Monday, 20 December 2010
I don't get nostalgic for London
where I was born, and where I lived for a total of approximately eleven years of my life full-time and eight part-time, I have only lived longer than that in Reading (21 years) although my formative years were in a town in Bedfordshire that goes by the name of Leighton Buzzard, where I spent ten years, from the age of seven to seventeen. Anyway, the true delights of London are not always easy to find. Just lately I have been meeting people who are planning visits there, and who ask me what they should see. I recommend them things I am fairly sure they will not do, like go to a pub for lunch. Anyway, I was struck by this piece on micro-brewing in London, renewing the brewing tradition that has been in the capital for centuries. It made me nostalgic for the food and drink culture of London, even though I don't drink beer. If you are going to London, go to Borough Market, visit a micro-brewery, go to a cheese-monger's, go to an artisan bakery. Have lunch in a pub. Have shepherd's pie in the Prince Albert in Victoria Street. Drink Kentish wine in Walkers of Whitehall. And if it's not English you want, have gumbo and champagne at the long bar at St. Pancras station. In summer have outdoor drinks in Stoke Newington by the park, or have a Caribbean Sunday roast in the courtyard of the Effra in Brixton. Have a port and lemon with old ladies in a boozer in Harlesden or Willesden. You won't be sorry you did.