Finding a flat and spending a few days in London



If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have been hard pressed to miss my barrage of Instagram stories last weekend in honour of my signing the lease on an extortionately priced room in East London. There was a series of pretty arduous events that led to me taking the room that I did but I'm sure I'll fall in love with it pretty quickly, despite being spoilt by the Glasgow property market for the last four years. 

So, my trip began - as all good things do - on a sweaty, packed out Megabus from Glasgow to London Victoria. I arrived at 6am on Thursday morning, proceeded to lament my former, fiscal self and hopped on the Victoria line to Finsbury Park where my complete ANGEL of a pal Martyna let me stay with her. We did a classic bitch-nap combo and I headed off to run some errands. We regrouped at Notting Hill Gate and ambled to Farm Girl on Portobello Road for coffee and lunch; I opted for the coconut 'bacon' BLT with a cashew milk flat white and a vegan donut, while Martyna had some buckwheat pancakes and a latte. Alas, Harry Styles was not in the vicinity, but one of these days...

After looking in a few vintage shops we decided to go over to Shoreditch via Liverpool St for more coffee and people watching; my first flat viewing was also fairly proximate to Shoreditch. We had a speedy browse in Box Park and then went for coffee at Fix 126, which to be honest I wouldn't really recommend as they don't offer KeepCup discount, or any free plant milk options. We then got on a bus going the wrong way, then on a bus heading the right way to Bethnal Green and showed up to my first viewing ten minutes late, oops. After viewing the property and then three other flats, one that was akin to a prison cell and one which stank of weed and had two shared bathrooms between 19 people, I said I wanted the larger room in the first flat. Due to the aforementioned 'arduous events' I ended up signing for a slightly smaller room in the flat, but needs must. Martyna and I proceeded to eat a lot of chips and then went to sleep.

On Friday we went over to Fulham and got coffee, I went back to the flat to view the smaller room, and went to the V&A in the evening as it was open until 10pm. If there's one thing I'm looking forward to about moving to London, it's the cultural exposure; I bloody love art galleries. Then I walked from South Kensington to Fulham (1.9 miles I'll have you know) to pick up Martyna from work. We proceeded to eat more chips then went to sleep.

On Saturday Martyna started work early, so I was left to my own devices. I had originally planned to go to the Photographers Gallery in Soho in the morning as it's free before 12am, but naturally overslept. I instead went for coffee at the Department of Social Affairs with my Uni pal Amy who's working in London and then for a wander around Liberty where I wept over my dream Shrimps 'Antonia' bag. After bouncing back to big bad Bethnal Green to sign the lease, I went to go and sit in Hackney Coffee Company until Martyna finished work. We made, what I would describe as the most robust bowls of pesto pasta you've ever seen, and fannied about into the evening.

On Sunday morning I went to go and meet my pal Dougie for coffee over in Dalston. We went to Brunswick East and I had a heart palpitation when they told me it was £4.40 for an oat milk iced latte. Then one of my other friends David came over from Brighton, and we drank coffee, went vintage shopping, listened to Ariana Grande's new album and perused the Saachi Gallery. Honorary shout out to the gift shop of DREAMS at the Saachi for providing both heavenly ceramics and inspired comedic material in the form of tiny hands. Best £3 I've ever spent. We got Martyna from work and went to Market Hall Fulham for dinner, and obviously finished the evening by consuming more chips in Martyna's living room.



On Monday I went back to the V&A with my boyfriend's lovely mum, who has a V&A membership so we could view the 'Fashioned from Nature' and 'Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up' exhibitions for free. I would thoroughly recommend both, particularly the 'Fashioned from Nature' exhibition which although has multiple examples of fashion derived from animal cruelty, ultimately has much about natural fabrics such as flax, hemp and gives space to sustainable fibres such as pineapple leaf which can be used to create leather alternatives. Notably, I was excited to see Stella McCartney covered in such an exhibition as her environmental standpoint vastly usurps any other major designer or fashion house. I was, however, concerned to see an 'Erdem x H&M' and some 'H&M conscious' items being displayed in such a setting as I find use of sweatshops and H&M's fast fashion focus to be fundamentally inconsistent with consciousness and wider consideration for the environment. After going round both the exhibitions we had lunch and some coffee in the V&A members room. After saying goodbye, I went to go and get Martyna from work and spent the rest of the evening slinging things in my suitcase and inhaling pesto pasta before getting on my coach at 10:30pm. 


In summary, I found a flat, drank a lot of coffee and spent time with friends. I also watched a rat chase a squirrel in Bethnal Green gardens but the less said about that pessimistic metaphor, the better. Financially my outlook is bleak so I'll be selling a host of my worldly possessions on Depop in the coming week to raise some funds to pay my first month's rent (lol). It'll particularly be clothing bits but perhaps some homeware too as my stuff is leaving Glasgow next weekend. I'll be posting on my Instagram and Twitter when anything goes up so be sure to check there and send through any offers as I only have a week to sell everything!

I'm in Bristol visiting my boyfriend until Monday and am trying to rattle out as many blog posts as I can before then because when I'm back in Glasgow I'll be consumed by working and packing. Standard fashion content should be resuming soon; I'll maybe do a little London outfit run down in a post soon too.

Rhiannon

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