I’m only onto the second city in my great dash around Europe at the moment, but I’m only getting the first moment to sit and digest it all right now; this morning in my pal’s bright and sunny flat in Copenhagen.
London was a whirlwind. There were full on sprints to catch everyone and everything all in. Out of the three cities I’ve called home, my shortest time was spent in London (only a year!). So I was surprised to find how quickly I slid back into the thick of things, the rhythm, the cadence of the city, and most importantly, all of my friends who live in the this crazy beautiful (albeit slightly precipitous) metropolis that never sleeps. Just to let you know, this sprint began pretty much upon landing at 540am.
So I thought I’d share a few snappy snaps (the city needs no words), and some of my favourite digs in London today. Some of them are new haunts that my hip friends lovingly shared. Others are old faves. In any case, the city and its people were a bit gigantic hug. I’m eternally thankful for having such great friends here who welcomed me back with open arms.
What can I say? Regent’s Canal was the best way to slide back into the thick of it. At 13.8km, stretching from London’s grittier but hipper east, through the posh central and off to the romantic west of Little Venice (my old hood), my pal and birthday twin Emily couldn’t think of a better way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city. With little pubs like The Barge House dotted along the canal, you can stop and have a cocktail…or several, to keep the weary traveler going. A Bloody Mary topped off with a pitcher of Aperol spritz? Don’t mind if I do.
London gets a bad rap among eaters. But gosh darn it, London is also a multicultural hotbed for so much delicious creativity. From pop-ups that revolve around the sommelier to my favourite Eritrean resto, which started out as a tiny little family run place in Maida Vale and is now packed all the way to its closing hour. With a little research, you pretty much can’t go wrong. My London pals are fans of the Indian delights at Dishoom at Cait’s new digs at Central Saint Martins just next to Kings Cross St. Pancras. And what a pretty industrial space, which I neglected to take photos of because I couldn’t keep my hands off the food.
The single most satisfying beverage I’ve had on this trip so far can be found at the Peg + Patriot in London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood. At first I was a little apprehensive about Pho Money Pho Problems. I am coming from southeast Asia after all. That apprehension lasted a millisecond. This savoury cocktail killed me with how it hit every note. I was in London and Hoi An at the same time. I’m going to have to hand our local boozehound the challenge of recreating this cocktail when I’m back in town.
All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use. And don’t blame us about wanting to move to London and facing high real estate prices.