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Sci-fi and sculpture with a side of buffet and brownie

Sometimes I like to imagine what I'd do with a day off. Or a week. A month. Maybe even a year.

I imagine what I'd do if I suddenly got given enough time to do whatever I wanted, for however long. In my imaginary year off, I'd go travelling. I'd get on a train somewhere, or a plane, and keep going, keep finding somewhere new and interesting - see as much of the world as possible. Sometimes I even pick countries - Japan, Norway, Antarctica, Vietnam, Christmas Island - from a mental world map, and plot a route. In my month, it's something similar, just on a smaller scale. A week - I'd just pitch up in some bit of Europe I'd never seen before and enjoy myself. 

And a day? Well, I'd go do something in London. I'd be a tourist in my own home city.

It's a game I found myself playing more often than usual when I'm working rather than studying. It was after one particularly long day that I realised I did have the time to take that day off. I could totally take a day off, even two, and go out and enjoy London instead of just trying to rack up another hour of freelance work.

So, that's what I did. I headed down to the Barbican to see the Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction exhibition.

If you're in anyway interested in sci-fi, you need to get down there ASAP - the exhibition closes at today, and it's glorious. There's so much good stuff here, you could spend hours (and I did) just wandering around immersing yourself in it.

There's original Ray Harryhausen models, Jules Verne's annotated manuscripts, props by Geiger for the Dune film that never got made, and space suits from the original Alien and Sunshine.

And Robbie the Robot from Lost in Space! With the TARS walker from Interstellar in the background!

And my personal favourite - the biodome from Silent Running, one of my most favourite sci-fi films of all time. Never fails to make me cry, and with a message ahead of its time.

And what do you do once you've gorged on sci-fi amazingness? Gorge on amazing vegan food, of course.

I took the tube a few stops up to Holloway to go check out Cookies and Scream's first proper shop. Normally, I stop by their kiosk in Camden market when I need a vegan sugar fix, but since the fire at the market earlier in the summer, it's been closed. There's no word on when, or if, the Camden branch will reopen.

Luckily, the full-on bricks and mortar branch on Holloway Road is there to satisfy your vegan, gluten-free needs. It's a dinky affair - the counter is about the size of the kiosk - but there's a couple of tables, stools by the counter, and Ia little garden too. All the delights you'll remember from the Camden branch are there, and now you can settle in and get your sweet treats on.

I grabbed a ghoul - think brick-sized brownie - and when the guy behind the counter offered me some ice cream to go with, I was pretty much powerless to refuse.

Note there's also a cup of tea to go with it, because tea just makes everything better, even that great big slab of brownie-based wonder.

Having spent a few very happy hours looking at sci-fi and stuffing my face, I decided I needed to do the whole thing again the next day. So I went down to the Giacometti exhibition at the Tate Modern.

I'm fond of Tate Modern - me and Mr Flicking the Vs had one of our first dates there. I remember we looked at a piece of video art that involved a man in a grey monster mask, wearing pants and boxing gloves, pretending to punch himself in the face while pouring what looked like soy sauce down his naked chest. I'm not sure we learned a lot about modern art, but we did laugh ourselves silly.

Anyway, I'm always happy to get myself down to Waterloo and spend some time wandering around, exploring the art. The soy-sauce-pants-mask guy may have disappeared from the Tate's walls, but there's always something interesting to look at. In the case of Giacometti, lots of tall, knobbly, willowy folks.

And when you're done gazing at all that sculpture, there's happily some grand vegan food about three minutes from the door.

Tibits, whose original branch off Regent Street I have eaten at and loved many times, has now got a second branch on Bankside. It's a bit smaller than the original, but other than that, there's the same quality vegan and veggie food you'd expect. Best of all, it's still buffet pay-by-weight, so you can choose exactly what you want in the combination you want.

For me, that meant focaccia, veggie tartar, dried bean salad, orecchiette with tofu and olives, cucumer and dill, carottes râpées, power greens, dried green beans with walnuts... you get the idea. And yeah, there was a cup of tea. Because tea, as you know, makes everything better. Even a couple of days off work.

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  1. What a fun day of playing tourist! I love going to museums, that sci fi exhibit looks awesome. And nearby vegan food for afterwards, that sounds like a perfect day to me. :-)

  2. Mr Bite would have loved that exhibition! I'm in two minds whether to tell him we missed it :P I'm glad you could make it along, and have some delicious food to boot. Also - I didn't know about the second Tibits branch so thanks for that news! Brilliant.

  3. Now that is a proper sized brownie! I follow Cookies and Scream on Instagram and I kind of wish I didn't because it's such torture - everything is so delicious, but so far away!


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