London Diaries Shaka Zulu in Camden Town

We both love Camden!

For the quirkiness, vibrancy and bohemian chicness, it’s one of our favourite places to visit in London. So we thought it would be nice to spend an evening at Shaka Zulu.

Located in the Stables Market in the heart of Camden, Shaka Zulu (here) is a South African restaurant, bar and club. We had heard a lot about the restaurant but this was our first time visiting. So of course we were excited to see what Shaka Zulu had to offer.

As we stepped off the escalator which takes you to the first floor of the restaurant, we were both in awe of the stunning interior. Our highlight of the evening was Shaka Zulu’s impressive decor especially on the second floor that has 20 feet tall warrior statues which are amazing! There are carved wooden murals which cover the walls and ceilings with dim spot lights to give the restaurant an intimate and relaxed vibe. The space is really big and spacious and has a great atmosphere.

We arrived late afternoon (just in time for happy hour) which includes two for one cocktails!

We certainly recommend having a cocktail. It was probably one of the best cocktails that we’ve had in London. We both are always a bit dubious of cocktails as it is hard to get it right. But the bartenders at Shaka Zulu did not disappoint. The cocktails were absolutely on point!

Blue Crush and Mojito Cocktail

The cocktails made such a great impression on us that we could not wait to devour some food.

Shelley ordered the steak and Michelle ordered the ribs (not exactly South African cuisine). The food was pretty basic and bland in taste. Also, the portions were small so if you are feeling a bit ravenous one evening, possibly order two plates. No shade!

Don’t get us wrong, it was not the worst meal but certainly not the best meal that we have had. However, the decor, atmosphere and cocktails made up for the less than satisfying meal.

It was a pleasant evening and we would certainly go back for the cocktails. Also, the restaurant turns into a night club from 10pm to 2am so if you want to shake a leg then Shaka Zulu may be for you.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx

Rum Kitchen, Carnaby Street

We had been talking about going to Rum Kitchen for awhile and a friend of ours had recently been and could not stop talking about how delicious the food is….so we said why not give it a try.

An inviting West Indian restaurant tucked away in Kingly Court on Carnaby Street, buzzing with people, with tasty Caribbean cuisines and delicious cocktails we knew we were in for a treat.

A great atmosphere, designed like a Caribbean beach hut, there was a DJ on the decks playing good upbeat tunes and it felt like you were being transported away to a Caribbean island. So if you are looking for tasty West Indian cuisine with the best cocktails, then look no further than Rum Kitchen.

Chilli Prawns with jerk sauce
Jerk Bowl….rice and peas, coleslaw, watermelon, pineapple and jerk gravy
Proper Jerk….two chopped legs, with rice and peas, coleslaw, watermelon and jerk gravy

We are lovers of Caribbean food so are expectations were pretty high! Lol. The Rum Kitchen offers a very meat filled menu with some of our favourite dishes. From jerk chicken, to curry mutton, plantain to macaroni and cheese. We couldn’t decide what to choose from on the menu (nothing new). But we decided on the spiced prawns, the jerk bowl and the proper jerk dish. You can choose the level of spice that you prefer, so if you like it hot or not, the chefs will cater to your taste buds. Sides include sweet potato fries, callaloo, spinach, ackee and a few more options. The meat focused menu is balanced out with exotic fruit that included watermelon and pineapple sprinkled over the coconut rice that complemented the dish and got your taste buds bursting with a combination of flavours.

Rumbuston…Kracken, Apricot mix, Pineapple Juice & Coconut Cream
Passionfruit & Lime Mojito…Barcadi Superior, Passionfruit & Lime Juice, Soda & Mint
Ting Wray….Wray & Nephew, Blue Curacao, Ting Grapefruit Soda & Lime Juice

You can not be in a Caribbean restaurant and not be sipping on a cocktail or a little bit of rum. The Rum Kitchen do a perfect mojito, so of course we had to order more than one…it would be rude not too. We must admit, that we are picky when it comes to cocktails but the cocktails were soooooooo tasty. You can tell that the cocktail makers put a lot of emphasis on creating the perfect drink. You can order Happy Hour drinks between 5 to 7pm.

We do recommend booking Rum Kitchen in advance as the restaurant gets very busy. So if you want to experience a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the West End then take a stroll to Rum Kitchen. It is only a 6 minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station. Or why not try, Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill or Brixton.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx

Sea Sand Sunsets And Smiles Travel Guide: Our Trip to Aruba

We travelled to one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean….Aruba ‘One Happy Island’ and had a week relaxing and exploring in paradise. The sea is crystal clear and made up of different shades of blue. You could literally bathe in the sea all day. But don’t be mistaken…Aruba has so much to offer, from stunning beaches, to rugged landscapes and tasty authentic cuisine. We can certainly say that Aruba was the perfect getaway for the sister duo!

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the all-inclusive resort, The Hotel Riu Palace Antillas (here) that is located directly on Palm Beach. It is an adults-only hotel that boasts a gym, spa, casino, swimming pools, nightclub and a variety of restaurants and shops. All hotel guests also have access to their sister hotel, The Hotel Riu Palace Aruba situated next door which is more family friendly (here). This was not our first time staying in one of the Riu hotels but this particular hotel is definitely top of the list! The staff were friendly and we felt very looked after. There was so much to do within the resort there was never a dull moment!

Things To Do

Aruba is the perfect destination whether your a couple or on a single girls/boys trip and has something to offer everyone. From submarine tours, to horse back riding on the beach to deep sea fishing you can be as busy or chill as you desire.

One of our favourite trips has to be the Baby Beach Safari tour. You have your own personal tour guide (shout out to Sherman!) who takes you in his jeep on the bumpiest off-road adventure through the Arikok National Park of Aruba. You drive through what looks like a desert land, made up of lava formations, quartz rocks and fossilised coral at full speed. So buckle up and be prepared for windswept hair, dust and a crazy ride. Perfect for any thrill seekers!

Our first stop was the east coast of Aruba to the California Lighthouse, followed by a pit stop at the Natural Bridge, then headed onto the donkey sanctuary (where Shelley fed the donkeys), onto the Fontein Caves and ended our day at Baby Beach that is located in the south east of the island where you can clearly see the coast of Venezula across the waters which was very cool to see.

Natural Bridge
California Lighthouse
Shelley feeding at The Donkey Sanctuary
Fontein Caves

We also recommend other ways to spend your time on the island from taking a cruise across the sea in time for the sunset on a catamaran, watersports and going on the karaoke party bus (which is a lot of fun).

 Food we ate

We ate so much delicious foods on the islands, from fresh fish to tasty soups, with our favourite dish of the menu being steak and lobster. The combination of the two foods work so well together!

Also, you have to try the cream of conch soup, finished with two stuffed pastry’s. A very tasty, Aruban dish that should be finished with the famous Aruban rum punch. This was certainly our favourite cocktail on the island.

Aruba is an expensive place and is certainly an island that appeals to honeymooners and retired people. However, it is still a great place to experience no matter your age as there is so much on offer, including the incredible scenery.

We would certainly suggest having a budget so if you are renting an apartment and eating out daily you will probably have a daily spend of 130 USD. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort (like we did) your daily budget will be a lot less. So bear that in mind.

Daily activities such as the Baby Beach tour will cost around 110 USD, water sports vary from 20 USD up to 85 USD and sailing on a catamaran is around 65USD.

Aruba is also known for their designer shops located in Oranjestad, so if you want to fit in some shopping, make sure you have enough spending money to splash out a little bit.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx


Cottons – Camden

If you haven’t already guessed it, we are both fans of West Indian food. Whether it’s travelling to the Caribbean or even just finding that perfect restaurant on your door step. We came across a hidden gem on Camden high street called ‘Cottons’ which is an eight minute walk from Camden Town tube station and a four minute walk from Chalk Farm tube station. Perfect!

Cottons Restaurant and Rhum Shack have been serving Caribbean food in London for over 30 years and have three other restaurants in Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Vauxhall.

The vibe of the restaurant is just amazing and has a real party feel, with reggae playing in the background and people enjoying themselves. Whilst they prepared our table we were seated at a small table by the bar…Obvs! We both fancied rum punch and decided on the ‘Reggae Rum Punch’ which consists of Wray & Nephew 63% overproof rum, orange, pineapple and lime juice with grenadine, which warmed us up in no time.

When we were seated we enjoyed the tastiest and and fulfilling three course meal. We started with the Ebony Wings which was cooked to perfection. The wings came with three jumbo chicken wings which was glazed over with finger-licking BBQ sauce.

Cotton’s menu is so versatile you can choose from Jerk Salmon to the Vegetable Pepper Pot (for vegetarians) and even the Mixed Jerk Grill Platter and many more. Shelley went for the Curried Mutton that came with rice ‘n’ peas, plantain and coleslaw. Michelle chose the King Prawn, Red Snapper, Sweet Potato and Lime Curry with basmati rice and cucumber raita. Both dishes tasted absolutely delicious! We were so stuffed and couldn’t bare letting the food go to waste, so we asked for a goody bag lol!

Curried Mutton
King Prawn, Red Snapper & Basmati rice

For dessert we chose the White and dark chocolate Mousse which ended the meal nicely. The Mousse was so delicious and tasted so creamy.

Shelley stuck to the Reggae Rum Punch during the evening and Michelle also tried the Cottons Pina Colada. Cottons has a daily Happy Hour on cocktails, wine and beer from 5pm-7pm. If you like music, dancing and just enjoying life we recommend you visit Cottons past 9pm. The DJ arrives and plays a mixture of bashment, reggae and soca music to get you up on the dance floor. Literally when you’ve finished your meal everyone makes there way to the DJ and you just dance the night away.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx

Ping Pong, Bow Bells House

We have enjoyed the food at Ping Pong for a few years now, but haven’t been for some time and decided to spend an evening dining at the trendy Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. There are a few Ping Pong restaurants in London, we chose the Bow Bells House location which is a five minute walk from Cannon Street Station.

The dim lit restaurant has a great atmosphere with delicious foods, amazing wine and cocktails. We ordered small dishes to share and started with the vegetable puff, soy chicken skewers, prawn and scallop sticky rice and black prawn dumpling.

The food was so delicious and came with a variety of different sauces which complimented the dishes. The vegetable puff was full of different flavours and the glazed honey melted onto the puff pastry perfected the dish. The soy chicken was cooked just right, it tasted as though it had been on the bbq and was served with a zesty orange sauce. You have to try the prawn and scallop sticky rice which tastes so good!

The rice was wrapped in a leaf which you have to unwrap, the prawn and scallop tastes great together so we definitely recommend this dish. All we have to say is mmmmmmm!! The black prawn dumpling just melts in your mouth and gets your taste buds going!

If you’re going to an event or meeting your significant other maybe choose something else on the menu as this dish is full of garlic but tastes amazing.

It’s not a night out without wine and cocktails involved! The cocktails were so tasty, Shelley had the lychee and roses martini which contained bombay sapphire gin, rose petals, fresh lemon and lychee juice. Michelle had the straight up daiquiri made with bacardi carta blanca rum, sugar, shaken with fresh lime juice.

We booked our table in advance, which we tend to do before eating out at restaurants. So we would say book a reservation to avoid disappointment. As there are other Ping Pong restaurants in London, when in the area why not try Ping Pong Southbank, Covent Garden or Soho.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

                       Shelley & Michelle xx