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England shirts for dogs ⚽

The England women’s national football team, affectionately known as the Lionesses, are in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 final this afternoon.

I was in Loughton today – an area I’ve written about before – and saw these in the window of Pet-a-Pawter, one of my favourite pet boutiques.

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Le Pain Quotidien at Southbank Centre

You’ll remember from my visit to St Pancras that I’m a fan of Le Pain Quotidien.

This was a day when I’d already done a café visit and enjoyed a cappuccino, but I found myself journeying through Waterloo and passing through the South Bank so I wanted to stop for another bit of a break.

So I decided to have a tea – yes I also like tea! – I have it plain without milk. And this vegan croissant which was lovely.

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Dog Ornaments Update

A few little pieces to update you with.

I went to see Manor – you can read more about my interest in this here. I took this photo of Shaun Evans afterwards with Beth.

I also decided to buy myself a little present.

I discovered this jewellery brand And Mary a while ago on my visit to Walthamstow Wetlands.

I bought the Black King Charles Spaniel necklace as a treat.

And I visited the Animal SOS Sri Lanka charity shop again that I wrote about.

They had some new dog ornaments.

I particularly like the little glass dog on the left, partly because Manor has got me thinking about The Glass Menagerie a bit.

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BBC Children in Need at Greggs

I love the Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need which always presents some incredibly inspiring stories.

Greggs and BBC Children in Need celebrate their 15th year of partnership in 2021.

There is some Pudsey merchandise available to buy in store.

They also have Pudsey – and his friend Blush – cakes and biscuits.

I picked up a Vegan Sausage Roll while I was there.

You can also donate to the Greggs Foundation in purchasing the Jammy Heart biscuit.

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Show is on 19th November.

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New Starbucks Iced Gingerbread Biscuit

There is one in the shape of the famous Starbucks cup, and a new version of the Bearista ❤

Here it is on the menu

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Dog Ornaments

Though it will be hard to top this fabulous pair, here is a new thread on the blog: dog ornaments in charity shops.

It’s the kind of thing a Production Buyer might choose for a mantelpiece in a TV show like Heartbeat.

I spotted this little one today in Saint Francis Hospice.

I am intrigued to find out more about the place of this dog figure in the upcoming Shaun Evans play Manor at The National Theatre.

Photo from National Theatre web site
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Pet Pavilion, Hampstead

I really liked this artistic window display for Pet Pavilion in Hampstead.

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Le Pain Quotidien, St Pancras International Station

This was another place I’d wanted to get back to since the pandemic.

I spent some time studying in Paris a few years ago and would regularly travel on the Eurostar from St Pancras and wanted to be reminded of it.

It’s a bit quieter at the moment obviously.

This station’s architecture is so special. I walked round to see everything; the public piano where a young man was playing Yann Tiersen, the DENT clock, Tracey Emin’s ‘I Want My Time With You’, the Betjeman statue honouring a writer I love, the Meeting Place lovers statue, Searcys Champagne bar.

It has top boutiques such as Chanel, Fortnum & Mason and Jo Malone. You can see the web site for the full list and more on the history of the station.

There are several good places for coffee, including a newly-opened branch of Instagram-favourite EL&N which I did make a point of looking in to – and they do have some very nice pink merchandise on sale – but I chose Le Pain Quotidien like I always do.

I absolutely love their pastries and muffins in the takeaway section.

There is also the eating-in area with its large communal table aesthetic, right opposite the Eurostar departures. You can still order the pastries there but the wider menu as well with especially nice breakfasts. I just find it so lovely to be in that atmosphere midway to France and listen to the announcements in French.

Today I held myself back and ordered just a Skinny Cappuccino.

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Loughton High Road, Essex

I was driving through on what happened to be a really scorching Saturday and it looked so lovely on the High Road with the people sitting outside the little cafés and restaurants so I decided I would stop for a bit on my way back.

In particular I’d seen this Wimpy bar which you don’t see much of any more so that was quaint and reminded me of the old days.

I went into Caffè Nero and it was really lovely inside. I would definitely go back to this branch.

Here is my Skinny Cappuccino with chocolate on top.

A lady brought in the most perfect chihuahua.

Loughton is full of ladies who look like they’ve just stepped out of the salon, and their pooches too.

This lady I spotted by another café is #goals.

There’s a Benefit boutique.

I passed a dog-grooming salon and boutique called Pet-a-Pawter. Inside they had really high-quality things and were grooming a dog at the back behind the window and looked like they were doing a very good job. The lady was also friendly and said she hoped I would give a shout-out on the blog!

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Trip to Oxford for Endeavour filming

On Sunday 6 June I went to Oxford to watch filming of my favourite drama Endeavour. I’ve been to this in the past but so far not this series as I haven’t been travelling until now the pandemic has begun to ease.

It was such a nice day in the end and I feel really grateful for it.

I always arrive there not really believing that the whispers I’ve heard of the filming dates and locations will actually prove true. And then, every time, I walk round a corner and either see one of the old vehicles or the hubbub of the crew, and it just feels like magic.

That day we saw Shaun Evans, Sara Vickers and Director Kate Saxon filming scenes on old buses. I had never realised Sara was so petite, she was like a beautiful little doll, I was so charmed by her. It was also nice to see Kate Saxon again who has become a integral member of #TeamEndeavour. And as for our beloved main man I need say no more!

When the filming broke for lunch I went with other fans to Vaults & Garden. When we’d been here in 2019 to be honest I wasn’t that impressed, but it seems now they are on the top form you’d expect from this classic Oxford venue, as you can see from the pictures. I had a Skinny Cappuccino and carrot cake and it was perfect. There was a really nice atmosphere too, I was sitting inside but near a wide open door to the terrace and it felt very airy and spacious.

I only visit Oxford now for Endeavour, I only like the place when they’re there, like the circus is in town.

I’m not sure there will be any more Endeavour. But I really look forward to making little pilgrimages to see the team in their new projects, and getting coffees along the way of course!

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Caffè Nero, Highgate

Today I had to go for an appointment in Highgate. I was planning on getting a coffee from Gail’s but once I was on the High Street as I was about to walk past Caffè Nero I went in there, I’ve got nice memories of times sitting in there and today was also nice. It was very airy and the front door was open onto a really sunny day. Highgate is obviously a very lovely place. My usual coffee order is a Skinny Cappuccino. Here it is from Nero with some chocolate on top, small and perfectly formed.

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Chocolate on top?

Today in Starbucks I was thinking about how nice the sprinkle jars look lined up like this. You can see in the picture there nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate. Since recent times they are kept behind the counter with the sugars, and you ask for it at the point of order and the staff will add it to your drink for you. I think it’s nicer like this.

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Starbucks New Trio of Favourites

I noticed this new cute item in Starbucks this morning. It is a new snack item sold by the till called Trio of Favourites. It is part of Starbucks summer menu and is a mini pack of three favourite Starbucks bakes; the Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondie, Cookies & Cream Brownie, and Chocolate & Caramel Shortbread. My favourite is the Cookies & Cream Brownie because of that adorable mini Oreo.

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A Sunday Morning

Even though we’re beginning to be able to get out more now I am still really just keeping local. They have a new gingerbread cookie in Costa in the shape of a dog. There were also these wonderful little oddities in the Cancer Research charity shop.

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Cortado at Costa

This was my first time sitting down in a café again since the pandemic. A Skinny Cortado at Costa. It was perfect. It felt like after the war. I breathed in the air and could remember old times of freedom, though it felt fragile.