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The good, the bad and the ugly walls house tour

Renting is like dating. You first have to flirt with the apartments’ friends, the realtors and landlord, convincing them that you are perfect for the apartment – that no one else will love it as much as you do. Now the apartment is like a potential mate. You inspect every inch of it before weighing up the positives and negatives to decide if you could in fact love it long-term knowing all its’ faults.

Before renting my current apartment here was my list:

Relationship deal breakers

  • Pale green walls throughout the living/dining/kitchen space
  • Emergency airplane lighting in bathroom
  • Pale yellow walls in bedroom
  • No dishwasher

Loves

  • Subway tiles throughout kitchen
  • One minute walk to the largest supermarket I have ever seen in London
  • Two minute walk to train station
  • Five minute cycle to Shoreditch markets
  • Communal barbecue area

In other words perfect location versus washing dishes and living with ugly walls. Chris was like the pushy best friend of the flat who kept promising me that it had an awesome personality- I just had to wait a while to see it myself.

So, with complete faith in his promise, we waged a two week war over painting the green walls with the realtors before giving in and signing the contract. (The realtor agreed we could paint them but the landlord did not. I’ll be honest – I almost walked away.)

Now that I have given you proper warning please feel free to tour my marsh green East London flat:

The Living Room

We inherited one not so white any more sofa and a black, glass TV stand from the 80s.

The Kitchen

The subway tiles that salvaged my relationship with the flat.

bedroom-04

The awkward corner in our walk-in wardrobe that baffles my inner interior designer.

bedroom-03

The walk-in wardrobe complete with faulty window.

bedroom-02

Hello bedroom sconce’s- this is the 90s, come back!

bedroom-01

Yellow lemon dream bedroom complete with timber ceilings.

Bathroom

Emergency lighting to help you find your nearest exit. We also inherited one dirty, old bathmat.

(Sorry- these are all phone photos as my camera was buried in a moving box somewhere!)

Since moving in I have discovered more odd quirks about the place. For example, our white sofa is not white any more nor will it ever be again, the hot water runs out after the third shower and every setting but one is a grill on the oven. Anyone tempted by char-grilled food is welcome here.

I am sure that there is a huge percentage of UK renters out there who have similar stories about their apartment and I would love to know what kind of things you have learned to love in your place.

Honey bacon, fig and goats cheese grilled sandwich

HBFG - Sandwich

Ingredients

4 smoked rashers of bacon cut in halves

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of thyme

3 knobs of butter

2 slices of bakers’ bread

½ log of fresh goats cheese cut into pieces

1 jar of fig marmalade*

2 figs (either fresh or packet)

* My personal favourite fig marmalade is by Bonne Maman- you can buy it in any local supermarket

Method
  1. Drizzle one tablespoon of honey in the fry pan over a high heat before cooking the halved bacon rashers
  2. Spread the fig marmalade generously onto one slice of bread
  3. Cut the fresh figs into thin slices and arrange them on top of the fig marmalade
  4. Assemble the sliced goats cheese on top of the figs and marmalade before laying the cooked bacon on top
  5. Add 1 knob of butter with thyme into the fry pan over a medium heat
  6. When the thyme butter is beginning to melt place your sandwich onto the pan
  7. Find something heavy to balance on top of the sandwich to push it into the fry pan
  8. After 2 minutes flip the sandwich over, add another knob of thyme butter before pressing the sandwich down onto the pan again
  9. Take the sandwich off the pan, serve hot and bon appetit!