Much like any love-hate and erstwhile manic relationship, such are my feelings about London. On any vibrant, sunny day I am in love - the architecture (everything's so old!) the diversity (bonjour! dzien dobry! sat sri akal!) the fashion (I don't know how can she wear that and make it look chic but she does!) However, when in a matter of hours my blissful sunny day becomes a dark, cold, damp evening and I am getting on the tube at rush hour, I could very well throw myself in front of it. There's no avoiding the surge of bodies clamoring for less than ten inches of personal space. You'd think it was the Titanic. So when London is pretty and accomodating, I love her. When she is selfish, depressed and refuses to give me space, I want to end it.
So as a companion piece to my first blog about living here, here is my ongoing list of what I do love about living in London (and in no particular order....!)
1. Pubs. No one does it like the Brits. Even if the market, bank, mail office, etc. isn't open at 9am you can be assured that there's a pub right next to you that is. The one place where you can have a pint at 10am without judgement. If the pint comes with thick, gorgeously fried chips in goose fat, then all the better. The Audley in Mayfair is one of my favorites, my criteria being a) that the ratio of men to women is about 5:1 and b) the men are wearing suits!
2. English dairy products. No fat free, reduced fat, no fat, low carb, lactose intolerant impostors found here! And I admit I love it. I can spurge on the best, most decadent British cream for my coffee/strawberries/desserts while telling myself that I really have no other choice. Really.
3. The proximity to Paris. On any afternoon when I feel an urge for a 15 euro cappuccino while looking at the Eiffel tower, I can be there in under 2 1/2 hours.
4. Plan B. What I like more about him than his music is, as my friend Lizzie surmised, "he looks like any regular chubby bloke tucking into a pie at the local pub." If you haven't heard of him, check him out on YouTube.
5. Doormen. I work in Mayfair where even the local coffee shop just about has a doorman. Whether it's at a boutique hotel, private member's club or Michelin starred restaurant, they're always impeccably suited with great hats and even better manners. They're always the best to ask when lost, looking for a taxi or to confirm if that really was Elton John going to that curry house around the corner (and it was! A Michelin-starred curry house that is.)
6. David #1. David Walliams. I have a comedy geek-chic crush for sure! (and to clarify, preferably when David Walliams is not dressed in drag) Come Fly with Me anyone?
7. Department stores. Nothing is quite as mesmerizing and yet also somewhat terrifying as the food hall at Harrod's or stumbling upon drag queen bingo at Selfridges after indulging in the The Ice Creamist's pop up which serves a shot absinthe with your sundae. With the most outrageous window displays, floors of designer couture and the fact they all have champagne bars - all the more reason to shop! Liberty with it's vintage designer room is also a favorite.
|Now this is a sundae. Just add absinthe! |
|A live artist and his muse in a Selfridges window display for Agent Provocateur|
8. Afternoon Tea. Truly an experience and one to be taken very seriously. Even the most casual cafe is proud of it's afternoon tea. My two favorites in London are High Tea at Claridges and Pret a Portea at The Berkeley. If tea isn't your thing, you can always upgrade to the champagne tea!
|Afternoon tea at Claridges|
...to be continued!