Shiny Shoes and Street Food

On Friday, Matthew and I took a semi-spontaneous trip into London, having been in Luton in the morning for a job interview. We caught the train from Luton Airport Parkway into St Pancras, and after going to see Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross – rookie mistake during school summer holidays cos it was pretty crazy! – hopped on the tube to one of my favourite places in London: Covent Garden.

It was gone 2:30pm by the time we actually got there, so lunch was really first on the agenda, and we decided to forgo our usual go-to restaurants and instead we went to Wahaca – Matthew had been before and raved about it, and I was up for seeing if it was as good as he said it was. The Covent Garden branch is actually just a few roads outside of the main square, but the restaurant was easy to find and as soon as I stepped inside I was pretty excited by everything going on. The decor was fun, the whole place smelled amazing and the staff were super friendly from the offset which is always a huge plus for me.

The menu consists primarily of ‘street food’ options, which are smaller dishes designed for sharing around the table, and although there are some dishes which are supposed to be more like a main course, I wanted the proper experience. We ordered 6 dishes between the two of us:

  • Frijoles and tortilla chips – a creamy bean dip with crumbled cheese and a bucket of chips for dipping
  • Four cheese empanadas – two crispy, crunchy pastry parcels filled with the creamiest and stringiest cheeses
  • British steak tacos – three small tortilla tacos filled with chunks of steak and salsa
  • Buttermilk chicken baja tacos – two larger soft tortilla tacos filled with crispy fried chicken and salsa
  • Mexican style chorizo and potato quesadillas – two grilled tortilla ‘sandwiches’ filled with chorizo and crushed potato with cheese
  • Chicken club quesadillas – quesadillas filled with grilled chicken, lettuce and spicy salsa

All of the dishes are brought out as soon as they’re ready, so you can just dive into whatever comes first, and it was really fun to be able to pick and choose and share. My absolute favourite dish was the cheese empanadas, which I haven’t stopped thinking about since, but also the buttermilk chicken tacos and the chicken club quesadillas are both dishes that I would order again.

While we tried our best to finish, we didn’t quite clear our plates, partly because we wanted room for dessert. Again, we decided to share two options, ordering the churros and chocolate dip, and the salted caramel ice-cream, both of which were absolutely to die for! Fully fuelled for the rest of the day, we went back to Covent Garden and wandered around the shops, including the Moomin Shop where I met Moomin himself!

When we left Covent Garden, we headed for the Natural History Museum to fill a little bit of time, then walked down to another of our London must-dos, Ben’s Cookies, to pick up a selection box of our favourite cookies, then got the tube back to Victoria as that morning we had booked tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria.

It was Matthew’s first time seeing the show, having only heard Defying Gravity before, and while I had seen it once before, it has been probably about 8 years since I last saw the show. In fact, the first time I saw Wicked in London was when Idina Menzel was still playing Elphaba, and nothing will ever top that for me! That said, the show was amazing, and of course had me in tears on more than one occasion. Wicked was the first musical that I fell in love with, and Defying Gravity and For Good are two of my all time favourite songs from any musical, and back in the days where I was confident enough to sing on stage in front of an audience, I once performed I’m Not That Girl.

I don’t know if it was just the progression and development of the show over time, but I felt that watching it after so many years I found it funnier, but that could just be down to me being a little older and understanding more of the jokes. Honestly though, despite a love of all things musical theatre, Wicked will always have a special place in my heart and I was so happy to see it again after all this time.

While I might not have ruby slippers, my feet were pretty damn comfy in my gorgeous new rose gold trainers from Truffle on Asos. Would you believe I only paid £11 for them?! I took a risk wearing them for the first time ever for a day walking around London but I am blister free and there was not a single complaint all day! I don’t normally go for this sort of style of trainer – I’m a strictly Converses kinda gal – but I’m so glad I bought these, and let’s face it, they’re the ultimate blogger shoe – even Matthew keeps referring to them as my shiny blogger shoes haha! I think they’ve got back up to £14 on Asos now but I still think that’s a bargain for such comfy and pretty shoes!

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Aladdin the Musical

Aladdin the Musical West End review

I might be late to the party, but I’ve finally seen Aladdin on West End! I was a little heartbroken when Disney replaced the show at the Hyperion in DCA, so when it was announced that it was coming to London, I knew it would be worth seeing. Matthew bought the tickets for my birthday months ago, and I’ve been patiently waiting and avoiding spoilers like no tomorrow in preparation for last weekend when I stepped foot into the Prince Edward Theatre!

‘Come for the houmous, stay for the floor show’

Something that made me really happy from the outset was the theatre itself. While I do love a big theatre, the Prince Edward seemed a lot more intimate, and the view from our seats was brilliant.

I’m a huge musical theatre fan, so there’s nothing I love more than that moment when the bands starts playing the opening number, and the compilation of classic Aladdin songs got me so excited for what was coming, and then the Genie appeared and the show began!

I should have known that the show would contain more songs than what’s in the animated classic, but they took me a little by surprise! If I’m being totally honest, I found them a bit hit and miss – I loved Babkak, Omar, Aladdin and Kassim and High Adventure, while Proud of Your Boy and These Palace Walls were a little bit meh, although that may be just due to not being able to hear the words particularly well!

That being said, I tend to measure how good the music is based on my goosebumps, and I had them right from the get go! Of course, the whole Friend Like Me scene was without a doubt the best number of the whole show, with Trevor Dion Nicholas absolutely blowing the whole audience away! I loved all the inside jokes, the Disney parodies and amazing dance numbers, and it had me in stitches at the same time as my jaw being on the floor.

‘Even the poor people look fabulous’

From the outset, the staging and the costumes blew me away. There was so much detail and everything was so sparkly and bright without being overwhelming, and the Cave of Wonders.. WOW. Also, can we talk about that magic carpet? Literally all I’ve done since seeing it is come up with theories for how that thing worked because OH MY GOSH.

Really, I just can’t stop raving about how good this show was, it was well worth the wait! It was witty and full of magic and everything hoped it would be and more, and I cannot recommend going to see it enough!

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Finding Nemo – the Musical

Yep, you read it right, Disney Pixar’s classic tale has been brought to the stage in the Animal Kingdom!

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The musical tells an abridged version of the movie story; it skips the unnecessary to cut the show down to a manageable 40 minutes, great for restless little ones.

Its staged like the hit Broadway and West End musical The Lion King, with actors handling incredible puppets and scenery, and a total phenomenal set.

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We got a Fastpass+, which got us seats about 1/3 of the way from the stage, but the theater seating is raised and staggered, and the large characters and props mean that no matter where you seat, you’re going to be able to see.

My one (very minor) criticism of the whole show it that the songs aren’t up to Disney’s usual standard; they’re not particularly catchy or memorable, but they serve fine during the performance. I guess for those who hate having songs stuck in their head for the rest of the day it would be a relief, but for me it took a little something away..

Aside from this super minor blip, Disney have well and truly hit another one out the park. A definite must see for anyone of any age!

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