I visited London in the UK again 6 – 11 July 2022, and in this video I take you along to my bookish adventures and show you what I got.
I took part in the ninth round of the Queer Lit Readathon! This is my reading vlog and summary.
I visited Tromsø, a city in the north of Norway (69.6489°N 18.9551°E), 3 – 6 June 2022. This is my travel and reading vlog.
May is THE spring month here in Oslo, Norway, and in this reading vlog/wrap up, you follow me through the month and see what I read.
This is a vlog/reading vlog from my celebration of Oslo Pride 22 – 25 June 2022. Due to the events happening on the night before the big Pride Day, things did not turn out as planned…
24 May is Pansexual Day of Visibility! 💖💛💙 Here are some books I own that has a pansexual main character (I haven’t read them all yet, though). 📚
📖 Crownchasers, by Rebecca Coffindaffer
📖 Dead Space, by Kali Wallace
📖 Once & Future, by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
📖 The Library of the Unwritten, by A. J. Hackwith
📖 The Witch’s Heart, by Genevieve Gornichec
📖 In the Ravebous Dark, by A. M. Stricland
In April I went to London, and did some bookshopping. Here are the books that came home with me to Norway.
I went to London, United Kingdom, 11 – 15 April 2022. I visited several bookshops, met up with nice people, ate good food, and had in general a lovely time.
Friday was to be another sunny day in London, but it was also my last day and the day I went home. I thought I would make the best of it, but I can say it as it was: It did not at all go as planned!
I decided I wanted a really nice breakfast, and headed to Mildreds again. As it was a public holiday, they had the Weekend Bunch Menu, with several yummy options. Unfortunately, many of them included the scrambled tofu. “But you love scrambled tofu?” you might think, and the answer to that is yes. I absolutely love scrambled tofu. But I’m also very intolerant/allergic to bell peppers, and Midreds’ scrambled tofu contains lots of bell peppers. I don’t know why they don’t make their food from scratch, or if there’s some sort of prep that makes it impossible for them to make scrambled tofu without the bell peppers, but it is what it is. So instead I went for the gunpowder toastie, with pea spinach & potato, green chilli, smoked cheez, and mango pickle yoghurt. It was very hot, but very yummy and filling. I also had a glass for fresh juice (pineapple, apple, ginger, and turmeric) and a cup of oat latte. Indulging myself before going back to the hotel to relax, just felt like the right thing to do!
Before I left for London, and also while I was there, the British news told us that the airports were all chaos with huge queues. With that in mind, I checked Heathrow’s webpage, to see what information there was on fast track at the airport. The webpage was a bit weird, and from what I could tell, they didn’t have any, due to Covid-19. Having lived in the UK, and been to the UK many, many times, I knew that this information might actually be outdated. They had lifted all restrictions in England not long before, so I thought that maybe they hadn’t gotten around to update the information on the webpage. (They tend to be rather slow at such things in England). I contacted SAS customer service, and asked if London Heathrow had fast track. They told me they would need to check with colleagues, so I just assumed that meant they had to get in touch with employees at Heathrow (especially when they made me wait for over 30 minutes). When they finally came back to me, they confirmed that no, no fast track at Heathrow. In addition to this, there was work on the Piccadilly Line, which is the tube line that takes you from the centre of London to Heathrow.
After checking out of the hotel, I decided to take the tube to Paddington, and then a train from Paddington to Heathrow. The train wasn’t the Heathrow Express, but a regular train, and it didn’t take as a much time as I thought it would. To my surprise, there wasn’t a lot of people on the train, and hardly any queue at the checking (though travelling SAS Plus helps). When i checked in, I was told “the lounge is after fast track security”. I was surprised, to say the leased, and replied “There’s a fast track?” to which they replied “of course!” Turns out Star Alliance have their own fast track. Needless to say, going through fast track took no time at all, and then all of a sudden I had six hours to kill at the airport. No queueing, no waiting, just everything going very smoothly.
Having so much time at the airport meant I could go to the lounge that is pretty far from my gate. Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, and since I had lounge access, I headed to their lounge at Heathrow. That was the right choice! Often Asian airlines are better at vegan food, and I picked up a poké bowl with veggies and edamame beans, as well as some egg free noodles. There were plenty of snacks and drinks as well. The hummus tasted great, so I must admit I had plenty of it. It was nice to just relax and read while waiting for my plane’s departure.
After spending a few hours in the lounge, I headed back to “my” part of the terminal. It was kind of walking in the wrong direction, so it took quite a while to walk there. And then it was time to board the plane and head back to Norway. I spent most my flight reading and drinking white wine.
It was fairly late when we landed, and I picked up my bags and got the train back to Oslo. London was lovely, and I’m already looking forward to my next trip.
Thursday turned out to be a very sunny and warm day in London, and I decided to have breakfast at O’Neill’s King’s Cross. The main reason for heading here, was because it was close to the hotel. Though the pub claims to be “The original Irish Bar in Kings Cross”, it came across as an American Irish pub rather than a proper Irish one to me. The only vegan option on the menu was the Plant Life Breakfast (toasted muffin with vegan sausages, spinach hash, guacamole, flat mushroom, Heinz® baked beans and cherry tomatoes), so that’s what I went for, along with some sparkling soda water on tap (basically free fizzy water). They didn’t have any plant milks, so for me tea or coffee were out of the question (I’ll drink my coffee black at a place with good coffee, but not at a place like this).
When the breakfast arrived, I was a bit disappointed, but not really surprised. The spinach was dry, the mushrooms were dry, the bap wasn’t great, and the whole thing was rather sad. Fortunately, it did its job, and filled me up, so that I was ready to meet the day. I would not recommend this as a breakfast place, though, there are far better places to eat, and thinking back, I kind of wish I’d gone to a supermarket and just bought a sandwich and a bottle of sparkling water there.
After breakfast, I decided to go back to the hotel. On my way I stopped by one of the many food stalls outside King’s Cross station: Crosstown. Crosstown makes handcrafted fresh doughnuts, and you can get vegan doughnuts from them all over London. I bought the Vegan Coconut & Lime doughnut, and it was really really nice! I brought the doughnut back to my hotel room, and enjoyed it there, in peace and quiet.
Relaxing in my room with a nice tread did wonders, and I decided to take the tube to Tower Hill. This meant that I arrived at the Tower of London, where I started my walk. I then walked along the River Thames, and passed a few bridges, Tower Bridge being one of them. When I first visited London in 1988 (the year I turned 14), I remember staying at a hotel where we could see Tower Bridge from our hotel room.
As it was a very sunny day, I wasn’t the only one out for a walk. Not only were there lots of people walking along the river, but the benches along the foot path were filled with people relaxing and smiling. Every time you passed by a pub or an outdoor restaurant, they were filled with people. I’m certain the lovely weather and the fact that the next day was a bank holiday were the reasons everywhere were filled with happy people.
There was one thing I wanted to do before going to the bookcrossing meetup I was going to attend at 4 pm: I wanted to visit Daunt Books. I have visited Daunt Books previously, but it’s always worth a visit if you love books and have the time. I think it’s one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world! I didn’t buy anything, but just being there, browsing the shelves, was nice. They have a really good non-fiction selection, for being such a small bookshop. Because it really isn’t all that big, once you get into it.
On my way to Allsop Arms, where I was supposed to meet up with the bookcrossers, I pretty much stumbled over a small coffee shop called Hagen. Hagen is a Danish espresso bar concept born out of Copenhagen and founded in London. They serve specialty coffee, and to my delight their pour over was absolutely top notch! As far as I can tell from their homepage, they have five branches across London. A perfect place for a break, if you have the time and need a nice cup of coffee.
At the bookcrossing meetup, we ended up being a total of three people. I think it probably was because a lot of people left the city due to Easter. It ended up being a really nice meetup, though, and it was lovely to see people I hadn’t seen in real life in a few years. I think last time I met Poodlesister was at the convention in Oxford in 2015.
It was pretty much dinner time for me, so I had pie and chips, and I also had a couple of ciders in the pub. One of the ciders I’d had before, the other one not. It’s always fun to try new beers and ciders, especially if I’m in the UK. Though I do with the IPA trend would soon be over!
After the meetup I went back to the hotel, where I had a lovely bath. Having a bath tub in the hotel room always feels like luxury, and I try to use it if I can. It was so nice and relaxing, having a bath and reading. I decided to stay in the hotel room for the rest of the evening, and was honestly pretty exhausted. It was nice to creep under the duvet after a long, but nice, day.