Photo of the Week – A Restaurant in London

This week's photo is of a restaurant in London.

This unusual looking building is located in Bishopsgate Church Yard. I did not get the name of the restaurant. All I could think of at the time was how out of place it looked.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

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London Walks – Spitalfields

This post is another based on the City Walks series by Craig Taylor. This walk took me around Spitalfields in the East End.

The walk started from Liverpool Street station. This was convenient as my previous walk from Old Street had finished there. Making my way up Bishopsgate I soon found my way up to Spital Square. From there I turned into Felgate Street and then into Commercial Street. I stopped to look inside Spitalfields. This is one of the oldest markets in London. It is very popular at weekends. There are plenty of traders selling all sorts of goods ranging from clothing to furniture. It is also a good place to come and have a spot to eat. Like a lot of markets in London you can eat the world.

Once out of the market you go past 'The Ten Bells' pub. You are now in Jack the Ripper terrority as two of his victims spent their last hours drinking in the pub. Turning left and then another right at Princelet Street I found myself in Brick Lane.

Historically Brick Lane has been home to immigrants who arrived into London. Particularly the Huguenots, Jewish and Bangladeshi communities. This is reflected with the amount of curry houses to be found here. On a previous visit I eat at the City Spice restaurant. It was delicious and you are spoilt for choice. I would also recommend a visit to the Beigel Bake. Open 24 hours a day it offers the best bagels that I ever eaten. The queues would back me up on that. Again being the weekend Brick Lane was packed with visitors enjoying the food stores and market traders. One tip I would have for you, make sure you have enough cash on you as I could not see many ATM's and the one I saw charged for using it. Also I found that the food on Brick Lane was more expensive that at Spitalfields market.

I carried up Brick Lane until I reached Osborn Street. Turning left took me into Whitechapel High Street and the Whitechapel Gallery. This is home to displays of modern art. Sadly, my visit coincided with work being done while they install new exhibits. Still it was free and I was grateful to get out of the hot sun for 30 minutes.

After leaving the gallery I turned into Gunthorpe Street. Another right turn took me into Middlesex Street. This is home to Petticoat Market. I would have say it was packed with shoppers looking for a bargain. Progress was slow and I would say be mindful of your belongings. Once out of Middlesex Street I was back on Bishopsgate and the walk finished back at Liverpool Street Station.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Photo of the Week – Brick Lane, London

This week's photo was taken in Brick Lane a couple of weeks ago.

Summer had arrived and there were plenty of people out on the streets. On Sundays the road is closed to traffic and there are plenty of traders trying to get you to sell you their products. Also you can eat the world with plenty of food stalls offering food from different countries. You normally pay £5.00 per portion. All in all a excellent way to spend a Sunday.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Photo of the Week – Statues of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth

This week's photo is of King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth.

The parents of the present queen these statues can be found to the side of Pall Mall. King George or better known as Bertie to the royal family had not expected to become King. However, when Edward VIII abdicated he was thrown into the spotlight. They both became popular with the British public especially through World War II. When King George died in 1952 the Queen Mother remained in the public eye and affection until her death in 2002.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Liverpool Street Station, London

The hub of the walks I took part in on Sunday was Liverpool Street Station. It serves the east and south-east of England. It is also acts as the terminus for the Stansted Express. Despite over 55 million people using the station (April 2010 – March 2011) in my eyes it felt smaller than some of the other railway stations in London. The station itself does have some sites that are worth checking out.

Outside the main entrance is the Fur Das Kind Kinderstransport Memorial sculpture. It shows a group of children by a railway track. Liverpool Street Station was where many Jewish refugee children arrived into the UK.

Once inside the main entrance there is a large memorial dedicated to the workers of The Great Eastern Railway who died in World War 1.

If you can allow yourself some time just have wander around the station. There is surprisingly plenty to see.

Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

City Walks: London – Old Street to Liverpool Street

This is another in the series of London city walks by Craig Taylor. I started this walk from Old Street Tube Station.

Leaving from exit 4 I was greeted with bright sunshine. Making my way up City Road I came across the Wesley Chapel and Museum dedicated to John Wesley the founder of Methodism. Being a Sunday morning the museum was not open. I managed to sneak in a few photos while the congregation were making their way to the service.

Statue of John Wesley

Crossing the road I made my way toward Bunhill Fields, an graveyard that is no longer in use. It is the final resting place to the John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe and William Blake.

Daniel Defoe
William Blake

After leaving the graveyard I made my way down towards Chiswell Street. I was now in the heart of the city of London. It was quieter than normal. A right turn took me into Finsbury Pavement. Crossing the road it took me into Finsbury Circus. A pretty garden the standout feature is the magnificent looking bandstand.

Finsbury Garden

I left via Bloomfield Street and carried on until I reached New Broad Street. Crossing over I entered Bishopsgate Church Yard. I walked past the church hall of St. Botolph's.

St. Botolph's Church Hall

Once I left St. Botolph's I was on Liverpool Street. I followed until I reached Liverpool Street Station where the walk finished.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

City Walks: London – Hoxton

You may remember that I was going to carry out 50 city walks of London. This was based on the walks put together by Craig Taylor. Last October I managed to complete the Greenwich walk. Due to Christmas and my recent trip away I had been unable to complete another walk until now.

This walk was around Hoxton which is in the borough of Hackney. I started from Old Street tube station made my way down Old Street until a left turn took me into Rufus Street. This took me to Hoxton Square. It is an area that is home to art galleries and bars. The area gave off that arty vibe. The square itself is typical of the squares that are dotted around London. Somewhere to escape from the bustle of Old Street.

Drinking Fountain in Hoxton Square
Drinking Fountain in Hoxton Square

After returning to Old Street I carried on down until I reached Kingsland Street. This took me into the Shoreditch district of London. I made my way up the street until I reached the Geffrye Museum. Free to enter the museum traces the history of domestic living rooms dating from the 17th century until the modern-day. It is popular with families and there is plenty for children to do. Looking at the website it encourages educational visits.

The Geffrye Museum
The Geffrye Museum
18th Century Parlour Room from Geffrye Museum.
18th Century Parlour Room from Geffrye Museum.

I was lucky that the Herb Garden had reopened for the summer. The weather was good and it did remind me that spring was making its way after the long winter months.

The Herb Garden
The Herb Garden

While walking up Kingsland Road I passed St. Leonard’s Hospital. There is a brown plague dedicated to Edith Cavell. She was a nurse at the hospital. She is famous for being executed in World War One.

To complete my walk I made my way back down Kingsland Road looking for somewhere to eat. There were plenty of Vietnamese restaurants but I did not fancy anything too spicy. I did come across an establishment that looked like an American Diner. The Love Shake calls itself a media cafe and seats 35 people. It must because it offers free wi-fi. Always a plus in my eyes. I decided to order a hot dog with fries and a chocolate milk shake. On their website it states that milkshakes are made with either organic or soya milk. It tasted delicious. Somewhere I would definitely recommend it to you. It was a great way to end the walk.

An American Classic
An American Classic

The Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA. http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

The Love Shake Cafe Lounge, 5 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA. http://www.theloveshake.com

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Herb Garden, Geffrye Museum

This week’s photo is of the herb garden at the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch, London.

Herb Garden
Herb Garden

I was there on Tuesday.  While the weather was cold the sun was shining.  It is a sign that Spring is on its way.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Vienna & Budapest – Days 10 & 11

Well the day has arrived, it is time to go home.  I worked out that I will be spending nearly 36 hours travelling before I arrived home.  This is going to take a lot out of me.  Spent my final morning in Budapest eating breakfast, shopping for supplies and chilling out making sure my gadgets were fully charged.

At around 12pm it was time to go.  The sun was shining and I was expecting no problems travelling today.  I made my way to the coach station.  Once there I thought I better make sure that the coaches to Vienna were running today.  To my horror they had all been cancelled and if I wanted to travel then I would have to make my way to the railway station.  When I asked about where I could find the railway station the reply was they did not know.  I stunned at the apparent lack of help towards my situation.  Next, I asked at the information desk.  Again, they appeared reluctant to help.  Eventually they produced a metro map with the stop for the railway station marked out.  I only hope that I had enough money for a ticket otherwise I would be stuck.

Getting to the railway station was easy enough I just had to find the ticket office.  I was relieved to find out that I could purchase a ticket.  Must remember not to judge other countries railways by the UK’s.  A train was about to leave the station.  I managed to board it and as I was storing my rucksack the train pulled out of Budapest.  At last I was on the road and would be in Vienna with time to spare.

I arrived into Vienna Westbanhof Station later in the afternoon.  The best thing for me was to make my way to the coach station and check to see if the coach to London was running.  After initially scaring me the staff confirmed that my coach was running.  I explained the situation with the coaches to Vienna and the kindly refunded half my coach fare.  As I had plenty of time to spare before I left Vienna I caught the U-bahn to St. Stephen’s Cathedral for one last look.  Took the time to enjoy a Bratwurst and take one last photo.

Final photo of St Stephen's Cathedral
Final photo of St Stephen’s Cathedral

Finally the time to leave Vienna had arrived and the coach pulled out of the station.  My heart felt heavy and sad.  To comfort myself I listened to some comedy on the i-pod and started to read up on the places I would be visiting in September.  Always have something to look forward to.

The coach journey itself was unspectacular and I slept through a lot of it.  I did arrive back into London almost an hour earlier than expected.  Took the opportunity to have something hot to eat before boarding the coach back to Birmingham.  I had forgotten that today was St. Patrick’s Day.  As soon as I arrived back in Birmingham I was confronted with the sight of drunken people who were looking for a fight.  During my trip I had not witnessed any anti-social behaviour.  Was I glad to be home?

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve