Swilling wine at the below mentioned Serpentine Bar & Kitchen includes the use of a recycled olive and pickle tin as an ice bucket. Just fantastic.
My flatmate and I set out on our Boris Bikes (more formally, Barclays Bikes) in search of a sunny patch of park to enjoy the sunshine and a bottle of wine. Instead, we ended up in the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen.
Never having experienced a good meal in a restaurant associated with a tourist landmark, such as the Serpentine in Hyde Park, I was quite wary when I agreed to eat here. Met with what one might call a daytime bouncer on the door, we queued outside for a few minutes before they allowed us in to find a table. Worried (we must not forget my anxiety in crowds) that the outdoor terrace would be a nightmare, crawling with tourists and screaming babies, I walked outside and easily found a table overlooking the lovely view. So far, so good. (a few tourists, a few kids, but hey – it’s expected)
My flatmate ordered a pizza and I decided on a liquid lunch of wine (meal of champions). Although the wait was rather long, the pizza arrived with a surprisingly thin crust and a bubbling cheesy surface. In London, a rare find.
We were left to our own devices from there and enjoyed the table, the sunshine and the view for the entire afternoon.
BONUS? There was a rent-a-cop circulating the terrace advising us to keep our mobiles in our bags and our eyes on our purses. I found this oddly charming.
One thing you will quickly learn about me as a person is that nothing makes me happier than finding particularly quaint mews throughout the bustling city. Quiet, tucked away little spaces with oozes of charm, these former carriage houses and stables built around a courtyard or behind larger houses are what contribute toward my fond feelings of London.
Formerly used to house the horses belonging to the wealthy elite, individuals started converting these ‘stables’ into homes when the motor car was introduced in the 20th century. Often found in the ritzier locations of London, mews houses have become a hot ticket in the property market.
Upon exiting Holland Park, I stumbled across Holland Park Mews – the strong arched entrance lends a much grander architectural feel than most. I love the juxtaposition between the small row of houses and the imposing entrance.
Upon agreeing to attend university in Scotland, the one thing I kept hearing from friends and family was that I might not survive the horrendous weather in St. Andrews. Well, through my four years there I probably managed to see more sunny days than grey ones and I still cannot tell enough people that winters growing up in New York were far worse. The over consumption of whiskey probably had something to do with my stellar endurance in bonny Scotland, but alas, I digress.
Now I know discussion of the weather is the singular defining characteristic of a boring person, but if you’ve been living in London for the past year and half like I have, then it is something that must be discussed no matter how interesting a person. Because it’s apparently really bad here, in rainy grey London.
Or is it? My two winters spent here have been milder than any in my living memories of growing up with blizzards, storms and snow days in the countryside of New York.
So when the sun decided to come out again this weekend, I did have to question what was going on – were Britons just serious complainers or was climate change storming the shores of Great Britain? I resolved to stop thinking about it and instead marched off to the great parks of London for some leisurely walks in the sun.
This week I will show you some of the things I found on this urban safari.
The Kyoto Garden of Holland Park:
Donated in 1991 and built in 1992 for the Japan Festival taking place that year, the Kyoto Garden is a quiet corner in the heart of the otherwise bustling park. Another landmark treasure that once again proves there’s a little something of everything to be found in London.
Bournemouth Harbour, England. March 2012.
Seriously, put the anchors away. No need for them with the very low tide here!
I visited Bournemouth for the first time last week and was interested to learn that it is the world’s second largest natural harbour – behind Sydney, Australia. Pretty impressive considering the relative sizes of ‘islands’ we’re talking about.