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goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

Old Sep 4th, 2010, 01:39 PM
  #41  
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Me again. I forgot to ask this earlier. Can anyone direct me to a large health food/vegetarian type store? There's a very small place in our neighbourhood here but I'm looking for something along the lines of the place we use at home (Torontonians may know The Big Carrot). It's the size of a small supermarket and has a ready-made food counter and eat-in section. We don't really need the ready-made/eat-in part but my SO now has food restrictions and shopping at a large health food store has been really helpful for him.

Thanks in advance.
gtg
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 10:57 PM
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I really wouldn't bother going any further than your nearest Waitrose.

Their food's infinitely better and fresher than the senile and overpriced chemical muck "health" food stores palm off on you. If you buy into the organic con, you'll find there's sensibly (but still over-) priced organic fruit, veg, meat and dairy products sitting next door to the real stuff. And most processed food they sell includes gluten-free or whatever alternatives.

Like most British food stores, it doesn't waste space on hokey branded goods. Its own labels (which now include the all-organic Duchy Originals) are, almost without exception, far superior to the Heinz, Kraft etc stuff that exist to subsidise the media by excessive advertising.
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 05:16 AM
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Wow

Wish I was back in London, hwy well I hope to be in a couple of years.

If you want a bit more 'local' London get the Number 82 bus north, it's not the most picturesque route but you pass Golders Green, then Temple Fortune - the first and possibly the only time I've ever come accross a kosher chinese and a huge marks and spencer that sells nothing but food (unless things have changed recently)

Then you get to Finchley itself, Finchley Central followed by North Finchley,La Scala Italian was nice and further down there was a tiny pizza place that was cheap and cheerful.

Pubs include the Elephant Inn - has Thai food and the Tally ho.

Enjoy
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 05:30 AM
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Oh Goddess, I'm right there with you. It all sounds so wonderful. I'm anxious to read all about your adventure. IT's so cool to be there , living the life.
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 05:40 AM
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I am enjoying your postings so much. Hope you find your Big Carrot substitute. What a great adventure!
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 09:19 AM
  #46  
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Hi everyone,
Just catching up. Today we hopped on the 'replacement bus' which took us to the tube station on Baker Street (across the road from the Sherlock Holmes Museum) where we got the tube that took us to Camden Market which is HUGE HUGE HUGE. I think my description suits it perfectly -- junk, funk and punk. We saw 8" long dayglo mohawks (glohawks?) and yard-long dreadlocks of all shades. The shops and stalls ranged from t-shirts, funky sunglasses and posters to vintage clothing to beautiful craft items and jewellery, antiques and interesting odds and ends. There was a great, great store called Cosmicsomethingorother (I can't remember exactly) which was all dayglo and blacklight and loud music and go-go dancers and lots of fun. I'll go back there sometime to get gifts for the kids. I'm sure we didn't see even half of what was at Camden Market, it's so big. I successfully resisted the urge to buy earrings there -- I could have bought a dozen pair -- but I may not be able to stay strong much longer.

Instead of taking the tube home, we took the opportunity to take the 50-minute boat ride through the Regent Park canal from Camden Locks to Little Venice and it was very pretty and relaxing. I'm glad we did it while the weather is still wam. It's a little cooler and cloudier today than it's been but still no rain.

WHampstead, I've been reading and enjoying your blog. What an interesting neighbourhood this is!

flanner, Waitrose is very nice but doesn't carry the range of products my SO needs. It's a health thing, not just a preference. He has specific dietary requirements.

sashh, I'll look into the #82 bus route -- sounds interesting. There's also a Marks & Spencer food store not too far from here and it looks very nice.

Jewish area? Where is it? Where can we go for a nice gefilte fish and bagel lunch?

Cooking at home tonight and staying in.

Have a good one.
gtg
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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waitrose doesn't carry..... oh my god my world is reeling.

The whole eggs thing can be interesting as we have eggs from caged hens all the way up to organic free range with a variety of chicken frienly options in between. You'll find most brits buy eggs at room temperature but stick them in a fridge, danger is that they tend to pick up smells if there is anything else nasty in the fridge.
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Old Sep 5th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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<< Jewish area? Where is it? Where can we go for a nice gefilte fish and bagel lunch?>>

Lol.

Go stand outside the Wellington Hospital on Friday (near St John's Wood tube station and wait for the Dr's to leave - then follow them up the Finchley Rd.

Golder's Green / Hampstead Garden Suburb/ Temple fortune - basically the No 82 Bus route is fairly Jewish but Golder's Green is the main one. You'll find Jewish Schools, Kosher shops and restaurants.
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 03:00 AM
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Thanks again, sash. Are restaurants and shops all closed on Saturdays or all they not all that frumish?
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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Hello there! I found the whole non-refridgerated egg thing weird too when we moved here hahaha

It depends on where you are in London for the shops open/closed question. For most parts of The City all pubs, restaurants are closed Sat/Sun. But the areas around train stations should have some stuff open. In other areas, like Clapham, Greenwich, West End where you get large residential areas you will find shops and restaurants open like normal. Not many live in The City so it is pretty quiet on the weekends.

Anybody interested in a GTG in Oct? We are around, maybe someone could suggest a few dates?
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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Golders Green is still the epicentre of most Jewish institutions. But later migrant waves (especially Indians and Cypriots) have followed them out to that part of NW London, so synagogues compete with Hindu temples and a Greek Orthodox cathedral. Marrying out has pretty well undermined strict orthodoxy in Golders Green (for that you need the area round Stamford Hill), and no one makes any money catering for just one ethnic group, so most businesses in the area are open on Sats.

These things are never that simple though. The last remaining, Golders Green, branch of London's best known kosher restaurant (Bloom's) went bust in June. Partly because it had spent a century building up a reputation for mind-bogglingly awful service (and, if we're honest, for food that was almost as bad). But also because there are now apparently more kosher restaurants in the area than have ever been known before - mostly aimed at the Hendon area's complex, but quintessentially comfortable suburban, ethnic mix (essentially all the groups that don't give Whitey no bother. Like expatriate Japanese and Koreans here for a couple of years.)

They probably sell more kosher sushi than gefilte fish, though.
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 08:20 AM
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Thanks for the posts and I'm glad I'm not the only one living vicariously through you and a bit envious to boot.

LOL about the eggs-every American I've met says the same thing, though on my great grandma's farm, they never refrigerated eggs either. Please keep writing.
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 09:37 AM
  #53  
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We walk miles every day! Today our first chore was to learn about train service to Gatwick because we're flying to Lisbon on Wednesday (must search threads about Lisbon) and found out that we actually have to rail stations within minutes walk from home. If only for transportation, this apartment is fabulous! We found out that we can easily get to Gatwick in an hour or so from the Thameslink station with only one change. As we'll just be toting carry-on, that won't be a problem.

We used our own West Hampstead tube station for the first time and got off at Baker Street. We noticed there was a campus for the University of Westminster so my SO popped in to organize reciprocal university library service for himself. He'll likely do that at more than one university. Then we walked up Baker Street to Oxford Street, stopping for a sandwich lunch in Pret a Manger (clearly not gourmet but fine for a quick bite), browsed in Marks and Spencer and the Selfridge's Food Court where I was cheered to see a champagne and oyster bar. What a lovely thing. Neither of us eat raw oysters but the idea of shopping and then stopping for a quick glass of champagne is very appealing. My SO, a fountain pen fanatic, browsed the ridiculously expensive pen counter while I bought birthday cards and that was the extent of my Selfridge's shopping (for now). I've already decided that when my SO goes to spend the day at the library, I'll travel up with him and spend the day in the shops.

We walked along Oxford to Regent Street and up there and then along Carnaby Street for old times' sake. The last time we were on Carnably Street was 37 years ago when it was quite different (as were we). By that time, we were exhausted and stopped for a glass of wine, found the tube station and came home.

Tonight we're having dinner at a local restaurant, The Wet Fish, which is recommended on WHampstead's blog. If you haven't read his blog, you should take a look at it -- it gives some fascinating information about this area. Here's the link:

http://westhampsteadlife.blogspot.com/

I'm looking forward to exploring Golder's Green. I think that bus runs right past our house. I'm not so concerned about kosher food just about a nice ethnic Jewish flavour to the meal. I'm assuming from your posts that there are Jewish restaurants open on Saturday in the neighbourhood, yes?

We're here in October except for the 12th to the 16th when we'll be in Hamburg.
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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two rail stations, not to
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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goddess and jamikins...

A GTG sounds great. Apart from 2-3 October and 26-28 October when I'm in Paris I could make a GTG in London.

I live around 2 hours away by train, and as one of my daughters will by then be living in London I'll have a place to stay!

Sundays and Thursdays are generally best for me as they are my days off, but I can wiggle my working weeks around!

So if you can arrange a date between you, let me know and I'm sure I could join you.

Julia
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Old Sep 6th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Just a quick note -- we had a lovely dinner tonight at the Wet Fish (thanks for that rec, WHampstead). Our waiter didn't sound English. Turns out he's from Toronto, here finishing up a Masters degree and he went to high school where one of our best friends taught. I want to say it's a small world but am afraid of sounding trite. Oh what the heck -- it's a small world, isn't it?!!

And so to bed.
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Old Sep 7th, 2010, 01:23 AM
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What about Thurs Oct 7?
My hubby just got his British Citizenship and has his ceremony that day, so it might be a nice way to celebrate!
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Old Sep 7th, 2010, 03:52 AM
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The 7th works for us -- it's unlikely we'll be traveling anywhere since Hamburg will be the following week.
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Old Sep 7th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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gtg - do you blog? I'm enjoying following your adventures here, but many of the expats I know start a little blog when they move overseas. Initially they are started as a way to let everyone at home know how they are doing but usually evolve into an online journal of sorts. We post a ton of photos on ours. Just a thought.

If there is a London Fodor's GTG I'd like to come too! I'm out in the suburbs, but will take any excuse to come into London!
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Old Sep 7th, 2010, 04:01 AM
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I don't know how to blog. I don't even twitter. While I'm in love with the internet and email, this is the first time I've even owned a cell phone.

I just write my fodor's reports and then cut and paste them (with a couple of changes and some personal notes) to friends and family.

Is it hard to set up a blog?
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