The four weeks of February flew by in the blink of an eye. It was inevitable after a low-key month. When you’ve spent weeks counting pennies, crawling through to pay-day, you want a month of nice things to look forward to and I found myself with plenty of plans in the diary. Most of them took me out of town at the weekends, but when you live in a city like London there’s always something that catches your eye. Here are a few of the snapshots from my month.

Whilst the country was suffering with rain, floods, and travel disruption, there were a few rays of light to get us through the month. I even spotted a tree full of blossom along Portobello Road half way through the month, indicating the new season is finally springing into action.

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You can’t beat afternoons when the sun shines and you can finally leave the scarf at home. I always enjoy wandering around Little Venice on my lunch break at this time of year, getting excited about the thought of the trees along the canal finally full of green leaves again!

When the tube strikes got in the city’s way I was forced to do half of my commute by foot instead of by bus. On the upside, it reminded of all the iconic buildings I don’t always see when my head is buried in a book or I’m travelling underground.

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My first weekend out of London took me to my university town of Leicester. Departing from St Pancras is always a treat.

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The next weekend I was down by the coast in Brighton to watch my boyfriend complete the Brighton Half Marathon. It was a beautiful day for it and whilst The British 10K London Run is enough of a challenge for me, I did think it must have been a pretty lovely route by the sea.

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After a busy few weeks in the office and out, I finally got around to getting my hair cut at the newly opened branch of Taylor Taylor down Portobello Road.

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I left feeling as shiny and new as the salon itself. Whilst a step away from my normal posts I’m tempted to writeup a full review, so do let me know if you’d be interested to know more!

It’s known for being the month of romance and I was treated to these lovely roses.

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Whilst they sadly got lost in transit and didn’t arrive on the day (Prestige Flowers proving themselves pretty unreliable), they arrived after my weekend in Brighton and were suitably admired. Big bunches of flowers always brighten up the house and bring a smile, whether there’s an occasion or not (hint, hint, for any male readers out there 😉 ).

Of course, I managed to fit in a few favourite treats for myself with cocktail hours at Manhattan 34 (top left, Leicester location), and later in the month at Floridita (bottom left, Soho).

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Then coffee at Timberyard’s new cafe at Seven Dials and finally making it to Pizza Pilgrims (full review coming soon).

 How was the four weeks of your February? What are you looking forward to in March?

You can follow my daily snapshots of the city on Instagram @ThisCityLifeLdn.

We’re half way through February and January seems like a dim and distant memory. I don’t know about you but it’s easy to say the month was a challenge, finances were tight, work was crazy and the clouds kept the sun and blue skies hidden from view. I contemplated skipping the month’s snapshots with sadly so few taken, but in the interests of moving on and looking forward to the (hopefully) kinder months of the year I changed my mind. So here goes!

For most of January I tried to keep myself cosy and warm by staying indoors, keeping my head down to get through the working week, emerging from hibernation for a few treats to keep me going. It’s been a bit quiet on the blog as a result, but there were a few city highlights worth sharing.

Day 1 of 2014 got off to a good start finding a hangover cure at Chicken Shop, Tooting.

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Later in the month I went to my favourite Gin Bar, COLD, to enjoy a very satisfying and hard earned Friday night G&T.

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It was my sister’s birthday towards the end of January so I treated her to a cocktail hour at Oblix, The Shard. You can’t beat a city view like this: Snapshots-of-the-city---Jan-Shard-view

With a cocktail like this:

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Sadly it was a quick pitstop as we had plans for the afternoon so I didn’t take enough photos for a full review. But if you want to treat someone to a drink with a great view and don’t mind paying a little more than average, then it’s a great option. But I have to admit I’ve had a quick drink in Aqua Shard too and, if you’re lucky enough to time it well and get a table, I’d say that would be my first choice.

Whilst it felt like most of the month was dreary and grey, I’d be lying if we didn’t enjoy some sunlight over the weeks and I definitely got a little obsessed chasing it with my iPhone!

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It was also very pleasing to start seeing the days get longer, and the mornings get lighter.

When the month really got to me I treated myself to a sunny bunch of flowers.

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I really can’t wait for daffodil season! They always cheer up the flat and when they’re only £1 a bunch you can fill every room with a hint of spring.

The month closed with a tormenting taste of spring. (We can only hope it  returns soon!)

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How did you survive the month? What are you enjoying or looking forward to in February?

Don’t forget you can follow my daily snapshots of the city on instagram @ThisCityLifeLdn 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!! It’s the last day of 2013 and it’s time to congratulate ourselves on reaching the end of another year in the city. Pat yourself on the back for all of the things you’ve achieved and whilst the batteries are charged after a (hopefully) restful Christmas put your thoughts to the year ahead. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

Before I delve into thoughts about what I want to achieve in 2014, I’m taking the chance to look back at the busiest month of the year – December.

I reached my fourth anniversary of being a Londoner this November and what I love about having been here a few years is how there are so many things I still haven’t done or seen, but at the same time there are so many things I’ve grown to love. At the beginning of December I took a whirlwind tour of The O2 for the first time, then towards the end I saw a view of the City I’ve never seen before. (Don’t you just love the contrast of old and new in this picture on the right!? The cars and houses look tiny in comparison to the grand Gherkin!)

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As much as I love modern London, I also like discovering hints of its history like this old-fashioned sign in Tooting and the traditional lights that line Green Park. Did you know that there are still thousands of gas-lit lights in London?

But the buildings alongside the Thames continue to prove the city lights can look equally pretty.

Then Christmas got in the way and normal life went on hold for a while. It took me longer than usual to feel festive this year, but once I’d done my favourite bits of last year’s Christmas lights tour I was good to go for the rest of the month. Helped along by the appearance of reindeers outside the office one lunchtime and a weekend detour via a decked out Leadenhall Market.

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As the holidays got closer, festivities picked up the pace. I had a great Christmas dinner with friends at the Balham Bowls Club, got a little silly with elf hats in the office, and had a mad dash down Oxford Street for last-minute presents.

I was impressed that amongst all the madness I managed to try new places and enjoy a few cocktails. Dean Street Townhouse for a Christmas catch up and Tom’s Kitchen for breakfast were great new discoveries to end the year on!

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But I equally enjoyed trying the new Soho branch of The Rum Kitchen (more on that in 2014!) and finding an evening at home to enjoy my own [Merry] Hot Apple Jerry.

Merriness aside, to me December feels like the true start of winter. Whilst it can be miserable at times, the darker mornings allow opportunities for stunning sunsets…

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And you can’t beat the sight of blue skies on a crisp cold day.

It’s also the perfect time of year to discover new cafes and enjoy plenty of coffee. Keeping your hands warm, then getting you buzzing through the day.

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Whether you’re out in the city or cozy on the sofa, I hope you all have a brilliant evening tonight and a very happy new year!! A BIG thank you to you all for supporting and continuing to read this year!

As always you can follow my daily snapshots of the city @ThisCityLifeLdn on Instagram. If you want to see the year’s snapshots of the city you can find them all here 🙂

For me, November is the month where I try to get my head around the thought of the winter months ahead, shorter daylight hours and chilly temperatures. I dig out the winter wardrobe, pile on a few extra layers and tuck into my favourite warming meals (roast dinners and shepherds pie, yes please!). At the same time I cling on to those final autumnal moments and enjoy the city before winter takes its hold. As we’ve swiftly arrived at December, here are November’s snapshots of the city…

No one can deny the beauty of a good sunset and I can never resist capturing those perfect moments when the sun streams across the streets of London.

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This month I’ve managed to enjoy a few sunny moments! From a walk across Wimbledon Common, between a dash to the underground after a catch up with friends in Covent Garden, after the end of a busy day in the office, and at the end of the weekend as I made my way home in Tooting.

But sunset isn’t the only time London can look stunning at this time of year. Down by Little Venice I took a lunchtime walk alongside the canal.

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And when I had more time at the weekend I took a stroll around Greenwich Park and enjoyed this view after the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition.

You may be surprised to discover Tooting has its own picturesque places to enjoy when you’re looking for fresh air or a green space for a good run.

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When I’m not enjoying the great outdoors, I’m still sipping on cappucinos and coffees. I made my second visit to Brickwood Coffee and Bread and my first to Southsider in Clapham.

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I also enjoyed two cockail hours at the Purl pop-up in Balham and a good dose of caffiene from Brown’s of Brockley before hitting Brockley Market.

Where I enjoyed this tasty pizza from Van Dough.

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As the month drew to an end I got into the American festive spirit celebrating Thanksgiving at Beard to Tail (where I must return for a plate of ribs and pulled pork!)

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Amongst trying new things and enjoying old favourites, sights like this always stop me in my [running] tracks.

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And I just had to pause on the commute home to take in the festive lights down Oxford Street, Christmas is on its way!!

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A busy month in many ways! Although I’m afraid it has been a bit light on the blog this month whilst I manage things between work and life. But I’ve got some great ideas and plenty of new places to try so please bear with me! 🙂

How was your November? What are you looking forward to during festive December?

Don’t forget you can follow all of my daily snapshots of the city on instagram @ThisCityLifeLdn.

Autumn often feels like the fleeting season of the year. For just a few weeks golden leaves decorate the trees, crunchy leaves scatter across pavements, and warming scents of the season fill the air. Before you know it November is here and the trees are already beginning to look quite bare. As we brace ourselves for cooler temperatures I’m reminding myself of one of the prettiest seasons of the year and all the places and spaces I’ve been able to squeeze in.

Enjoying long walks outdoors is a must at the height of autumn. There’s nothing better than the sight of golden and red hues, the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet.

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Collecting conkers at this time of year brings back nostalgic memories of excitedly foraging through parks as a child. Did you used to play the conkers game when you were younger? I hope children still play this today and it hasn’t fallen into the traps of health and safety hazards!

In London we’re particularly lucky to have the Royal Parks on our doorsteps. Their regal history often means you can find the finest and most colourful landscapes at this time of year. Before the clocks turned back I made sure I escaped the office just in time for sunset and got treated to a pretty stunning evening walk.

As the temperature drops and the days draw in I’ve been making the most of daylight hours by discovering new cafes and enjoying regular favourites even more.

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This month I found The Liberty of Norton of Folgate, Ben’s Canteen (which I must return to for brunch) and a great new South West find Brickwood Coffee and Bread. I’ve also made a few trips to the closest cafe to my flat which sells Workshop Coffee, Graveney and Meadow.

Of course when enjoying drinks in the evening I turn to my other favourite treat, cocktails! And October was a great month with London Cocktail Week!

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You can discover my top 10 finds here!

One of the great things about being out in the city at night is the chance to cross Waterloo Bridge when I wouldn’t normally have the pleasure.

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This view always stops me in my tracks.

As for other highlights  of the month, I certainly enjoyed celebrating National Champagne Week with Searcys at my favourite London station, Kings Cross St Pancras (where we also met regular piano players and saw a lot of romance!).

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I took a long overdue trip back to my hometown Birmingham. Enjoyed an impromptu catch up and burger at Tommi’s Burger Joint. Tried my first supperclub at Tooting Market. Discovered the brilliant COLD Bar for far one of the best G&Ts I’ve ever had!

Big thanks to everyone who entered this month’s giveaway which celebrated the collaboration between Ping Pong and the V&A for the launch of the Masterpieces of Chinese Painting.  Congratulations to the 12 winners!

A busy autumnal October which like every month of the year so far seems to have flashed by in a second.

How was your October? What are you looking forward to in November?

Don’t forget you can follow all of my daily snapshots of the city on Instagram @ThisCityLifeLdn.

September is always a strange transitional month, it’s no longer summer but it doesn’t feel quite like autumn, and what to wear is a daily conundrum with minimum success. It’s the end of the summer’s series of events and street food festivals, the final days of some of the biggest exhibitions and the last chance to catch a rooftop drink. It goes by in a blink of adjustment as we say our goodbyes to the summer and look forward to a fresh new season ahead.

It’s unlikely you’ll be left with nothing to do in London and for me it’s been a pleasant month of new finds amongst old favourites, trying to get to grips with the varying weather along the way.

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 The leaves have slowly been turning and we’ve really had every weather this month, from balmy temperatures in the late 20s, to cool and breezy, and wet and windy.There have been some pretty lovely sunsets too.

If I’m ever in doubt of trying to think of something to do at the weekend you’re likely to find me in a cafe sipping a coffee, rummaging around the Londonist and scrolling through my twitter feed for inspiration.

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This month included a swift visit to Tonic Coffee Bar, the return to my favourite local Graveney and Meadow, a new local find Lavish Habit and an overdue visit to Embassy East for a post-Columbia Road Flower Market brunch.

 The infamous flower market brims with flowers and shoppers so I find it’s always a good idea to have a rest planned.

 Dirty Burger at Vauxhall a less healthy pitstop during the month, but it was devilishy good.

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As for other indulgences, I enjoyed one of the last cocktails in the sunshine at The Bollingbroke and a lovely dinner at Kettner’s followed by cocktails at Lab Bar.

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 The last cocktail of the month was courtesy of Bourne & Hollingsworth at the Dark Circus Party.

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Such a fun night of dancing and entertainment! (I’ve got a full post on the event coming soon!).

In between all the mayhem that another month of city life brings I caught some pretty great views of London’s most well-known icons. How could I forget the balmy cocktail hour at the Radio Rooftop Bar with that view over Somerset House and the Thames?

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Daytime views seen from the ground can be just as lovely when the weather is right. I always feel lucky that I get to catch sight of all of these icons on a day-to-day basis.

The last weekend of the month was a much-needed relaxed one, a cinema date at Canary Wharf meant I got to enjoy a couple of minutes by the quayside. There’s nothing more relaxing than being by the water and it’s surprising how pretty it is down there.

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As the new season begins there’s a lot to look forward to and I’m definitely ready to embrace autumnal London.

How did you enjoy transeasonal September? What are you looking forward to in October?

P.S. You can enjoy my daily snapshots of the city on Instagram @ThisCityLifeLdn.