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By sophieheard

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This weekend it was my turn to play tour guide. A close friend of mine, who I met whilst she was studying abroad at King’s College last year had come down from Philly to catch up and check out DC. Her timing could not have been more perfect as the temperature reached up to 75°F (24°C) and the cherry blossoms came out in bloom. We have been so fortunate with the weather this year, the winter has been extremely mild and spring has arrived early. This time last year it was snowing and now people were out sunbathing. As I hate the cold I am so glad I have not spent the semester freezing my arse off.

 

 

We grabbed lunch, headed down to the National Mall and spent the afternoon sitting at the edge of the Reflecting Pool basking in the sun and catching up on all the events of the past year. To escape the heat we went and checked out the Renwick Gallery before heading to Georgetown for dinner. After eating way too much pizza we decided that we still weren’t full and went to the famous Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert. I had only tried the Baked and Wired cupcakes before but I definitely prefer the Georgetown ones. As the sun set on Georgetown and as the Oscars were in a couple of days we went and checked out the film Lion at the AMC cinema.

 

The next day we headed across town to Eastern Market. Although it is only a small market they still had a decent selection of food stalls. We had Mexican street food for lunch followed up by mini doughnuts. As the weather changed we decided to make the most of the free museums in DC and explored the Air and Space Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. The holocaust memorial was particularly sobering and extremely poignant in the current political climate. It was unsettling to recognise certain parallels between past and present events as the museum also makes connections between past cases and potential future risks of genocide.

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Once again we hit up 14th Street for dinner. This time around we headed to Thip Khao, which specialises in Laos food. I had never tried Laos food before as it is not something that is commonly available in London. However, it is definitely something I will be searching for when I return home. We devoured a range of dishes from chicken hearts to pig ears (trust me it tastes better than it sounds!) before finishing the night off at Eighteenth Street Lounge.

It was great to be able to catch up with an old friend and show her around the city. As we explored DC I realised how much I had come to know and love my new home.

By audrey

Be warned: this is a post dedicated exclusively to food.

My ability to cook has been severely restricted; got a really bad cut on my finger after my very valiant attempt at multi-tasking - cutting potatoes and watching Youtube videos at the same time. Big mistake.

So, besides 2 assignments and 2 tests due, I had a pretty relaxing week that saw me on a desperate hunt for food after Thursday.

Food stop 1: Kung Fu Tea

It really wasn't easy finding bubble tea in DC - I had to take the metro to Virginia and finally found the object of my dreams: Kung Fu Tea. Being the glutton that I was and keeping in mind the huge distance, I bought 2. 1 was for drinking immediately, the other was for the fridge at home. (Tip: if it's to-go, separate the beverage and the boba, and ask for no ice).

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Food stop 2: DC Noodles

Huddled in a cozy corner on U Street, this place serves South Asian noodle dishes. I got the store special: Red Miso Ramen (despite what the menu says, it's really not spicy) while my friends ordered a mix of Pad Thai, Curry noodles and Beef bowls. They were all really good! The restaurant has a really unique decor and ambiance - oriental-influenced, but also a fusion of Mediterranean and American styles as well. There's also an in-house bar so be sure to visit during happy hour to get the best deals!

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Food stop 3: Eastern Market

After 2 days of cold spells in DC, the sun finally emerged on Saturday. I decided that was the day to visit the hyped Eastern Market. Situated in the scenic Capitol Hill neighborhood, everything in Eastern Market was exceptionally colorful and quaint, even during the walk there. Upon walking in, you'll be greeted by a variety of vendors selling very different crafts and fresh produce. Many of them even put out mini samples for visitors before committing to their purchase. Continue walking, and you'll see an old red-brick building - this is where they keep the food. You'll be able to buy fresh poultry, vegetables and a wide variety of cheeses all in one place. There is also a cafe in the building: The Market Lunch. Be sure to get the Blueberry Pancakes and the Crabcake Egg Benedict (Note: these are only available on the weekend).

A reminder though - many stalls in the market only accept cash, so you can make use of the ATMs located at the building entrance to withdraw some cash before going all out on your shopping spree.

To be really honest, we made a detour back to the market because the brunch spot where we were hoping to dine at had a wait time of an hour. This makes for an important lesson: if it's a weekend and it's a popular brunch spot, definitely be sure to make a reservation several days in advance to avoid waiting outside in the cold. Brunch hour in DC is serious business.

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Hang tight everyone...President Day weekend is near!

Ciao!

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