Railway journeys are the perfect time to enjoy a nice cup of tea.
Pootling through the countryside with a cuppa is about as good as it gets.
Finding refreshment at the station, however, can be challenging.
Fast-food tea can mean juggling a paper cup of hot liquid, trying to dispose of the tea bag while hanging onto luggage, tickets etc., perched on an unsuitable stool.
So when taking a train from Liverpool Street, I gave myself plenty of time to explore the area for a civilised cuppa.
It is a beautiful Victorian station with warm brickwork, painted wrought iron (more…)
Somerset House, originally a Tudor Palace, has been home to Elizabeth I, the Navy and the Royal Academy of Art. It has seen routs and masquerades, and has fallen into ruin – ‘…the haunt of spectres…magicians and murderers.’
The free tour gives an excellent overview of it’s extraordinary history.
It was fascinating to visit the lightwells – underground alleyways visible from the courtyard – and the ‘Dead Room’, with it’s Catholic gravestones.
Easy to see why Somerset House is used by film crews as an atmospheric London location.
The Courtyard is a fantastic space, unique in London. The East wing is home to an eatery, and very fine place for a cup of tea. (more…)
The Royal Academy Summer Show along with Wimbledon and the Test Match at Lord’s is a regular mid-summer London fixture. Anyone can submit artwork and in 2012, the 244th year, over 11,000 artists applied to be hung next to David Hockney, Anselm Kiefer and Gary Hume.
Visiting the show can be overwhelming, with many different styles of artwork hung all the way up high walls. A colourful, kaleidoscopic patchwork quilt.
Cornelia Parker’s ‘Now and Then’ caught my eye. Featuring one silver teapot suspended above another (squashed) teapot. (more…)
Sitting on the top deck of the 91 bus one day, my Dad proclaimed that everything on the Cally is called ‘Caledonian’. He has a point. Caledonian Dry cleaners, Caledonian Kebabs, Caledonian Internet solutions.
The caff opposite the prison has it’s own idea – the ‘Breakout’. I imagine a tunnel leading to egg, chips, and a cuppa – the first taste of freedom!.
One day, I spot a new shop; freshly painted in slate-grey with bare woodwork and white tiles. I wait for a name to appear. Nothing for a while, then a small, hand-written sign in the window – ‘Scambled Eggs with Pancetta’. Hey a cafe! They will have tea! (more…)
Kings Cross Station has had an facelift. The concourse to the west now has a stunning vaulted ceiling and mezzanine floor, and is home to several new places to eat and shops, including Patisserie Valerie, Kiehls and the excellent Watermark books.
I pop into Leon for a cuppa. I have always loved this London chain and have use the original Carnaby Street branch for years.
There is a large room at the back with high ceilings, and the decor is artfully done, with exposed piping, bare brickwork, mismatched chairs and some wonderful retro lighting. It is certainly a step up from the (more…)
Finding myself in Holborn one evening, caught in a shower without an umbrella. A bit damp, sore feet and slightly peckish. In need of a cuppa and some sustenance. I cut across Sicilian Avenue heading to bus stop, but saw – Orchard – Vegetarian Kitchen and Grocer! The goddess of teatime is smiling on me!
A warm welcome, and minutes later, a pot of green tea! I had intended to stay just (more…)
Bill’s cafe and grocery store was established in Lewes, East Sussex in 2001, and has branches in London and the South East.
This spacious emporium at the Angel, Islington is colourful, with a vibrant atmosphere, brightening up this non-descript side street.
I was most impressed by my enormous blue enamel teapot of Darjeeling, at £1.85 a real bargain. So, if like me, you can quaff tea by the pint, then this is the place for you. Made with two teabags of Twinings, it was very good indeed.
At the King Cross end of ‘the Cally’, you are invited to DRINK; from a choice of teas, wines and cocktails; SHOP for quirky retro treasures; and DO a range of crafty courses.
The cafe space is bright and airy – the former chill-out zone of a Victorian Turkish bathhouse – with a lovely skylight. The furnishings (all for sale) are a delightful and colourful hotch-potch of junk shop finds – 1950’s formica and grandma’s best china. The atmosphere is warm and informal. Girly but not prissy, art school-cool but not pretentious.