London is lush with foliage. These photos were taken behind the British Museum in Bloomsbury.
The best way to see London, someone said, is from the top of a bus … a double-decker bus! So I took the number 14 bus from Russell Square to the V&A (Victoria & Albert) museum in South Kensington.
Afterwards (it was a blistering hot day), I took another bus to Sloane Square where I sought refuge from the heat in Peter Jones department store. My plan was to walk down the King’s Road and visit my favorite shops, but it was too hot. So I hopped onto the tube and headed back to Bloomsbury, stopping off at a health food store for a Fatigue Fighter pressed juice and some red licorice. The heat saps me of all energy.
I’ll tell you what I miss about living in an Anglophone country, be it the U.K., the U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand or Australia: chatting with strangers. In the street, in shops, at a bus stop, in a coffee shop. Parisians don’t engage easily. Oh, sure, they might exchange a few words with you for a minute or two before quickly scurrying away, as if chatting with a stranger was something eccentric. Whereas Anglophones are friendly and easygoing. I remember I once had a fascinating conversation with a fascinating woman on a New York bus. In London, during this trip, I struck up a conversation with a friendly woman in a clothing store called Toast. We ended up discussing the merits of home-made jam; I’m not sure how we arrived at that topic, but there you have it.
Evenings, I met up with friends for dinner. Thai food one night, Indian another night.
And then I moved across town to another hotel in Notting Hill. It has a lush and gorgeous garden and the neighborhood is fab. Early mornings, I sat at this table below with a mug of coffee before going in for a full English breakfast. It was heaven to sit surrounded by nature while listening to the birdsong.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from the famous Portobello Road street market (antiques, bric-a-brac and vintage clothing.) But I thought there was a lot of “tat” (British for cheap, tacky stuff), so I continued onwards to Westbourne Grove which is a street filled with stylish stores, coffee shops and restaurants.
On the Thursday there was torrential rain and several of the tube (metro) lines were flooded. I waited all afternoon in the hotel lobby for a friend who was trying to get to my hotel from North London. But she couldn’t make it (because of the flooding), and we never did meet up. Oh well, another reason to return to London.
I highly recommend this hotel and will definitely return. A full English breakfast is included in the price of the room.