TGR: Summer (from the toasty middle of it)

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Here I am trying to nail ‘the casual neck scratch’.

Give me a quick minute to sweep the cobwebs off. *sweep**dust**sweep*

Yes, I know I’ve been gone for what seems like the better part of a century. Apologies. It’s been a messy few months, what with more shifts at work and lots of planning for my long-overdue travels. Or more like, it’s been a perfectly ordinary few months but I am an unusually messy person who does less in 24 hours than normal folks. Trust me: numerous times over these few months I’ve thought about wonderful things to write about – my holiday in Greece (Just 1 tip: Santorini is the best place on earth), various midnight-baking adventures, songs that stick in my head like glue, my trips to Glasgow and, most recently, Lisbon. But I’ve been lazy every time or the words just would not come. But anyways, I’m back! Hopefully this will spark regular posts instead of an obscenely long hiatus again.

This July is my first proper taste of summer. When I say this, I mean the proper, time-period that is summer, not just the heat. Bear in mind that I am an equator-girl harking from the hot hot lands of Southeast Asia and heat is something I am quite well acquainted with. I was in Taiwan in august 2 years ago and I felt like I had to regularly check myself in the mirror because I was so sure that any moment now I was going to melt like a wax figurine and look like a botox-lover’s utter nightmare.

Anyway, I have made it about halfway through the British summertime. I don’t actually know when it ends and I can’t quite remember when it began, but since the Summer Solstice was a couple of weeks ago I assume I’m abit past the halfway line.

How has it been?

Well, the temperature’s been great. My favourite weather is the kind that lets you go out in shorts but still calls for some sort of light outerwear. Because outerwear means accessible pockets. Pockets are safe havens for hands. No awkward twiddling of thumbs, or lightly patting yourself on the thigh, or worse, the hip, because your hands are as clueless about where to be and what to do as an art student on Wall Street (I speak from experience … I ended up at a food truck that sold all-day waffle breakfasts).

London is a lovely place to be in summer because of all the parks, as well as the little green spaces that don’t quite qualify as parks. The pockets of green (aren’t pockets just the best!!). As the sun sheds it’s usual wear of thick cloud-cover, all the British people come rolling out onto the grass, and in the more popular spaces (i.e. not the anonymous pockets of green) it’s hard to walk around without tramping on a lily-white limb or two.

Of course, there’s the absolute best bit of summer: THE NEARLY INFINITE HOURS OF DAYLIGHT!!!! Okay, not infinite. Not nearly infinite at all, considering some places on earth do, actually, have infinite hours of sunlight. But it’s absolutely brilliant to go to bed and still see the last light of day trickling out of the blue horizon. Yeah, I go to bed quite early with a cuppa tea and am a generally boring person by most social standards. *reflects on life*

I spent the longest weekend of summer on the rooftop of Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. It’s an absolute charmer of a place, set under a red tent on the roof of a carpark, with a view to take your breath away.

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Pinning all hope on that one triangle of sky blue ….

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The skies ablaze behind the stunner of a skyline. 😀

When I was there, it was raining pretty heavily, but I don’t think it dampened moods very much. The scenery was still lovely to look at; one thing was that everyone naturally tried to get under the red tent, instead of comfortably distributing themselves around the open carpark space, so it did get pretty cramped. My advice would be to go early to avoid the crowds, especially if you want a proper seat for food (which we did). After some time of milling about we did get a seat, one with a view, too! Lucky us. I do think my beer was significantly diluted with rainwater, but that’s okay. The food was good quality, the produce fresh and the flavours tasty and interesting. They struck me a being pinched from a number of cuisines, making for quite a wonderful time for my tastebuds. Not pricey either!

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Busy jaws and happy hearts ~

Afterward, you can make like we did and have a cocktail at the Rooftop Film Club’s bar atop the Bussey Building, a stone’s throw away. There, you get a view both of the crowd at Frank’s, and the skyline. Perfect.

Read Timeout’s article on Frank’s here.

Rachel and I have spent many an evening with takeaway thai food by the river, watching the most beautiful warm colours flicker and flame across the sky, and listening to the chuckles of slightly tipsy people drift over from the cosy pub opposite.

Speaking of takeaway thai food, I do actually have something to recommend in this vague mess of a post: ThaiBox Takeaway at Surrey Quays. We’ve recently discovered it and it’s amazing. The shop is run by a lovely thai couple, and the food is all freshly-cooked on the spot when you order, so expect to wait at least 10 or 15 minutes, but it’s worth it for the astonishingly high quality they deliver. The phad thai was as good as the ones I’ve had in Bangkok, mother, of course, of all phad thais. After chatting with the lovely lady – her husband is the chef – I learnt that the husband has actually worked in professional kitchens for twenty years, the majority of those being spent as head chef. He has trained chefs that have gone on to open their own restaurants. How’s that for a resume? Awesome! If you’re ever in the Southeast I highly recommend it. If you’re hoping to get food around peak dinnertime, give them a call 15 minutes to half an hour before you go down to collect it if you want to cut on waiting time. Otherwise, just hang around and have a chat with the nice lady there. 🙂

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Phad thai for a better tomorrow!! 

Okay. This post has deviated a great lot. Frankly, it didn’t have much of a point to make since the start. Are you confused? If you are, please come back next time because my next post will undoubtedly be better *doubts fly around the room*.

Me Thinks: Summer is gr8. Thai food makes summer all the better.

Cheers (raise a glass to the 8pm sun!) x

Frank’s Cafe

10th floor, Peckham Multistorey Carpark,

95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST

Rooftop Film Club (Peckham)

Bussey building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE154 ST

Thai Box

138 Lower Rd, London SE16 2UG

020 3719 3753


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