THE LONDON PHOTO DIARY TWO
Doing London by foot is highly recommended if you have no issue averaging a 17km walk every day. I have nothing against the tube, I really don't, but its been magic finding the nooks and cranny's of the city and wandering the cobbled streets. After the first few days of sun that London allowed us, the remaining days in the UK featured heavy fog, misty rain drops and overcast days - the recipe for the perfect London trip. Umbrella in tow every single day, we once again wandered the streets (we call ourselves street walkers...) leaves crunching along the way. Soon a 30 minute walk became a short commute, and we shamelessly filled our stomachs with raw food from Nama Foods in Notting Hill, to Kale Salads and Green Juice at The Good Life Eatery. I'm an Aussie girl through and through, but there is no doubt that this city possesses something magical, a historical discovery at every turn, a garden or park wherever you go, whenever you feel like winding down from the bustle of the tube and city. Its expansive and inclusive and the only way to describe it is pure magic. I'm in love. The Christmas lights began to shine on Oxford St, freshly roasted chestnuts acting as the perfect night cap to end a day of wandering and meeting wonderful people. The air is cold, but the buildings are warming and welcoming, Selfridges playing Bing Crosby (the true sign that Christmas has well and truly arrived). Of course, it wouldn't be a London trip without a meander through the halls of the National Gallery and the British Museum. Van Gogh's Sunflowers gleamed and shone (to be expected), with hoards of people gathering around Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci. My second last day featured a ramble through the ancient Hampstead Heath, the once green landscape, a symphony of gold, reds and yellow and with mushrooms lining the muddy path. The sky's closed up and the rain began to sprinkle, it was off to the Spaniards Inn for roast veggies and chippy's. The best since 1585 and the local haunt of Keats and Dickens. Then to Camden Markets for a hot, mulled apple cider and a stroll through the incredibly busy markets.
Everything is busy in this city, you will not go somewhere where it isn't busy, the energy is totally frenetic and exciting.
The fall of night doesn't halt the excitement, lines out the door for Dishoom for a perfect chai and samosas. Soho lights up, Carnaby Street glistens, bakeries stay open, crepes are made on the street, people pour out of old pubs on corners, mushy peas perfectly accompany chips at The Mayfair Chippy, fireworks are let off on Bonfire Night and the festivities in London continue.
So 24 hours later, I am back in Sydney, the sky is blue and its a hot 7am arrival. Bags full of remnants of the city, Smythson diaries, Liberty scarfs, teas from Mariage Freres and a vintage coat. We are welcomed home to the unmistakable Sydney breeze, a spread of vegan Apple Cinnamon Loaf (made by my angel of a mother) and mango's, peaches, berries and papaya abound. We take a long stroll to the Royal Botanical Gardens, across the Harbour Bridge, acting as tourists in our own city.
Sydney ain't too bad after all.