When ever you visit a major city don’t you feel you walk miles? I think it is one of the best ways to see everything, to become part of where you are and notice the details. With the hectic pace most of us live our lives, it’s actually a treat to have the time to amble, to stop at things that just happen to draw you and in London that’s a lot! We had lunch at Nopi, where I had been longing to eat, we strolled through Borough Market and along The Southbank, crossing Waterloo Bridge to the Strand and on to Covent Garden. There was much to catch our attention! We had a quick rest back at our hotel before heading out again to the theater, what better way to spend a night in this fabulous and most beloved capital city!
Nopi, Ottolenghi’s restaurant
Yotam Ottolenghi became legendary in our household this summer, as my family inquired which combination of Ottolenghi’s recipes I had prepared from one of his two wonderful cookery books, ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Plenty’. Born in Jerusalem, Ottolenghi has shared some incredibly inspiring and mostly, very healthy recipes in his fabulous books and so to be able to eat in his esteemed restaurant, Nopi, was a real thrill.
The food was delcious, roasted eggplant, with lemon yoghurt, spicy seeds and pickled cucumber, followed by courgette and manouri (a soft greek cheese) fritters with cardamon yoghurt.
We would highly recommend Nopi but you need to book in advance, it was packed even when we left at 4pm with dinner guests just beginning to trickle in. When I asked if there were plans to open any more restaurants (Nopi is the only one, although there are several Delis across London, some of which have seating) I was told ‘no’, Yotam likes to be personally involved to maintain quality. I was also told that Yotam is a very caring person and great to work for, it made me like him even more!!
Our food journey was to continue at fabulous Borough Market, where only the freshest of everything is on sale. If only I had had a kitchen to cook in that night and if only it were possible to buy fresh pheasants like these, for just 5 pounds each, back in California! Pheasant was always a Christmas tradition growing up, as a small child I can remember watching them being plucked…….glad I don’t have to do that though!
Click on this link if you would like to read the history of this thousand year old London market!
The incredible selection of mushrooms made me think I was back in Provence
and of course in December, Christmas was everywhere.
I wasn’t too sure whether this old boy was reading his paper or whether he had nodded off at the end of a busy day!
The Thames is iust round the corner from Borough and we ambled along the Southbank, Sir Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral dominating the skyline from across the river.
By the time we had reached Waterloo Bridge, where we crossed the Thames, the view back towards Borough was a modern symphony of angles and glass!
Paddington Bear had greeted us several times on our stroll.
Each time in various dress!
Street performers were not to be outdone by a small bear!
Before we leave the Thames I feel I should pay tribute to the 888,246, heart rendering and beautiful poppies, created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, to mark the centenary of WWI and raise money for all war heroes. I so wish had we been in London a few days earlier, had we been we would have walked in a different direction towards Tower Bridge and the Tower of London to visit this stunning display……lest we never forget.
Here, Christmas was in full swing!
The Covent Garden Apple Market, packed with local artisans.
A Lego Santa, complete with reindeer pulling his sleigh!
Nowhere in the world is the theater more vibrant and exciting. It almost doesn’t matter what you opt to see, you know it will be marvelous, as indeed ‘The Commitments’ were!
We were dancing and singing in the aisles, who wouldn’t be to such electrifying music?!
Our day would not have been complete without a ride home in a London cabbie, where we pleased to see that he had ‘the Knowledge’. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, click here, it is very impressive!!
Have you been to London, what do you like to do there, I’d love to know?