Great to be back…

Despite really enjoying a wonderful couple of weeks in USA, it’s great to be back in London. I survived a long weekend in New York which was a blur of activity and excitement. We were there for World Cup weekend (doesn’t that seem a long time ago now?) and I can confirm that NYC has footy fever in a big loud way. We crammed in 4 shows, many meals, a walking tour of Harlem and a trip out on the Statten Island ferry and it was hot and sticky especially on the subway where trains have air-con but not the platforms. Then it was off to New Mexico to visit super arty Santa Fe, Native American pueblos in Taos, white sand dunes and massive caves in the south. A few photos at the end for those who like a bit of vicarious travelling.

My first weekend back in London was fun with the English summer continuing to delight us sun lovers. Our restaurant trip was to Vanilla where the food was good (on our usual Toptable special offer) but the place was a little unsure whether to be a bar or a restaurant so fell a bit between the two. Saturday saw a walk through Hyde Park to visit the new pavillion by Jean Nouvel at the Serpentine Gallery. It’s big, red and wonderful – an installation and a cafe all in one! The exhibition of photographs in the gallery by Wolfgang Tillmans was not my thing – he may have a Turner prize but we missed the special-ness of his work.


Saturday evening was spent catching up with friends and having fun in the centre of town from the Old Shades pub off Trafalgar Square, to an outdoor cafe in Covent Garden (complete with busker who sounded amazingly like Cat Stevens as was), to the Rock and Sole Plaice who were out of plaice but the cod was good and finally to Cafe Boheme in Soho – phew! No one told me the tubes finished just after 12.30 as I thought it was later – thanks goodness for buses…


Sunday was a quieter shopping day with a good amount of time in Selfridges,which is very smart and trendy and then on to St Christopher’s Place for coffee out in the sunshine. Jet lag has finally hit or is it just tiredness….


I’m looking forward to a full week back in London and here are a few photos from the USA, including the one from Roswell which I couldn’t resist! They are: New York Statue of Liberty, Pueblo, Taos, Chimayo north New Mexico, White Sands and Roswell’s great advertising…


Bye for now,

Off to Africa!

I’m off to Africa for a few weeks so blogs for a while will depend on the availability of internet cafes and enough spare time in our very busy trip to post anything. I’ll do my best but who knows….

It’s been a short week since my last blog so just a few things to report on. One was a visit to La Sauterelle restaurant in the Royal Exchange. We took advantage of the Evening Standard special offer and treated ourselves. It’s a lovely restaurant in an amazing setting and you can see both the outside and inside on these photos. The Royal Exchange now houses up-market shops and the ground floor bar as well as the restaurant. Fascinating fact time – why is it called La Sauterelle ? This is French for grasshopper which is in the crest of Sir Thomas Gresham who founded the original Royal Exchange and you can see one in the weather vane on top of the building.


I wrote about my art tour last week with Artfeelers and this week their had their official launch party out in Hackney in a pop up shop turned gallery. The artist Piero Arico had been living in the gallery (literally as he’s been sleeping in a cupboard) and making a huge painting – if that’s the right word – on the walls of the shop. He has incorporated his own designs and ideas and built in comments, stories and contributions from anyone passing by and visiting the shop. 2 photos to give you an idea of the evening – one of the art work and one of us all spilling out onto the street.


The rest of the week has been coffees with friends and colleagues before my holiday and a lovely meal at Cafe Boheme in Soho. I’ve been going there for years and it never disappoints – good French style food and I treated myself to steak frites bernaise with pear tarte tatin and it was as good as ever. They have a lively bar as well so worth a visit for drinks or food.
One more thing to mention on the theme of pop up shops is the Marmite shop on Regents Street. It’s gone now but it was fun tho I know, as the advert says, you either love it or hate it. They had great displays and lovely merchandise, even if it was a bit pricey. There was a small cafe for those who wanted to know what the stuff tastes like or were having withdrawal symptoms. How about these marmite bottles?
Well, I’d better return to the packing and will be in touch soon.
Bye for now,