No-one really ever expected this would happen. (I don’t really know why I wanted to write this post about life as an expat during a global pandemic, but this is my online journal and sometimes we just have to have a heart to page occasionally.) The world is topsy-turvy thanks to the widespread carnage of a virus, families have been torn apart both permanently and temporarily and who knows how long this will have ramifications for – a generation, I suppose.
If there was a theme to this monthly session of chatting over coffee, it’d be decisions. The decisions you make both in life generally, and specifically when you live the expat life in London.
I think I’d be sipping a tropical espresso martini – ideally at the top of Aqua Shard with my lovely friends.
There isn’t anything so delightful as sitting with a friend in sunshine, with a glass of rosé in hand – and it’s one of the things we all missed so much during lockdown. Since it opened The Laundry, Brixton has been right at the top of my ‘to visit’ list, so much so, that it’s the first place that I wanted to go when lockdown began to ease.
The scene was perfect – sun out, terrace table booked, friend joining me and… social distancing in place. Let’s keep things real here – we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, but our experience at kiwi-run The Laundry was so seamless that it felt like normal life. I was a little nervous (and more than a bit excited) about my first proper trip out of the house.
An intriguing twist in life lately, has been bringing restaurants into our home instead of dining out. For months there has been no going out to eat but trying alternatives like the recently launched home dining by Corbin and King, which was delivered to us. [Disclosure: I was given these meals by Corbin and King but all opinions are very much my own.]
We were delighted to peruse the menu with signature dishes from the Wolseley (a brunch favourite), the Delaunay (an afternoon slice of cake favourite), Fischers (with my favourite schnitzel outside of Austria), Brasserie Zedel (a taste of Paris), Soutine, Manzi’s and Colbert.
Asking an antipodean to describe a lamington is like asking a pre-coffee person to describe a dream. It’s childhood weekends in the sunshine, filled with laughter and your mum snatching a second one out of your hand. It’s spending time with your aunts & grandma on sleepy winter mornings all cosied up with tea. It’s popping to the local bakery with your Dad, on the hunt for a pie and something sweet to get you through a busy day. It’s sending your little brother into the neighbourhood cafe with $5, and him coming out with a fistful of cakes and $10 because the owner adores his dimples. [Disclosure: I was gifted lamingtons by the newly launched Radio Lamington crew.]
At its heart, it’s an individual sponge square, cut through with jam, rolled in chocolate icing and dappled with coconut. But, actually, lamingtons are so much more than that.