Monthly Roundup: Friends and Festivities

by Jo Kenny

Here’s what I’ve been getting up to over the last few weeks!

Christmas at Waddesdon

The owners and organisers of Waddesdon Manor really know how to put on a show. In the Summer it’s food festivals and art installations, and in the Winter its Christmas markets and pretty light shows. You’ve gotta wrap up warm as it’s all outdoors and best enjoyed after dark. The main green in front of the house is lined with wooden stalls selling gifts and food, the Rac Shack, selling gooey, warming raclette caught our eye.

Wondering the grounds we came across all different kinds of light installations…

Christmas at Southbank

I met up with friends for a mooch around Southbank which is full of festivities at the moment.

We started off at the Bar Under The Bridge where you can get a super tasty cup of mulled wine amped up with a shot to warm your cockles. Rum in mulled wine is delicious FYI! Afterwards we headed towards the Christmas markets which lined a wooden walkway that headed down towards a courtyard of food outlets that smell of smoke and caramelised sugar… heaven basically! It’s pretty busy, but theres plenty of seating at the Rekorderlig pop-up cider lodge, as well as outdoor seating around fire pits.

We ended the night watching fireworks over the river at Jimmy’s Lodge, where you can snuggle up with loads of blankets and a delicious (albeit incredibly expensive) butter rum cocktail.

Giggling Squid

Q recently had his birthday and after a fun but freezing day at an airfield being photographer whilst he blasted around a race track, I took him for a warming lunch at the Giggling Squid in Berkhamstead. It was exactly what we needed and the restaurant is a lovely place with different rooms, fire places and cosy brick walls.

The menu has small ‘tapas’ dishes as well as larger meals. We started with some squid (seemed fitting!) and it was unbelievably good; some of the best I’ve had!

The curries were perfect for warming us back up from the -3 degree weather. This is a great place for a casual bite to eat. It’s fantastic value too at £7-£9 for our main meals.

Absurd Bird Bottomless Brunch

Birthday celebrations continued into the weekend and into London, for a bottomless brunch with friends at the Absurd Bird in Spitalfields. A big thank you to The Reet Petite for the recommendation! This is a fun, lively place where you can fill your boots in a two hour slot with unlimited booze and a two course meal for £35.

The service is friendly but calculated. You’re given a talk at the start about not drinking too much and how you are unable to mix drinks on the menu. It seems though that after you’ve proved yourselves to be a sensible table they ease up and the glass top-ups become more frequent.

A few drinks in and I’m afraid the food photography wasn’t fantastic, but the food itself was! Really excellent fried chicken that was the perfect pairing with a nice cold beer. Hearty and crowd pleasing – this is a great place to come and celebrate!

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