I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to go away for a few days with my boyfriend, this time to celebrate his birthday in Camden! Its so nice to spend a few days exploring a new place together and having been able to do it twice this summer has been an absolute treat!
We decided to go to Camden mainly because he had booked tickets for a gig there before he’d met me, and well as his plus one it meant we got a few days to explore the area too! I’ve been to London many times but never been to Camden so I was excited to give this new area a try with my favourite person for his birthday.
The gig we were going to was for a band called Ocean Alley who if you haven’t heard of them before, go listen to them now. A personal recommendation of either Confidence or Twisted are some of my favourites. They’re an Australian band that I honestly haven’t found a song I don’t like by them, which is very rare for me! I’m usually very picky when it comes to artists so these are a dream!
Because the gig was in Camden we opted for a hotel within walking distance of the venue so we didn’t have to far to go when it finished so opted for the Holiday Inn in Camden which is super good for any gigs at the Electric Ballroom venue. Location wise we found the hotel perfect as it was super close to the tube station and the Lock and markets too, all without being too expensive for London prices. We also got a cheeky upgrade because our room wasn’t ready which overlooked the Lock and market which was super nice!
The day we arrived we spent the afternoon and evening with some of my boyfriend’s mates from uni. I’d never met any of them before so was a little nervous but we had such a lovely time. We had a little wander around the market before heading to Lockside, a bar overlooking the river and market and had drinks there before heading to The Diner for dinner that evening. They had good vegan options and highly recommend the Queso Fries!
The next day was my boyfriends birthday so I searched high and low for his favourite breakfast: blueberry, bacon and maple syrup pancakes. I had trouble with this as anywhere that seemed to do it had no vegan option for me so we headed on the tube to Holborn to a place called My Old Dutch. They are exclusively a pancake restaurant and goodness they did not disappoint! They had vegan pancakes and milkshakes and a fully customisable pancake option so both of us were happy! My pancake was the size of a small child and super delicious too! Would highly recommend checking out their special offers online too as they have many ways to get money off your meal!
After that we headed back to Camden to have a wander around the market because it was bloody hot and needed some shade and we had a little explore. I had no idea how huge the market was! So many different types of shops from jewellery, to clothing and food. I managed to hunt down some vegan mac and cheese and it honestly was the best thing ever from a place called Rudy’s.
We then headed up Primrose Hill, somewhere I’d always wanted to go when I went to London and never did. Camden is so close so it seemed silly not to, so despite the ridiculous heat we headed for a walk. The view was amazing when we got to the top (and it’s actually not too high either so worth the trip!). It was nice to just stop and take it all in. London is such a crazy place yet it felt so peaceful up there. It was really lovely to see all the people out in the park chilling with friends and family or playing football or simply sitting there on their own, enjoying their time. For a second it was nice to be away from all the hustle and bustle of Camden and London as a whole.
We headed back to the hotel to get showered and ready for the gig and dinner back in the markets. I opted for a Seitan burger from V Burger which was probably one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever had! Very impressed with Camden vegan food as a whole! We also spotted the lead singer and guitarist of Ocean Alley in the market but chickened out before we could grab a photo which was a shame! The gig was at Electric Ballroom and as a small venue it was super exciting to be at such a great gig too!
The band were amazing and probably one of the best concerts I have ever been to! The crowd were great and the venue being so small really added to the whole experience. I honestly cannot fault the night and the fact that I got to experience it with my favourite person was honestly such a bonus. I didn’t want the night to end! Apparently I’m picking our next gig so a very tough act to follow with that!
We headed back to our hotel via some chips and headed to sleep after a very tiring but fun day!
The next day we were heading home and due to accidentally sleeping in a tad too late we didn’t have time to do all that much before needing to catch our coach from Victoria. We headed back to The Diner for brunch where I had their Vegan Eggs Benedict which had vegan bacon, cashew cheese sauce and polenta egg; I’ll be honest I wouldn’t rush back and have it again but it wasn’t too bad! We then headed to the Coach station before a delayed and traffic filled coach journey home.
It was such a fun couple of days in Camden and I would recommend a visit to anyone seeing a quicker side to London! The markets are so interesting and great for foodies non-vegan and vegan alike! Ocean Alley are definitely a band more people should know about and can’t wait to see how big they get! School is starting for me next week so can’t imagine I’ll be having trips away in the too near future but I can’t wait for my next one with my favourite person!