A Capital Visit

A Capital Visit  | Vagabond Baking

We head down to London once or twice a year to visit friends who live in the capital. It always make a fantastic contrast to the mostly rural life we lead, none of the small cities and towns we usually frequent match the sheer energy and bustle of London. It is always a jolt to the senses.

This week-long trip coincided with some marvellous weather, making it a pleasure to be out enjoying the sights. We arrived by train from Stratford upon Avon, a bargain at £6 each way. It always pays to shop around online for tickets. Our first full day was enjoyed out in the sunshine walking through some the capital’s parks. I’ve already filled a blog post about that!

One leisurely sunday was spent in Shoreditch, we met up with a couple of other friends at the annual Art Car Boot Fair on Brick Lane for a mooch round. It was heaving, we got swept along by the crowd through the stalls where both well-known and obscure artists were selling their creative wares to the general public at bargain prices in a car park in East London.

After finding our friends in the midst of all this activity we gravitated towards the bar for some midday refreshment. Suffice to say, after much catching up, supping and the fact it was pre-lunch we got rather tipsy. If I’d have had another, I’d have probably been boarding the Overground with armfuls of oddities, collectibles and prints. Another look round then we headed up a very busy Brick Lane to find a pub for sunday lunch where we consumed vast plates of food.

Games, Brick Lane

Games, Brick Lane

Brick Lane is always a great place for people watching and hunting out a meal. If we hadn’t gone to the pub, we could have spent ages deciding which street food stall to choose, our bellies groaned as we cut through the Boiler House Food Hall and we had to fight our way through the mass of people queuing for salt beef bagels at the renowned 24hr Beigel Bake bakery.

> Click on a picture to open the gallery


I didn’t get my big camera out at the Art Car Boot but I did take a few pictures on my phone for illustrative purposes.

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The rest of the week was spent visiting museums, exhibitions and shopping. I went to V Delicious, the veggie good food show at the Olympia, it was in its first year and was part of the Allergy and Free From Show. It was interesting and inspiring to walk around, tasting foods and chatting to the exhibitors. I treated myself to a colourful vegan baking recipe book from the Ms Cupcake stand and sat through a gluten-free cookery demonstration from the Sainsbury’s kitchen. You can see pictures from the show on the Vagabond Baking Facebook page.

I can’t recommend enough the Sebastião Salgado: Genesis photography exhibition which is on display at the Natural History Museum. His incredible photographs take us to the most remote corners of the world and reveal the people and wildlife that live there. It is a magnificent treat to see the photographs, catch it before it ends on 8th September 2013. I left the exhibition exhilarated and inspired.

The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow has recently won museum of the year and I have been meaning to visit it for a while. Mr VB was nursing a mega hangover from the Finsbury Park Stone Roses gig so I took some time by myself to check it out. The gallery shows a revealing look at William Morris’s life and work in a house that he spent much of his childhood. It is well laid out and interactive, with a great modern tea room overlooking the garden/park at the back. The gallery is free and about a 15 minute walk, or hop on a bus from Walthamstow Central tube station.

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9 Responses

  1. Dave Rowley says:

    So happy to see photos of Brick Lane and of Portobello Market! That brought back so many memories. London markets are some of the best in the whole world, IMHO. And I just love your B&W photos! They look they’re from decades ago and modern at the same time.

  2. Despite working in London most days at the moment, I very rarely manage to get out and about to see anything. Your post has just reminded me that I need to make more of an effort! Also brought back lovely memories of my students days when one of my friends used to live above the bagel shop in Brick Lane and we always ended the night there! xx

  3. Great to read about your visit to London, it seems to have so any alternative treats to offer each time I visit (I try and make it at least once a year). Your visit has given me some new ideas for next time, great trip, thanks!

  4. trixpin says:

    Sounds like an amazing trip! I’m so jealous as I live in a totally remote place and would love to go to ANY city, but especially London. I go there on rare occasions: it’s very exciting and – as you say – a real jolt to the senses. I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself!

  5. mmmarzipan says:

    every time I visit your blog I have the distinct impression that you have one of the most awesome lifestyles of anyone I know! 🙂