Another from the archives...
After reading Londonelicious' description of the perfect London day, I was inspired to write my own. It's good therapy for dealing with the stressful day (see incident below), if nothing else. So... here's my perfect London day!
Weather (since it plays such a major role in London life):18 degrees Celsius, clear blue sky and aeroplane tracks criss-crossing above me.
8 am (I'm not one for sleeping in):
Mammoth croissants and strong coffee with warm milk at Patisserie Valerie, Kensington Church St. It will be crowded as usual, a nice buzz, with waiters dodging between tables. Lovely blackberry and raspberry conserves in their tiny jars dot the table.
Meander through Kensington Gardens while it's still quiet, down around the Serpentine Lake, and loop back to Kensington Church St.10 am:Check out Kensington Farmer's Market just behind Waterstone's. Drool over the cheeses, meats and fresh veggies.
Peruse the best sellers and 'Local Authors' sections at Waterstone's. Spot my novel on the shelf. (I can dream!)
Head to Portobello Market, which for some reason will not be over-run with tourists. Pick up a Red Velvet cupcake at Hummingbird on the way through. Browse the stalls under the Westway and pick up some bargain vintage one-offs.
Lunch at Falafel King just across from the Westway.
Head to the South Bank. Buy a drink (or two) on the terrace of the Royal Festival Hall and watch the buskers on the promenade below, and the boats on the Thames. Walk down to the Tate Modern, attend the Rothko exhibit, then walk across the Millennium Bridge to Blackfriar's and St Paul's. Have an sickly sweet Tarte de Pommes at the French bakery Paul and a cup of tea, then head back across the bridge to the Carpenter's Arms pub, where a crisp glass of white wine awaits (I've just reread this and noticed how much eating and drinking there is -- on a perfect day, I wouldn't get full nor unpleasantly drunk).
Pick up a bottle of champagne and back through the park to the Royal Albert Hall, where we set up camp across from the Hall to drink the champage and pass the time before listening to Yo Yo Ma in the gallery at the Proms.
Down High Street Kensington for the best burger (I am North American, after all) at Byron. Walk back home in dusk through Holland Park, listening to the lingering notes of the outdoor opera float on the air.
Brick Lane, Wigmore Hall, Camden Market, Borough Market, Sadler's Wells, Balans, Liberty, Selfridges, Whole Food Market, Harvey Nichols, Royal Court Theatre, L'Oriel, Black and Blue, Le Pain Quotidienne... I'm going to stop now!