Posts from April 2014

Sally / E9

A portrait series of people who call London home.

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How long have you lived in London?

I have lived in London for 28 years. Apart from University and a year living abroad.

What makes someone a Londoner?

A Londoner is someone who gets bored after about 48 hours anywhere else. Someone who feeds off exhaustive energy of the city, and someone who has that bizarre balance of having extreme patience of the many people around them and at the same time non at all.

North London or South London?

I was born and raised in Battersea, South London but I’d have to say North London (well east technically). I have lived here for seven years. I tried moving back South for a while but nothing seemed to happen spontaneously, everyone was married and I hated that there were no 24 hour off licenses.

Favorite thing about living in London?

London is such a huge machine, so many people from so many backgrounds and countries have made their lives here. I love that no matter how bad your day is, if you look out at the view over the Thames from the walkway bridge between Waterloo and Embankment you can really believe anything is possible.

Least favorite thing about living in London?

That no one talks or smiles to each other on the tube.

Favorite spot to grab a drink?

A margarita at Machete on Lauriston Road.

Favorite spot to grab a bite?

Breakfast by the pond at The Pavilion in Victoria Park.

Taxi, Tube, Bus, Bike or Walk?

If I could afford them- Taxis all the way. Otherwise my lovely bike affectionately named ‘Lady Bike’ and if she is feeling particularly spunky that day ‘The Duchess.’

Where do you go to get away from the city?

Warwickshire or Dorset, for fresh air, home cooked food, animals and a big telly.

 

Cornwall

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Itinerary: A long weekend in February celebrating two friends’ birthdays in Cornwall.

Travel Time: About a 4.5-5 hour drive from London. You can also take the train or fly but when we head down to the coast we like to bring our yellow labrador, Bonnie, along so driving is usually the best option for us.

Accommodation: We have been lucky to have some dear friends who own an incredible house in Rock which is located just across the way from Padstow in Cornwall. It is the perfect set up for a group of friends to enjoy a trip together on the coast in a very relaxed way. And the location could not be any better with easy access to the beach, the ferry to take you to Padstow or the shops up in Rock which are all walking distance away.

Highlight(s): We have had to good fortune to be invited to spend time in Cornwall on a few occasions, the most recent of which was over a long weekend in February (we have plans to head back sometime this summer and will definitely do another post with more summery images then). The beaches and dunes that surround them in Cornwall are absolutely stunning and one of my favorite things to do is go for a long walk. Depending on the time of day, the difference between high and low tide is quite dramatic and can change the  landscape drastically, sometimes even cutting off the path you may have previously taken. I love photographing all of the different textures and colors in the sand, dunes and rocks on these walks. It really is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth.

Our dog Bonnie is huge fan of the water and can spend hours fetching sticks, eating seaweed and just exploring all of the new smells as we amble across the sand. She definitely gets in a good workout and usually spends the rest of the day snoozing by the bay window looking out over the boats going by as we warm up with a cup of tea. I can’t wait to get back here and capture some more of the beauty of the Cornish coast.

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Columbia Road

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One of my absolute favorite places to go to in London is the flower market on Columbia Road in East London. It is held every Sunday (unless Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday that year) from about 8 am to 3 pm. If I could go every Sunday, I would, hands down. I prefer going earlier in the day rather than later as it can get crowded, especially on a nice day. But if you do happen to visit a little later in the day you are guaranteed to get a good deal on a bunch of flowers.

Typically we will take the Northern line to Old Street or the Overground to Hoxton and walk from there (only about 5 or 10 minutes). You know you are headed in the right direction as more and more passersby will be carrying armfuls of fresh blooms, herbs or plants. Once you arrive, it is like a bustling scene from a movie- you’ve got people crowding in looking at the flowers, traders yelling “A bunch for a fiver!”, musicians filling the air with lovely tunes, kids running around playing…

After making my first pass through to see what is available, I usually make a beeline for the Lili Vanilli Bakery, which is tucked down a little alley way, to grab one of their delicious sausage rolls and a coffee (they also have an amazing vegetarian version on offer which is just as good as the original). With a full belly, I’ll then go through the market a second time to purchase whatever caught my eye that day. I usually have an idea of what it is I am looking for, be it whatever flower is in season, fresh herbs to add to my window box, a new plant for the house, etc. But if I don’t have anything specific in mind, there is always something beautiful I find. I don’t think I have ever returned home from the flower market empty handed!

With those purchase made I then like to walk behind the flower stalls and take a peek into the shops that line the street. You can find all sorts of things here from old school candies to vintage furniture. Then depending on how full my belly really is, sometimes a little brunch is in order. A few places in the area I recommend are Brawn (the closest option as it is on Columbia Road), The Beagle (located next to the entrance to Hoxton station), and Bistrotheque (a little bit further of a walk than the other but not that bad). All in all, not abad start to a Sunday!

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Reid / NW1

A portrait series of people who call London home.

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How long have you lived in London?

Just over two years.

What makes someone a Londoner?

You have an irrational fear/hatred for anyone that talks to you on the tube. Also you have at least one story of a horrible encounter on the bus/tube.

North London or South London?

I have only lived North, so I guess North, but we are looking to move South.

Favorite thing about living in London?

The people. Despite the massive differences in people here, in general there is a common decency, courtesy and quirkiness that is remarkable for such a huge city.

Least favorite thing about living in London?

Portobello market on a Saturday and Victoria Station during rush hour- too many people.

Favorite spot to grab a drink?

In the summer, the Dove in Hammersmith, the rest of the year any pub will do. I am partial to the Flask in Highgate when they have a fire going.

Favorite spot to grab a bite?

The Bull & Last pub in Highgate.

Taxi, Tube, Bus, Bike or Walk?

All of them! Taxi when I’m lazy, Tube when I need to get there quick, bus when I have the dog, bike and walk when it’s nice out.

Where do you go to get away from the city?

Cornwall or Hampstead Heath (not really away but it feels like it!).

 

San Sebastián

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Itinerary: A long weekend spent eating our way through San Sebastián.

Travel Time: A 2 hour flight from London to Bilbao followed by an  hour drive to San Sebastián.

Accommodation: On this trip Reid and I traveled with three other friends so we decided to rent an apartment in order to save money and have access to a kitchen. I believe the apartment was booked through Airbnb, Homeaway, or a site similar to one of these. We ended up in the prefect location which was a quick walk from the beach as well as the old town of San Sebastián. San Martín Market, only a short walk away, was a great place to grab groceries and everyday items as well as an exquisite selection of meat, fish, fruit and veg.

Highlight(s): Located in the Basque country of northern Spain, San Sebastián is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the border of France. The area is known for producing great cuisine which was perfect for our visit as we were there to soak up some sun and eat! On our arrival, one thing I noticed straight away was how clean the city was. I guess having lived in NYC where trash can be abundant on the streets (and quite smelly in the summer time) you really notice when a place isn’t like this.

Most days were spent lounging on the pristine sands of La Concha Beach (which was literally a five minute walk from our apartment) and swimming in the beautiful bay. The tide change was quite dramatic here and if it happened to be high tide at a busy hour it was a little squished. Luckily, this didn’t seem to last very long. When we had enough of the sand and the sun it was time to head to the old town for some Pintxos. Pintxos is the Basque equivalent of Spanish tapas and in the evening as you walk among the bars and restaurants, they all have these delicious treats intricately displayed for you to enjoy. Most nights we would hit up three or four different Pintxos bars in order to get a good sampling of the different options. Lots of people come out for this which gives the place a very jovial and celebratory feel.

San Sebastián is also known for having a high concentration of Michelin Star restaurants so we booked lunch at Arzak (which has been awarded three stars). From the moment we arrived the service was impeccable and you could tell that every details was thoughtfully planned. We decided to have the tasting menu which was around 12 courses and lasted about 3 hours, but they flew by and at the end of it we were all very fat and happy customers. This was definitely a meal of a lifetime and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. I can see us making a return visit to this beautiful city as I feel like there is a lot more to explore and I wouldn’t mind filling my belly with some more delicious food!

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*shot on a Rolleiflex with Kodak Ektar & Portra 800*

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