Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for London

Dishoom Restaurant, Kings Cross 

Where: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB

What better way to spend a Saturday walking from Maida Vale via the Canal to Kings Cross and back again. 

That total six mile journey makes me feel less guilty about stuffing myself with the best Indian food that I’ve sampled in London. 




The restaurant is so popular that we had to queue for half an hour, but the staff were very pleasant booking us in, and handing out free drinks while we waited.

As you enter, there’s a big bar area downstairs. Upstairs we sat on a small table, and ordered the calamari which was amazing. They didn’t sell Coca Cola, but they did have the Indian version, Thums Up, which is very fittingly named.

We shared dishes, highly recommend trying the spiced potato dish. Then to finish it off, the dessert reminded me of mini milks as a kid. Their pistachio kulfi on a stick was just a perfect way to end a meal.

The last time I was in Kings Cross was when I was 18. My uni friend, Helen, took me to a club. On the streets were a lot of drug pushers, and I never ventured back since today. 

Really loved this restaurant. Five stars for food and service. It’s definitely worth the wait. 

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The Prince Bonaparte, Westbourne Park, W2


This could be one of my favourite pubs, not pretentious. Mix of bat**** crazy Notting Hiller’s. Second time I’ve been here for a Sunday roast. Delicious food. The barman came and chatted to us, gave me and my bestie a free dessert and randomly kissed the top of my head. Very friendly bunch! 

Highly recommend. Supposed to be working but slacking off for once, now back to my spreadsheets 😦

The Commander Porterhouse & Oyster Bar, 47 Hereford Road

 img_0966The second time we’ve had our office Christmas party at The Commander on Hereford Road. Both times we’ve had a general knowledge quiz, with everyone putting money in, both times, the winners were great sports and put it towards our food & drinks bill at the end of the night.

In the heart of Notting Hill, this bar is somewhere I feel suits me well. I’m not into crowded noisy bars/pubs, and whilst this undoubtedly gets busy, it’s still comfortable enough to relax in. The Commander has a private room, which we rented out for the evening, it’s always beautifully decorated. There are glass doors which we can shut so as not to disturb the rest of the bar goers when we start to get rowdy over who’s cheated on the quiz 😉 The food and service was excellent.

This year our party also doubled up as a leaving do for my colleague Big Baby (James). The evening was both happy and sad, Big Baby (nickname just stuck) I’ve worked with for over five years. In that time, we’ve never argued or got on each other’s nerves. Not a mean feat given how small the office is. In nearly 11 years I’ve been there, I’ve worked with some many wonderful people. Big Baby though is my all time favourite. 

When the end of our party drew near, Big Baby and I had a bit of a deep conversation. He said it always struck him that he wanted to help me with work, but I would say I’m fine. Instead he would see when I was stressed and run across the road to get me a snack, or drive to my favourite chip shop, Georges on Portobello Road, and bring it back for us to eat. He did that he said because the office couldnt cope without me, it was nice to hear his words of respect. I will miss my little brother… 

Over all, the night was a success, enjoyed by all. I would highly recommend this bar.

The beauty of flowers: Kensington Gardens & The Chelsea Flower Show 2013

I totally forgot to download the photos taken from the summer. I love flowers, always puts a smile on my face.

Kensington Gardens Summer 2013

Kensington Gardens Summer 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Chelsea Flower Show 2013

All Star Lanes Bayswater

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

My last couple of posts have been rather serious, but for a change, I had one of the best nights in such a long-time. I laughed so much it hurt.

Given that I’ve been rather anti-social of late, I sometimes am known to make an effort on occasion. One of my colleagues is leaving to move to be with his girlfriend in Australia, he’s saving money and so I told the office that I thought it would be nice to treat him to a night out together, but I insisted that it didn’t involve spending all night in the pub! Instead, we opted for a competitive game of bowling, then dinner and finally I left the boys to go and get smashed (the language I pick up from the youngsters) in the local pub 🙂

As I tend to opt out of social gatherings, Hugh was happy to see I came; he knows that he must be special! The atmosphere in All Star Lanes is fun, the bowling alley is rather narrow and restrictive, but you soon forget about that.

The food was American, my burger was good but the sweet potato fries were amazing, I’d love to be able to make them that perfectly crisp.

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes Waitress Uniform

All Star Lanes Waitress Uniform

The fifties retro style outfits worn by the waitresses were cool, I want one 🙂

At eight years, I’ve been working in the office the longest and have seen many people come and go, so it’s always sad to see someone fly the nest. Hugh is definitely a character; hard-working, good fun, and an absolute pleasure. I admire his youthful confidence and his care-free attitude; I’m not sure I could move to another country without knowing I have a job in place even if it was to be with the love of my life, I’m more cautious and crave stability. Despite the fact Hugh’s only in his early-twenties, he can give good advice, if I mention I like someone, he’ll tell me to be careful and take things slowly as he knows I’m quite excitable and soft-natured. He’s very sensitive.

I’ve made him a special card with photos of the office on moonpig.com (really good website for all types of cards), I started off with a sweet message and then the rest of the boys have added filthy humour to it – typical! I will also buy some cake for us to all share on his last day.

It’s always nice when ex-colleagues keep in touch and tell me that they’re getting married, having children and are happy and successful. My office nickname is Aunty A, the boys know if they keep me happy, I’ll look after them 🙂

Going back to All Star Lanes, I’d definitely recommend it for friends, work and even a date; sometimes going for just dinner can be boring, adding an activity like bowling just makes it more fun.

Lunch at Kensington Gardens

I love summer time, it’s 30 degrees and I’m just a 5 min walk from Kensington Gardens, so have left the cold air-con on full blast office (why do boys always get hot?) to having my lunch in the park. I’m looking very 70’s in my Miss Selfridge floral wide leg pants and have a bench all to myself – perfect 🙂

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20130717-132207.jpg

Eight Year Anniversary

Where does the time go? I’ve been working in Notting Hill for eight years. I’m the longest standing employee in the office, and have seen quite a number of people come and go. There used to be more girls than guys when I joined, now it’s just me and all guys. I have to say, it’s always been a great environment to work in.

It’s nice when ex-colleagues drop by to say hi, I can’t believe your still here, Abi, they say! I tend to go out more in Notting Hill than Kensington, I’ll walk into most shops and someone will recognise me or know my name and what I want to buy. I quite like that, as sometimes London can feel like a soulless place.

Luckily when I got my lunch this afternoon, the lady that nearly always serves me complimented me on how I don’t look any different after all these years and that I’ve kept my slim figure – I don’t feel soo old now 🙂