The mini-series continues with a Spring edition. Spring is about new beginnings, if you have never been to London now is the perfect time. Here are a few of suggestions to tempt you…
But although these ideas are based on Spring finds, there is no reason why you can't enjoy them, nearly, all year round.
The Flowered Corner
This florist is one of the best in London. Ron Perring started this family business with a stall in Portobello Market in the 1950s. The shop opened in 1981 in the heart of Notting Hill and is now run by his grandchildren Jane, Wendy and Ronnie who are 6th generation Notting Hill-ers. Parrot tulips, Sweetpeas and Orchids are just a few of the varieties on offer - the flowers are beautiful and epitomise Spring. Celebrities such as Jennifer Saunders and Elle Macpherson to name a few are regular customers. Their flowers were used in the film ‘Notting Hill’, and more recently Wendy’s floral artwork is in this month’s Vogue UK with Sienna Miller.
The Flowered Corner doesn’t solely serve the rich and famous, they also serve the diverse community that has lived in the area for many years. As Jane said, “We cater for everyone; from the little old lady on the local council estate to the mega-rich banker that’s moved into the area!”
The spirited Perrings are a stellar representation of a London family and business. A visit will surely put a spring in your step.
Marylebone Farmers’ Market
Farmers’ markets are hugely popular in London as authentic farm fresh and homemade flavoursome produce is brought to our processed, junk-food loving city. Marylebone Farmers’ market is held in a car park (albeit a posh one) every Sunday from 10am-2pm.
The ‘Madame Gautier’ stall is another family business doing great things, chefs with 3star Michelin experience selling their gourmet dishes such as Hachis d’Agneau Parmentier – a French style shepherds pie and specials like Pojarskis - Duck & Apricot Croquettes.
‘Brinkworth Dairy and Ceri’s cheese’ sells all types of cheese including soft fresh cheeses; cracked black pepper, Provencal herb and Cajun. Ceri is an award winning 5th generation cheese maker.
‘Seriously Italian’ is another stall to visit; Giovanni Carleschi uses his grandmother’s inspiration and father’s traditional methods to make Pistachio pesto, Wild Venison Ragu and Pheasant ravioli. There are many more stalls at Marylebone Farmers’ market and you will surely savour the experience.
The Garden Gate Pub
The Garden Gate in Hampstead is an upmarket, yet down to earth gastro pub, with a wonderful beer garden that you’ll love. The food is regional British fare with a modern twist; the current menu includes a lentil & spinach burger with houmous, and fries, and the Free-range Gloucester Old Spot sausages with kale colcannon and red onion gravy dish is divine. The pub is a short walk from Hampstead Heath and Belsize Park stations. The cosmopolitan drinks menu is a perfect reflection of London. If you’re a veggie or a teetotaller you have ample choice.
Don’t worry; you can walk off the delicious rhubarb & apple with ginger cinnamon crumble (and the guilt) on Hampstead Heath afterwards!
London is perfect for walking, come rain or shine, as long as you have the right footwear. I walk everywhere - to gain inspiration, people watch and to clear my mind. London is a cathartic city. I thoroughly recommend walking as much as humanly possible, along the river from London Bridge or Tower Bridge can be fun. There are many guided walks such as the London’s Secret Village and Little Venice walks, or you can do your own thing aided with a smartphone and Google maps. This city is filled with green spaces, parks and phenomenal architecture. You’ll gain a greater appreciation of London by foot – I always do.
Donated by the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce, the Kyoto Japanese gardens are one of the stunning ‘secret’ gardens here in London. Set in Holland Park, it was built in 1991 by a team of specialists flown in from Kyoto for the London Festival of Japan. You have to search well to find it through a narrow path, (clue: it’s behind the rose garden and stables) but once inside, the serenity that these ecological gardens bring is priceless. The waterfall and Japanese maple tree are so distinct that you’ll know instantly when you’ve found it. If you go and it’s busy, try and revisit at a quieter time.
It’s a romantic, tranquil and reflective space. I guarantee you’ll forget you’re in a London for a moment and be transported to Zen-like state.
Having said that, London is an unforgettable city whatever season you visit.
You’ll see that for yourself.
Welcome to Luxury London.
Written by Camille Adomakoh – Karma-Style