Today’s agenda: Coconut Pancakes and the Start-up community

If there are two things I like more than anything else: it’s breakfast and lists.

Today’s breakfast: Coconut Pancakes. Recipe here. 

Coconut Pancakes

Today’s list: 10 things I’ve learned from working with start-ups

  1. Start-ups exist in a COMMUNITY and the more you participate, the easier it gets to network and meet others in this community.
  2. Authenticity is needed for ‘commercially-minded corporates’ to successfully enter this sector
  3. An idea is worth nothing, but a company with actual products, strategy, and a team is worth something (potentially).
  4. The definition of a ‘start-up’ is impossible to pinpoint. And that’s never going to change.
  5. Corporates and start-ups are not enemies; they just don’t know how to speak to each other. It’s a classic lost-in-translation situation.
  6. Money is not the issue; execution of ideas and scaling up past ‘shiny new start-up’ is a problem.
  7. It’s a numbers game – the number of start-ups, investors, mentors, accelerators, brands, clients, etc.
  8. There are two types of people in this world: entrepreneurs and curious observer. Having or not having a start-up is NOT the defining characteristic. It comes down to personality – there are people who build and people who support.
  9. There are a lot of bad ideas, confused business plans, and inapplicable pieces of tech that have hundreds of thousands of pounds in investment funding. Again, how much money you’ve raised is secondary to the monetization strategy.
  10. Both breakfast and the start-up community involve a lot of coffee.

Samedi matin à la start-up.

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Cherry Yogurt ice-cream at 7AM creates instant happiness @DuckandWaffle

One of my favourite things to do in London is have breakfast at Duck & Waffle.

Duck And Waffle

It’s a treat filled with excellent caffeine, interesting menu offers, and a view of the whole city. As the sun hits the Gherkin’s glass exterior, the waiter brings my flatmate’s poached eggs on ox cheek. It’s moments like these that  make me instantaneously happy and grateful for the life I’ve built as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between an Italian-Swiss film buff and British northerner, I think back to the day my parents left me at LAX with two suitcases. And now I have a full time job, apartment, and network of life-long friends around the world. Ultimately, you live the life you create and I choose to create little happiness every day (always start with breakfast, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

One of my favourite quotes:

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

– Harun Yahya

I had the English Cherry Waffles (cherry & yoghurt ice cream, white chocolate crumble). Here’s the full breakfast menu. 

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Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Open 24 Hours

Make a reservation on OpenTable or by calling 020 3640 7310. Weekend reservations fill up far in advance for their brunch menu. So if you can manage to get up early in the mornings, I would recommend going at 7AM! I love going before work as a little treat thats woven into my ordinary regime.

Happy Sunday.

My latest BRUNCH adventures in London.

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Forge & Co. 

http://www.forgeandco.co.uk

Address: 154-158 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU

What I ordered: Eggs florentine, americano, and immune boost smoothie 

Best Part: If you buy a glass of Prosecco at 10 and receive free re-fills throughout your Saturday Brunch. The atmosphere is the perfect mix of classy and chilled.

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At home

Lemon & blueberry buttermilk pancakes with french press coffee w/soy milk

Recipe: http://southernfood.about.com/od/pancakesandwaffles/r/bl80613j.htm

Best Part: You get to stay in your pjs, perfect your cooking skills, and relax with your flatmates in that lazy Sunday fashion. 

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Duck & Waffle 

http://duckandwaffle.com

Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

What I ordered: Duck egg en cocotte and filter coffee

Best Part: The view above London from the 40th floor, especially if you go in the early morning and see the sun rise. Weekend reservations are impossible to get, so I would recommend booking for an earlier time before work (6:30-7 AM reservation). 

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Nama Food

http://namafoods.com

Address: 110 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR

What I ordered: Lasagne Verdure and espresso with coconut milk

Best Part: If you’re feeling experimental and want to try something new, then vegan is the latest trend. Don’t confuse veganism as being the ‘healthiest’ or most ‘delicious’ option; however, it is definitely something to spice up a typical Saturday.

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Nordic Bakery

http://www.nordicbakery.com

Address: Multiple Locations in London

What I ordered: Filter coffee, egg & herring dark rye sandwhich and half a cinnamon bun

Best Part: The dark bread is great to purchase and take home as your weekly supply of delicious healthy bread. 

Sunday mornings were made for Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes.

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Good Mornin’!

This fine Sunday morning, my flatmates and I made Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes. This deviates from my typical health-conscious food selection, but it was absolutely indulgently delicious. My inhibitions melted away as I watched the fluffy dough soak up the butter and maple syrup toppings. And the one thing that made it better was the french-pressed black coffee on the side and the breakfast chit-chat between flatmates. There was something so idyllic about watching the steam from my coffee mug, noticing the light gently come through our window, and listening to the calm of Shoreditch on a Sunday.

I may have said this before, but I’ll say it again… I absolutely love breakfast. It can be quite divided between people who adamantly believe in it and those that don’t bother eating in the morning. But for me, the act of waking up is so much more enjoyable when I look forward to not only food, but also the act of eating. Too many people consume, without actually eating. Especially at breakfast (when you’re on the go and already late for work), but you must not let the rush of life take away from the simple joy of food in the morning. 

While it’s true that a typical morning during the work week is quite different from a typical weekend morning, both can be relaxing and invigorating. During the week, I enjoy waking up before anyone else so as to soak up the empty spaces of the flat. And during the weekend, I enjoy waiting around the kitchen to have countertop conversations about the silliest and randomest of things. Either way, breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day and thus, it should not be treated lightly. My advice to you: invest time and effort into breakfast… it could change your life. 

My flatmate found the instructions and ingredients on this BLOG…read the recipe here. You too can make some!

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“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther

“Breakfast is a peaceful moment for me, so I never have the radio on, no music, no noise around. The only noise that is permitted is people’s voices. It’s a way for me to wake up without too much of a high speed feeling. – Christian Louboutin

“I like to use ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’ on my toast in the morning, because sometimes when I eat breakfast, I like to be incredulous. How was breakfast? Unbelievable.” – Demetri Martin

“Brunch, for me, is an extended breakfast that should be enjoyed whenever you have time properly to engage in cooking and eating.” – Yotam Ottelenghi

Simple Fact about AIRPORT MORNINGS (and tales of travels):

Simple Fact about MORNINGS (and tales of travels):

I love eating breakfast at the airport. Why you might ask? Well, it’s quite simple, I love arriving at the airport extremely early to ensure that I have plenty of time and will not be stressed. And then, after checking in, getting my boarding pass, checking-in my bag, and passing airport security… I can finally plop down on a chair in a café or restaurant and leisurely wait for my plane to start boarding. The airport food is always better than the plane food, so I always stock up on calories for the journey. Plus, once you’re inside the terminals, you no longer have the giant bags and the opportunities to people watch are endless (businessmen, lovers, families, school trips, groups of foreign friends… you name it, Heathrow has it wandering around Terminal 2). But for me, the ultimate enjoyment originates from the peace of mind that comes from tranquilly waiting to board. I’ve already passed every hoop from packing to getting to the airport without 10 ml of liquids in your carry-on. I’ve never understood people who always arrive just before their flight. Aren’t you going to pass out from the stress of crossing an international border or the prospect of missing your thousand-dollar flight? But I guess people are different in their approaches to time management. Some don’t like waiting around, others don’t like last minute running through Gates B11-B34. I personally ALWAYS chose to enjoy my coffee and croissant with an hour and a half to spare; all while watching the woman in sweatpants dodge little children in hopes of making her flight (by the way, British Airways to Geneva is in Wing C, not Wing B). But I sigh as there’s nothing I can do to help her at this point… so I return to my latte, that has properly cooled down, to take the first sip of my calm wait for Chicago.