Sleep a Little, Dream a Lot

This weekend I’m finally able to catch up on some reading to feed my obsession with caffeine. If you’re looking to set up your own café, coffee-house or coffee-bars in future (well, one can always feed their dreams), you’ve got to check these books out.

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Complete Book of Coffee: The Definitive Guide to Coffee, from Simple Bean to Irresistible Beverage, Including Over 100 Classic Coffee Recipes
An illustrated guide to the history of coffee, where and how the beans are grown, the types of roast and grind and, above all, how to brew and drink it. This is my new bedtime story!

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Cafe Life London: An Insider’s Guide to the City’s Neighborhood Cafes
A profile of 34 independent cafés in London, coupled with great photography and quick, practical insights.

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The Coffee Boys’ Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up and Managing Your Own Coffee Bar
Haven’t actually started on this yet. This is The Coffee Boy’s distillation of experience in setting up their coffee businesses. Somewhat of a marketing, economics type book. My next bedtime story!

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These perhaps, are the reasons why I sleep so little and dream so much.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Department of Coffee and Social Affairs

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If you’re heading to Chancery Lane Station, you will find this neat little café hideout on Leather Lane, a short 5-minute walk from the subway station towards Holborn Viaduct. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is one of London’s most talked-about cafés on Yelp, TripAdvisor and many travel tip sites, and indeed the place serves up really good coffee.

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Somewhat comforted by their warm, textured brick walls and smooth black table tops, I was half expecting to see a burning fireplace behind the barista counter. Simply put, the place was just so welcoming! I could easily grab a quiet table at 1PM in the afternoon. There were many lone Londoners in the café, either furiously studying or jabbing away at their laptops with intent.

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Having just been to Waterstones, I had a few reads stored away in my bag for a peaceful afternoon. This is just the place to be! It isn’t too quiet as there were pleasant background chatters, but not loud enough to give me splitting headaches. I’m told that the place can get really noisy at its worst, especially in the evenings. Thankfully it was serene that afternoon. Best way to enjoy a cuppa smooth, and hipster-priced flat white!

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Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
14-16 Leather Lane
London
EC1N 7SU
Monday – Friday
07.00 – 18.00
Saturday & Sunday
10.00 – 17.00

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

KULA Ice Cream Parlour & Coffee Bar

KULA Cafe Waffles London

To satisfy the major cravings I had for waffles, I googled “Best Waffles in Central London”. This Swedish gem of a café turned up multiple times in the search engine and I decided to hunt it down! Jet lag woke me up at 5am hence I was ravenous! KULA opens at 8am. I took the underground to Bond Street. The cafeé is at the corner adjacent to St Christopher’s Place, and easily recognized. Small warm and cosy, with splendid waffle choices, a spectrum of coffees and breakfast smoothies…on first impression it’s a lovely place to dine. Boy am I glad the place has WiFi.

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KULA Cafe Waffles London Fresh Fruits

To be honest, the service was terrible! The waitress / boss had a grumpy attitude, and my latte was served lukewarm (I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m Asian, and I have ‘tourist’ written all over my face, because she seemed much nicer to the regulars whom she recognised). Besides coffee, I had a fresh fruits waffle with maple syrup which was satisfyingly sweet. My fruits were indeed cold and fresh, and I felt that it was a hearty, healthy breakfast. I like my waffles crispy though! Mine came slightly soft :/ It was still yummy, disregarding the less than welcoming service.

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KULA Cafe Waffles London Cakes

It’s safe to say that I won’t come back, unless they do a menu revamp, or perhaps just to try their Swedish ice cream. A pity though, I would have loved this hangout a lot.

KULA Cafe Ice Cream

KULA Café
21 James Street London
W1u 1DS London, United Kingdom

Coffee in a Victorian Lavatory

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So, The Attendant is an abandoned underground toilet in London, refurnished into a café. Say what? I was skeptical about lingering lavatory smells but trust me, the café has been so thoroughly cleaned up, everyone’s literally eating off urinal walls.

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Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russel acquired the 1890′s victorian style London lavatory, and to capitalise upon its prime location, turned it into the existing café. Walking down the flight of stairs really felt like stepping into another realm, one that’s quite like the early 1900s.

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Because it’s winter and I’m perpetually hungry, thank god for this range of brunch sandwiches. Had a usual hot latte with a toasted ham, bacon & cheese muffin to go along. They also had cookies and fudge brownies that looked equally yummy. The underground haven promised warmth and protection against the February winds, which was why many people were holed up in the individual urinals, sipping coffees at their own leisure.

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Rereading an old Murakami classic: Norwegian Wood.

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From the curbside, you can even buzz for street level service and they’ll have coffee/food delivered up to you. But then again the space downstairs is too amazing, you’d wanna check it out! Come on, I mean, how many times in your life do you get to eat comfortably in a legit toilet?

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The Attendant
26-27 Foley St,
London W1W 6DY, United Kingdom
+44 20 7637 3794

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Lantana Café, London

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A tangy, zesty slice of gluten-free lemon polenta later, we were outta the small takeouts-only café. Their Fitzrovia store has a dine-in area which was brimming with people at lunch-time. The smaller Lantana patisserie is well and aesthetically stocked: banana bread, blueberry muffins, double chocolate brownies, oaty nutty choc chip cookies, flourless almond cakes and a standard coffee range.

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It’s not possible to be disappointed by sweets!!

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We walked here after getting off at Tottenham Court Road and walked into Charlotte Place – a small lane filled with many cool independent eateries and stores! So many things to see and do, so little time.

Lantana Café
13 Charlotte Pl, Fitzrovia,
London W1T 1SN, United Kingdom
+44 20 7637 3347

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Vintage Shopfronts

Shops like these you’ll never find them in Asia. Especially where I come from, space is so constrained that anything below 3-floors will be extinct in the next 5 years or so. Baffled by re-modelling works of architecture in the European cities where its aesthetic appeal lies in its vintage houses! Swarovski is sandwiched between a neo-classical shophouse and a modern, ever so significantly highlighting its contrast.
London Swarovski

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These Victorian shopfronts in West End seem to live and breathe with age-old wisdom. Walking along the streets of London, I come alive with the promise of lessons in the cultural vibrance of the British!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Old Bailey

London Central Criminal Court

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Chanced upon the Central Criminal Court, commonly known as Old Bailey, in West End London. In the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, it is the courthouse where Charles Darnay is put on trial for treason. In the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Joshamee Gibbs is tried in the Old Bailey where Jack Sparrow disguises himself as Justice Smith!

Old Bailey
EC4M 7EH

London Lovin’: City Grandeur

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Overeager to see everything on my first trip to London, I took to exploring West End on foot. My fingers were working the shutter overtime, attempting to capture everything. Which I soon realised was impossible!

Damn, the rush to see it all wasn’t worth it.

Why click fast and leave for another touristy scene, only to ogle at photographs in the privacy of hotel rooms? So I let the images roll around in my head a bit before snapping.

For the life of me I cannot name all the buildings and streets, but certainly I can tell you how I felt at the moment, soaking in the grandeur of the grand London city.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Oxford Circus

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Stepping out from London Underground is like entering a different realm, and it did feel that way to me, exiting Oxford Circus Station. Topshop, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, HMV, Debenhams have their flagship stores on this street.

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Each year, Oxford Street is decorated with festive lights. Each Christmas, a celebrity turns on the lights in late-November and these remain lit until the twelfth night (Emma Watson did 2004, and last year it was Robbie Williams).

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This year, Jessie J flipped the switch, with James Arthur and Conor Maynard! Inspired by falling snowflakes (well it did feel all White Christmassy without the snow!), the lights feature three quarters of a million LED bulbs. That’s beautiful, but insane!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Wafflemeister

London Wafflemeister

Amidst the London rush hour, the lost tourist a.k.a Viktoria Jean was trying to get to the ice-cream store just across the street on South Kensington. At 6pm in the evening, walking against the crowd is no easy feat. Everybody seems to be dashing somewhere, moving fast ahead with their lives, going with the incessant flow. Meanwhile, the lost tourist stops for a Stracciatella gelato.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

26 Cromwell Place
London SW7 2LD
United Kingdom

London Lovin’: St Christopher’s Place

The plethora of alfresco dining choices had me drawn in. The colourful interior beyond its ‘landmark purple clock’ delivered its promise of an eclectic shopping mix, right up the alley where London’s best bars and restaurants laid in wait. St Christopher’s Place sits at the heart of the West End and can be found between Selfridges and Bond Street station. I’m still a big fan of Pret A Manger’s latte, salad and sandwiches.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

London Lovin’: Langham Place

In Marylebone for a bit of sightseeing and neverending shopping. Popped by Langham place – best known for being home to BBC, London College of Fashion, and Roux at the Landau. London Langham Place London Langham Place Langham Place at Westminster is severely underrated. I love the wide selection of liberal brands: Tracey Neuls, Schuh, H&M’s Collection of Style, Hoss Intropia and Liberty of London. You also have your staples: Topshop, Urban Outfiters, Niketown, Uniqlo, Swatch, Pull & Bear, Alessi and Banana Republic. London Langham Place London Langham Place London Langham Place London Langham Place
BBC London
London Langham Place
Also good for its night scene: King & Queen, Artesian, The Crown & Sceptre, as well as The Adam and Eve.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Langham Place, Marylebone,
City of Westminster, London W1B

Boho-Chic Week: The K. Kollection

Fringe tassels, paisley prints and velveteen: I have uncovered the epitome of boho-chic.

The none-can-have-it look – fashion statements adorned by exclusive, one-of-a-kind handcrafted accessories. What else speaks louder of individualism than the 100% hand-made?

The Kkollection was created by an Atlanta based artist & writer K.J.Wright. She specializes in unique, hand crafted art and accessories fueled by her love for fashion and unconventional ideas. When you visit Kkollection.net, you will find many one of kind pieces that will hopefully meet your accessory or design needs! The Kkollection’s ultimate goal is to bring style and art together in one harmonious fashion.

What I Love:

Pink Tide Wraparound
Pink Tide Wraparound
Kkollection Scarf Bohemian
One of The Kkollection’s signature scarves (in black). Wraps at
least 7-8 times around and up the neck; a fashion forward piece

 

Kkollection bamboo necklace
Bamboo and fabric necklace: a one-of-a-kind piece
that is geared more towards Spring
241.
Wooden hand painted and
sprayed, blue and silver chevron earrings
72
The Kkollection’s beautiful bottle art: custom-made
214
The Kkollection’s painting that is also a jewelry board to hang earrings and necklaces. Functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Where to get: http://www.kkollection.net/
Payment: Paypal
Shipping: The United States
International Shipping: Only through contacting via email

Was honored to get in touch with the very talented artist herself!
This is her style advice for readers!

” When it comes to fashion and styling, I think accessories should always be
over the top! Often times a simple outfit with solids can be pumped up
with the right piece(s). Even when color blocking or sporting patterns,
you can bet, the right addition can take your outfit to the next level. At
Kkollection.net, you will find a multitude of pieces to accent your
wardrobe. “

Stay tuned for more Boho-Chic Week fashion house features!