leaving London – Part I


I reluctantly left London after 6 action-packed days and took the Eurostar train to Lille in northern France.  It was K’s birthday and, later in the month, his son’s birthday. I had promised his son a pair of soccer shoes, so off we went to Go Sport and he chose these flashy Nikes.  As for K, he received a large pomegranate from Borough Market and a jar of pickled onions from Marks & Spencer. The Eurostar high-speed network is very convenient.  Travelling at 300 km/hour it links Paris – Lille – London – Brussels in just over 2 hours or under.


While Paris sizzled under temperatures as high as 39°C, it was cool and breezy in London except for one day when it hit 36.7°C. That was the day I went to Borough Market under the London Bridge.

IMG_4684IMG_4682IMG_4658Now that’s a real bacon sarny (sandwich).  Below are wheels of Lancashire cheese.IMG_4674Lambs Conduit Street, BloomsburyIMG_4516IMG_4521IMG_4522IMG_4523IMG_4527

I love Kensington Gardens for its large open spaces, magnificent ancient trees (oak, horse-chestnut and elm, to name just a few) and its various monuments and fountains.  Located in the heart of London and adjoining Hyde Park, it covers 242 acres and was once the private gardens of Kensington Palace.  A great place to ramble.  This amount of open space simply doesn’t exist in central Paris.  And I’ve never seen trees as big or old in Paris as you see here.


Here’s the beloved Peter Pan statue located in the north end of the gardens, near the Long Water. The bronze monument was commissioned by Peter Pan’s creator, James M. Barrie. It’s been standing at this very spot since 1912.  It’s been said that James Barrie met the boy who inspired him to create the story of Peter Pan here, in Kensington Gardens.


One reason for crossing Kensington Gardens is to get to my favourite organic supermarket-restaurant located at 42 Westbourne Grove. Planet Organic. Not part of a chain like Whole Foods, it’s entirely independent. Here’s what they say – Planet Organic is a health food haven with organic fruit & vegetables, organic bread from artisan London bakeries, only organic meat and sustainable fish from British waters. Our over-flowing groceries range is full of gluten-free, dairy-free, raw food and healthy options, while our Health & Bodycare department stocks the best natural beauty brands and a wide range of high quality health supplements.


There’s also an in-house restaurant that whizzes up the most delicious smoothies, green drinks and energy drinks (I recommend Fatigue Fighter) as well as lasagna, curries, salads, etc.  Another Planet Organic is located in Bloomsbury at 22 Torrington Place.