I was delighted to welcome two of my dear Swedish colleagues to London for the weekend. I always enjoy the opportunity to explore my city with the eyes of a visitor, as it gives me the chance to stop to recognise all the beauty that exists in my own neighbourhood, and this was certainly no exception.
Before setting out to take on the town, we had an unconventional start, as my friend decided that it was the perfect time to shave her head, proving the old adage: “Any decisions you make before breakfast while drinking wine are good ones” [Definitely not an old adage. Possibly still true].
Even though we skipped the classic tourist destinations, we still ventured into all four corners of the city (to varying degrees).
After giant cups of coffee in Highgate Village, we went for a tour of the Highgate Cemetery, the beautiful and serene resting place of many famous, infamous, and assorted folks. On our wander through Waterlow Park, the Swedish dwellers were bursting with enthusiasm at the sight of spring flowers, and proceeded to frolic with glee.
I am usually not on top of the trendy happenings in this teaming, cool city, but every now and then I venture into the cool parts of town after dark. We headed to Soho to enjoy a bit of what the west part of central London had to offer, stopping at a few pubs and cocktail bars on our way to dance the night away. In case you were wondering, THIS is what a scientist looks like:
Sunday dawned rainy, sunny, windy, then rainy again, so we decided to brave the variable elements to explore Shoreditch. This is the first time I made it to the Columbia Road Flower Market, and it did not disappoint. It was REALLY crowded with people (so not really the leisurely stroll through stalls of beautiful plants that instagram would make you believe), but as you pushed through the people, you could drink in the stunning displays of succulents, tulips, lavender, orchids, and other plants of every description. We also got a few moments to enjoy the unusual and artistic side of the east end, which was lovely.
From Shoreditch, we wandered through central London and across the river. The weather manically swung from sunny and bright to bitter wind, driving rain, to even hail! We had to pause for shelter a few times on our way south. The sun peaked out just a bit as we got to the Thames: just enough to make Tower Bridge gleam in the distance.One final stop before we headed back home was to sip chili hot chocolate at Rabot 1745. Creamy. Rich. Magic. My guests surprised me with a stunning bouquet of spring cheer, so even as they head back to Stockholm, I can keep a bit of this magical weekend blooming in my heart. Now it’s time for tea, biscuits, and bed.
Hope you had a fabulous weekend!