Summer’s here, and the time is right

18Jul10

I’m starting to feel more and more at home in London.

I understand the Tube (subway) system and can figure out how to get pretty much anywhere. I’ve given tourists directions. And while I may not have seen even close to everything there is, waiting for me to see, I’m starting to finally get a grasp on this vast city.

Yesterday, I ventured down to London Bridge and the Borough Market, an enormous, mostly outdoor marketplace, open every Saturday from 8am to 5pm. It was absolutely breathtaking, with endless rows of food vendors and shops, cheese and wine samples, beers from all around the UK and fish and chips. The best beer-battered fish and chips I’ve ever had. I picked up three strange English beers from Utobeer, including one from the Titanic Brewery in Stoke-on-Trent.

An unsinkable beer?

Last week, I wandered into the Camden Stables Market, and was similarly impressed. That market, a huge converted old horse stable, is more devoted to various crafts and boutiques, but had an equally lively atmosphere.

Yesterday afternoon, George and I saw a fun Japanese garage rock band at a really great, intimate space in Notting Hill called the Notting Hill Arts Club (review coming soon). Last night, we walked down to the Troubadour, an old venue that once hosted the likes of Dylan and Hendrix that now has a terrific cafe above it, where we sat and drink some exotic beers we had never seen before.

I’m in London at a fortunate time during the year. Summertime here sees Londoners out and about, all the time. The weather is perfectly comfortable, usually ranging from the low 60s to low 80s (I haven’t gotten used to Celsius quite yet). Because the weather is just right this time of year, London embraces it with a whole multitude of outdoor events, music festivals and open markets, most of them free.

I suppose that’s the main reason I haven’t done very much with this blog: I’ve been too busy trying not to miss a single thing.

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