As much as I enjoy living in the countryside now, I will always be a Londoner. This post is about some beloved memories of that city.
An intimate gig at the famous Soho Jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s. It finished late, and after the club closed we walked across the street and were lucky enough to get a table outside the iconic Bar Italia coffee bar. Sitting on the pavement, heated by patio heaters, drinking lukewarm espresso at inflated prices. Watching the world go by in London at night. And then I had a glass of Grappa. Fabulous.
Standing on an almost deserted Waterloo Bridge, very early in the morning. Facing east, looking at one of the best views in London as the sun rose behind Tower Bridge. I loved being a Londoner that morning.
An evening trip on The London Eye (big wheel by the river) for my 49th birthday. Disappointed that the thing faces the wrong way, so all you get to see is the dull stuff heading west out of London. Then we walked down to Gabriel’s Wharf for one of the best pizzas in the city, an English Breakfast on a pizza. As we ate, we laughed about what a let down the London Eye is.
A late drink in a pub in Smithfield Market. When we left, the meat traders were setting up, much as they had done for centuries. The end of our day was the beginning of theirs, and it felt just right.
Sitting in a car in a street just off Brick Lane, east London. I had driven to the Bagel Shop in the middle of the night and bought two salt beef bagels. My mouth was watering at the thought of eating them, so I sat and ate them in the car, instead of driving home first.
Visiting an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, on the South Bank. I was on my own and had enjoyed the exhibition of historical propaganda posters. I had even bought some to take home and frame for my wall. (I still have them, now stored in the loft) I bought a large glass of wine from the Festival Hall terrace cafe, and sat watching the buzz of London life by the river. It was such an enjoyable experience, I had a second glass before going home.
Meeting friends at the Mar/Terra tapas bar, off Union Street, Southwark. Eight of us enjoying many small courses and lots of wine, for as long as they remained open. The owner was from Seville, and served some of the best tapas in London. A small restaurant, always full of atmosphere. A place to feel alive in.