New Girl at Camden Market

Camden Market in London, looking across the canal

When I was trying to think of what to do with my friend from uni who was down visiting, my mind initially jumped to where we were going to eat in London. Obviously…

I had been to Camden market before a few years ago and remembered it having an amazing mix of street food and various stalls, so after looking it up online and finding out that they had a stall selling yorkshire pudding burritos (yorkshire puds are in my top ever foods) I thought it would be the perfect place to have a wander.

After taking the Northern line out to Camden town station, we walked through the crowds to Camden lock and crossed the bridge into the street food market. It was absolutely jammed with people and stalls and there really was something for everyone. If you want a full list of what’s available you can find one on the Camden Market website!

Other side fried buffalo chicken strips from Camden Market

Whilst there really was so much to choose from, there was never any doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be getting a yorkshire pudding burrito after I’d basically dreamt about it the night before. I went for chicken and it came stuffed with chicken, roast potatoes, spinach, stuffing and honey mustard sauce and it was absolutely divine. You can see the look of love in my eyes. However, it’s definitely not one to eat standing up and it dropped out everywhere and made such a mess, so maybe try and secure a table before you try one!

Ed went for the other side fried buffalo chicken strips that came topped with parmesan. Whilst the parmesan and buffalo was a new combination for me, Ed absolutely loved it and said it satisfied the buffalo sauce cravings he’s been suffering from since our trip to the US.

However there is so much more to the market than just the food stalls, as the stables market also has an incredible array of vintage shops, decor, jewellery, art and more! There are so many beautiful stalls but our favourite was To Home From London! They had a great selection of cute cartoon-esque art and homeware and we both loved the prints of London landmarks and are seriously considering getting some pieces for our new flat (when we get it…) I love the idea of putting little bits of London into the flat to really make it feel like our city pad!

The entrance to Camden market, wearing new look floral playsuit
Playsuit – New Look

Camden Market Top 5 Tips

  • Don’t go on a Sunday! I had read that Sunday was the best day to go to Camden as it was the day that was the busiest and therefore had the best atmosphere but as we were there at lunchtime it really was just too busy. There was barely even any room to stand to eat never mind space to sit down! Whilst the concept of street food is obviously to be able to eat on the go in the streets it was just that little bit too busy and bustling so I would say Sundays are to be avoided. We were there from around 12 till 3 and it didn’t show any signs of quietening down.
  • Bring hand wipes!! Most stalls offer napkins but if you’re eating after exploring the market stalls or planning on having one of those dreamy yorkshire burritos, I’d definitely recommend bringing some form of hand sanitiser or hand wipes!
  • Check out whats on offer before you commit! If you walk in across the bridge over the canal, you may think that the first section is all there is, but the food market extends so much further than that! Walking around before you decide what you want is a must as there is simply so much choice.
  • There are more tables further in to the market, so if there isn’t one available right beside the canal then if you cross into the second section of the market then you will find more. We didn’t realise this initially and probably could have saved ourselves a lot of mess and standing if we had walked a little more.
  • Finally, wear comfy clothes! Bit of an obvious one perhaps, but the ground is not suited to heels or wedges of any kind and trainers are essential. I’d also encourage food baby friendly outfits as you are guaranteed to find something tasty!

Have you ever been to Camden Market? What was your favourite stall/dish? Let me know in the comments because there’s no doubt I’ll be going back!

Exploring Camden Market in London; pinnable graphic

How to Prepare for an Interview

If you read my post on job hunting in London, you’ll know that interviews aren’t actually something that bother me all that much. This might change as I inevitably become jaded by the constantly spinning wheel of London life, being let down and taken advantage of – or so I’m told! But for now, I’m seeing interviews as a positive thing, a chance to find out more about the company and show them why I’m the right person for the job. Or, a chance for me to find out I’m not the right person for the job and they aren’t the company for me.

One of the major reasons I am able not to feel daunted by big interviews is the preparation I put in beforehand. This might be as simple as reading the company’s website the day before if you are applying for a weekend or after-school job. However as I’m competing in the graduate market since I’ve recently graduated from University most positions I am applying for are hotly contested and I need to put in the preparation to show why I deserve the opportunity.

Research is key!

Before you go in to an interview, I want to know what to expect to give myself the best possible chance. There are a few key points and ways you can research the company in order to arm yourself with all the information you need

  • Google them: potentially exceptionally obvious, but I mean really googling them. Google map the office so you know exactly how to get there, what you’ve got around you and use street view so you can see the exterior of the office so you’re not walking up and down on interview day. Click on the news tab to see when they’ve been mentioned in recent stories and if there’s any breaking news you can bring up during the interview to show that you’re active and enthusiastic about the brand.
  • Know their competitors and what makes them unique: if you’re applying for a marketing job, know who the other main marketing company’s are and why the company you are applying for is different. Brands work tirelessly to promote their USP so by mentioning it and illustrating you understand it they will appreciate your efforts.
  • Check their social media: company’s will often retweet or share information they want to promote and social media is a great way to see what the brand is saying directly from the source. I also think social media is a great way to check out the office culture, see if they include photos or videos of social activities or charity events they participate in.
  • Try and find a recent case study or project and make yourself aware of how the brand created it and what they achieved. They might ask you for examples of their work that you enjoyed or what attracted you to them in the first place and being able to discuss their own work with them shows you are interested in the industry as a whole.

Show your skills

One thing I did recently for a job interview which I think really helped was to print out the job spec and go through each individual pointer and write down how I could display that. For example, the job I applied for included working on events so I wrote beside it a list of events that I had helped organise and what I achieved with each one. This way you know you are going in armed with the right skillset and it can really help affirm that the job is for you.

One question I have always been asked, no matter whether it’s a graduate job in London, a Summer internship or working in my local newsagents, is “Why you?” What can you bring to the job and company. Whether that’s endless enthusiasm, specific knowledge of the subject, contacts in the industry or whatever. Everyone has something unique to offer, so make sure you know what you’re bringing to the table before you go in.

Know Yourself

With that being said, it’s also important to know where your weaknesses lie. Very few jobs are completely independent with no sense of teamwork, so weaknesses aren’t something to be ashamed of. They also are not trying to trick you by asking you this question, they simply want to know what areas you’ll want to lean more heavily on your teammates. However I was always told to pick a weakness that could be turned into a strength. For example, I am so not a morning person. It takes me a good hour or two after getting into work to produce my best, but this means I work exceptionally well in the afternoon and can be even more productive. I’m also super enthusiastic and chatty, and whilst this means I can sometimes get carried away, it also means I’m confident enough to speak to people and put myself out there and have the energy to see a project through. Basically, there’s no such thing as a weakness.

Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments so we can all learn from each other and don’t forget there’s a pinnable image at the bottom of the post so you can save it for later!

My tips on how to prepare for an interview, pinnable graphic

How I’m Blogging Differently This Time

Before I created londonsnewgirl, I actually blogged over on misszarabelle.com and whilst I’ve left the site up as it really is like a diary and I truly loved what I was writing, I feel like I’ve taken londonsnewgirl in a completely different direction and I am going about it a totally different way.

WordPress VS Blogger

The age old blogger debate! When creating londonsnewgirl I wanted to try a different platform as I had found a lot of issues with my previous blog which was hosted on blogger. I chose WordPress and I really do feel like I made the right decision.

Despite having invested in a blogger theme, I found it a lot more work to add widgets and edit the layout. WordPress had so many beautiful free themes that were relatively easy to customise and I haven’t found any need to spend extra money to find a theme as the current theme reflects my blog and what I want it to portray.

I also love that WordPress uses blocks to form their posts, making it so much easier to edit and add photos to posts. It is also so easy to edit the ALT text of images and add meta descriptions which is especially helpful for WordPress beginners like myself.

Pressure

Blogging is definitely my hobby. Whilst it would be the dream career for some, I love the office environment and feeling part of a team. However, I would love to use my blogging skills in my career and can definitely see it playing a significant role in my future. Therefore you could say that there is a certain sense of pressure, however nothing like the pressure I was putting on myself beforehand! I would spend hours a day looking at google analytics, when in all honesty, not all that much was changing. I was definitely never obsessed with the numbers because it wasn’t about that for me, but I would spend hours trying to promote my blog and would not get much in return. This time I’m focusing more on creating the content and generating the right kind of engagement with it. I want my blog to be a guide and a place of inspiration for others, therefore I’d much rather read five comments that were relevant to the post than ten that simply said “Great post!” I’m putting much less pressure on myself this time and I think it’s already visible in my views and interactions on social media – in a positive way! I am engaging more with people who are enjoying my content rather than people who simply want a returned comment.

Brand Image

I have also tried to focus on creating a unified brand for londonsnewgirl, across both social media and the content I am producing. Whilst I was essentially the brand for my previous blog, I have so many interests that it ended up sprawling quite a few topics. However as this blog is focused on my move to London and how I am navigating the city as a graduate, I have tried to narrow my content to career and London based topics. My recent posts have included how I’m finding the London job hunt, how I am curating my work wardrobe and what I learned at university. By focusing on these topics I am finding it much easier to plan posts and I am writing much less spur of the moment chatter. I want londonsnewgirl to be a guide for any other gal or guy who is taking the plunge and move to the city. Once I become more settled I want to discuss the London rental market, as well as my favourite places for brunch and post-work cocktails. (A girl can dream… Reality is looking more like the sweaty central line ride home before I collapse in an exhausted heap…)

Photography

Or well, lack of it. Photography is not my strong suit, I don’t have a fancy canon camera and I don’t have portrait mode on my iPhone. For me, blogging isn’t about the photography, it’s about the words and the experience of reading the content. Pictures are definitely important, they provide an image that can be associated with the content and this is infinitely easier to share on social media as they are more inviting and eye catching. However this time, I’m wanting to put out high quality content, including photography, so I have decided to work with stock photos. Some of you may be gasping in horror, but I recently ran a poll on my twitter to see what you all thought of stock photos and 88% of you said you weren’t fussed/wouldn’t even notice. For some, this might be the biggest blogging sin ever, but please forgive me. I’d rather put all my energy into creating better quality content and sharing high quality images no matter who took them. I am also really enjoying creating Pinterest graphics for my post, so that my content can be easily shared on Pinterest, something which I never bothered with before as I didn’t think it would drive much traffic. However as I want londonsnewgirl to be more of a reference point and guide, it’s important to me that I make my posts and content as easy to refer back to as possible and Pinterest definitely helps me do that.

Pinnable graphic; how I'm blogging differently this time!