Postcards from London – Encore

by Chryssie

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I was quite fortunate that during my time in London, the weather was extremely favourable. This has left me with the lasting impression that Britain is in fact a sunny nation, and all that talk about rainy weather has been entirely made up. We woke to a lovely, bright morning and walked to a local organic grocer, where beautiful produce was on hand to do a big British cook-up. It was eggs on toast of course, with a side of bangers. And who could forget a cup of tea to go with it?

We made our way through streets where the picture-perfect terrace houses seemed pulled right out of a story book, to the Columbia Road Flower Market. White tents flanked the road, where the crowd squeezed through the middle like toothpaste. Big, burly men with sleeveless tanks and gold chains flirted with the ladies and handed out daffodils. Lovely little shops with pastel coloured kitchenware and garden goods called out to me, but alas, I cannot fit old wine box planters in my backpack.

It was fish and chips again for lunch, as I was determined to have a good plate in London. We went to Poppies, an institution, which has gone head to head with Rick Stein’s very own fish shop (and I believe won!). Poppies delivered a lovely bit of fish – nice and crunchy, much better than the soggy sadness we’d had the day before. However, the chips left something to be desired. For the moment though, having had good chips the day before, and good fish on this day, my collective plate of fish and chips was a success, and there went another tick on the list. A nice touch was also the cold cider, which was much closer to home than the warm beer I had experienced up until this point.

From there I feel we walked the entire length of London to St Paul’s, as apparently, you haven’t been to London until you’ve been to St Paul’s. It was also a nice little break on the steps of the cathedral in the beautiful British sunshine where I could stretch my legs out and take a breath.

For dinner we walked to a shop on a corner in Camden Town. To my left, out the front windows, wide streets with the terrace houses I was coming to dream of living in. To my right, a balcony opened up over the canal, where the evening breeze came in happily, and it was still light at 9.30 in the evening. The cider flowed freely, strings of bunting hung behind the bar, and I got the most beautiful chicken and leek pie, in my very own blue and white enamel dish, with a dollop of mashed potato on the side.

A quick cheers with our pints, and the nostalgia was already setting in after my first weekend in London. But, not to worry. The trip had just begun.