Thursday, 30 May 2013

May 2013 Instagramy post

May has been so busy that I felt a bit like this duck.

I am lucky enough to live in walking distance to Ottolenghi but having gone there for more than a decade, I always make sure I spread the love and visit Tavola in equal measure.
It often gets overlooked as it is 2 blocks away from Ottolenghi.  
But Alistair Little the owner/chef is one of the three cooks 
who were  mentored by Elizabeth David
the other two being Rowley Leigh and Simon Hopkinson.
He does both savoury and desserts extremely well!
Even his produce is flown fresh from Sicily but 
I tend to balance out all that fresh deli food with...
I forget who said if you want to eat well in England, eat breakfast 3 times a day.  
I go to a Spanish restaurant / caf ( not cafe but caf my dears) 
called Churreria

Went for a drink at Bar Americain in Piccadilly that has been rather trendy of late and attracts people who work weird hours/showbiz types and while the decor was correct it had no proper ambiance.
 But I must admit they had lovely cocktails.
Not all bars are made alike...

The pub around the corner from my house put this sign outside 
and I asked why. 
They said it was because some tourists got so upset at 
the "lack of service" they would march up to the bar complain and storm out before they had a chance to explain.

But there is nothing like a nice relaxing home cooked dinner catching up with an old friend.
My friend's flat and the view almost makes me want to move 
to North London.
As my friend is an architect, even the interior is crisp.
Dinner was Gwyneth's 10 hour chicken which was rather delish!
For those of you not familiar with London, views from houses are quite rare! It's either a garden or an interior but no views.

Driving around London one day, I passed MI5.
I couldn't get a proper picture nor did I want to get out being seen taking pictures but believe me there were loads of CCTV.

Speaking of international intrigue, I live in an eclectic area that has both public housing and prime real estate.  
One property considered super prime suffered an arson attack 
a few months ago and the rumor mill went crazy.
  The house, not a block of flats, has been under construction for the past 7 years and then one month before the oligarch was meant to move in according to the spokesperson, the place got torched.
Apparently, it is going to take several more years of work.
While I don't feel too sorry as it's not like they are homeless but still what a pain!  And it shows even if you have friends in high places, these things can happen to anybody.

I don't know what the elephant in front of the Queen's bank 
was in aid of...
Sorry for the terrible photos but the glare was strong.
But these were the windows at Harvey Nics and 
I found the portraits very covetable.
Almost more than the clothes they sold inside.

Went to Chiswick Auction House as it is one of the few auctions houses in London that is affordable unlike the trio of Christie's, Sothebys, and Bonhams.
The BBC films there on a regular basis with shows like Bargain Hunt and the like so I always see if I can find anything interesting.
Friendly enough faces but no thanks.
These faces would scare me at night so passed.
But there was nothing that tempted me...
But only an auction house would sell a parrot statue next to a chair next to a children's Victorian bathtub.

Near the auction house was this oddly matched sight.  A emptied council flat with the most splendid cherry tree in full blossom.
Some of you have seen my Chelsea Flower show posts 
but all of Chelsea was flower mad.
Even in the Sloane Square tube station.
The stores nearby all followed suit.

I should've stuck my face in and pretended they were my legs.

Kensington Palace was fighting Chelsea for some attention 
with this new planting.
Do you see how gloomy it has been?
Guess who I saw?
Paparazzi alert.  Do you see that dog center left?
This is for the royalists out there.
That was Lupo, Kate and Wills' dog.  The man walking the two dogs had a green KP (Kensington Palace for short) jacket on and was telling Lupo to come back and we were in front of the palace so I just did the math and snapped for y'all.

Speaking of monarchy...
I missed the play last month due to jetlag so I was lucky enough to scramble another ticketSorry but just as I was about to click away they told me absolutely no pics. I only got this.
Helen Mirren is the one in the green...
Hands down one of the best plays I have ever seen!
There is a live feed from the theatres in selected cinemas around the UK so do make sure you go see it then.  If you live outside the UK, then do get the DVD upon release.

I also saw a play at my favourite theatre in London called the Donmar Warehouse.
I saw Weir which was about some Irish people in a pub telling stories.  Stellar cast.  How can they go wrong, eh?
It is a cozy and intimate theatre where you are right in front of the stage but it attracts high caliber actors.
I walk several times a week in Hyde Park so I see all sorts of things.  When I saw this rehearsal I couldn't think of what they were practicing for but of course the next day was the opening of Parliament and this is all part of the pageantry.
Last week, I saw the Queen's Household Cavalry practicing for what I assume would be her birthday celebrations coming up in a few weeks.
I love that red tassel on their gold helmets. 
I find the uniforms incredibly butch and camp simultaneously.

They weren't going in a proper circle and were getting yelled at!

A different sort of cavalary.
The trend of mollycoddling dogs has taken new levels.
 I thought he had a kid in a new type of stroller but...
He had another dog inside and it was a dog stroller!

I wish I had better weather for dinner with a friend who 
is a member at the Hurlingham Club.
I know some sneer at it and say it is soooo middle class.
But people, it's just some tennis courts and manicured gardens!!
Not every one has an ancestral estate in the west country and I like that you can just go down to Fulham and enjoy some green without enduring the traffic on the motorways.
The famous black swans.
When I visit, I always feel like I have entered Noel Coward's era.
The mansion block afar is the only hint you are in London.
Croquet anyone?

The real reason behind London's parking problem.

Well that was my May in a snapshot folks.
We have had the coldest and longest winter in 50 years!
Please hope we get better weather in June!


  1. What a lovely post! It makes me sooooo homesick (despite the woeful weather!)

    I really wish I could pop back for a long weekend or so. Love the peacocks in the car park and your pics of the camp cavalry.
    We get a day off for the Queen's birthday here in Australia! madness.... not that I'm complaining.

    1. If Oz gets a day of for her birthday then the UK should get two days off!
      Doing this blog, I realize that was is normal to me must be a nice sight for some as I swoon over a garden fence in Oz ;) so now I try and look at London differently. Honestly, it has been dreadful. But for a weekend I am sure you won't mind a few clouds?!

    2. UK should certainly get at least 2 days off!
      I could dope with the weather. Sydney is all mad weather-wise at the moment anyway. Fog, balmy heat, now gloom and rain.

  2. ....I loved it (as every post) I am so addicted to your blog...I am getting emotional also as I know I'll be leaving London soon...but you managed to make me laugh in some pictures :) xx

    1. Well, I will do these as long as I live in London and keep you mind, I will even take requests if you like! xx

  3. Love this! We have peacocks in our area, too! It's all residential so they don't really cause parking problems but they hop up on peoples' roofs from time to time. I just wish we had more of the London sort of loveliness to go along with them.

    1. There is something about peacocks isn't there? I think they actually suit London rather well - goes with the decor! ;)

  4. Love your post, but it does look very wet and gloomy! Currently 21 here, and we're two days off Winter! Agree with you re the camp but butch, which made me laugh. I think it's the super shiny gold breastplates that make it all look a bit camp. Maybe if they were a little dull and dented they'd look like they're really ready for battle. Can tell your friend is an Architect - the Le Corbusier chairs are a dead giveaway! And you're right, views in London are rare... unless you live in a Council block. It was always ironic to me that the people living the cheapest got to live in the best parts of London, with the best views. We rented a place in Lupus St, Pimlico across the road from the council flats. We could have rented one of them that was privately owned - 2 bedroom, large living, recently renovated, view of the Thames.... but I didn't feel safe walking through, and thought it would be too creepy at night on my own. We instead rented over a shop, on a main street a tiny one bed flat for more money!! Love your celebrity spotting! Plays look fun too.xx

    1. Soooooo gloomy!! That costume/outfit must weight so much and they looked so uncomfy...Ha, it takes one to know one about architects! Yes, I should have played guess the profession ;) So true about council blocks, but did you know that in the last several years all of Pimlico has become a bit dangerous even the white stucco area and has one of the highest crime stats in London! I wouldnt mind living by the thames and 15 minute walk to Sloane Sq either but it has become risky. Best council flats with theee BEST view is Camberwell. They get House of parliament, big ben, london eye, st pauls. Incredible. I am so surprised the government hasn't kicked the tenants out and redeveloped them into luxury flats! If the audience comes by you - please please go and see it! xx

    2. Unlikely the audience will come to me, with Helen Mirren in it that is.... but will keep an eye out!

      Can't believe that about Pimlico - it was such a lovely spot to live in, so handy for everything. I feel sad now! xx

    3. If there is a DVD I shall save one for you, even the kids would love it as some corgis ran on stage! Yes, Pimlico has dived and was always considered the up and coming area but it has been that way for about 30 years! Now Shoreditch is all the rage ( well for the younger set that is)! Who would have ever though that 10 years ago!xx

  5. Looks freezing there but so pretty anyway, thanks for the tour of London. I haven't been since 1990, that's a long time!

    1. Freezing Dani! We are still in the early teens at the end of May...Am despondent and ready to leave this country in fact. I think you are due for a visit as it has changed sooooo much since then!

  6. Just loved seeing London and all the different areas, shows and pretty spots. Funny about that pub sign! I love the queens' cavalry. So neat that they still do that. Hope I get to see that while I'm there. The dog thing is nuts. We have a few people with the strollers here and I've even seen them in a baby holder too strapped to the chest! Crazy!

    Thanks for the tour. It was the highlight of my evening!


    1. P.S. Hope you get some warm weather soon!

    2. That pub sign is pretty cute right? The cavalry practice in the park quite often actually. But I realized that of course it is a very London thing and I shouldn't get jaded. The dog stroller thing is funny but I have a feeling the trend will catch on!! Thanks Kim - please send some Cali sun our way...xx

  7. So nice to see your photos! Love London (as you know:)
    xo Caroline

    1. Thanks London, wish I could have gotten some sunny shots though! xx

  8. Haha I love the picture of the duck!!! I often feel like that, days are not long enough to finish what I've started!!!
    Kisses darling!

    1. When I saw that duck in the park I thought I saw my doppelganger! x

  9. Lovely post again Naomi... especially with your quirky sense of humour!.. Why on earth was one dog in the pram? As I sit here in chilly Capri and see your chilly pics in London... I am feeling even more chilly... what goes on this year!?? I would love to see the Helen Mirren play.. lucky you and wonderful pics of the rehearsing breastplates! xx

    1. Tell me about it Jenny...Europe in general just had the most awful time - if Capri is chilly what hope is there?? When I saw the cavalry I really have to suppress pretending they are Romans and me screaming, I Claudius. I don't know why they dress like that! xx

  10. What a great post! You've had a fantastic month. My favourite picture was the dog in the pram!!

    1. That dog buggie was something else - but it did have a screen in front so the dog could see where it was going...It is a huge thing in Asia as well!

  11. Who needs the London Eye when we've got you?! I LOVE London so much and miss it every day. Gah, this weather (but I'm off to Mallorca tomorrow!)You pack in more in a month than I do all year. I'd love it if you did this kind of post with all those great photos every pressure! If I did this for the place I live we could sell the pix as a sleep aid!

    1. I am trying to be your London correspondent you see and always on the lookout. I don't necessarily do anything but living in the city things happen to you I suppose. But I would love to see life where you live - a day in the life of...Have a fab time in Mallorca - hope there is no rain in Spain!

  12. Lucky you living so close to Ottolenghi! Love your May post - it's like a mini report on London! Chelsea flower show was wonderful and I enjoyed seeing all the shop floral extravaganzas too. Once went to a ball at the Hurlingham club - very grand! Great blog... S x

    1. Thanks Sarah, yes I am feeling a bit like a reporter of late! Never been to a ball at the club though - I just eat at the pub there. Must have been gorgeous! x

  13. Clicked on this blog from your Cote De Texas comment. I don't see home fashion, just Ducks, Dogs & Horses. Pathetic.

    1. Oh and peacocks. Can't forget peacocks!

    2. Wait, what? Oh dear. I forget sometimes that there are such sad people leaving Anon comments on blogs. Your response is brilliant and typical of your innate elegance, madame...
      Huh, that mechancetée swiped my response out of me but it was something along the lines of "this post is exactly why I think that you are so brilliant" as I adore that you are so very generous and give us tastes of your life all over the map, not just the bits that click one box or the other.
      Bon Weekend,

    3. Salut Heather, I now feel complete as a blogger hehe. I think I have gone through the spectrum of initiation! Thanks for your kind words and support. I normally think London is blah of late but doing this makes me constantly look at London with fresh eyes so I must thank blogging for that! Have a great weekend xx

  14. When I lived on Gower Street in London, I would often set out on the weekends on long jaunts looking for tasty foodstuffs and wonderful things to see. Great post, thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Gower Street would have been a great base to discover London from! I do like that I can just walk along and see interesting things around so it is good for me to do this otherwise I have been feeling like moving to another country lately!

  15. Just LOVE this! You are the best sort of travel guide, full of delicious tidbits of info and funny asides! I probably would have chased Lupo and asked for an autograph!! I have never seen a black swan. Adding that to bucket list!

    1. Thanks Wendy, I always think that when guiding most people know the obvious and I am always curious on what is next to the main attractions or the little details. Black swans are rare and quite lovely and if you get a chance to visit, please do as it is very much the idyllic countryside recreated in London!

  16. Where on earth do you get the energy and time to do these interesting, thorough posts adding the excellent pictures too?
    Naturally the pictures of the horses interested me most. They must have been just " jogging " - the loose reins,etc..
    Just for your information: Our most northern part here in Finland was the warmest place in Europe today. +31°C!

    1. OH this is all the stuff I saw during the month of May and not all in one day!! I think the horses were cantering - is that the proper word for it? I stopped my lessons just before galloping and I think that was next after canter. Oh the weather in Europe is crazy no? Southern Italy is cold and Finland is hot!! Lucky you - enjoy it while it lasts!

  17. Ah that was an amazing may !!! Love the pics!!!

    1. Thanks Lee - I have been busy with a lot of other things but pictures of my computer screen and phone calls didn't make the cut ;)

  18. These photos are so fabulous! London is so charming even if the weather does't cooperate! I, too, am so amazed when I see people with dog strollers! The only thing I can think of is that the dog is not well and can't walk but the owner doesn't want to leave it alone at home!! I remember my parents took me to London on a layover from London to Boston..we had just come from seeing family friends in Sweden. They rented a black taxi for the day and all I did was cry because I was so overtired from the flight and I was pleading for ice cream which the taxi driver didn't know where to get it! I ruined my family's day trip they tell me but we did manage to see the opulent Bunckingham Palace and changing of the guards. My father told the guard a funny joke and he didn't wince, blink, or move one hairsbreadth!! I would love to go back now that I'm a grown up!!!LOL

    1. That is such a cute story Lauren - You definitely need to revisit and I will give you a list of gelaterias in every neighborhood so there are no outbursts!! xx

  19. Mollycoddling!! I love that word! I thought only I and the dictionary used it.:D And yes, the dog strollers are a tad much. And I've been feeling like that duck too these days.:)

    P.S.: I completely forgot to mention - you were at a gym with George Clooney??? I only read that and I was star struck.:D

    1. Yes I do use some old fashioned terms at times, I once replied to a question about how much another girl's dress would cost, Oh that frock must be rather dear. I have never been let to forget my WW2 esque vernacular!! Yeah GC was a bit of a disappointment...;p

  20. The food looks yummy! I hope you're having a great weekend!

  21. Hahaha that first sentence and picture was my reason to keep reading :p Loved this post, you're hilarious :)


  22. Love your post and lines you have added in this post


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