Just when I think I know every London market, I discover a new one. This city has an endless variety of them, from farmers’ markets to vintage markets, and there are more popping up all the time. I recently discovered the South Kensington Tuesday Farmers’ Market at Imperial College, a great little food market with plenty of green space for picnics. Being there inspired me to write about my favorite markets in the city, and today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 14 best London markets.
When I first moved to London, I missed a lot of things about home, but one of the things I didn’t miss was driving. I’ve never been a car person, and moving to a walkable city was exciting. So exciting that I walk pretty much everywhere now. In doing so, I’ve discovered a lot of amazing little corners of London and gotten to know the details of the city much better than I would have otherwise.
It’s June in London, and that means one thing. Tourist season. The streets are crowded with maps and guidebooks, and every attraction in the city has a queue a mile long. It’s not that we don’t love visitors in London; it’s just that when they’re here it’s harder for locals to enjoy the sights. But with a little out-of-the-box thinking, Londoners can enjoy the landmarks without the crowds. Step out of Zone 1 and the tourists fade away, opening up the city to those of us daring to venture beyond the comfort of Soho or St James’s. And I personally venture to places like Eltham Palace.
Gordon Ramsay is everywhere these days. It seems like whenever I step outside, I come across a new restaurant of his. This is particularly true in Chelsea, where he’s opened two new restaurants of the same name in two months. maze Grill on Royal Hospital Road is the newer of them, and since they seem ubiquitous now—there’s one in Mayfair, too—I’ve come to see what it’s all about.
It’s all about understatement in Britain. As an American in London, one of the first things I learned about fitting in is that self deprecation goes a lot farther than self aggrandizement, and what is unsaid is often more important than what’s stated aloud. This phenomenon extends beyond human interaction, revealing itself in the city’s neighborhoods as well. The best example of this is Hampstead, an unassuming little village in north London.
Summer is coming to London. I hope so, anyway. May’s weather hasn’t been stellar, but there’s still a chance that the sun will dazzle us over the next three months. Summer in the city brings locals to life, and there’s no better place to witness the lifting of our spirits (and our bottles of spirits, for that matter) than London’s parks. As such, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 11 best parks in London.
One of the biggest struggles for Londoners is leaving our own neighborhoods. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine on weeknights and weekends, going to our local pubs or eating at restaurants near where we live. We’ll make a trip to Soho to meet friends, but ask us to venture too far north, south, east, or west and we’ll quickly start complaining about how far away things are. But some out-of-the-way places are worth a special trip, and one of them is Chatsworth Road Market.
Spring is here. Every tree in London is heavy with pink blossoms, and the parks and gardens are brilliant with the colors of a million tulips. March and April saw the city come into full bloom, and now that it’s May there’s another spring floral trend: wisteria.
When I moved to London, I was embarrassed to drink coffee. Tea is a national obsession here, and I was already American enough with my funny accent and foreign customs. Add to that the fact that ordering a “coffee” in London gets you a confused look—they don’t have a go-to style here like we do in the States—and I quickly converted to tea. But over the years coffee has become trendy in London, with independent coffee shops popping up all over and an annual UK Coffee Week developing. The latter kicks off this week with the London Coffee Festival.
You know a place is special when the peacock-shaped garden ornament turns out to be an actual peacock. At first I think I’m seeing things, but on second glance I realize this is not a hallucination. There is actually a peacock sitting in the garden of my hotel in the Cotswolds.
This is a big year for the UK. The Magna Carta is celebrating its 800th anniversary, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is turning 150, and it’s been 200 years since the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. There are celebrations and commemorations happening across the country, and some of them are taking place surprisingly close to home. The ones at Apsley House and Wellington Arch, for example.
The problem with London is that it’s hard to leave. The city is so big and has so much to offer that it would be easy to spend a lifetime here without feeling done. But there are a lot of great places outside of London, too, and it’s worth getting away sometimes. As such, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 15 best day trips from London.
One of the best things about London is that there’s so much to do. One of the worst things about London is that there’s so much to do. It’s a plus and a minus, with the city giving us so many options it can be overwhelming. But on the rare occasion I find myself in town on a weekend, I have a bit of a ritual. It makes a perfect Saturday in London, and it goes like this.