Friday, September 2, 2011

My Favorite Things

I have been crap lately about blogging.  Work has been insane, I've been travelling a ton, and as we are in the heart of the Great British Summer (note the sarcasm...), I've just not had the time.  Well, no more!  I'm eating lunch at my desk today to take a few minute to post something.
This came about as Simon & I were out to dinner Wednesday nite at our favorite Lebanese place-and I remarked, it's a pity (only partially..) that more people don't know about this place-the food/service are incredible! And, thus we started talking about a few of our favorite things in London.  It's been a while since I've done a post of this nature.  But, without further ado-and in no particular order...

  • Fontana Lebanese-I'm sure there are cooler, hip-er places in town (some with belly dancers)...but for great food, and great service, this place rates as one of my favorite
  • Monmouth Coffee-I've probably talked about this place at least 23,000 on my blog so far-but it bears repeating.  Best. Coffee. In. London.
  • Hyde Park-OK. I realize this is like stating the obvious to mention Hyde Park...but, the next time you're in Hyde Park, take a loaf of bread along and go find 'Round Pond.'  You will not be disappointed.
  • Monsoon-Clothing shop.  I can count on 2 hands the number of clothing items I've bought in the UK in 3.5 years; UK clothing isn't my 'style', and I simply refuese to pay £30 for a t-shirt that will cost me $15 in the US.  Never mind the psychological warfare that the UK sizing plays on you when looking for the US-size equivalent.  If you're stressed over your size to begin with, the UK isn't the place to be!  Enter Monsoon:  for me *personally*, it's clothing that's my style-and their sizing is so generous, I find that my UK size is usually my US size-or sometimes even smaller.  yea.
  • My Local Kebab Shop-I haven't a clue what it's called, and it's not even on Google maps.  But, after a few pints while out and not arriving home until 10pm on a school nite, nothing but nothing tastes better than their chicken schwarma and chips-with tons of garlic mayonnaise and chili sauce.  Yes, it probably contains 1000 calories-and god only knows what the 'chicken' actually is...but once every now & then is surely alright!
  • Heathrow Express-15 minutes from Paddington station to Heathrow Airport-and as we live so close to Paddington, we practially live *in* Paddington-means we can be from door to door in under 30 minutes.  I've never lived anywhere in which this were possible. Amazing.

Ok.  Quality over Quantity.  I could probably wang on for ages on other things.  But, at the very least, it's a good start-and on the days I get grumpy over living in this crowded and sometimes rude city, it's a nice reminder for myself!

PS.  Yesterday was my official 3.5 year anniversary in this country.  Where the heck has the time gone??!


  1. Looks fantastic!! I'm moving to London in a few days and will definitely check out those shops and restaurants =)

  2. I love Monmouth coffee! It's is amazing :)
    I will definitely try the Lebanese place you suggested. I went to the website and it looks fantastic. I totally get the whole being too busy to blog, but it's great to read your posts!

  3. Thanks Kristina! I have been living vicariously since discovering your blog about 8 months ago and really enjoy your posts. I visited London in '95 and have been itching to go back and now I have a few more reasons! Kepp blogging, when you have time :-)

  4. Congratulations on your 3.5!! Can you tell me, does Starbucks there compare to Starbucks here, as far as taste, quality of products, etc. Apparently there is a Starbucks right next to the school (it's on Marylbone St.) and that makes me feel quite comfortable. On this side of the ocean, I'm a Starbucks addict!
    Also, do they have thrift stores/resale shops there to buy clothes? Thanks! :) G

  5. Hi Gennifer, I'm sorry to say I find SBUX here to be total crap. :( Like you, I was addicted to SBUX in the US, but find the coffee here (at least their drips/americanos) to be awful. Lattes, capps, etc..are fine.
    For a chain americano, I'd suggest another company called Cafe Nero.
    And yes-more thrift stores than you can shake a stick at! I don't shop at them, so can't comment on quality/selection, but given the number of them even in just a few block's radius from my flat, you're bound to find something. of luck on your move!

  6. I'll have to check out your reco's. They sound yummy :) Congrats on your anni! I enjoyed your post about the riots (I was in the US at the time). XOL

  7. Thanks for the info! That's a bummer about Starbucks. As long as good coffee is available somewhere I think I'll be fine, haha! :)

  8. Hey, I wanted to talk to you about moving to London. My boyfriend and I want to make a change, so we think we want to move to London. We need to find jobs and a place to live. Email me at bfeh0402(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Hi Kristina,

    I've just had a novel released in London whose major female character is an independent ex-pat from NY studying at LSE. It's called Twisted Agendas. If you'd let to review it, let me know.

  10. Just stumbled onto your blog and have loved looking through your posts. I lived in Surrey for two years and returned to the States in 2004. I STILL miss my time in London and love that Monmouth Coffee made your list! One of my favorite places to wander around was the Burough Market with a cup of their coffee. Seriously. Makes me want to go back right now.