Life&London

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I’ve taken you to Venice, I’ve taken you to Paris; might I invite you to one of my favourite places in London too?

I shall not pretend that I’m not very comfortable in Mayfair or around Sloan Square. Which very much has to do with the fact that I actually not belong there; I’m a cat among the ermines and I enjoy it. As a Scandinavian (albeit one that doesn’t look it because short and a brunette) I pretend I own the place. In the east end it’s the same thing but opposite; I don’t belong because I’m not hip nor genuin enough. But I do love that part of London.

The flower market at Columbia Road is so wonderful. I also very much enjoy shopping for fabrics and Bollywood earrings in the Indian shops that I pass getting there. Dennis Sever’s house is one of my fave museums(except it isn’t a museum,it’s a living tableaux). Oh and the beigle bakery in Brick lane. Get the strudel; almost as good as in Vienna. And if If I want a bit of that east end vibe when I don’t have a chance to go ? The Gentle Author takes me there.

I actually saw this book at the Brick lane bookshop when I was in London in 2014 but didn’t buy it because it was a brick of a book(pun intended) and my bags were already full to the brim. But I had a look when I got home and found it online. It started as a blog so it’s divided into many small chapters about the people,places and past of Spitalfields in the East end. There are probably very strict geographical lines to adhere to, as a bloody Swedish tourist it’s all the East End to me and I can’t tell Spitalfields from Shoreditch. I think I might just be a tad proud of that in fact.

The point is that this book is a darling thing to read and it has all those kinds of sweet nostalgic stories that I love on paper but don’t know how to deal with in real life. Like the story about the pigeon fanciers. That’s lovely that is, that someone is still keeping postal pigeons that carry messages. I also think that they are nasty birds, all of them. The kind of thing that I love to read about, I might even throw in an “we have culture anymore. Carrier pigeons was a sign of civilization and now we have the Kardashians”. I don’t mean it at all.

But many of the things in this book I do love, and I do appreciate diversity in real life. It should be noted that because it’s so many small chapters,and about a variety of things it doesn’t have to be read from cover to cover, and it’s an easy read too or browse. But possibly hard to get. I would advice to read the book before going to London,not after. Or you know, make another trip. London is always a good idea.

Things mentioned in this post;

The Gentle Author

-Suss

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London calling; Part two

While I’m on the subject of London(see yesterday’s post) I would like to add a few places that I recommend and then move on from this and plan my next trip instead of looking back.

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I’m not down (I drink classy cocktails you know)

I don’t drink a lot but what I do drink has to count. So I’m usually particular about bars or rather I try to visit a few places that can provide me with inspiration. The Worship street Whistling stop was lovely (here) but always on my to visit-list are;

-69 Colebrook row;home to mixology maverick Tony Conigliaro (here)

-Zetter townhouse; bar is managed by Conigliaro but a very cosy environment  (here)

-The Artesian; voted best bar in the world many time (here)

There are many great bars in London; I couldn’t possibly visit them all without being extremely hungover but those three have found a way into my heart.

Death or Glory

img_6879-1Undoubtedly the Museums of London bring it. Probably one of my fave museums in the world is Sir John Soane’s: a place that can be summed up with the words “you are not a hoarder if your stuff is in order”. So much to see. It is sometime called “the museum of museums” and I buy that. Soane was an architect and he built his own house in order to fit the vast collection of artifacts; the colours and the light are spectacular.  No photos are allowed inside but you can find out more here.

 

 

Oddly enough it was the first time I managed a visit to the British Library. It is well worthimg_6919 a visit (and now I’m placing a moratorium on that phrase) not only for the spectacular shop but it is very nice to see the old scripts; “soaring on the wings of history” and all that. Jane Austen’s writing desk was temporarily elsewhere when I visited but I did get to see the Magna Charta and some inspiring illustrations in religious scripture. There was a temporary exhibit on the subject of Punk that was interesting and the library itself is pretty amazing. All those books.

 

 

Brand New Cadillac (-ish)

On our way there I drank the shot of espresso that made me hit rock bottom and forced me to rethink my coffee guzzling ways. I will remember it always. The next day when visiting the British museum (here) I started my new life and had herbal tea and the paper cup it was served in was the nicest I’ve ever seen. In the area around the British museum I also want to mention the lovely café Syrup of Soot(here). It was newly opened when I visited but based on the location, instagramability and lovely coffee and pastries I expect it will become very popular.

 

 

I spent time looking at old things not only at the British museum but also the Victoria and Albert, usually just called the V&A(here). I could do that all day really. I am obsessed with kimonos. And my own sloppy take on them. Both places have amazing shops.

And then as always when traveling; keep your eyes open. You might just see something unexpected.

-Suss