Fun typical spots in London: what about cocktails?!

Hey guys,

One month later -sorry for the delay-, I’ll talk about beverages today…

Finally,
I know!

You’re right, I couldn’t miss cocktails spots in London.
Since London is the place to be for nightlife, I add two cocktails bars -one is definitely for their amazing cocktails, the other one for their rooftop view-, so that everyone’s happy.

If you feel up to, feel free to listen to this music. ‘Cause we all should keep running anyway. 

atticbar-london
Attic Bar, on Isle of Dogs, view over Canary Wharf
  • The Attic Bar
    This is a bar is located in Canary Wharf, at the top of the Pan Peninsula building which is a chic residential tower on the middle of the Isle of Dogs. First of all, you need to know that it’s a little bit hidden and hard to find, you’ll need to ask someone from the Tompkins restaurant and answer « yes » to the question « have you already have been here? » and then you will be able to go up through the lift. It’s definitely worth it for the amazing view, different from the Central buildings such as The Shard or The Heron Tower. Cocktails are not the best one I have ever had but it’s good to know that before 7.30pm, you can have one cocktail plus a second cocktail for free.Yeah, you get it!

The Attic Sky Bar
48th Floor, Pan Peninsula,
4 Pan Peninsula Square,
E14 9HN, London

ninetyeight-bar-lounge
Ninetyeight, bar lounge with a folkloric decor
  • Ninetyeight Bar
    Once upon a time, in a crazy cocktail bar in Shoreditch, you could pretend being back again a little child, playing lego or looking up to some old toys like Action Man, dinosaurs,… while drinking an artistic and extraordinary cocktail. This is just my favourite place in London to have a very good cocktail.

Ninety-eight Cocktail Bar and lounge
Morrell House,
98 Curtain Rd,
EC2A 3AF, London

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Yummy typical spots in London: fish & chips, English breakfast & tea time

Adresses testées et approuvées (article en anglais seulement sorry guys).
 

Let’s rock it! « We were young once, we were wilder in our boots » /reminber my blog whilst listening to music/


English breakfast, british pub to get a good fish and chips, sweet teatime spots and London,… All those dishes are well-known British to not be missed.

  • Dirty Burger, for a ‘dirty‘ full English breakfast
    Fancy have a typical British breakfast? Fearing to be disgusted by the unappetizing pictures of baked beans and big sausages? I think this kind of breakfast made from simple ingredients and raw products such as eggs, tomatoes, bacon, etc. must be tasty and totally home made. And, above all, you shouldn’t pay more than 10 pounds for this. So here we go: a fancy spot where you can get a full and absolutely tasty English breakfast for 7£. Naturally you might feel full all-day afterwards so I highly recommend to eat it during the weekend when you wake up late. I won’t put a picture of the breakfast, I am sure you can imagine! But here you have an insight of how the place looks like… Quite nice…
Dirty Burger for a dirty breakfast
Whitechapel spot, picture from eatdirtyburger.com

Dirty Burger
27A Mile End Road, Whitechapel
E1 4TP London (+ others address in London)

  • Big Easy, THE lobster’s king / about the one in Canary Wharf
    Already, have a look on their great website and you’ll get the vibe. Big easy is defined as « BAR’B’Q Crabshack live music« . « We like to think of it a bit like returning to the social dining of a bygone age… friends getting together over some great food, drinks and music« . In a nutshell, c’est Big, c’est Easy. One of the best spot to eat lobster and roast meat (you’ll get a bib like a baby to eat lobster, it’s funny). And you should stay to enjoy live music by trying their rhum cocktails (the one with passion fruit! <3).

    Big Easy Canary Wharf
    Picture from pentacle.uk: Big Easy from the outside, amazing!

Big Easy
Park level, Crossrail Place,
E14 London
 (+ others address in Central London)

  • The Ship, ready to embark in a typical british pub?
    This one is close to Sky Garden building in the City and I liked it because it’s kind of hidden at the end of a little street, typical of the City area of London. I love the way London is full of surprised: in the middle of this business and crazy hectic area, it is actually pleasant and reassuring to find a historical pub where btw, every financial and suit & tie guys grab their booze super early in the day. So the Ship is very British, definitely the pub as we all love. The first floor is reserved for lunch time so that you won’t be push away by working guys alongside the bar who are already here during their lunch break. Ils sont fous ces Anglais! I have tried the classic fish and chips, yummy!
    « A real haven« , according to the Evening Standard.

    dsc_0359
    The Ship, right at the end of a little street in the heart of the City

The Ship
11 Talbot Court,
EC3V 0BP London

  • 3 ideas of Teatime break / from the basic high afternoon tea to perfect scones
    1/ the best cosy afternoon tea in Knightsbridge/Kensington area: does that sound to you as ‘déjà vu’? Have you already heard that? Of course it might be a little repetitive because I have already written about it: have a look here to this super Afternoon tea experience in a loving and colourful hotel called The Knightsbridge Hotel.

    Knightsbridge Hotel Afternoon tea
    Decor of The Knightsbridge Hotel where the afternoon tea takes place

    2/ the best cakes/coffee ever in the fancy East London area: Exmouth Coffee Company is an independent coffee shop located close to Brick Lane & Shoreditch and neighbouring the Whitechapel Gallery (great contemporary arts little museum with temporary thematics free exhibitions). The blend is simple: culinary values, quality ingredients, cooking fresh, pouring love into every dish. Cakes are so tempting from the windows and they also do quiches and beautiful salads for lunch or salty appetite.
    3/ the best scone at the Pain Quotidien: their is something else apart from British eggs/bacon for breakfast or marmelade, it’s called ‘Scone’ and their spotted cream. There are very very good especially those one from Pain Quotidien. It might sounds a bit unoriginal but it is a fact: Pain Quotidien’s scones are well-baked (and you’ll find the scone only in the British PQ restaurants). So, even though it is a French brand, they bake a fresh and very big scones served still warm. I firmly recommend it with the traditional Belgian hot chocolat. Fuck calories!

    img_0303
    Scones and spotted cream from Pain Quotidien bakery

The Knightsbridge Hotel
10 Beaufort Gardens,
SW3, London

Exmouth Coffee Company
83 Whitechapel High Street
E1 7QX London

Le Pain Quotidien
Many restaurants locations 
London (& Paris)


What about you? Any yummy spot to share?

 

Breakfast Club
Complete out of the blue (not British at all I know): this is the waffles with maple sirup at Breakfast Club, which is a great place to eat U.S. food
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London : my feedback after living there for 9 months

Ah Great Britain, you’ve been Great to me.

// Frankly, I have written this post few weeks ago now but every time something came up and I lazily postpone the moment. First it was that I couldn’t really believe that I was really leaving London… I felt it was just another round-trip to France by Eurostar, maybe that’s why I was about to miss it (?). Then, Brexit fucking moment happened and it’s still a bitter pill to swallow, especially when you think about London city, it sounds like unbelievable. Next, the latest news make us freaking out… From now, in France and others countries, it looks like we are caught up with a terrible sickness, manifesting itself in different insane and dramatic periods. We guess we have to live with it but how? For sure sequels are going to be deeply and painfully a big blend of sadness, fear and anger.
I took my time to get back to my blog but I will try to keep posting more often again, focus on travels, positivism and happiness.//

So here we go…

It’s been nine months that I moved in London and it’s time, sadly, with a heavy heart, to come back to France. 

I am really really sad to leave London. It’s not only because London was amazing and exciting. It’s more because after living through all negative and positive moments in order to find its right place here, I actually get the feeling that I am leaving behind a part of myself, and some habits.

When I am looking back, I realize that this year was certainly a big step, personally, professionally and emotionally. It has been split in different times, there were ups and downs and I actually didn’t know at all I would stay such a long time. I feel so much more untroubled and constructive now. Like everything is possible, I recommend to anyone to go abroad and settle down alone without any precise plans.

But we don’t claim for a boring listing of what was good? Bad? Or any detail about my personal experience. I would rather prefer to share with you guys what I have noticed so far, what I have been surprised to, and, I’ll try in a humorous way, or kind of.

I’m sending postcards from my heart. I don’t care who sees what I’ve said.’


First of all, London : you’re SO cosmopolite.
Darling London, I think it the first thing I like about you. (Will I still like you if Brexit thing blow up this special feature in you?).
The way you speak, an exotic English from Spanish, Italian, Polish, Indian or whatever others nationalities, whose even proper British people looks to be used to discuss with everyone, despite of accents. Everyone is accepted and respected.
At the very beginning, I have been naturally gravitated towards London because of the English environment speaking and because it’s convenient to travel from France. Obviously I already knew London was an international city but ‘international’ really means something here. I assure that we don’t feel ashamed to speak with our (ugly) French accent, which is by the way so cute and lovely that you’ll find out it is actually a terrific advantage.
People from everywhere really live here for short or long term. Maybe I didn’t try to go out of my private circle in France but I believe you can’t find this kind of spirit, even in Paris, could we ? Firstly maybe because we wouldn’t be equally patient with foreign people even if they have a good level of French, isn’t it ?
There is an exiting open mind spirit and it makes you remember that you’re not the only one on earth. It’s also been so fascinated hearing people’s life story. Some of them have lived through such experiences!

London, you’re SO tasty !
I guess it is the result of the cosmopolite side, permitting a variety of food from every parts of the world. It’s surprising that there are a lot of food chains everywhere but at the end it’s easy to eat healthy. To my mind, the best spots are the Food Markets. There are plenty of them in different areas of London such as Borough Market.

You never stop, dear London, you might need to take some rest, don’t you?
No! It’s like more London is getting older, and more it looks younger! It’s the magical healing of construction. Look up, look down, look around, lifting cranes and building yards are everywhere.
It is always in construction even in Central London, buildings are sprouting up from the ground like mushrooms. Constructors are working hard all the time. It’s always moving and changing. It’s a proof of dynamism and modernism. This won’t be the last we have heard about you, naughty!

Dear London, you’re so Atypical! For the best and the worst…
What effectively makes London London for me ?
There are effectively some tricks that only London can have. For instance, here you will understand what main the gap really means. You know, the “Please mind the gap between the train and the platform”, it remains you something, isn’t it ? So here, it’s not a gap, it’s a big evil hole. No joke! So pay attention. In fact, people often die falling through this gap in train station as reported by one of the latest Evening Standards’s headline.
Other something atypical becoming actually typical is… Shall we grab a cup of tea (for purists) ? Here grab a drink is certainly one of the most popular sentences you can use in your Londoner life. But, between us, we know you’re more keen to grab a beer! Don’t silly me! Oh-God-damn-shit! Sorry guys but British people drink sooooo much! I get used to find them from at least 5pm standing outside their much-loved pubs, drinking, whether it’s raining, winding, snowing. They’re robust. And actually they also start at midday at lunchtime. I am insisting on the fact they like to stay stand up because you might think it is to smoke but not at all! They just like streets. Or maybe it is because pub are too crowdie. So Paris has Parisian café terraces, London has standing-crowding pedestrian walk side. Less glamorous, I agree.

Sorry London, but you’re also Contradictory!
One of the paradoxical things I’ve noticed is actually very good and we must watch on it and take example…
I am talking about litters. Yeah, you perfectly heard! Litters and bins facilities. In fact, looking for a bin to throw away your banana peel ? (Or whatever you want to bin, I don’t judge). So, just very good luck with that! ‘Cause it is not easy to find a bin in the street. There are, but just some. Seriously, any bin’s locator App would be useful, so, I am launching an idea…
And this is paradoxical because the second thing I love in London is its cleanness. The perfect gentleman, he smells good, he soft and good looking! Ah!
And last but not least… You also need to get used looking for a bench! That’s right, when you’ll be done localizing bin in the city, it will be for the lack of benches. No bench, no lunch outside. Luckily, Hyde Park helps.

Yes, yes, London, you are lovely… Everything’s actually lovely in here!
Here you’ll learn that everything is lovely but pay attention, it’s a lot of appearance… It’s part of the contradictory things.
First of all, Londoners are usually polite and disciplined even if they are on a rush you can always counted on them if you’re lost. They are queuing to get transport, they are waiting for the next train if there is one completely crowed and they won’t intent to push you and stick you all along! So disciplined.
And when you talk with them, even if it’s just for a little something, most of the time it looks like it a huge big deal. You’ve shout someone in the street ? Well, they will be like “hey, you’re alright ? I’m so, so, SO, sorry” etc. If you’re just doing your usual job, they can wish you thank you a million times like “That’s really kind of you, thanks you so, so, SO much! That’s lovely!”. I mean for me it’s like I did something very important but actually no. Don’t get snotty, it’s just a normal way to express themselves. They like greeting a lot. An illustration of their British sympathy, I guess… But yes, it feels good and generous. Better than sulky Parisian faces, I admit.

Anyway… This talking could have been more longer (I could have been spoken about how expensive is London, about the crazy nightlife, about the rain and the strong wind, etc.), but I stop now, and the French text is coming below.

Time passes and London will be part of my past now.

Queen Elizabeth

 

______

La Grande Bretagne, ça vous gagne !

// A dire vrai cet article était prêt depuis quelques semaines mais les choses sont passées vites et j’ai paresseusement repoussé le moment de poster. Entre la tristesse post-retour au début, puis le mauvais-‘fameux’ Brexit et ensuite les événements horribles que nous traversons ici… Sommes-nous désormais atteints d’une maladie incurable qui se manifesterait par des événements complètement insensés et dramatiques ? Et les séquelles seront-elles toujours aussi douloureuses et profondes, comme un vicieux mélange de tristesse, de peur et de colère ?
J’ai donc pris le temps de revenir au blog, et je vais continuer de poster plus souvent, de voyager encore et de faire partager des petits bouts de vie.//

Ainsi…
Après avoir vécu 9 intenses mois à Londres, il est temps de rentrer, tristement, en France. C’est le cœur lourd que je quitte cette ville incroyable et cette vie trépidante. Parce qu’effectivement, ça a trépidé grave. Des hauts, des bas, des moyens bas moments je suis passé à travers, mais les finalement très hauts moments restent, et les très bas me rendent plus sereine, vivante et constructive. Aucune envie de déballer ici en détails mes ressentis trop perso, mais je vais vous écrire ce qui m’a marqué, des petites choses que j’ai aimé ou détesté, et essayer d’être fun.

Ca n’a pas vraiment été un coup de foudre immédiat. On est très loin de ça d’ailleurs. Il a fallu du temps, se plier au rythme, commencer à swinguer, valser et comprendre que c’est finalement en prenant du recul, sur un pas de trois, que oui, je l’aime bien, Big London ! Comment vous dire ? Comment te décrire, cher London ?

London, cher acolyte, tu es tellement cosmopolite !
Mon chéri, je crois que c’est ce que je préfère chez toi. (Vais-je d’ailleurs toujours aimer ce trait qui te caractérise tant avec cette histoire de Brexit ?).

La façon dont tu parles, cet anglais exotique provenant d’Italie, d’Espagne, de Pologne ou encore de Roumanie, d’Inde ou peu importe de quel autre pays. Même les Anglais, du moins les Londoniens, ont l’habitude de parler avec différents accents anglais et ils n’en font pas tout un plat. C’est normal. C’est Londres.
Je savais que Londres était une ville internationale mais ce mot, international, prend ici vraiment tout son sens. Tout le monde vient de différents pays, différentes cultures, et ont différents projets, différentes expériences… C’est sûrement aussi parce que Londres est une ville professionnellement opportuniste. Ici, on te donne ta chance plus au feeling, à la motivation qu’à la longueur de ton CV !
En bref, ce cosmopolisme va me manquer. On se rend compte qu’on n’est pas tout seul sur terre, que ça grouille de partout, qu’il y a de la vie, des joies et des peines partout.

Oh London, tu m’as comblée de gourmandise !
Le côté international ressort aussi culinairement parlant. On peut découvrir des saveurs des quatre coins du monde facilement, il y en a pour tous les prix mais dans tous les cas, beaucoup de bonne cuisine, du fait maison, tendance healthy/green à gogo. Bien que, c’est fou le nombre de chaînes qu’il y a partout ! Mais il en faut des endroits pour nourrir presque 9 millions d’habitants !

Ce que j’ai préféré, ce sont les Food Markets. Ce sont des marchés où l’on peut manger un plat d’une autre contrée, cuisiné sur place, et sans casser sa tirelire (de 4 à 7£). Mon petit chouchou se nomme Borough Market, c’est une histoire de cœur puisque j’ai habité tout prêt lors de mes 3 premières semaines !

Hyperactif, mon homme (London) ne se repose jamais.
C’est comme si Londres vieillissait en paraissant toujours plus jeune. C’est la magie des travaux. BTP en force ! Ici ça travaille dur, à gauche, à droite, ça se construit, se rénove, s’embellit, se renouvelle de partout, même en plein centre. C’est plutôt un bon point. C’est qu’il y a de l’investissement, du modernisme, de la valeur ! Et cela renforce encore plus les sacrés contrastes architecturaux de Londres. Du moderne, de l’ancien, du Victorien, de la brique, du coloré, du classique, il y en a pour tous les goûts.

Tel un British, London peut être atypique. Pour le meilleur et pour le pire…
Qu’est-ce qui fait Londres Londres pour moi ? Il y a tout ce que je raconte depuis le début mais aussi deux trucs, que seulement Londres peut avoir !

Déjà, ici, tu comprendras ce que veut vraiment dire attention à la marche/l’écart… Tu sais, tu connais la chanson : “please, mind the gap between the train and the platform”. Car ici ce n’est pas un écart, c’est un fleuve à enjamber. Oui oui! D’ailleurs, des gens meurent chaque semaine, tombant dans le trou de la mort qui tue, c’est le cas de le dire… Ce n’sont pas des bêtises, ça faisait la une du Evening Standards, le gratuit qu’ils donnent aux stations de métro !
Aussi, la tradition typique, c’est l’after work, bière à la main, tous debout entassés à l’extérieur des pubs, et c’est ça qui est finalement, ben, atypique ! Qu’il vente, neige, brume, par -10°, ils sont là, dès 5 heure de l’après-midi, un lundi, un mardi, tous les jours, à boire de la bière en quantité astronomique. On s’y fait vite, voir tout le monde en costard-cravate, dans la rue comme ça, fait en fait partie du paysage. A Paris c’est le cliché les Parisiens en terrasse, à Londres c’est tout le monde debout jusqu’à ce qu’on tombe raide dingue quelque part. Enfin je suppose que ces messieurs-dames rentrent un moment donné chez eux. Mais il n’est pas rare d’en croiser certains bien éméchés dès 20h/21h, et oui, je parle bien en heure anglaise ! Là où en France, la fête commencerait timidement.

Désolée mon chéri, mais tu es tellement paradoxal !
En fait, l’un des paradoxes que j’ai remarqué est plutôt positif et l’on devrait d’ailleurs en prendre de la graine !

Je veux parler d’ordures. Oui, les poubelles dans la rue… En effet, ici chercher où jeter sa peau de banane ou peu importe ce que tu souhaites jeter n’est pas une mince affaire. Je te souhaite même bien du courage. A tel point qu’une application smartphone localisatrice de poubelles serait appréciée, à bon entendeur. Il y a peu voire très peu de poubelles dans les rues et pourtant, c’est propre PARTOUT ! Ici, les gens sont respectueux, même de leur environnement. Ils doivent avoir une poubelle intégrée dans leur sac à main. Bravo ! Je pense qu’à Paris, en France en général, on est imbattable niveau poubelles au mètre carré. Et pourtant on est cracra!
Ah quel homme… Ouvert d’esprit, aux fourneaux, et en plus il sent bon !
Bon, d’accord, il y a quand même une deuxième chose que tu chercheras désespérément partout, en vain, c’est… Un banc public. Il fait beau, t’as amené ton lunch, tu t’es dis cool je vais me poser tranquilou dehors. Ben non. Pas de banc, pas lunch au soleil.
Et alors dans les quartiers chicos comme South Kensington ce n’est même pas la peine, les petits parcs sont privés, réservés aux propriétaires qui habitent autour ! Il faut viser Hyde Park, sinon rien.

Mais oui tu es charmant, et, de toute façon, tout est toujours adorable avec toi !
Ici tu apprendras qu’effectivement tout est merveilleux dans le meilleur des mondes mais… Attention aux apparences ! Déjà les Londoniens c’est vrai, sont très polis et éduqués ça fait du bien. Si tu veux passer incognito et ne pas de faire remarquer tu ferais mieux de faire la queue gentiment en attendant les transports en commun, et en ligne à la queue leuleu s’il vous plaît mon cher. Pas de risque d’être poussé ou complètement écrasé contre des inconnus en tout cas.

Bon et en plus, et là c’est ab-so-lu-te-ly British, c’est que si tu as à interagir avec eux, même pour une insignifiante interaction, t’as l’impression que c’est l’événement de l’année. Si quelqu’un de bouscule dans la rue par mégarde, on te dira “hey, you’re alright ? I’m so, so, SO, sorry” etc. Même quand tu ne fais que ton job, on va te remercier un million de fois du style “That’s really kind of you, thanks you so, so, SO much! That’s lovely!”. Mais ne devient pas crâneur, c’est juste leur façon de s’exprimer, l’illustration de la ‘sincère’ sympathie anglaise (?). Mais oui, ça fait du bien au moral et c’est généreux. Toujours plus sympa que les grincheux Parisiens, j’admets.

Voilà voilà, j’aurais pu écrire davantage, parler des prix faramineux de la vie Londonienne, de sa vie nocturne déjantée, de la pluie mélangée au vent extrêmement fort te faisant adopter des positions complètement absurdes dans la rue, de l’English Breakfast exploseur de calories ou encore de Queen Rainbow, mais je m’arrête là.

Le temps passe,
Londres fait partie de mon petit passé maintenant.

Mais de nouvelles aventures vont suivre, et on va pas s’ennuyer ! A très vite !

 

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