Le Cirque des Rêves


Last year, my lovely book club read Erin Morgenstern’s fantastic debut novel, The Night Circus. The book is stunning, and completely drew me into the world of the circus which appears out of nowhere, and opens only at night.

The circus acts as the setting for the magicians duel which Celia and Marco are (unknowingly) fighting to the death. Circus-goers follow rumours all over the world to find out where the circus will appear next, wearing a flash of red to identify themselves to each other in an otherwise monochrome world, and calling themselves Rêveurs. It was as a Rêveur that I dressed up in my best black and white dress and red shoes on Friday night, and headed to Colchester’s Tea and Sympathy, where rumour had it that the circus would next be surfacing.


The shop had been transformed for the bar night, and everyone had stuck to the black and white (and red if you’d read the book) dress code. Dotted around the shop were little black and white striped bags filled with popcorn, and each room of the shop had been changed into a circus-esque attraction. There was tarot reading, burlesque, belly dancing, magic tricks, and fire breathing; an amazing soundtrack from the DJ, who played the Monster Mash and the most amazing Nirvana/Rick Astley mash up I have ever heard (it may well be the only Nirvana/Rick Astley mash up I’ve ever heard, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome); and the best cocktails I’ve ever drunk out of a jam jar.


The whole night was utterly fantastic, and we had a really great time – it was so nice to do something completely different, and T&S put on such an amazing event that it was impossible not to enjoy!

(As I was too busy drinking(!) to take photos, and then my phone died, all of the photos shared in this post are by the immensely talented Deborah Cosgrove (website, twitter & facebook) – thank you so much for letting me use them!)

Tea and Sympathy is a little shop on Crouch Street, run by Jo Coldwell and Melissa Porter, with vintage goodies, cakes, workshops and bar nights. You can follow them on twitter and facebook.


The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree is somewhere we always plan to go and eat, but never get around to, and yesterday we finally made it! It was definitely worth the wait.

The restaurant is built inside Colchester’s Roman Wall (the oldest in Britain, don’tcha know?!), and the menus offer “modern European cuisine”. We went for the Express Lunch menu, and our food was lovely!


For starters, we both had the Soup of the Day, which was Butternut Squash – and very hot croutons!



I had the Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto, and Johno had a Lamb Casserole, for our mains. The risotto was delicious, loads of veggies, loads of cheese and loads of rocket. Yum. I did get a side salad as well, but I didn’t have enough room to eat it! Johno’s lamb smelled amazing.  He practically inhaled it, so it must have been good!


After about a second of deciding to up our lunch from two courses to three, we got matching desserts of chocolate brownies with ice cream.

All of our food was amazing, and we’ll definitely be both going back and recommending it to other people. If you’re looking for somewhere nice to eat in Colchester, definitely head to St. Johns Street – and yes, I’ve fully become “that person” photographing their dinner – but it was for blogging purposes, so it’s allowed, right?