Letter From London

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Slim Paley Photo……………..Curzon St. in London

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Umm…Where did the last few days just go??  Sorry I didn’t post after The Chelsea Flower Show but it’s been Go GO GO since the moment I arrived in London.  Now I am reminded of how much fun it was to live here although I certainly couldn’t maintain this pace full-time anymore!  I’m off to see the Grace Kelly exhibition at The Victoria & Albert museum shortly, then some last minute shopping, pick up my teas and various other culinary delights from Marks & Spencers that can survive the trip home, dinner with friends, then no doubt up until all hours repacking my cases for the trip home.  “Friday Favourites” will be back next week, but for now I will leave you with a few holiday snaps of Jolly old London :)

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Liberty, one of the oldest and most charming department stores in London has really hit it’s stride.

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The newest print at Liberty

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We saw War Horse one night.  The Puppetry is not to be believed,or rather quite the opposite, it’s so alive one forgets the horses are not.  The creativity behind such innovation is really impressive, although the storyline is a tad heavy handed.  It made total sense to me when I read it had been adapted from a children’s book. Still, it is more than worth seeing for the “puppets” alone- and don’t let the photos put you off- you can actually see the horses breathing.  The music is also quite beautiful (don’t worry, it’s not a musical) but be forewarned to plug your ears for the few gunshots. No one’s sleeping through this show!

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I walked and walked and day dreamed about having a London address again…

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In a style I could become accustomed to :)

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And visited one of my favourite bookshops ( on Curzon St.)

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The sign above the door at Heywood’s bookshop

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I marveled at the sense of pomp and pageantry that still exists…

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…aaaand then again, not so much…

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I window shopped for the essentials…


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and smiled at the English sense of whimsy

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Slim Paley photo……………….Fortnum & Mason

Agonized over jam selections…

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Slim Paley photo……………………………..“Mock Turtle Soup” at The Fat Duck

and enjoyed some wonderful meals and great laughs with friends old and new.

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And of course, went to The Chelsea Flower Show, but that is another post!

Lastly, a few Favourite Things about London;

-The black cabs and the cabbies- the BEST in the world.

- The cobblestones

- The chesnut trees

- The soft water

- The long summer days

-  The way the restaurants stay the same forever

- Portobello Road

- The window boxes

- That waiters never ask  if “You’re done working on that?”

- The food halls at Selfridges, Harrod’s, Marks & Spencers,  & Fortnum & Mason.

- That you can go tiara shopping…in many different areas!

- The monuments

- The bookshops

- The magazines

- The double cream

- The TEA!!

What I don’t love about London;  That all the shop keepers call you “Madame”  UGH.

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Please wish me luck with my jet lag upon return- Don’t you find it’s always much worse coming back, then going??

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Happy Friday to everyone!

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28 Comments

  1. Thanks Slim for another wonderful armchair journey. The Mock Turtle Soup looks extraordinary.
    I’d love to know what it tastes like. Was that a poached eggs with a fungus popping out of the middle?

    May your trip home be safe and jet lag free. I presume you take all the usual anti jet lag precautions – Quality Melatonin, 2 litres of water on the plane, then when you land two asiprin (to thin the blood) and a walk so you can let the sun shine on the back of your neck and knees and finally some acupuncture.

    Happy landing.
    cp

    • The “Mock Turtle” Soup was something quite extraordinary Chris. They bring the bowl with the “mushroom” and the “dumpling” in it, but no liquid. They also bring a mug with a “tea bag” over which they pour boiling water and when you stir it the tea bag completely disappears, leaving a broth filled with gold leaf which you then pour into the soup bowl. The dumpling is stuffed with pork belly. Quite delicious!

  2. Hope you have a safe trip home. Loved reading all your posts from abroad. Ninfa with all the roses blooming turned me green with envy! I saw it in September and it was nothing like your photos.
    Welcome back.

  3. Wonderful pictures of London!

    What a gorgeous parade of black horses. The red costumes against the black is spectacular.

    Love the picture of the shoes hanging in mid-air in the window. Essentials is right.

    Upon first glance, the man with the white beard and hat looking at the flower display reminded me of Monet.

  4. hi slim,

    wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. each photo better than the last. the windowboxes! i love the photos you took of the window displays that had the reflections of street scenes in them. gorg, totally gorg. can’t wait for pics of the flower show.

    ~janet

  5. Oh Slim!

    What a glorious column once again. What a great eye you have for capturing the whole scene in one photograph. I’m with you in longing to have a London address again, to have my little London mews house in colorful Kinnerton Street back again. Lovely memories you brought back — doing shopping for dinner on rare nights at home in Harrod’s food stalls, the colorful horse guards riding thru Hyde Park, window boxes overflowing with colorful floral displays, the momentous occasion when my first book was displayed in window of Heywood Hill, the good Chinese food (dim sum Sunday mornings in London’s Chinatown) the wonderful dependable colorful Liberty House. You have it all and so beautifully sensitively presented. Your blog is bringing much beauty and joy and happy memories into my life and I send you my deepest thanks! And incidenally, I never have jet lag even on endlessly delayed flights back from China. The answer I’m sure is I take my own salt free food aboard if it cannot be specially ordered, I drink nothing but bottled water – no coffee, tea, alcohol, and I walk constantly throughout the flight and do tai chi in the kitchen or somewhere. The business of taking a sleeping pill, laying back on your bed sleeping the whole flight leads to disaster. It leads not only to jet lag but can cause blood clots as well. So keep moving and stay salt and alcohol and caffine free and you will bounce back into action feeling great upon your return!

    • Thank you Beverly!
      And also thanks for reminding me of the great Dim Sum in London, which also reminded me of the many Sunday afternoons in London we would watch Bollywood films, long before they became so popular, and then go out for wonderful (and cheap!) Indian food. So delicious!

  6. Wow! What an adventure your having – swoon over the flowers … look forward to that Chelsea post – thanks Slim for allowing us to visually travel affordably with you – what a blessing! Safe travels and voyage home – take good care ;~)

  7. London! You have captured its essence, your Window Shopping photos says it all.
    You are there at the best time of the year as you know, all the parks planted to perfection.
    Being a Gemini, I am always torn between Paris and London. They both strike a resonant chord. What about you? Yes, I do obsess about this, and since I was 12!

    • Dear Gaj- The eternal question; London/Paris? Paris/London? I think I have to go with London for sheer fun and Paris for beauty. Oops- I guess that still isn’t definitive is it?! OK, I have to pick London for sentimental reasons :)

  8. Oh lovely, lovely lovely!

    One thing to add to your list (I hope) of things to love in London!

    waiters don’t say (when you order your second glass of wine: “oh another glass of wine?”

    I had the most brilliant and elegant and sensational mother-in-law. She took 17 of us (her four children; their spouses and children, on the QEII in 1980 (you weren’t born) to London and Wimbledon!
    It never happened in London……but stateside when a waiter said: “another vodka?” She would sniff! (picture a long sniff……with the most insulting look! then she would say…..”Another??? No! I would like A drink! “Another”….. has the hint of a REBUKE!!!!”
    Classic!

    LOVE LOVE love this post! I feel like i was there….and am escaping jet lag!

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

    • “ANOTHER” drink- Perish the thought!! That’s like a sales person yelling “Do you need a BIGGER size?” when you are shopping with your husband!

  9. Love your photos! Fell in love with London first time I went been back four more times….I want a London address some day too. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Thank you for a lovely post, it almost makes me want to move back to London too.

    Here is my favourite jetlag remedy which really helps to prevent that ‘hangover’ feeling caused by the enormous amount of dehydration on a plane:
    from a chemist, such as Boots, buy one packet (of five or six individual sachets) of Dioralyte or rehydration sachets per person and dilute a whole packet in a litre bottle of still water at the start of the flight. Sip regularly throughout and finish the bottle by the time you get to your destination. Drink at least another large glass of water per hour, more if you’re also drinking alcohol. It works by replenishing all the lost minerals and electrolytes which would take ages to replace by just drinking water. I would never go on a long-haul flight again without it.

    Have a great time at the V+A!

    • Thanks so much for this tip Andrea
      I had every intention of shopping at Boots at Heathrow before boarding but security took SO LONG to get through that I had no time and had to go straight to boarding. I will ask a friend to bring me these from London for sure!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing the lovely photos Slim. This post was so good, I forgot about Friday Favourites! Don’t worry, I will be eager for them next week! And to hear the news about Fergie while in London. Wow, I’m sure the news footage was quite different than it was in the states. Safe travels home to you!

  12. I truely enjoy your journies whether they be abroad or just to your backyard. Liberty Union Jack pillows- brilliant!

  13. Splendid memories of London Slim. The window boxes are so beautiful., as are the shoes , the stores,
    I think that elderly gent, may have followed you from Rome . Dropped the pants and red shoes. !!!!
    Loved each and every shot and your witty way of telling the story. Thanks again until the next time .
    BBB ox

  14. Love this post! And I love London, though I have not been there in about 10 years. A very good friend of mine owns a wonderful pottery shop called Ceramica Blue in Notting Hill – next to Books for Cooks. If you get there, give her my best!

  15. Fabulous photos! Where did you stay in London and which restaurants can you recommend?

    Thanks for the help.

    • Hi P.V.
      I was lucky enough to stay with friends while I was in London, but with regard to restaurants, we dined at J.Sheekey’s, Scott’s (both seafood) and Amaya (Indian) and all three were excellent. :)

  16. Great comparison!

    “NO DEAR; YOU MUST NEED THE 14!!!” (husband within earshot)!!

    Perish…..indeed!

    Great fun in London with you!

    Penelope
    ps note how many times you hear it…….

    “OH! you’d like another drink?” Had it not been for my divine mother-in-law I would never have noticed! see if you or any of your many followers hear it! I’m curious!!!!!

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