The sad time has finally come, folks. It’s my last London post.
I know, I’ve been dragging this out. I’ve been back in the US for a few weeks and have New York, California, and Outer Banks travels from the past month to catch up on (I’m currently in the DC airport which is the woooorst place). Guess I should get a move on.
As I dig through and organize my thousands of photos from the past year, I may find inspiration for a few new Brit blog posts… but for a while, at least, this is it.
One of my last London adventures was a full day out with this lady right here. Jen is my first (okay, technically only) blog friend turned real-life friend!
As she’s a fellow American expat in London and a pretty hilarious writer, her blog was quite a treat to stumble upon. Back in June, we finally stopped being awkward and decided to meet up and enjoy brunch at New Toms in Notting Hill – which, just like it sounds, is the new establishment that used to be just plain Toms, the place Amity and I ate on our very first day in London. Sadly, it took us ‘til August to get together again!
We both used to be west Londoners but Jen had recently moved up north and offered to show me around her new ‘hood. We spent a beautiful sunny Saturday wandering amidst the stalls of Broadway Market in Hackney and walked all the way to her new neighborhood of Angel. But hold up. First, a question for Londoners, or otherwise knowledgeable parties: what are these round things?!
Amity and I used the one down the street from us in Fulham as a landmark all year, and I spotted this pair in Hackney. I think I also saw one in Battersea. Do they have something to do with gasworks? Please write back.
Anyway. I was late to the market because BUSES UGH, but eventually I met Jen and we spent the morning exploring the stalls of fresh produce, street food, and flowers.
There was simply too much on offer to decide, so we did a lot of mini orders and sampling while we observed the quirky (this may be putting it mildly) locals and funky London street art.
We saved the majority of our appetites for this nearly-hidden courtyard that houses a bunch of international cuisine booths, including Mexican, Creole, Thai, and Mediterranean.
This guy was the real deal. His tacos were to die for and he was pretty fun to chat to, too.
The “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It” was the main reason for taking this photo, yet I somehow cut it off. So lame.
We went to walk off our tacos in the green of London Fields, where I watched on jealously as heaps of little kids frolicked through the fields of tall grass and wildflowers without a care in the world and no fear of ticks. That’s just not an option in the Northeast.
We took our time moseying along and catching up on our previous couple of months in London before eventually making our way back to the market and checking out the other end of the main street. Lucky we did, for ‘twas then that we happened upon our favorite shop in the joint:
How I’d survived nearly a full year in London without finding a reliable live eel importer to source my hot jellied eels, I’ll never know. Crisis averted.
After a few more nibbles, our feet took us out of the market and along Regent’s Canal, which was a gorgeous reflection of the blue sky above.
There was plenty to see along the canal, including a handful of people who actually get to call it home.
(I love that little bit of art along the embankment – it reflects “Shoreditch” onto the water when the surface is glassy enough!)
As much as I hankered after some of the houseboats, this was the place I was really anxious to put down my money for:
How perfect is that front door?!
The weather only got lovelier as we walked and talked, watching the water people go about their days. We saw people cutting hair, walking dogs, and locking up bicycles – all on their boats.
Our journey came to an end when the canal dove under a dark bridge and the footpath disappeared, so we trekked up the hill and in to the fun and bustling neighborhood of Angel.
Jen and I stopped for coffee and did a little browsing through stationery stores and market alleys. It was such a fun afternoon and I loved getting shown around a new part of London by my blog buddy (go visit her at Lady, Relocated – she tends to me more diligent and definitely more succinct than I am, and I will admit it – she’s just as funny).
It’s always exciting when you befriend a person and almost immediately realize you can let the crazy out around them. I’d tell you we ended by searching for a gift for a dog’s birthday barbeque, but you’d never believe me.