Thursday, March 15, 2012

My favorite cities : London

The main interest in London for me is Kensington Gardens. Do not laugh at me ! I just adore this Royal Park. It is wonderfully done and I feel like so free and secured over there. At home, again !  I am used to go and walk around the alleys for about 3 hours anytime I am in London. I never forget to pay a visit to Peter Pan statue, my childhood hero and the only boy whom I could have married.

London is such a fantastic city for multiples reasons. One would say that it is multicultural and ethnics that make the singularity of the town. Indeed. But the boroughs are also a great advantage to London. Living in London is a dazzling experience and the more I go, the more I miss being there. Surely, London is very expensive and some areas may be not that entertaining and a pleasure to live by, but I can’t write my paper on that part, as I never experimented that living.

To me, London is sum up to Royal borough Chelsea and Kensington and three districts : South Kensington, Brompton and Chelsea. Call me snobbish ! But my real place is South Ken, way before the French invaded the area. This is my set. I feel like home anytime I am there and I do know perfectly any street of the area. Thus, two of my favorites museums are settled within it : Science Museum and V&A museum

I am a Waitrose & Sainsbury addict too. I love those two shops and the Waitrose on Cromwell Road is a lovely mall to go to. Moreover, I’ve already mentioned my favorite restaurant in London : Bumpkin South Kensington on Old Brompton Rd.

Anyhow, what I do like the best in London are buses ! I love taking buses in any city I reside ! It may take a bit longer but I enjoy watching through windows and admiring the views. To reach South Kensington, I am a total lover of three bus lines : 9, 10 & 74. I am used to arrive in St Pancras International train station and take bus 10 to go to Royal Albert Hall stopping, or nearby. Or, taking bus 205 to reach Baker Street and take bus 74 to reach Gloucester Station stopping. Ah, Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes… (might be another paper !).

Those three lines allow me to go quite everywhere I want to via connection to others bus lines. I visited London up and down, south to north, east to west… That’s done ! Nowadays, I focus only on my favorites spots and the places my friends live.
Indubitably, one of my first visits is museums ! To be more precise, I would add The National Gallery in first row, then, British Museum, Science Museum, Natural Museum & Victoria & Albert Museum. I could stay a week long walking by the National Gallery and the British Museum.

My second visit would be Kensington Gardens to say hello to my “little friends”, the legendary squirrels. They are so cute and so friendly. Have a seat and whisper a “hey, boy…” and they shall come to you and sit at your feet. Absolutely fabulous ! I don’t have to mention that I am stuck for hours in front of Peter Pan statue, do I ?

Third is, usually, walking from Westminster Cathedral (after sitting for long minutes inside this gorgeous church) to Westminster Abbey to reach the Aquarium, opposite to Big Ben and the House of Parliament. The walking is such an amusement because of the tourists taking photos on the bridge, trying to do the best picture with Big Ben and the view over the Thames toward London Bridge is still the most magnificent I’ve ever felt.
Fourth is meeting my friends somewhere in the city and have long conversation about all and nothing in general. Lately some moved to Shoreditch and Baker Street area, so I am discovering the pleasure to being a tourist again. Of course, I meet some blur fans and they, naturally, organize that reunion nearby Ladbroke Grove and Talbot St. (Rough Trade area !). Lately, the journey (or pilgrimage for some of them) is quite around Hyde Park.

What about shopping ? Yes, I know, for many, London is equal to shopping. Sales period is hectic and overcrowded. The best time for me is Christmas, from end of November to early January. All shops and streets are decorated and the Christmas spirit is all around. Christmas Market in Hyde Park Alleys, Ice Skating area off the Natural and Science Museum,  typical Harrods’s decorations, Christmas Pudding, The Mall, Oxford Street, Kensington High Street, boroughs full of stars and Santa Claus and this incredible feeling that Christmas is just magical. I do have favorites shops but I won’t discuss about them ! I don’t want them to be crowded ! Sorry…

London is most vibrant, funnier, amazing and quite unforgettable place in the world. A few cities really leave this lively feeling to be part of the world and to move on along with it. Apart from New York, Paris and Berlin, I never felt that way anywhere else.

Then, London has a major influence in many matters such as fashion, music, history, policy, etc. it is just the kind of place you would be ecstatic to visit and may stay in.