There is something very wrong with the British Museum. On Saturday morning there was a 45 minute-long queue to get through the security check, both at the front and the rear entrances. Since we live in London and the museum is less than half an hour by tube from our house, I didn’t see the point of wasting time. Instead, Mr Gochugaru and I went for a walk to nearby Covent Garden.
My point is that it should not have to take 45 minutes to get past the security check. It will get worse from tomorrow, when their staff go on strike.
It was our wedding anniversary, which we don’t often celebrate. Historically, Summer was when the world descended on London and we had to host multiple visitors. For many years it was also the week of the annual Scout camp, where I would be away helping out with admin and catering (pitching tents is not my forte). After a while I just gave up trying to mark the day. This June and July saw us still receiving a mixture of visiting students and relatives.
I treasure the long years we have put in to our marriage and you know what, we are still happy.
Mr Gochugaru and I met during our first year at university, bonding over our shared wonder of London and the sheer woe of hall food. Hall food meaning the institutional meals at our hall of residence in Brunswick Square. At weekends we would walk down to Covent Garden’s cobbled streets to visit the crafts market, its individual shops and occasionally to catch a theatre performance. Some favourite shops from that time: Covent Garden General Store, Cranks restaurant and (the name escapes me) a spice shop which sold some very delicious samosas in its upstairs cafe.
This is still a popular place to visit and here are a few shops which I took note of during our walk.
The latest Indiana Jones film has just been released, and you can purchase a fedora at Stetson, 58 Neal St, London WC2H 9PA. A fedora = Indy’s hat and a Stetson = cowboy hat
Stanfords Travel Bookshop at 7 Mercer Walk, London WC2H 9FA, around the corner from their original site in Long Acre
Macarons from Pierre Hermé are ideal for any occasion. 38 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EP
Udderlicious Ice cream was shut when I passed by but one of the flavours I could see on their board was Dragonfruit and Banana, which was what Junior 1 had just eaten in their Islington branch
Following our recent trip to Berlin I discovered the European Coffee Trip App. They recommended WatchHouse, 7 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9DL and Grind, 42 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LJ. There is the ever popular Arôme for pastries and coffee/ tea, 9 Mercer Street, The Yards, London WC2H 9QJ. Photos from a previous visit here.
I came across Fair Shot which is a social enterprise supporting and training adults with learning disabilities to work in cafes. It wasn’t time for lunch but this is definitely on my list the next time I am in Covent Garden. The sandwiches looked appetising and large enough to share between two people. 3 Slingsby Place, London WC2E 9AB.
I was told of the Japanese cafe Katsute 100 on the top floor of Uniqlo Covent Garden, 19-21 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LZ. Given that I much prefer tea to coffee, this was a real find. Full menu here and prices below, in case you need to decide before you reach the cafe. There are cakes as well so I think it would be best to visit with a few friends for a tea and cake testing session.
The shop itself is interesting as it has a glass roof, letting in natural light
We had to return home soon after, as we were having friends over for dinner. I cooked some dishes from the Falastin Cookbook and will write about this later. There was a lot of leftovers which meant I had the Sunday off cooking.
I do not have a photo of St John Bakery but they are located at 3 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP. This is near to Neal’s Yard Dairy,17 Shorts Gardens, London WC2H 9AT, where you can sample and buy fine British cheeses. Seven Dials Market is a food hall with independent food traders. To be honest, I miss some of the shops which have closed due to the dire economic climate we are in, but am encouraged by entrepreneurs who are still willing to open a business nonetheless.