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TUESDAY 20TH MARCH 2012.

Sometimes you lie in bed at night and sigh with satisfaction as you reflect on what has been a perfect day.

Well today, my 62nd birthday and our 12th wedding anniversary, has been one of those days.
We had no plans, no museums to visit or palaces to see. Just Michael and me wandering through London, seeing what came up and where the fancy took us.
I had left Michael in bed, whilst I went for coffee with a a charming American couple, Jody and David, whom I had met through Our Paris forum.
Michael had left a message on my voicemail “you never have that phone out of your hand when you are with me, now you don’t answer! Meet me at Notting Hill Gate”
“Notting Hill”, counjers up images of Julia Roberts anf Hugh Grant , but the main street is rather ordinary, the charity shop however, is really rather posh!
The houswares shop next door was interesting name I can’t remember,, where I browse for half an hour whilst my dear husband does his usual, mooch around Oxfam. The plastic grass and cute food covers look interesting in the shop but I know will not seem trendy in my 1960’s bungalow in Bolton!

So we catch a bus, the 31 to Camden Town, past trendy retro clothes shops on the edge of the Portabello market and elegant Edwardian tall houses, street upon street, with people going about thier dally lives, children in crocodiles going to school and old ladies with shopping trolley going to the shops. Eventually the landscape changes, the houses are still elegant, but not so well kept and the people are not so smart.
We spot a market, (my husband LOVES markets) and as I needed the loo, we get off.
The underground toilet should win a prize for the best kept toilet in London. Immaculately clean with flowers and a friendly attendant. but the market is really just a car boot sale and a sign tells us this is Maida Hill market.

We browse the stalls, but this is really poor stuff, the area is obviously deprived.
We spot an awning and a friendly man selling Caribbean food,
The friendly man’s name was Leroy and he offers us curry goat and jerk chicken, both served with rice and peas (what else!) and salads. I opt for the curry goat, (which is actually mutton)and Michael has the jerk chicken, with Leroy s special jerk sauce he makes himself.
Oh Man! it tastes like manna from heaven! the best curry goat I have ever tasted.


A girl sits and chats to us as we eat, and we observe the market. As we watch, people come for food, all ethnicities are here, Caribbean, Indian , Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, South African music plays from CD stall, the atmosphere is vibrant with people are laughing and shouting to one another. There seems to be a real community spirit and they make us strangers feel welcome.
The friendly man’s name was Leroy, who chats to us and tells us that on other days the market is in full swing. Lots of produce, food and everything else. He is the market superintendent and also runs his stall. The market was revived a few years ago by the local council and seems to be thriving. When he can afford it he has a jazz band to play at the weekend.
We catch the bus bak to Kensington High street, the other end of the social spectrum. As we near our stop a couple greet a friend and we give them our seats, All have accents like the Queen! Smart ladies walk around with little dogs, polished men in suits and there is definitely cycle chic here!
We discover the most amazing supermarket “wholefoods” selling organic and natural food. Seems to be housed in an old department store. Two floors of foods and a food hall on the upper floor selling all kind of food to eat in or take away from “proper” burgers , pizza, sushi, omelettes, crepes and an amazing vegetarian restaurant.

We settle for smoothies and a organic rocky road cake to share.

It seems they even deliver dahling!

Later we walk around the area, admiring the multi million apartment blocks.

How the one per cent live!


..and chic town houses. While Michael sings “we’re all in this together” ( sorry British joke)

For an afternoon treat Michael takes me to Harrods, an interesting bus ride away, past the Royal Albert Hall, for a decadent hot chocolate fudge ice cream sundae.

Whist our neighbours had the Harrods special! at £20.

I have never taken much notice of the décor at Harrods before, but it is really rather stunning especially the Egyptian elevator. (library pictures)

Harrods Egyptian Elevator Column.
..and the constellation ceiling.

l Harrods Constellation Ceiling
The perfect day was rounded off by a theatre visit. I love that London has this vibrant theatre scene, all around Leicester square and Shaftsbury Avenue this is where London has the edge over Paris .

We clapped and tapped our feet to the music of “The Jersey boys” the story of Frankie Valli and the four Seasons. With Ryan Molloy, as Frankie Valli, who is so talented, he can sing dance and act.

So we came out with the feel good factor just a wonderful day!
Denise
Love from London
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10 thoughts on “

  1. Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate two momentous occasions. Happy belated birthday and anniversary!I wish that you could bring some of the curry goat with you to Paris.

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  2. Glad you had such an amazing and varied day and night of celebration. I would have left out the curried goat, but the rest sounds perfect! Now jerk chicken, that's something else….mmmmmm!!

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  3. Janet the "goat" is really mutton and SO tender it falls off the bone. So a bit like a spicy Irish stew. The spices are subtle so you get the taste of the meat with the lovely spicy aftertaste. Caribbean curry is a far cry from Indian curry.Mary Kay…thanks for your good wishes. One thing that is rare in Paris is a decent Indian or Carribean food. They seem to tone it down for the French Palate. Only one Indian vegetarian restaurant on rue Faubourg St Dennis, round the corner from Gare du Nord, has come up to scratch…..there you are an idea to investigate for your blog

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  4. LOL! Denise, do you have any idea of how many Indian vegetarian restaurants there are on "rue Fauburg St Denis, round the corner from Gare du Nord"? Next time that you're in town, I'll have to follow (stalk!) you to find out the exact address of this Indian Restaurant is. Or even better, we could go together!

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  5. A very happy belated birthday and anniversary, Denise. I had no idea you were still posting on your blog after your last trip to Paris, I have so much catching up to do.Your pictures keep giving me reasons to try to make it to London one day. I love how you spent this special day just wandering with your hubby and enjoying what came your way. Sometimes these are the very best days and the ones we remember the most.I am really enjoying your posts, you do seem to have an appreciation for what is truly important in your life.Thank you for sharing……Jo

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  6. Oops, forgot to say……I love those black Prada shoes in your first picture. A steal at that price, too bad they are not my size, lol

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  7. I love just wandering about too in London…one can be a flaneur there as well as in Paris! ha! London certainly does have a vibrant theatre scene . When I was there , I think I went to a show about every evening! ha! Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday!!!!

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  8. Jo and Cybee, thanks so much for your comments. Glad you are enjoying reading my blog.Mainly this blog is for a personal record for myself of my life. Something to look back on and "remember when". Also it will be interesting (I hope) for my descendants when I am gone.One of the positive things about keeping a blog is that it motivates me to get out and DO something. Which can only be good, as I have an increasing sense of time passing by quickly and I want to make the most of every second.

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  9. Pingback: ANOTHER YEAR OLDER. | denisefrombolton

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