|My involuntary night view over UK|
London, or, the United Kingdom in general, fascinates me since Ages: for me, it spreads rock 'n' roll from every corner. Think about all the great bands and songwriters coming from the UK (The Beatles, Travis, The Libertines/Babyshambles, Jake Bugg, Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Franz Ferdinand, just to mention a tiny amount), the legendary Glastonbury Festival, the nicest biker boots I've seen worn, great night- and live music clubs.
I came to London to visit a friend of mine who decided to live abroad for a while (I'm having her back soon, yay!), and I decided to go and explore a few districts I've never been the last time, due some time issues.
The district was loved from past away too soon singer Amy Winehouse, she even decided to have her own house there, so I was wondering what Camden was all about. At the moment I came right out of the tube station, it was clear: it seems to be a totally different place compared to the rest of the city! Buildings are colorful, have Converse sneakers attached on and the crowd is mixed between tourists and dandy looking locals. Camden was known many years ago for its food market and produce stalls. For what I've heard, the last of them shut down last year, leaving space to a touristy market, selling everything: from handmade jewelry to alternative clothing. Besides the market, chain stores moved to the district and a lot of restaurants. It may get a bit crowded on a weekend, but there's still a peaceful athmosphere there: you can enjoy a bite or simply grab a beer and sit by the water at Regent's canal watching people living their life on a sunny day.
During the evenings, pubs and bars get crowded. There are a lot of Pubs in London that offer a backyard terrace, which is even cozy on chilly nights because there are heaters in action. So for somebody like me, that wants to enjoy a smoke while having her wine, it was the perfect match.
|Streetart for Amy: a tiny selection of many pieces|
Shoreditch was a total new entry on my to-do list. With its colorful streetart, nice secondhand shops and industrial warehouses used as art galleries, you can totally feel the bohemian wind going through the lively streets. It's such an inspirational place located between the historic east end and central London, and actually great for shopping! I found a pair of unique boots (of course, pair number 50...). Brick Lane Market is another Address for vintage lovers. What I liked the most was the collision of the modern buildings around Liverpool station and the classical red bricked houses almost in the same district. It's just one step away from each other.
Tips: Take some time for Shoreditch. There's a big selection of shops and things to see.
A former co-worker of mine told me tons of exciting stories about chic Notting Hill in the early 80s, how much she loved Portobello Road and having a walk at Hyde Park on a sunny day. It was clear that I didn't wanna miss that! What I loved the most, was the architectonical side of the district. All those lovely houses, in every form, shape and color, with gardens and not, they seemed to be all Little Castles with princess in it. As kitsch as it could Sound :) I took tons of photographs only of those buildings! Once you're there, you can't miss the world famous Portobello market. It Looks very similar as the one in Camden, just bigger and with more (on my visit, it might varies) antique trouvailles and little things for the own home decor. Pity I had my luggage on the weight limit, I saw a bunch of sweet tea sets that would have been the perfect fit in my kitchen...
Where to stay:
The London House Hotel is a cute Boutique Hotel just steps away from Bayswater tube. Very practical especially if you're coming from London Heathrow: the express Train takes you straight to Paddington . From there it's a 15min walk. In case of a lazy evening, there are Shops, Cafés and Restaurants just around the Corner.
|Front of The London House Hotel|
Where to eat:
Camden Town - Q-Grill, offers a selection of fish and meat dishes with own light BBQ seasonings, combined with a large wine list, beers, modern and those more classic of Cocktails. / Sushi Salsa - Just by Regent's Canal, offers a big variety of different Sushi platter to share. / The Blues Kitchen: Texan Restaurant, great brunch selection on weekends, live music and even its own radio online.
|Q-Grill in Camden|
|The Blues Kitchen|
Notting Hill - Portobello, italian Restaurant, has some very well done Pizzas. And please, try their starter with Parma ham and Mascarpone, one of the most delicious matches! A good tip for a drink is Prince Albert: they have a cute backyard garden.
|Antipasto at Portobello Restaurant|
|Backyard at Prince Albert: courtesy of princealbert.co.uk|
Angel tube - Upper street has a big selection of Restaurants. In my case, I had a bloody Mary at Cabana (didn't know that's a typical pre-brunch Thing in the UK :D) and then headed for a delicious brunch at the Blue Legume (Egg Benedict - yes!).
|Brunch at the Blue Legume|
|Egg Benedict <3|
Going out: Due my very late flight I didn't make it, but my friend Sabrina reccomends Fabric on a Sunday night ;)
It wasn't absolutely planned, but I hope you enjoyed the culinary journey ;)