Ok, before my UK trip starts to feel like somtthing that happend completly in a another lifte time I will tell you about the last stop on the road; London. I have so much love for this city, and the best thing is that you always can discover something new. The last few times I have been in London (Which is only twice in 10 years or so) I have been wanting to go to the places that was my everyday life when I lived there, and I have always got nostalgic and a little bit sad, because it is not the same. Some places look just the same, but still it is not. Or maybe its just the times, and me that are not the same. Which is good, things and people should chage. I tried to do the same kind of time travelling thing this time as well, going to Oxford Street, Covent garden and the streets in between. But instead of nostalgia I mostly felt stress. Has it always been this crowded in those areas?! Probably, but as a 19 year old happy to be on my first big adventure away from home that didn’t bother me, it was part of the big city pulse. I cant say that I hated it now, it is something exciting of being part of this big, loud moving mob of people floating on the streets. But I wasn’t sad to get away from it.
We stayed in a nice Airbnb flat in Tulse Hill, a area in south of London not far from Brixton. It was very much a ordinary Londoners area, with a train station, a couple of pubs, the charity shop and a internetcafé. 15 minutes away with the bus was Brixton, busting with life and movement, but also here from the people living there and not mainly tourists. Brixton has gone through a huge makeover when it comes to reputation and probably also habitants the last few years. Gentrification one can say, but still not totaly. I found that it still has a good mix of people, of the vibrant vegetable, fish and meat market outside with lots of produce from the Caribbean, and then the indoor market, that has become a local food heaven, with small restaurants, artist shops and cafés. I did a interview with some guys working with the Brixton pound there, a alternative currency being used only in Brixton to support and cherish the local community. A very exciting project.
Something that still is my favourite thing to do in London is going to markets. In this queen of market citys there is so many to choose from! We went to Camden of course, which was also a bit of a walk down memory lane. I thought I heard somewhere that they were closing down or downsizing but it felt just as alive as ever and even more huge then I remeberd, a bit overwhelming after a while with all the essence, t-shirts with Bankys prints and record shops.
On Saturday we went to Maltby street, a small, yet not so known food market that I really had been looking forward to go to. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations unfortunally, being small and mostly selling food from Italy, France and so on. It was nice to see of course, with the little champagne bars and cafes hiding behind the stalls in old machine shops. But maybe just a bit too much hipster. Next time I will go to Borough market instead, that I heard has more of a local produce focus, even if it is crowded.
We hurried on to another old time favourite of mine instead; Portobello Road and market. Also being more crowded then I remember it was still nice to see the familiar streets and even some shops that was still there. It felt a bit like time had stod still, except the “Mind the gap” coffee cups and t-shirts had changed in to different version of “Keep calm and…” cups and t-shirts.
I found the Books for cooks shop, where I spent a happy hour or so browsing through cookbooks and eventually buying a Elisabeth David book, one of Britain’s classic food writers I had learned about on my course. I also found Biscuitters, a fun biscuit store, selling and making iced cookies in all kinds of shapes with the most detailed decorations.
On the way back I also go to see one of Yotam Ottolenghis delis. They where just about to close, but we bought to (very expensive) cakes to bring home as desserts. Even tough we where very full that night, after having had a great dinner at a cosy restaurant in neighbouring area Herne Hill, the cakes was a very good end of the day, and the trip.
Oh and me missed the plane back home the next day, after over sleeping and running around at Victoria trying to find a bus that would take us to the airport in time. That was not a good end of the trip. On the other hand it meant that I could see the farmers market in Herne Hill that was very cute, buy a bluee cheese from Bath to take home and see yet another mouthwatering cake stand.