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Ten happy things – May 19

I think it’s so important to actively think about things that bring joy to your life. That’s why every month I look back and write about ten things that made me happy and that I’m grateful for. This is May’s 10 happy things!

Lunch with Fee in Chiswick

I first met Fee on Instagram and whilst talking, we discovered we had a lot in common – including working in the charity sector (and a love of prosecco!). We met up for lunch in Chiswick – where interestingly I used to work years ago – at No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, which is a lovely restaurant on the high street. We had a delicious meal and a couple of glasses of wine and then moved on to a bar down the road for another glass of wine and some delicious truffles. It was a fun afternoon!

I forgot to take a picture of the restaurant so here’s a really lovely bookshop in Chiswick instead.

A lovely bookshop in Chiswick

Exploring Kew gardens

On the Bank Holiday Monday I met up with my friend Shelley in Kew and we spent the afternoon exploring Kew Gardens. I haven’t been to Kew for about 12 years and I can’t believe it took me this long to return as it’s so lovely.

Kew Gardens

Kew is actually a Royal Botanic Gardens and even has a 17th century palace. It’s absolutely huge – my Fitbit told me we walked 14,000 steps whilst we were there and we still didn’t see all of it! If you do go, I’d recommend making a whole day of it.

Epic sushi lunch in Wimbledon

I met up with my friend Cath and her gorgeous baby, Lily, in Wimbledon for lunch. Cath also has a four-year old who goes to nursery so when I asked where she’d like to go for lunch, her reply was,”Anywhere you wouldn’t take a four-year old”! So Sticks ‘n Sushi it was.

Sushi feast at Sticks 'n Sushi

I’ve been to Sticks ‘n Sushi twice before (the one in Wimbledon and the one in Covent Garden) and the food is so good! Not only was the sushi great, the vegetable sides we ordered too were ridiculously tasty. We had a wonderful lunch and a good catch up!

Celebrating Aperol’s 100th birthday

Aperol Spritz is hands down one of my favourite drinks – although I didn’t always like it! It’s probably only in the last 3 or 4 years that I’ve been a fan after drinking one in Ponza, an island in Italy.

This year is Aperol’s 100th birthday and I was invited along to celebrate at their Big Birthday Social in Shoreditch. I went last year too and it’s so much fun. They really go all out – there were two jacuzzis this year and an Aperol lake! And as it was a special occasion, there were cupcakes.

Aperol's 100th birthday party

Inside there was a DJ spinning out tunes as well as a Vespa carousel bar, a swing bench and a Vespa under a tree. It was a really fun night – Aperol sure knows how to put on a party!

Aperol birthday celebrations

Exploring Rochester in Kent

As a freelancer, sometimes I’m mega busy with zero free time and other times I find myself with a fair amount of it. May was one of those months where I had a few free days (hence all the lunches!) so on one of the days I decided to take myself off on a little day trip.

I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before that wasn’t too far from London. I remembered passing Rochester on the train to Margate last year and seeing the castle so I looked it up and decided that’s were I was going!

Rochester Castle in Kent

Rochester is an historic town, much loved by Charles Dickens. In fact, Dickens lived in the town and some of its buildings feature in his novels.

Rochester Castle is a Norman castle which dates back to the 1100s. The cathedral, however, dates back to 604 and is the second oldest cathedral in England! It’s a really lovely little town, only 40 mins from London.

Rochester High Street

Trying Pineapple gin

[Gifted] I was kindly gifted a bottle of Spit-roasted pineapple gin by That Boutique-y Gin Company and invited to a Pineapple Parlour Pop-up to celebrate World Pineapple Day.

I have to say, the smell of this gin is divine. It tastes delicious too and I can’t wait to share it with friends during BBQ season!

That Boutique-y Gin Company Pineapple gin

Charity Meetup

My friend Dawn runs Charity Meetup, which takes place about every 6 weeks or so (venue dependent!). May’s Charity Meetup was all about fundraising and new ways of thinking of our supporters. I love going to theses events when I can because you always learn something new and I love catching up with my friends in the sector as well as meeting some new ones.

Rooftop bar hopping

So my friend Fee (mentioned earlier) has a blog all about rooftop bars so she invited me to go rooftop bar hopping one afternoon as the weather was so nice. We met in King’s Cross and checked out a couple (although one was closed due to refurbishment!) and then walked up to Angel where we had our first drink at The Castle.

We then hopped on the Northern line to check out the Aviary near Moorgate, which has awesome views of the city. They were setting up for a private party so I snapped this cheeky photo as we were leaving!

Aviary London rooftop bar

Fee wanted to go to Queen of Hoxton to see their new theme as they change it twice a year. For Summer it’s all about Mexico! Luckily we arrived at about 4 so it wasn’t too crowded and we got to enjoy our frozen pineapple margaritas in the sunshine!

Queen of Hoxton rooftop bar

If you’re looking for a rooftop bar, definitely check out Fee’s website – Where’s the rooftop?

Discovered Stoke Newington

My friend Genevieve lives in Stoke Newington and I went to visit her on the second May Bank Holiday. I’d never been to the area before but I’d heard it’s a lovely part of London. And it really is! Even if it’s not that easy to get too… (where I live I have two different tube lines and two different Overground lines so I’m spoilt!).

We had a light lunch at Genevieve’s and then she took me on a tour of her ‘hood. I was really surprised by how green Stoke Newington is! There’s Clissold Park, Woodberry Wetlands and Abney Park cemetery, which is huge. The high street also has lots of lovely cafes so we stopped at one for tea and cake. There are lots of independent shops too, which is always nice to see. I even spotted a ghost sign!

Stoke Newington in London

Reached a running milestone

A couple of months ago I decided to start running. I just did it on my own but a couple of weeks in I thought perhaps it would be better to follow a programme, so I downloaded the Couch to 5k app. You can read how I’ve found weeks 1 to 5 of Couch to 5k but as of the time of writing this, I have run 25 minutes non-stop! Wooohooo, go me!

So that was my May! How was your May and what brought joy during that month?

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Rosie

    Sounds like a great month, Kirsty! Who doesn’t love a rooftop bar? My May featured a weekend in Bruges, some amazing football and a night in London for All Points East festival x

    • Kirsty Marrins

      That sounds awesome Rosie! How long were you in Bruges for? We just went for a day (from Brussels) years ago and I remember loving it!

      • Rosie

        4 days, 3 nights which was just about right x

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