Tag Archives: London

Maida Vale moving

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog for the last few days as we’ve been busy moving.

After three years in furnished London flats and with a baby on its way, the nesting instinct finally kicked in and we decided it was about time to surround ourselves with our own stuff.

We’ve always lived in Maida Vale and have completely fallen in love with this central, yet quiet residential area. We were lucky to find an unfurnished flat just 100 metres from the old one. The moment I walked in and saw this balcony & view I was sold:

And I can’t wait to sit here and read a good book when the weather gets a bit better.

All that’s left to do now is buying a sofa and all the other things that you need for everyday life. We’ll also be going to Denmark soon and I can’t wait to bring all my ceramics, pictures etc. over here.

Oh, and of course there’s the unpacking: right now I’m sitting in the living room with a cup of (microwave-heated) tea and untoasted toast, contemplating this mess:

Afternoon tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury

I’ve lived in London for three years, but never once have I had a proper afternoon tea. To rectify that I ventured out in the rain yesterday to meet up with a friend at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, not very far from Holborn station. I’d done a bit of research and Bea’s came with a lot of recommendations.

This tiny place looks more like a bakery shop than a tea salon/tea room. It’s quite crammed and busy, with people hurrying back and forth behind your chair in the narrow room. And you have to order in the bar.

But Bea’s easily make up for all this with their very low prices and relaxed atmosphere. Their “sweet afternoon tea“, consisting of a selection of cupcakes, mini brownies, mini scones w. clotted cream & jam etc. only cost £12. I wanted something savoury as well (on weekends you can pay £3 extra and get a few savoury mini baguettes) so had one of the cupcakes substituted for a cheese scone (which I didn’t really like, too heavy and fatty).

I’ll definitely recommend this place if you’re after a cheap and less traditional alternative to stuffy and horribly over-priced places like The Ritz (read about fellow blogger Helena Halme’s disastrous Ritz experience here). Personally this one was a bit too sweet for me and I really missed the traditional cucumber sandwiches, mini quiches etc. that normally comes with a full afternoon tea.

So I’ll make sure to come during the weekend the next time, or maybe just order a “cream tea” as the scones w. clotted cream & jam were my absolute favourite.

Bea’s of Bloomsbury, 44 Theobald’s Road, London, 0207 242 8330

My favourite London “rock pub”: The Ship in Wardour Street (plus a few words on Danish bars)

Sometimes all you want is to sip your beer while headbanging to Pearl Jam’s Jeremy….or move your lips to some other awesome rock song by Tool, Nirvana, Faith No More, NIN, The Smiths, Rage or The Cure. Or what about some punk in the shape of Dead Kennedys?

In Copenhagen it’s seriously difficult to track down places with proper rock/indie music. My favourite place used to be alternative Nørrebro-based music venue/club Stengade 30, but most of their clientele are now half my age and I don’t feel like being mistaken for a mum who has arrived to pick up her daughter.

So for the last few years I’ve been hanging out at Riesen Bar on Vesterbro when in DK. Brilliant place with a great vibe and decent music, but thanks to the ridiculous partial Danish smoking ban you often have to cut your way through the smoke.

But back to the UK where we head straight for The Ship in Wardour Street for some  rock & punk action. The pub is conveniently located just opposite Sam’s work and also serves as watering hole for many of his colleagues.

The interior is kind of tacky-ugly with red ceiling and beer towels and the world’s dirtiest carpet. But hey, the music is amazing, the bartenders tattooed, pierced and laid-back and it’s clientele and vibe as non-pretentious and non-trendy as can be.

People are simply here to have fun and enjoy a few beers with their mates. Gotta love the British pub culture!

And this is what it looks like when it’s dressed up for Pirate Night/Halloween:

Second-hand shopping guide: Highgate

Området omkring Highgate byder skam på andet og mere end fin kirkegård. Blandt andet nogle lækre genbrugsbutikker, endda ret billige og med super flinkt personale i dem alle. Man spotter dem så snart man træder ud gennem den lille dør på Highgate Tube Station. Jeg vendte mig nemlig mod venstre for at tage et billede af Sam og “hov, hvad var nu det grønne der i baggrunden?” (jeg, jeg har en indbygget genbrugsradar):

Highgate is not all about the beautiful cemetery: the lovely green area is home to some pretty brilliant charity shops and the staff was very friendly in all of them. You don’t even have to run around looking for them, as the two first two are right in front of you when you exit Highgate tube station. I was busy photographing Sam when my finely tuned charity shop radar spotted a green shop front behind him:

Jeg susede over de regnvåde gader og ind i den to-delte Mind genbrugsbutik, og det er en af de bedste, jeg har set i et stykke tid. Bøgerne kostede kun 1.49 pund og tøjet var også billigt – så blandet Ferragamo-sko til 15 pund og andre fine mærkevarer. Butikken var overskuelig og rar at være i, og helt sikkert en af dem jeg ville besøge i tide og utide, hvis jeg boede tættere på.

I hurried across the street and through the doors of the fabulous Mind charity shop. The shop is divided into two parts: one for clothes and accessories and one for books. The books were really cheap, 1.49 for the paperbacks, and so were the clothes. I spotted a pair of Ferragamo shoes for 15 pounds. The shop had a nice vibe to it and a very friendly woman behind the counter. I would pop in every other day if I lived in the area.

Mind, 329 Archway Road

Ville ønske at jeg kunne sige det samme om RSPCA naboen med den skriggule facade og temmelig højtråbende skilt om, hvordan man stopper katteaids. Den var en lille proppet rodebutik, virkede halvbeskidt, lugtede ikke for godt og udvalget var r–kedeligt. Hvem ved, måske jeg var der på en dårlig dag.

I wish I could say the same about the RSPCA charity neighbour with the screaming yellow shop front and the “neutering cats against aids” slogan but it was not nice at all. Small and crammed and kinda smelly-dirty. The clothes selection was pretty zzzzzzzzz too.

RSPCA, 335 Archway Road

Fortsæt mod højre indtil du kommer til Southwood Lane og drej så til venstre ad den.

Now it’s time to head in direction of Highgate Village, so continue down Archway Road until you can take a left up Southwood Lane.

Fortsæt ligeud (og husk at nyde den gode udsigt ind over London på vejen) indtil du ender i Highgate High Street, dvs. hovedgaden i Highgate Village. Hvis I kigger godt efter på billedet nedenunder, kan I se endnu en grønlig facade helt ude til venstre.

Walk up Southwood Lane until you reach Highgate High Street and Highgate Village ( make sure to admire the amazing view over London on your way). If you look closely at the picture here, you’ll spot a green shop front to the very left:

Jep, den er god nok – endnu en dejlig genbrugsbutik: en Oxfam dedikeret til bøger, spil og musik og den slags lir. Super fint udvalg men samme priser som i resten af London, dvs. 2.49-3.00 pund for en paperback.

Yup, it’s an Oxfam. This one is dedicated to books, games, music etc. and they have a good and broad selection. Paperbacks are around 2.49-3.00 pounds, so same price as London’s other Oxfams.

Oxfam Books, 47 Highgate High Street

Og hvad ser man så der, på den stik modsatte side af gaden?  Her ligger den anden del af Oxfam-butikken, og den her er dedikeret til tøj og den slags. Priserne var lave og udvalget godt (gjorde et godt fund, som jeg snart vil vise jer). Dog temmelig rodet og præget af pladsmangel. Men butikken skulle til at lukke for renovering, da jeg var forbi, så forhåbentlig bliver der rettet op på dette.

Luckily there’s another Oxfam on the opposite side of the high street, dedicated to clothes and accessories. Prices were really good (I found something very nice that I’ll show you soon) but the shop is small and crammed. When I visited they told me that they were going to renovate the shop, so hopefully it’ll get a needed face lift. But all in all a nice little shop.

Oxfam, 80 Highgate High Street

Den sidste butik i denne omgang ligger lige til højre for Oxfam-butikken. Cancer Research UK har et ok og ret moderne udvalg og alt var i pæn stand. Jeg fandt ikke noget, men vil helt klart kigge ind igen, næste gang jeg er i området.

Last shop is the Cancer Research charity shop a bit further down the street. I only had 5 minutes to browse but it looked really nice. The selection was pretty modern and prices not too high. I’ll definitely be back.

Cancer Research, 72 Highgate High Street

Og hvis du er gået sukkerkold efter shoppinganstrengelserne, så bliver du altså nødt til at kigge forbi hos High Tea of Highgate. Jeg havde kun tid til et hurtigt kig gennem vinduet, da Highgate Cemetery kaldte lidt længere nede ad vejen. Men det så super hyggeligt ud, og jeg skal helt sikker tilbage og prøve deres “cream tea“.

If your blood sugar levels are a bit low after all the walking and charity shop browsing it might be a good idea to head for the lovely little tea shop High Tea of Highgate. We were in a hurry to get to Highgate Cemetery so I only had a sneak peek through the window. It looked very cosy (and they seem to get good user reviews) so I’ll be back soon for some “cream tea“.

High Tea of Highgate, 50 Highgate High Street

Highgate Cemetery on a both rainy and sunny Sunday afternoon