Someone should make a film about HR Higgins Coffee Man esq.. The tale of how he started his coffee roasting enterprise in wartime London is heroic stuff.
Evading incendiary bombs, showing cunning in getting a licence to trade; featuring characters with one leg, and help along the way from Misses Fox and Jenkins of South Moulton Street – whose cake kitchen saved the day – makes for a fascinating and jaunty read.
I imagine Trevor Howard in the leading role…but I’m getting carried away. (more…)
Postcards Teas travel extensively in Asia, working with small-scale producers to find the finest teas which you can buy from 9 Dering Street, a former 18th century grocers shop.
The lovely calm space has tea simply displayed and beautifully packaged in brushed metal canisters; each with a unique postcard and (more…)
The rooms are laid out as they would have been in Dr Johnson’s time.
Great care has been taken to restore the wood-panelling to the original muted paint colours.
The house is peaceful and atmospheric, the library is my favorite room with its soft yellow paintwork and light flooding in from high windows. You can also leaf over a facsimile of the famous dictionary. (more…)
The Foundling Museum tells the intriguing story of a sailor (Thomas Coram), a painter (William Hogarth), a musician (Handel) and their role in the foundation of Britain’s first home for abandoned children.
Eighteenth century London was a squalid and miserable place for much of the population. 75% of children died before the age of 5 years – 90% of those in the workhouse.
The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 after a long campaign by philanthropist Coram.
This delightful French cafe on Judd Street is easy to miss, so I was pleased to come across it on a stroll through Bloomsbury on a summer Sunday afternoon.
Patisserie deux Amis is pretty in a French cafe style, with bistro chairs, white paper table cloths, plaster cherubs, etched glass mirrors and sage green paintwork.
I ordered tea and sat by an open window in the back room, overlooking a small garden. It was lovely and peaceful, with a gentle breeze, a Chopin nocturne on R3 in the background – it felt good to have (more…)
While travelling to Oxford for a short break, I treated myself to a first class ticket with First Great Western railways. For a reasonable £30, the return journey included use of the First Class Lounge at Paddington Station.
Brunel’s majestic and beautiful station was opened in 1854 to serve the Great Western Railway and has been in use ever since.
If you have time before boarding your train, it is well worth exploring – at least walk to the end of the station to take in the incredible structure.
Paddington First Class Lounge is on platform one and is excellent (mind you, I usually use the one at Euston).
There are two areas, each with a different feel. (more…)