It was interesting to return to London after 9 years. As if the fact of already visiting London isn’t enough, I had the extra excitement of seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. I certainly saw and experienced the city differently, 9 years ago I had other worries and plans, this time I went on a mission to enjoy what I found on the way, and not only pay a visit to the innumerous touristy attractions in town, but of course, they were also part of the trip.
I wasn’t in search of anything in particular, I decided to just walk around and see what I could find. I let myself be surprised, and I liked it. It turns out I have found some cool things – some of them are probably not new nor interesting to the Londoners – and even though I wasn’t the first one to spot them, I decided to call them my London findings, and of course, share them with you.
One New Change rooftop
When I heard about this place, the first thought that came into my mind was “oh, I think it is probably packed and no one can get a good picture”. However, to my surprise, when I got there on a Wednesday around 6pm, there were only 6 people and myself. But for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, why is this place so special?
The One New Change is a shopping mall in London with an amazing rooftop from where you have a spectacular view of St. Paul cathedral; and what a view. They also have a bar/restaurant up there and the elevator is panoramic. The access to the rooftop is free, but I guess that for the bar you need a reservation. After a long day, I enjoyed the chilly breeze sitting on a bench, alone – W only joined me on the weekend – photographing the cathedral.
This narrow, colourful and cute street probably reminds you of Notting Hill, but it’s actually located in Chelsea. I found it while I was walking around the neighbourhood and thought it was worth getting a picture, simply lovely.
Taro: a Japanese Restaurant
I know most Londoners probably know about this restaurant, but for me it was a great finding in a day I was feeling very sick, and got to eat something proper after 3 days. Actually, not only something proper, but the best ramen soup I have ever tried.
I was walking around Piccadilly Circus and decided to get myself something to eat, which didn’t cost a fortune. After a few minutes rambling around some narrow streets, I found Taro, a simple and yet delicious Japanese restaurant. I liked it so much that I went there again a couple of days later with W when he joined me in London. I’m certainly going back there next time I’m in town.
On a rainy day I found comfort in this amazing old bookshop – as old as 1797, the oldest in the UK – at Piccadilly. I am not the kind of person who reads a book in one day or in a week – this happens rarely for me – but I love reading, I love the silence of a bookshop, and I love the smell of new books. Hatchard’s is particularly enchanting, and a paradise for book lovers.
I decided to give myself some time to grab any book and sit at a couch, without a care in the world. I ended up reading the first chapter of an Agatha Christie classic – note I never read a mystery book apart from The Da Vinci Code – and I liked it so much that I decided to buy it.
“Dog waste only” trashcan
I didn’t find London not even close to Munich when it comes to being a pet friendly town. However, the city is pet friendly, and it put a smile on my face when I was walking at Hyde Park and found this trashcan especially for dog waste. How cool! It made me think of my morning walks with my traveling dog, so far there are no trashcan like this in Munich.
Is it a street or an alleyway? No idea, but I spotted it on my last morning in London, while I was walking back from Hyde Park to the hotel I was staying – Blakemore Hyde Park. If you read my post about San Gimignano, you know I am obsessed with alleyways and narrow streets, so I couldn’t just pass by and not have a peek and take a photo.
Old siphons in Notting Hill
I have always appreciated old and vintage things, and once I worked with a company that restored soda siphons from the 1920’s and 1930’s and came to appreciate them. When walking in Notting Hill on a rainy Saturday morning, I was happy to spot some colourful ones at a vintage store located in the Portobello Market.
I should have bought one home, but unfortunately I had no more room in my hand luggage – yes, I managed to spend 9 days in London with only a carry-on. Please be proud of me, especially because it got broken already on my way from Munich and it wasn’t too practical to carry that thing around. Funny, and my blog is called Packing my Suitcase. Oh well, I need a new one.
What were your findings on your last trip?