The London Life
A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else
It’s been over six months in London and my time here has been nothing less than phenomenal, barring a few (actually many) irksome rainy days. What do you expect? It’s London after all – probably the rainiest capital of the world! Take weather out of the equation though, and London becomes my favorite city hands down!
And I say this after living in Los Angeles for two years. Now that has been quite a revelation for me. I had never thought any city would even come close to being in the same category as LA, the aptly named City of Angels. Okay, I think I’m getting carried away. Back to London and my newfound love for this city.
There are innumerable things one can do here if the weather permits. Normally, the grey skies makes you want to curl up in bed, and sip on something hot while you’re all snuggled up and watch your favorite TV show. To be honest, days like that are fun too, but too many of them can get monotonous. A London weekend can be spent in some very interesting ways, from café and bar hopping in Notting Hill, to a peaceful stroll along the Tower Bridge and South Bank, to a romantic dinner at the Shard, or even crazy East London parties that continue into the next afternoon! The options are plenty.
Let’s start with my preferred London pursuit – sampling the plethora of cuisines on offer at the numerous street food markets, Camden Lock’s Global Kitchen and Borough Market topping the list. The handpicked selection of food is beyond comparison, with the most diverse array one can imagine – sumptuous curries from the sub-continent, mouthwatering grills from various South American countries, delightful Mediterranean fair, deliciously tangy Caribbean cuisine, to name but a few! Oh and dare I forget the scrumptious desserts (think churros and baklavas)! What’s more – there are umpteen cafes and bars in the vicinity, to lounge around and complete the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon!
The food scene in London is indeed extraordinary and runs the entire gamut. For the odd night of indulgence
(or regular one depending on who you are) London offers a range of award winning and Michelin starred restaurants. A couple of tried and tested ones include Arbutus, European restaurant in Shoreditch and Amaya, tapas-style Indian restaurant on Oxford Street. Even if you’re just looking for a quick bite as you see the sights, Central London is dotted with a wide range of affordable little joints – some of my favorites include Galicia (Spanish tapas) in Notting Hill and Ceviche (Peruvian seafood, with yummy cocktails) in Soho.
Ok I know, enough of food-talk already. But it’s so difficult; I’ve spent the last few months devouring all sorts of food and drink here, so much so that my yoga wasn’t helping to shed those extra kilos. I had to finally enroll in a gym.
Anyway, moving on. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, I’d recommend the Escape Room experience. There are multiple rooms to choose from all over London and it makes for a thrilling group activity. In case you haven’t been to one before, it usually involves a themed game that requires players to work together solving clues in order to escape a locked room before the time runs out. I’d recommend the one at the People’s Park Tavern in Hackney. Their game’s story line has the right mix of spookiness, intrigue and humor, and Gabriel, the host, is a hoot. We had a blast and managed to solve the puzzle in the nick of the time and won a beautiful bottle of red wine!
Or perhaps, if theatre is what you fancy, you must experience the charm of watching a performance at the Shakespeare’s Globe. London is known for its theatre culture and if nothing excites you more than the sheer magic of watching a play, you’re in the right place. You can choose from a number of exciting Broadway shows as well.
A piece on London cannot be complete without mentioning Neal’s Yard – the very vibrant, colorful courtyard in the heart of Covent Garden. Head here for a relaxing drink or healthy lunch from the Salad Bar.
So far, the weather has been far from pleasant but fortunately enough, we’re into the new season now and the summer is almost here. A picnic at Hyde Park is one of the things that will soon be checked off the wish list! If the winter had so much to offer, I can only imagine what warmer weather would be like. Cheers to a bright, lovely and eventful summer ahead!
April 18, 2017