Easter: Sunday Roast in a Cosy Pub

As an expat, holidays are always completely different than I remember spending them as a kid with our family traditions. Easter is no exception, so we make our own traditions. There are no giant bunnies, hidden baskets or hunks of roasted ham eaten around a dining table with family. Being in London, what better way to pass Easter than a Sunday roast in a cosy pub?


Seems to be two years in a row now we have taken the pub roast route. Last year, we went to the Garden Gate pub in Hampstead followed by some crazy egg rolling on Parliament Hill. This year, we braved the stubborn cold only long enough to walk around the corner to The Builders Arms on Britten Street. No egg rolling involved.


The food was pretty tasty with a giant Yorkshire pudding settled on top. I later smothered the whole plate with gravy. Not the best Sunday roast we’ve ever had, but definitely tasty. We followed it with a shared gooey hot chocolate brownie with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream on top which we gobbled up before I remembered to take a picture. Sorry! You’ll just have to go get your own if you want to see what it looks like.


It is a pub with quite a lot to look at, from different fabrics on all the sofas and chairs, to bowler hat and antler light fixtures to random quotes on chalkboards and candles with dripping wax.




There are maps and pillows, builder’s tools and surreal artwork hanging on the walls.



And if you’re feeling up for some friendly competition, there’s a stack of board games to keep you busy. They even have a pile of blanks which is useful for this weather!


Do men tip more than women?? Hmmm.


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The end.


Happy Easter!

The Big Egg Hunt EggstravaganzaThe Big Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza by ThePhotoSchool

Celebrating family holidays is always a bit different as an expat. I’ve had orphan Thanksgivings, orphan Christmases and orphan Easters where we gather up a group of friends who are also expats (or British but don’t traditionally celebrate that holiday with their own families) and we make it our own.

They’re far from the norm, but they’re fun, these holidays. We share stories about how we traditionally celebrate them at home and sometimes we celebrate holidays we’ve never even heard of before because a friend doesn’t have anyone to celebrate with. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve gotten to celebrate Thanksgiving who aren’t American and I’ve celebrated Diwali most years.

When we were kids, we’d wake up in the morning and search for giant baskets full of giant chocolate bunnies and other goodies hidden in strategic places around the house. A few days before, we’d boil and dye Easter eggs which we’d eat Easter morning then gather the family around for a giant ham dinner.

Last year, I spent Easter in the very religious country of Colombia where the whole week of Semana Santa is a celebration. This year, I’m in London again and I’m going egg rolling at Alexandra Palace. New to me, but I hope I win! Wish me luck.

What are your plans? What’s your favourite way to celebrate a holiday as an expat? 

Happy Easter everyone!

Country Living Spring Fair: Guy Foreman

Following on from my interviews with Eli Ofir and Alexandra Woods earlier this week, I’ve had an opportunity to ask Country Living Magazine’s Head of Shows a few questions. Guy Foreman gives a heads up on what not to miss if you’re planning to head over to Islington for the Spring Fair next week.

LLO: As the Head of Show with all of the insider info on the Country Living Spring Fair, which five exhibitors, theatre, workshops events, etc would you say are definitely not to be missed?
There’s loads going on, covering a huge variety of different subject matter, from biscuit decorating to beadwork and everything inbetween. After the success of our craft theatre at our Christmas Fair last year in Scotland, we’ve introduced an area specifically for craft demonstrations where visitors can follow experts as they make things by hand, and then take home a little piece of the fair with them.  

There’s two theatres full of great stuff to see and do.  It’s very difficult to choose, but two of the five talks I’ll definitely be down the front for are the two that our editorial team are running: Hester Page, our Houses Editor, will be talking about Creating the Country Living Style on Thursday at 2pm and Alison Walker, our Food Editor, will be running a workshop on Easter gifts on Wednesday at 1pm.  Both Hester and Alison are instrumental in creating the fantastic editorial that makes the mag so beautiful, and I’m sure visitors will be flocking to each talk.  

As for the other three I would choose, as I’m in the process of trying to build my own house, I’ll be interested to hear Hugo House of Green Energy talking about “How to go off Grid” on Friday at 10.45am, and for some Saturday afternoon entertainment, I’ll be watching our Charity of the Year – the Woodland Trust, run their take on “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” – “Who wants to be a Treeillionaire.”

Finally, just for some Easter inspiration, I’ll be looking for plenty of samples from the Auberge du Chocolat as they talk about Easter chocolate ideas – something that’s running everyday.  

LLO: What is the most unique aspect of this year’s show?
Every year the show is different – with plenty of new exhibitors to see. For me, it marks the passing of winter and the start of days getting longer and lighter. This year, I’m particularly excited about the magazine’s Silver Jubilee. We launched in 1985 and our June issue marks our 25th birthday, but celebrations are in full swing already; our main campaign is entitled “Your Countryside Needs You”, and is all about how people can get involved in local projects and initiatives that support communities on a local level.  We’ll be talking about that a lot at the Spring Fair.

LLO: How about lunch? What’s on offer at the food hall this year?
Loads.  Plenty to try and sample, and far too many to list, but my recommendations would be the Handmade Scotch Egg company – a brilliant take on a British deli staple, biscuits and cakes from the Little Rose Bakery, washed down with a tipple from Chase Distillery – vodka from Herefordshire.

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