A Peruvian pick-me-up at Andina

Andina food

Saturday’s sunshine and spring breezes called for seasonal layers; layers I could probably have done with a few more of, plus a heavy jumper, come sun down! Still, it was the perfect day for a first outing of this silky green duster coat from H&M, which I spotted in the Sunday Times Style magazine a few weekends ago and rushed straight out to buy. The tailored cut and light fabric makes for the perfect silhouette over skinny jeans, or bare legs and boots. I can see myself throwing this over little dresses at summer weddings too, smartening up a boho outfit and making the look that little bit more pulled together.

HM coat

FWIS 18.04.15

This time I tried it with another new find – the vintage grey midi skirt from Beyond Retro, a steal at £14. I’m not normally a big fan of vintage shopping, finding the overflowing racks and musty Grandma’s closet smell a bit of a turn-off. But on the search for the perfect pair of Levi’s cut-offs (still to be sourced) this skirt caught my eye on the end of the row and it was love at first sight.

Beyond Retro skirt

Jewellery and HM coat

(links to jewellery at the bottom of this post)

Set off with staple black and gold bling, I took my new outfit and Pete off to the ‘Natures, Natural and Unnatural’ exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. Turner Prize nominated artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has selected works for the show from the V-A-C collection, inspired by nature and celebrating the arrival of spring. But in a stroke of brilliance, on arriving at Whitechapel I was convinced that we’d gone to the wrong gallery (we hadn’t) and we should actually be at the White Cube, so dragged us off to Hoxton Square where we realised that particular branch shut down in 2012. At which point we decided to sack off the art all together and go for lunch instead!

Andina external

And I’m so glad we did. I’ve been meaning to try Andina for ages, a Peruvian restaurant on Shoreditch High Street which you might have heard people raving about for its ridiculously photographic plates of food in all the colours of the rainbow. The cameras don’t lie! This was fresh, healthy cooking at its very best, and the array of vegan options made dairy-intolerant Pete a happy man. We started off with two fat Green Vayeho smoothies (much needed after one too many Friday night G&Ts) – the avocado, pear juice, mint, spinach and lime was clearly doing us a lot of good without tasting medicinal as green juices often do.

Andina smoothie

Then four bite-sized quinoa croquetas with a rocoto chilli sauce that basically blew my hangover out the window, and the Poncho de Palta ceviche – hass avocado, amaranth superfood, beetroot, asparagus and the kitchen’s famous amarillo chilli tiger’s milk. Newsflash – this is not actually the milk of a tiger (!) but a fiery concoction of lime juice, sliced onion, chiles, salt, and pepper, along with a bit of fish juice. Probably all the nicer for not coming out of a big cat. Pete had the Causa Misti, an asparagus and avocado dish with cold potato mash (much nicer than it sounds), along with green beans cooked in some sort of magical marinade of the gods and cassava chips. Despite how healthy all this was, neither of us ate dinner that night so it must have been pretty filling.

Andina food 2

Table service was relaxed and friendly, and we sat upstairs where the small room is flooded with natural light and the decor as colourful and vibrant as the food. Andina are owned by the same people who run Ceviche, so I’ll definitely be adding that to the To Do/Eat list. Not before we’ve been back to try the Full Peruvian though – who could resist a fry-up which includes a quinoa pancake?


Other details:

Lvndr Ring

Black & gold square ring from Lvndr 

Black & gold circles ring from & Other Stories, in sale. Similar here

Watch is Larsson & Jennings Lãder watch in black & gold, here

Name necklace is Tatty Devine, customised in mirror gold

Boots are Zara’s TRL range, here

Bag is TopShop sale, similar here



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