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Ten happy things – August 21

Selfie in King's Cross with Holly by the canal

I love writing these monthly posts as it gives me a chance to reflect on the month that’s been and remember all the joyful moments. This month was great with lots of sociable events! Here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for August.

Met Clare and Sonny

I met Clare on Instagram and we’ve been chatting for ages so it was inevitable we’d meet up! Clare also lives in London but the other side to me, however she was happy to trek over to Paddington with her gorgeous little boy Sonny. We met in the morning so headed over to Bondi Green for coffee (well, tea for Clare!). It was so lovely to meet in real life and get to know Clare better. Looking forward to our next meet-up!

Clare and Sonny at Bondi Green

Prosecco tasting for National Prosecco Day

I entered a competition on Instagram to win a virtual Prosecco tasting with Prosecco DOC UK, in celebration of National Prosecco Day on 13 August, and I won! I had four bottles of Prosecco delivered to me before the virtual tasting event. We only tried two on the night – a brut and an extra dry, which was a good thing as I didn’t know how we’d get through four bottles before they lost a bit of their fizz!

Neil Phillips, aka The Wine Tipster, ran us through where Prosecco is made in Italy, what grapes are used and the criteria Prosecco needs to meet to make it DOC. Then chef Danilo Cortellini showed us how to make a delicious bruschetta to accompany the Prosecco, followed by a cocktail masterclass with Ago Schiavo. It was a really fun hour and a half!

Four Prosecco bottles next to a laptop

Delicious fried artichoke at Lina Stores

We love Lina Stores (both their restaurants, but particularly the King’s Cross one) and always enjoy our meal. Their pasta is really reasonably priced and very yum. But… I feel their Carciofi Fritti – or fried artichokes – deserved their time in the spotlight! Absolutely delicious… definitely order this if it’s on the menu.

Fried artichoke starter at Lina Stores King's Cross

Spa day at The Four Seasons

As August wasn’t very busy workwise, I decided to take myself off to the spa at the Four Seasons Trinity Square, near the Tower of London. They offer a day pass which allows you to use the swimming pool, vitality pool, sauna and steam room. The first half an hour was absolute bliss, however some children arrived and then it wasn’t quite so blissful after that. It was still lovely though to just read and go into the pool every now and then, followed by the sauna. The vitality pool had lots of jet streams, which were like getting a massage!

Vitality pool at Four Seasons spa

Got three new clients!

After a fairly quiet August – which in some ways was lovely as it meant I got to meet up with friends – September is looking busy as I’ve got three new clients! Think I may have to work over the weekends though to fit them all in… such is freelance life.

Camden Fringe with Holly

Every year in August Holly and I meet up for a fun day out, whilst she’s on school holidays. Holly booked tickets to see Bad Teacher at the Camden Fringe and it was brilliant! Erin Holland was fantastic in her one woman show about a drama teacher and what happens one day at school.

Bad Teacher actress on stage at Camden Fringe

After the show, Holly and I walked to King’s Cross and had lunch at The Lighterman. We both ordered the hot salmon flatbreads, which were so delicious. It was such a fab afternoon and so great to spend time with Holly.

Selfie in King's Cross with Holly by the canal

A Sunday roast at Smith’s Bar & Grill (PR invite)

It’s so good to see some ‘in real life’ blogger/press events happening again! I was invited along to try the Sunday Roast menu at Smith’s Bar & Grill in Paddington on a Wednesday evening (Sunday roast mid-week? Love it!). My ‘plus one’ couldn’t make it but luckily my lovely friend Kaye was going so we got to sit together!

I chose the salmon and avocado tartare as my starter, which was really good. Washed down with a glass of Prosecco, of course!

Salmon and avocado tartare starter

The Sunday Roast menu has a range of roasts to choose from, as well as a veggie option. The meat options were: free-range roasted Poussin, roasted pork loin, 28 days matured Chateaubriand, 35 days matured Picanha and 10 days matured lamb leg. The veggie option is mushroom parcels.

I opted for the Picanha, which was perfectly cooked for my liking – medium rare. All the meat roasts come with honey roasted carrots, duck fat roasted potatoes, tender stem broccoli, parsnips, homemade Yorkshire puddings and gravy. The veggie option has the same except the potatoes are not roasted in duck fat and the gravy is a truffle gravy. To accompany my roast, I had a glass of Malbec.

It was a delicious dinner with excellent company!

A plate of roast beef with a Yorkshire pudding and jug of gravy

Trip to Kent for Lunch with Natalie

Natalie and I had been trying to organise a lunch date for ages and we finally got our act together! I took the train to Kent, to where Natalie lives, and we enjoyed a great lunch at one of her local pubs. As the weather was fairly decent, we even got to sit outside. I’d just got some good news work-wise so ordered some Prosecco to celebrate!

We had a wonderful afternoon catching up and I got to see Natalie’s lovely house and beautiful garden! Still waiting for my BBQ invite though…

Pub lunch outside in Kent

A new coffee table

I was itching for a new coffee table and looked at loads over the last few weeks. Who knew how expensive they are?! I settled on this glass one from Dunelm, which I love, but underestimated how awkward glass tops are to clean…. so I bought an over-sized rattan place mat from The White Company. I think it looks pretty stylish! And covers a fair bit of the glass so less surface to get smudge marks on!

Glass top coffee table from Dunelm

Flamingo glasses from Dawn

My friend Dawn and her baby, Mia, came to visit and we spent a lovely morning at the park and then went back to mine to enjoy take-out pizza for lunch. Dawn had been to Ikea to buy some items for her new place and bought me two flamingo glasses. As Dawn knows I adore flamingos, this was such a lovely, thoughtful gift.

So that was my August! Lots of lovely things to be grateful for – not the weather though… that was a bit rubbish! What made you happy and brought you joy? Let me know in the comments!

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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