Covent Garden, London

Don’t you just love London? Its colours, its pace, its smiling, purposefully vibrant people? There are many places in the world where I can feel at home, but none like London, Covent Garden and partiqulary the British Museum. Every time I go back there I feel like coming home. Very strange indeed, as I have never lived in London. Yet, my heart is immediately awakened each time I step out of the train at the St. Pancras stations. A deep breath, a smile and my soul is ready to be enraptured, ready to be pleasantly surprised, ready to be re-born again.

Even the market places resonate its radiant splendour. Whether you are walking on Portobello street or quietly sitting at Covent Garden – life is generously offering its exuberant display. Street performers, entertainers, opera singers, orchestra musicians, book sellers, ice-cream sellers, exotic spices, high-end boutiques, cider bear, paella, antiques, Apple Store, StarBucks cappuccino, Le Pain Quotidien morning breakfast…

London has so much to offer. Still, I like it when out of the blue it is offering us the unexpected. The classic brand shops are always a delight, especially now with the fast approaching Christmas season, but small, local, street food markets are a hidden jewel, full of charm and cheer.

We stumbled upon one in Kensington recently and this market was really special. It is one thing to sample classic street food, it is something entirely different to see a multi-cultural community standing side-by-side selling their pride home made products, chatting about family and politics and sharing a heart-warming smile.

At one side was a man from Africa, confidently chopping coconuts and selling fresh coconut milk. At the other side was the Italian family selling sausages and salami. Next to them one could buy cheese from France, Moroccan flat pan cakes and chicken pastilla. Further on Portuguese custard tarts, English carrot cakes, French macaroons and Turkish delights. Shall we try the Moroccan flat pancakes or the Turkish kebab? What about the meringues or the Victorian sponge cake? Spoiled by choice we have the time of our life and when the stomachs are full and the feet tired of walking we reach out for a cab and we are heading happily home, grateful for the day, cherishing all exciting impressions and looking forward to embracing one more day in this amazing city.

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