Wednesday, May 08, 2013
I’ve just spent few days working in central London. I used to live on the edge of London and visited often. These working trips are always hard work but there is also time to walk around my old haunts – visit a few restaurants (oh-oh!) that I know. Generally to enjoy being there in fact. I wouldn’t live in London again but I love the buzz and always come away feeling energized.
This particular restaurant is decorated to resemble an opera venue - it even has theatre boxes which you can eat in. It is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful opera memorabilia and later in the evening some of the students from Covent Garden Opera House come and sing arias to entertain the diners.
I spent some time in Covent Garden Market where there are some really talented craftspeople selling their wares and some excellent street entertainment.
Musicians playing some great classical music and responding to each other’s playing with little dances.
Some living statues – this golden man truly had no visible means of support as he sat – hour after hour apparently suspended in mid air. One tourist walked all round him taking a video and even took some film from underneath him in an attempt to solve the mystery. To no avail however. All the children thought it was magic and I began to think they might be right!
There are also beautiful green squares in central London – in particular this one just by our hotel – Russell Square. The square is named after the surname of the family of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, who developed the family's London landholdings in the 17th and 18th centuries. Russell Square was formed when new streets were laid out by the Duke on the site of the gardens of his former home Bedford House, their London home. He apparently wished to provide a green space for Londoners to enjoy
It also includes a quaint green 'hut' originally established in the late 19th century where taxi drivers (and previously hansom cab and hackney cab drivers) can stop for a comfort break and to heat up food - a place where they know their cab will be safe. There is an attendant to watch out for their cab or indeed to provide food if required. The one in Russell Square is one of thirteen which remain to this day.
So – I walked my socks off along my personal Memory Lane – ate some delicious food which I hope has been compensated for by the walking – and feel much renewed.