Spring is Here!
Spring has definitely come to London and with the cherry blossom blooming, I decided to stop step away from the books and head out into the sunshine.
Of course my little walk had to include some architecture/educational element 😉
This is St. Mark’s in Primrose Hill. It looks like a little chapel on the outside but is quite spacious inside. The local community host regular classical music concerts here, and there is a beautiful eighteenth-century Italian organ inside. I like.
This picture takes me back to Venice, with its Lion of St. Mark symbolism scattered all over the city.
Sun’s out and so are the toes. Ripped jeans and Lotta from Stockholm’s Swedish clogs.
Primrose Hill becomes a world of its own in the Spring with its paint pastel houses. Regent’s Park Road is probably one of my favorite streets in London. Often walk towards Regents Park daydreaming, in another world where I’m a millionaire, which one of these houses would I call my own?
Walking down Chalk Farm road, towards Camden Market from Chalk Farm, on my right was Harmood Road. What might appear to be just another street, in another town, happens to be a lovely little road with probably one of the best second hand bookshops I have seen in London. These guys have a phenomenal selection of second hand Philosophy books from Socrates, to Descartes, Aquinas and Kant. They also have impressive poetry, fiction and arts sections. I got myself a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy (seeing as my tutor has mentioned it on numerous occasions now). Don’t go anywhere else, come here!
Check out Walden Books here
Lotta from Stockholm here (In serious need of a third pair…)
Eat Healthy at Borough Market
Travelers, take some time out of your busy tourist itinerary to visit Borough Market for a bite to eat. Londoners, ditch the supermarket and stock up your fridge with a range of natural produce and world foods at Borough Market!
Visit the market on Thursday, Friday or Saturday for the largest variety of market stall goodness.
I’ve been converted to buying my fruit and veg at Turnips!
As a big zucchini fan I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted these beauties.
As well as stunning fruit and veg, you can delight your senses (and stomach) with food from all around the world.
My favorite cheese stall would have to be Jumi London, with its fine Swiss cheese produce.
and here are some more of my personal favorites…
Dip into some truffle, honey and cheese.
Une Normandie a Londres is a perfect place to buy your French cheeses and meats.
Sample some fresh oysters with a glass of prosecco at one of the various fresh fish stalls at Borough Market.
There are a few olive stalls in the market though my personal favorite was this Turkish one.
These little beauties made my day!
So abandon the usual Trafalgar Sq./Covent Garden/Notting Hill tourist traps for a bit of flavor and traditional London market life at Borough Market. Stick around until 4pm when the stalls begin to close for discounts and bargains.
How to get there: Take the tube to either London Bridge (Northern, Jubilee Line) or Borough (Northern Line), the market is a stone throw’s away.
A Day Trip to St. Albans
Though St. Albans is less than an hour away from London, it feels like you’re worlds away when you step off that train and make your way to the town centre. St. Albans brings to life it’s rich history, dating back to the Roman settlement of Verulamium. Roman walls are scattered around the town, and especially at the park which hosts it’s own archaeological museum – The Verulamium Museum, it houses artifacts found in the local Roman settlement, displaying everyday life in Roman Britain.
I fell in love with the Medieval architecture of St. Albans. Our first stop was at the clock tower. The clock tower, built in the fifteenth century, is one of the oldest examples of a Medieval town belfry in England. It was in use until the nineteenth century when the top of the tower was used as a semaphore station during the Napoleonic Wars.
For a £1 entree fee, you can climb all the way to the top, the best part being the fantastic view of St. Albans and beyond!
Next stop, St. Albans Cathedral. St. Albans Cathedral is a wonder of its own kind. The building is a mix of architectural styles dating back to the Normans. I felt at ease as the hours passed, walking along the aisles, soaking in every inch of history as it revealed itself to me through the walls.
The cathedral is named after the town’s patron saint, St. Alban, a Roman citizen of Verulamium who was martyred on the site of the building. St. Alban is famous for being Britain’s first Christian martyr. It is generally believed that he was martyred sometime between 205-304 AD.
This building is full of art historical significance and innovation. The tower is the only standing example of an 11th century cross tower in England.
This beautiful roof symbolizes both the Tudor and Stewart houses. One of the Battles of the Roses occurred on a site at St. Albans. Both roses were included in the Tudor decoration at the cathedral as the Bishop didn’t think it fair to show favor to one family over the other.
As we made our way out of the cathedral, towards the old Roman settlement of Verulamium, we passed what I was told is the oldest pub in England, the Fighting Cocks. I couldn’t help but feel that I had walked onto the set of a Lord of the Rings film. This absolutely charming little pub hosts a cosy and traditional interior with it’s own fireplace.
A short walk across the River Ver led us into the local park, in which we discovered Roman walls, mosaics and the Verulamium Museum.
No we didn’t step into a time warp, we were just lucky enough to visit St. Albans during the celebration of the Magna Carta, the negotiations of which began in St. Albans. We watched a re-enactment of the date in history as well as a Medieval battle.
So if you need a day away from London, make your way to St. Albans. St. Albans can easily be reached either from Kings Cross or Kentish Town overground stations. Tickets cost as little as £7.50 return so what are you waiting for?
I HEART Camden Town
Forgive me Father for I have sinned, it has been over a week since I last posted on my blog.
I have to admit that I have been busy with ‘other preoccupations’ including preparations for various trips such as my return to Italy in a couple of weeks. I have also been ill. I am very much bunged up with a cold which I assumed was just hay-fever. This hasn’t stopped me from venturing out and doing what I love most, which is a combination of discovering new and beautiful places as well as fine dining.
Yesterday I spent a sunny afternoon in my local area, Camden Town. Here are some things I love to do in Camden.
Let’s get the food part out of the way.
I love the Lock Market, especially the food court on the weekends. Nations unite as market stalls produce Latin America, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Italian, British and other such world foods. My favorite has to be the stall that sells corn bread wraps. I love the black bean, meat and plantain wrap. It’s fresh, homemade, wheat free and delicious.
Brazilians have quite literally taken over the gaff. Camden Town has a growing Brazilian population and with that comes fine dinning and food stalls. I love Made in Brazil on Inverness Street. This restaurant has been here for quite some time now though I am yet to be bored of their menu. Brazilians are big on savory snacks, yesterday I sampled their bolinho de bacalhao (salted fish cakes), coxinhas (chicken parcels) and cassava (manioc) chips. These were all watered down nicely with a fresh coconut smoothie. For mains my friend had the feijoada, the national dish of Brazil and I had the moqueca, a fish dish from Bahia in the north.
After wolfing down our food we went in search of shoes (any excuse to go for a brisk walk in order to digest our heavy meals). I love shoes and especially shoes from Author. Author have recently branched out with stores in central London, East and in West London’s Portobello Market. They also have a cute little boutique in Camden Town. Yesterday I fell in love with these babies by MTNG Originals. Classic and perfect for the summer.
If I could spend a warm summer’s day anywhere in London, it would be on Primrose Hill. Primrose Hill is a little world away from the world, a hill of a park in Chalk Farm that connects Camden with Regents Park. Many a fine summer’s days have been spent in Primrose Hill with friends and picnics. Check out the amazing view of the London skyline from the very top!
Regent’s Park and the Canal. My sister and I regularly walk down the canal. We love to check out the little boat houses that stretch down the canal from Camden Market to Little Venice in St. John’s Wood. I also love checking out the mansions in Regent’s Park, we walk past picking out our future homes for when we’re rich and famous. My current favorite is this one:
So if it’s a summer’s day, without a cloud in sight, visit Camden Town for some fine dinning, alternative shopping and a walk around somewhere quite nice.