In between museums and galleries I’ve stumbled across some great things to see, do and eat in London.
Arepa with plantains from Camden Market.
I don’t think, in my whole life in Australia, I’ve ever been given a free meal by a restaurant, and yet it has happened twice to me in London.
First time was a Mexican place in the financial district. The sweet potato for my burrito took about ten minutes to prepare and so they gave me the burrito and a drink for free. I wrote them a really nice TripAdvisor review.
Then the next week I went to a ramen restaurant in Soho and my food took about half an hour (which wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow in Melbourne) and the manager came and apologised to me personally and said the meal was free. It was outstanding ramen – I ended up talking to her briefly and she explained their philosophy and how it was made and how passionate she was about quality.
The funny thing was that the couple next to me, who complained twice about their food taking too long, got apologies but no offer of a free meal and probably heard me saying that there was no rush and I was fine and not to worry about how long it took. I did feel a bit smug, quite ruining all my good karma from being so patient and good-mannered.
Bone Daddies in Peter Lane was the place. If you go I recommend getting in before 6pm. From their window you can enjoy a view of people lining up for a clothes store across the road. The waitress in Bone Daddies seemed shocked I hadn’t heard of the brand, Supreme.
I like browsing markets. I stumbled on the Marylebone Summer Fayre which, if you don’t know London, is a super posh area so the festival had an opera singer and oysters and champagne stalls along with the other, more normal, stuff. I ate some amazing middle eastern food and watched people salsa-dance for a while.
I visited a couple of book stores because, despite having an infinite supply of reading material on my phone and iPad, I can’t look at screens solidly for hours without getting a headache… plus I like buying books.
Daunt Books was right on one of the streets where the above ‘fayre’ was being held so I went in.
Its a gorgeous building.
I immediately discovered that, for reasons unimaginable, the fiction categories were all lumped together. Since I usually head straight to science fiction and fantasy, I cursed to myself and left. Who would do such a thing? Monsters, that’s who.
Luckily, on my way to the British Museum, I passed Waterstones. A huuuuuuge bookstore in a gorgeous building with a whole room of science fiction and fantasy to itself. I bought a book, just to reward them for their good sense.
It turned out to be rubbish but I can’t really blame the store for that.
With trees all around it, it was a difficult building to photograph but I assure bibliophiles it’s worth a visit.
I spent three nights near Brick Lane and before that I was in Camden. Both are excellent spots for street art and walking around finding these gems was one of the highlights of my stay here.
Truly, there is something in London for everyone!