It is a rainy day but NO ONE IS BORED. That is because we are in London. I am so glad I live here. It is grey and drizzling, but there is stuff to do, and stylish things to be done and excellent food to eat and places to visit and chairs to buy. I am forever grateful. If London was a woman, I would have a girl-crush on her. I may well follow her around in a little bit of an odd way, like the time I spotted Kate Sylvester in a New World supermarket in Auckland, and I wheeled my trolley into aisle after aisle after her, pretending to be very interested in dried apricots and tins of beans, but actually willing her to be my friend. Sweating a little bit about it, maybe. Raised blood pressure, certainly, no doubt a bit of a nervous rash creeping up my neck. Anyway, thats how I would be if London was a lady. If that, er, makes sense.
So. Why? WELL! Look at these photos taken last Sunday. At Ham House, in Richmond. It wasn’t open, but that’s ok. There were the gardens, horses, and the National Trust tea rooms filled with scones and tea and (terrible) baked potatoes and small, clean families with only one or two kids all speaking French and being whispery. That is the kind of thing you can do when you live here.
And Yet Another London Thing
You can even get a babysitter to come at 6pm, like we did last night, and you can saunter down to Queensway with your husband, in your heavy liquid eyeliner and your Cherry Lush and your disintegrating rabbit-fur coat, and you can go to the new poshed-up cinema in Whiteleys where you pay double price for tickets BUT you get to go to a bar first and drink cocktails and then go and sit in the new theatre which has enormous reclinable seats, all leather and machinised, and (this is *amazing*)…you have waiter service all movie-long from staff who get you food from Le Cafe Anglais while you watch your movie! And you can keep ordering more drinks! And the food comes to your little table which is on the side of your huge leather chair (all a bit too much like being on a plane, perhaps) and you eat in the dark, kind of, and you spill stuff down your shirt and on the leather chair and in between the cracks but it is OK because probably EVERYONE does it! And it was too delicious! And too weird. We are TOTES going back there. I liked having three cocktails. It make the movie kind of dreamy and sleepy. It was The Artist. And the lights stay on a little bit, but you don’t really mind because then they bring out excellent desserts, and you want to be able to see your salted caramel ice cream before it drips onto your shirt. It was so excellent.
We ordered salsify fritters and aioli to share which I told Mark were lovely root vegetables which I think had something to do with the sea. He ate one, told me it was fish, I spat mine out, he ate all of it, I came home, googled it, found it it was actually just a root vegetable after all, and told him, and he just laughed and said my fish phobia was mental. It was an evil plan to have the fritters all to himself. So mean.
Anyway, we decided to bid on a farmhouse table this week and we won it and picked it up this morning and I now have a huge old table with which to have big rousing meals around while the kids behave nicely and we will all be so witty and charming we may as well have a sitcom devoted to our excellent family-ways. And so we whipped up to Portobello this afternoon to buy some old mismatched chairs. There weren’t any. But see? London again. There could have been some. There were some cinema chairs and more old tables and quite a lot of fish-smells from the fishmonger. Fishmonger shops are my kryptonite. I shudder and cross the road to avoid them. But there were also lots of moroccan food stalls and Pizza East and men in bowler hats and the Lisboa patisserie full of pasteis de nata, which I couldn’t buy because I am now a running-type person who doesn’t eat delicious portuguese tarts. Sigh. But see how much fun London is? And look! Here we are eating passionfruit, banana and chocolate muffins from The Providores, the NZ Peter Gordon cafe of excellentness and overpricedness.
Totally ruined my I Love London So There theme, just then, didn’t I?
I love this blog, you are fantastic at blogging x
Thank you. You are v v kind x
I love London too. And you. And the card that came in the mail to us from you. xxx. I also love going to the cinemas where they bring you the wine and the food in the mechanical lazy boy chairs. We do that in the antipodes too ya know. We are all class.
Yeah but can you WALK to your antipodean cinema? And do they serve salsify? HUH?
As someone from Up North and by that I mean, WELL past Manchester….London was always a sort of big, impersonal and frightening place (based on one visit in my teenage years: not yesterday lemme tell you). But we flew down en famille for a long weekend a couple of years ago and frankly, I fell in love with it faster and harder than I did with Hugh Jackman.
Every school holiday or inservice day, I check the prices of flights to London! I can dream, can’t I?! You are right – you can NEVER be bored in London – tons to do. Everywhere. All the time. I luffs it. And can’t wait to get back. But not during the Olympics *shudder*
Love the pix!!! Looks cold, but FUN!
Come! Come to London and we can do London stuff! With our respective kidlets! It’d be AWESOME!
My, what a busy life you lead. Sorry, I had to Google Kate Sylvester after you mentioned your little fantasy-stalk in Auckland. You stalked a dressmaker? I’ll never understand women.
Mark is a bit of a meanie telling you it was fish. You will have to get some revenge. Anything he doesn’t like?
I’m not too sure about the eat, drink and view films idea. An Orange Maid, some Jaffas and Popcorn was good enough in the past, and it’s difficult to stain clothes with Popcorn.
The idea however, of pre-viewing drinkies is absolutely splendid.
I agree with Ali X about Olympics time.
Maybe you could rent out your house to a visiting Olympic tourist, and use the proceeds to bugger off to Paris, Berlin or even Palmerston North?
Maybe you’ll explain the fish thing sometime.
Not just any dressmaker. The best one in the Ol’ Country. Or was – it has been awhile. Mark doesn’t like tripe or cabbage or chorizo. I do throw cabbage and chorizo into dinner, but have so far laid off tripe for the last 34 years. As you do.
So true…nothing more civilised than a cinema in which one gets to eat and drink more than stale popcorn and flat Diet Coke! May have to add your Whiteleys cinema to my list of one’s to visit; am currently in love with the Curzons for similar reasons.
Yes, it was so cool,actually. Poor old Whiteleys is a bit of a mess, but this might cheer the place up a bit. Haven’t been to the Curzon, but The Electric is good for a bit of poshness. LOVE the movies x
I had the very same thoughts when I bought our farmhouse table. 🙂 Enjoy it!