shop in Covent Garden is tiny I always love sitting in there enjoying a carrot cupcake along with a drink. It’s such a pretty cafe too! Although I always struggle trying to find it as it’s on the corner of a little street!
Later on Saturday afternoon I met up with Terri as it was her birthday weekend and so we decided to go out for dinner. We weren’t really sure where to go for food that was close to the hotel, but luckily Honest Burgers was just down the road and we had a perfect meal there. It was really reasonably priced and they also give you massive portions of rosemary chips and make lots of yummy cocktails. I would definitely check it out again next time I’m in London!
Bring Me The Horizon
I had two tickets to go to see one of my favourite bands Bring Me The Horizon at Alexandra Palace in the evening, and although I don’t think Terri was too keen on the idea at first, but they actually put on a great set and we both had a really good time! I also managed to finally meet my all time man crush Rob Damiani from Don Broco who was just hanging around at the gig and I was so excited that I asked to get a photo with him! Eee! I had such a great night at the gig and I am tempted to get tickets to see them again in April they were so good!
So.. I had a pretty busy but very enjoyable weekend I wish I could visit more often! There are tonnes of cheap London hotels if you know where to look, and getting around the city with an Oyster card is so easy!