The last week has been pretty tumultuous. On Monday night I watched riots spread across London from the safety of the television and internet before I heard sirens and shouting outside my flat as the rioting moved to Notting Hill. We double locked the door while around the corner from my flat the brave Ledbury kitchen staff defended their customers with rolling pins and kitchen kit and my local pub The Walmer Castle had its windows smashed in.
|The Ledbury the morning after the riots|
It was shocking and frightening. I was devastated walking to the tube the next morning and seeing all the damage. Ironically the riots came just as MTV boyfriend and I made the decision to move back to Australia via some travelling in Europe and Asia. Friends and family called to say: “You must be glad to be leaving London after what has happened.” No, I’m not.
|Hyde Park in spring|
It says a lot about the spirit of this city that all I can think about is how sad I am to leave and all the things I will miss:
Sitting in the front seat on the top of a double decker bus.
Ginger pig sausage rolls.
Pret carrot cake (my guilty pleasure).
The push for champagne button at Bob Bob Ricard.
Standing on the pavements outside pubs drinking (this is illegal in Australia!).
Madelines hot out of the oven at St John.
Black cabs and the way they always know where they are going.
Portobello road market. Right next to my flat – very convenient.
Borough market. Right next to my work – even more convenient.
Decent cups of tea.
Bavette at Vinoteca.
My Olive magazine subscription.
Lamb chops from Tayyabs.
Banh mi at City Caphe.
Being so close to Europe.
Pierre Hermé macarons.
The tube. (Seriously. Despite the tube’s faults I love it. Particularly announcements of “alight here” and “mind the gap”).
Long hours of daylight in summer.
Ottolenghi’s aubergine salad.
Brindisa chorizo roll.
Beers at the Walmer Castle.
Wines at Negozia.
Being able to split the bill.
Crunchy tuna rolls at Pham Sushi.
London’s broom army and all those who organised and contributed to @riotcleanup, Keep Aaron cutting, Help Siva and #OperationCupOfTea. These are the true Londoners not the rioters.*
|Hyde Park in Winter|
We plan to leave in about a month. I have lots of wining and dining plans before then and a long list of things I have never got around to doing during my four years here. I’ll be out enjoying the brilliant city that London is rather than hiding behind a double locked door.
*This list is inspired by a similar list Krista of Passport Delicious made when she left London.
Thanks to everyone who entered the Gourmet Giveaway to win two tickets to the Sunday session of Alex James Presents Harvest Festival. The winner is Campari & Soda. Congratulations!