It hit me this morning and I realised I probably do not need the Timeout magazine on Tuesday mornings to know how great this City is, or to appreciate the little pleasures this City brings me.
Friday’s hot breakfast at Hawksmoor, City of London, usually occupied by the “usuals’ – these dapper-dressed bankers of which I have personal opinions about. Have you seen the movie ‘The Big Short’? That’s one for another day.
Tagged as “The Best Power Breakfast in London” where the menu reads …”For breakfast, think an enormous Full English (for 2 to share), Sausage & Egg HkMuffins, Bloody Marys and a host of other Anti-fogmatics, along with lots of options for people with smaller (and dare we say healthier) appetites”…so we look up and smile to each other. We love our food.
Having orange club membership, we take a late morning trek to the Barbican for some gallery, some art and a light brunch at the fountain terrace.
With club rewards to spend, we head to the finest of London’s Knightsbridge, pick up a few condiments from the food hall but as we walk through these department stores in Harrods, we behold Madeleine Shaw’s menu of courgetti with tahini, spiced salmon and a new raspberry cheesecake (she is chef of the season) – of course, we settle for dinner. Yum!
We ride to the hippy part of North London’s Camden to see an exclusive showing of Erykah Badu perform Window Seat at Camden’s Jazz Cafe. I adore her, completely.
So from the millionaire’s gated villas of South Woodford to the arty cafes of Leyton, we ride through to Mayfair, West London’s finest for Saturday brunch at The Grenadier, England’s oldest pub…
Built in 1720, the pub was originally used as an officers’ mess for the foot guards regiment and then became a pub in 1818. It is rumoured that the Duke of Wellington used to pop in there for some refreshments. Some also say it is haunted by the ghost of a former soldier who was murdered after cheating in a game of cards. Madonna and other superstars are said to have been spotted there.
So with a bit of war history to take away…we brunch with some fine wine.
More gallivants, we head to the Library room of The Arch, perhaps one of London’s chicest boutique hotels at 50 Great Cumberland Place, spread across 7 Victorian townhouses and 2 mews houses, a stone throw from Hyde Park, we settle for some cocktails and book culture.
Walks through more of Mayfair’s mews, we stop at Handel’s house and Jimi Hendrix museum, for a taste of Austrian culture and an education of these two legends, each geniuses in their own music genres but lived in the same build (obviously at different eras).
With the sun setting, we head to the back-sofa seats of the Electric cinema at Notting Hill to watch Jennifer Lawrence as ‘Joy’ – cuddled in blankets and snacking with a drink. We then ride back for dinner to Mayfair’s Italian Gigi Restaurant for a 3 course meal and fine Prosecco. One of London’s exclusive restaurants.
Full of energy but high from London’s cold and unclean air, we stroll down to Warren Street for a hot cuppa at Cafe Nero, the one close to the tube. What girl wouldn’t fancy a bit of male eye candy? So I behold these good looking coffee guys serving behind the counter- mostly dark, with facial hair and actual long hair, I drooled until my own man calls my attention to my drool, saying “hey, focus!!!”
Each time, they turned their backs to the coffee machine, I tried to figure out what was written on their tees and then I finally did.
It read …” the best espresso this side of Milan“ Hmmm, but what topped it for me was when they all actually spoke to each other it was in Italian. Ha! Sexy looking things….I smiled and winked at him flirtatiously as he handed me my hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream.
I love this town.
I think- as spring approaches and winter fades, we know what spring is really all about … Pomegranates and berries are in season. the first heritage tomatoes of the year, the season’s first asparagus, the simple pleasures of Jersey Royals with a bit of butter and the absolute certainty that the cold weather and rain is going to come back (well not until November) and spoil our lazy park Sundays or similar jaunts such as these on the weekends. Ha!
We head back home. My one tale of many great weekends in London.