Ping!

I had heard so much about Ping – the table tennis venue in Earl’s Court – and I had been looking for an excuse to go! A few weeks ago, I went to a friend’s 21st and in the drunken/hungover antics the next morning we began to knock about on the ping pong table and the competitive spirit began to brew. A few rounds later, a group of us had decided to battle it out at a future date, which before long had come around! I am a very competitive person but unfortunately ping pong is not amongst my skills set, so for me this was just a bit of fun…but my friends disagreed!

To start off the fun (and give myself some liquid confidence) we began with a few drinks and oh my – they were delicious! I started off with a passionfruit martini followed by a “Good Thyme” i.e. gin, elderflower and thyme. I was a bit skeptical at first at the thought of thyme in an alcoholic beverage but everyone agreed the combination of flavours was yummy! Plus I’m always one that loves a good pun so the drink was perfect for me.

passionfruit martini Good Thyme

Then the battle was on! The others were all so good, me…not so much.

ping4ping6

So in the end we played doubles and singles, mixing and matching the pairs up and playing games such as “King of the Court”. Overall, it was such a good laugh and I’ve come away now wanting to improve my skills to shock them all and smash it next time – because I will be back! They had great music, not to mention again the delicious drinks and as the night went on, the lights went down and the tables were lit from above in different colours (very cool but very distracting if you’re as competitive as me).

If you want a great night out with friends, or somewhere different for a date (there were lots of couples hidden away in the corners…) then this is definitely somewhere you have to try! You want to get in early though as the tables go quick but they also serve food if you’re getting peckish or play hard enough. Definitely a great night out and very much recommended!

http://www.weloveping.com/

A (rainy) weekend in Cambridge

The summer is quickly escaping us and I felt a sudden desire to make the most of it whilst I still can! A couple of my housemates that I’ve been living with for the past three years at university have their childhood homes in the beautiful Cambridge and considering I’ve never been before, I was really excited to go stay for the weekend.

With one off to do a ski season soon, another about to start a full-time job in the City and another heading back up North to do her masters, we were like giddy school girls again when we were reunited. After a two hour drive from Surrey to Great Gransden, we settled in for the afternoon in the most appropriate way – with a big pot of tea, chocolate biscuits and a natter in the garden! After some umm-ing and uhhh-ing all afternoon about how to spend our evening, we settled on wine and curry and cuddled up on the sofa to watch Sex and the City (can you think of a better way to spend your Saturday night?).

The next morning we got up early with the intention of heading into Cambridge city centre to be proper tourists by walking around the colleges and go punting. Unfortunately, in typical British style, the weather decided that wasn’t going to happen and it began raining…a lot. Although, being British after all, a spot of rain was never going to stop us! We still wandered around the beautiful city, armed with umbrellas, and admired the colleges comparing how different the university lifestyle must have been against ours in Newcastle.

Then came my favourite bit: The Fudge Kitchen. Fudge is probably my all-time favourite naughty treat and this particular fudge is one of the best I’ve ever tasted! We watched how they made it: boiling all the ingredients in what looked like a large cauldron (on the backdrop of King’s College, it felt like a scene out of Harry Potter!) and then seemingly folding the gooey fudge on a large slab table until it resembled the fudge pieces we expect and love.

fudge making at the Fudge Kitchen, Cambridge

We also got to try some samples (lots and lots of samples…) with some interesting flavours such a peanut butter and mocha – all very delicious, although my favourite has to be the simple vanilla. This was quickly followed by a stop at Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe where there were all the classic favourite sweets that I have loved since I was little, plus all the quirky American ones…it was just like being, well, a kid in a sweet shop! (grown up kids anyway..)

A jolly Jelly Bean portrait of Wills and Kate

After purchasing a few gifts (I would be in serious trouble at home if I didnt) we headed off for some quick refreshments of iced teas and coffees and yet more gossiping and catching up.

Ice tea in Cambridge

It wasn’t long before we started getting peckish and after all the sweet treats, we were desperately craving something savoury! So we headed to Bill’s for some lunch and here we ordered a selection of starters and sides and decided to have it tapas style: sweet potatoes, tortillas with various dips, chicken pate and chutney, crudites and humous, halloumi cheese and skinny fries – a slightly different Sunday lunch to normal (but delicious all the same)!

Bill's tapas-style lunch cambs6

Unfortunately, after the bill was paid and before long it was already time to say our goodbyes. I wish that I had been able to see more of Cambridge and would LOVE to go punting but it just means that I’ll have to be back again soon!