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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

LIFESTYLE | Pesky's Vegan Brunch Club & ABQ London

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I headed into London for a day out where we dined at Pesky's Brunch Club, spent a few hours wandering around Camden and experienced some fun cocktail creativity with ABQ London.

I'd booked the tickets a while back as a surprise for my boyfriend, for no particular reason other than the fact that I like to do that sort of thing. I love going on adventures in London so wanted to take him along on one, and I'm also a firm believer that if you want romance in a relationship, you should know that it's not always up to your other half to provide that. 

Not that my boyfriend isn't romantic, just I like to bring the romance too. So a fun surprise day out in London seemed like a good choice. Both recommendations I actually got from Joanne from Love Pop Ups - London, although I'd read about the Breaking Bad themed bar, ABQ London before. It was her recommendation that helped me decide whether it was worth the price or not however (spoiler alert: it was!).

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | London | ABQ London | Breaking Bad Themed Bar

So we headed down to London bright and early yesterday and went in search of Pesky's (which I think has now been renamed OMNI) which was found at The Yard in Hackney Wick. As always, the pop up was in a really unexpected area, but turned out to be pretty cool. The dimly lit area had a really inviting feel and the staff were super friendly.

Tickets for the vegan brunch club included a three course meal/brunch, as well as two alcoholic drinks. I couldn't tell you what we had exactly but it was delicious - if I remember rightly, we were served warm mango sprinkled with some delicious spices, followed by three super tasty and filling falafel wraps. For dessert, we had what tasted like mini versions of McDonald's apple pie, but instead with a raspberry sauce.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | London | OMNI | Pesky's | Vegan Brunch Club

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | London | OMNI | Pesky's | Vegan Brunch Club

Whilst Vincent went for a Bloody Mary, I stuck to Margarita's for my choice of drink, which went down well with the food. The food and drink was delicious overall and the only thing I would say was that the service was a little slow for such a small place - however, this didn't bother us because it was such a nice atmosphere that we enjoyed the time we spent there and glad we weren't rushed. On top of that, the wait was worth it for such high quality food, especially in regards to how the wraps were presented. 

Therefore, this was not an issue for us and I don't feel many other people minded either, as a brunch is the type of thing you attend to gorge on food and drink slowly and relax - it's not an expensive meal where you expect fine dining and super fast service. 

The food filled us up for our busy day in London and we were pleased to find that the sun had come out once we left. We had a good few hours before our time slot at ABQ London so we headed off to Camden. Unfortunately, Camden was really busy, which I should have expected. 

Vincent had never been before though, so it was nice to show him quickly and we enjoyed mooching around a second hand book store and a couple of shops along the street. When we arrived at Camden station, it was closed to people coming into the station due to overcrowding, so we took this opportunity to take a slow stroll to the next station, stopping along the way to enjoy the sunshine and watch some canal boats pass. 

We made a pit stop at The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town too for a couple of cocktails, then made our way over to Shoreditch for ABQ London, which is essentially a cocktail making experience based around the hit TV show, Breaking Bad.

We both love BB, but despite seeing the trailer outside and me dropping repeated hints and quotes from the show, it took a good five minutes before my boyfriend clocked on to what we were doing! But once it was time for us to step on, we were both excited. We dragged on our bright yellow hazmat suits, climbed into the RV and got ready to cook.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | London | ABQ London | Breaking Bad Themed Bar

The ticket included a welcome cocktail and two cocktails to make each, which saw us using measuring cylinders, dry ice and more to create the yummy concoctions. My favourite to make was definitely the Walter Jr Breakfast, which included cereal and involved the use of dry ice. 

We both found the whole experience to be super fun and well worth the money. First of all, the attention to detail put into the experience was amazing, from the references from the show throughout the RV bus, the way the members of staff stayed completely in character and even the music.

I found it baffling that in such a popular bar in London, people were continually shouting out 'Yo, bitch!' (from the show) or the member of staff helping us proclaiming that she'd spent the morning getting high. She hadn't, obviously, but it was hilarious and reflected the spot on general feel of the show. It wasn't PC - but I loved that factor and would have hated if it wasn't so relaxed or didn't include as many references.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | London | ABQ London | Breaking Bad Themed Bar | OMNI

The cocktails were actually really nice too! For an experience like that, you expect them to be okay but really you pay for the experience - not the quality of the cocktails. However, I was surprised to find they were genuinely really delicious which was of course a bonus.

Our two hours were up fairly quickly but we had so much fun and felt that the price was more than worth it - in fact, due to how much fun it was, I'd have expected to pay more. The great thing was that it was really fun even just as a couple - you sit in such close proximity to everyone that it's easy to make friends and joke along with everyone else. Then again, we've already agreed to come back as a group.

It certainly helped that we'd both seen the show as we were able to pick up on all the references but I wouldn't say this was necessary to enjoy the experience.

Finally, afterwards, we stumbled outside and grabbed some food from the ALL VEGAN bus which was also in the cute little courtyard. I had no idea there would be a vegan food bus there, which of course earned me even more brownie points from my boyfriend as he is vegan. 

The food from Just F.a.B was delicious as well as affordable - for £18 each, we could get a meal deal which included a burger, chips, Vegamis├╣ and a beer - which was all vegan of course. We ate it upstairs on the bus to conclude our evening before heading home.

All in all it was such a fun-packed day in London and my boyfriend enjoyed every minute of it. I love how many quirky things there are to do in the capital, but of course the must-do list just keeps on growing. In the meantime, I'd without a doubt recommend both Pesky's Vegan Brunch Club and ABQ London if you're looking for something new to try anytime soon.

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