Absolutely delicious food and generous portions! I recommend the Saffron Chicken Korma for those of you who aren’t into really hot spicy food like me. The decorations are gorgeous marionettes hanging from every beam in the ceiling. A real treat for me and my dad on his last night in London:
If you’re like me – you will get lost at every turn around Seven Dials, but it’s the best kind of getting lost. At every glance there is great shopping, cafes, pubs, and gorgeous London architecture.
Written about extensively here: http://www.urban75.org/ and featured on BBC’s modern Sherlock Season 3, Episode 3 – “His Last Vow” (still below) the “Lie of Leinster Gardens” lies just steps away from where I’m now living in London. So naturally I had to take a look!
The hollow log, donated by Lady Fortescue, originally came from Richmond Park, and was moved to Kensington Gardens in 1928 as part of George Lansbury‘s scheme of public improvements in London. Over the next two years the illustrator Ivor Innes carved the figures of the “Little People” into it. These included Wookey the witch, with her three jars of health, wealth and happiness, Huckleberry the gnome, carrying a bag of berries up the Gnomes’ Stairway to the banquet within Bark Hall, and Grumples and Groodles the Elves being awakened by Brownie, Dinkie, Rumplelocks and Hereandthere stealing eggs from the crows’ nest.
The Elfin Oak is delightfully placed next to a lovely café and the entrance to the Diana Memorial Playground. This playground is Peter Pan themed, with a pirate ship, Tigerlily’s camp, and lots of fun tunnels and sandboxes to explore.
Many of us are familiar with Peter’s adventures in Neverland – but fewer of us know of his origin in Kensington Gardens in J. M. Barrie’s first story featuring everyone’s favorite boy who will never grow up.
Peter is a seven-day-old infant who, “like all infants”, used to be part bird. Peter has complete faith in his flying abilities, so, upon hearing a discussion of his adult life, he is able to escape out of the window of his London home and return to Kensington Gardens. Upon returning to the Gardens, Peter is shocked to learn from the crow Solomon Caw that he is not still a bird, but more like a human – Solomon says he is crossed between them as a “Betwixt-and-Between”. Unfortunately, Peter now knows he cannot fly, so he is stranded in Kensington Gardens. At first, Peter can only get around on foot, but he commissions the building of a child-sized thrush‘s nest that he can use as a boat to navigate the Gardens by way of the Serpentine, the large lake that divides Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park.
5 years ago when I flew home from Heathrow after several magical years as a student living in Wales and England – I wasn’t sure I’d be able to say the words “I’m moving to London” ever again. I’ve always felt most at home in the UK; The music, tv, movies, literature, theater, food, countryside, manners etc. were all much more “me” there. So it was a huge blow and life adjustment to move back home to the US for so long.
But NOW I have the delight to announce that I am moving back to London in September! I’ll be studying a course in Music Business, but also working, exploring, and documenting my travels (I’m sure somewhat infrequently or haphazardly) on this blog. I’ll hopefully keep writing songs and performing (as this site was originally intended to promote) but I’m much more focused on helping the wonderfully talented musicians I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the past few years as my other “self”: Chloe Johnson.
Anyway, enough about that! Let’s talk about LONDON!!
Here I am at the famous “Blue Door” in Notting Hill a few years ago, armed with my Cath Kidston umbrella against the typical English weather. I remember staying not too far from Notting Hill Gate station that year, and loving it’s proximity to fun cafés, street markets, and most importantly the entrance to Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park. Walking through the parks of London is my absolute favorite thing to do in the city, followed closely by walks along the Thames in the Waterloo area and then probably Trafalgar Square.
That year I did a massive walking loop from Notting Hill to Chelsea, then back up to Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. (My feet really hurt and it took the whole day, but it was so worth it!) As I watched Londoners walk by with their dogs in Notting Hill – I thought: OK if I ever move to London, this is where I want to be!
As it so happens, after an exhaustive and stressful apartment search I actually ended up with a little studio that perfectly fits the bill – and I wasn’t even looking specifically in the area! Below is a Google Street View of a little row of houses not too far from where I’ll be living. How very British looking!
I’m excited to share my journey in photos (and sometimes in longer blog posts like this) over the next 12 months. I hope some of you find it interesting (although probably only my mother will ever visit this site) and I hope y’all come to visit! I’ll leave you now with a very embarrassingly posed tourist photo from a jaunt I took in Chelsea circa 2012.