England-Terra

 

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.

St Mark's Church, Primrose Hill
St Mark’s Church, Primrose Hill
St Mark's Church, Primrose Hill
St Mark’s Church, Primrose Hill

 

The Lion of St. Mark
The Lion of St. Mark

This picture takes me back to Venice, with its Lion of St. Mark symbolism scattered all over the city.

Lotta from Stockholm
Lotta from Stockholm

Sun’s out and so are the toes. Ripped jeans and Lotta from Stockholm’s Swedish clogs.

Pastel Primrose Hill
Pastel Primrose Hill

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?

Juliette Balcony
Juliette Balcony

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!

Walden Books
Walden Books

 

 

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.

 

Ripe
Ripe

I’ve been converted to buying my fruit and veg at Turnips!

http://turnipsboroughmarket.com/

Fresh
Fresh

As a big zucchini fan I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted these beauties.

Grow Your Own
Grow Your Own

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.

Swiss Cheese by Jumi
Swiss Cheese by Jumi

and here are some more of my personal favorites…

 

Sweet Treat
Sweet Treat

Dip into some truffle, honey and cheese.

A La Francaise
A La Francaise

Une Normandie a Londres is a perfect place to buy your French cheeses and meats.

Picante
Picante
Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day

Sample some fresh oysters with a glass of prosecco at one of the various fresh fish stalls at Borough Market.

Take Me to the Greek
Take Me to the Turkish

There are a few olive stalls in the market though my personal favorite was this Turkish one.

Pot of Love
Pot of Love
Flower Power
Flower Power

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. 

Love London.

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

 

 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!

St. Albans Medieval Bell Tower
St. Albans Medieval Bell Tower
The Workings of Time
The Workings of Time
From the Top
From the Top
The Rich Landscape of St. Albans
The Rich Landscape of St. Albans

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.

Exterior of the Cathedral at St. Albans
Exterior of the Cathedral at St. Albans

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.

The Cross Tower of St. Albans Cathedral
The Cross Tower of St. Albans Cathedral
Surviving Norman Arches and Traces of Original Wall Painting
Surviving Norman Arches and Traces of Original Wall Painting

 

Later Gothic Style Arches
Later Gothic Style Arches
Stone Sculpting
Stone Sculpting
Oriental Dreaming
Oriental Dreaming

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.

The Great Roses of England
The Great Roses of England

 

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.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, the Oldest Pub in England
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, the Oldest Pub in England

A short walk across the River Ver led us into the local park, in which we discovered Roman walls, mosaics and the Verulamium Museum.

Roman Mosaics at Verulamium
Roman Mosaics at Verulamium
Roman Villa Mosaics at the Verulamium Museum
Roman Villa Mosaics at 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.

These Guys Were Cool
These Guys Were Cool

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.

Market Food at Camden Town Lock Market
Market Food at Camden Town Lock Market

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.

Savoury snacks and a coconut smoothie at Made in Brazil
Savory snacks and a coconut smoothie at Made in Brazil

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.

Moqueca, a fish dish from Bahia, northern Brazil
Moqueca, a fish dish from Bahia, northern Brazil

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.

MTNG Originals Sandals
MTNG Originals Sandals

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!

Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill

 

Catch a sunset on Primrose Hill
Catch a sunset on Primrose Hill

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:

My Home (one day, hopefully, one day, probably not.)
My Home (one day, hopefully, one day, probably not.)
Regent's Canal
Regent’s Canal
Regent's Canal
Regent’s Canal

 

Boat Houses on Regent's Canal
Boat Houses on Regent’s Canal
Not Holland, Regent's Canal
Not Holland, Regent’s Canal

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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