Guess where I was yesterday!
That’s right! I spent several hours late Saturday morning/early Saturday afternoon in the midst of a childhood flashback, exploring the Portobello Road market. I couldn’t stop singing songs from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” all day long! It looks a bit different these days, though…
Portobello Road is probably one of my new favorite parts of the city. Even though the street is crowded with people and you’re always in someone’s way, I loved the character of the place… stalls line the street, full of jewelry, antiques, books, scarves, vintage clothing, and odds and ends. Street musicians (and excellent ones at that, might I add) are scattered up and down the sidewalks, some playing jazz electric guitars, others on upright bass singing motown hits, and others impersonating the Blues Brothers. Further down the street, you hit a series of food stalls, the most amazing smell you will smell in your life. Sprinkled into the stalls full of fresh fruit and vegetables are tents selling the most tantalizing food – German bratwursts, incredible paella cooked in huge vats right in front of your eyes, Afghan kebabs, ice cream stands, rows upon rows of fresh-baked pastries, pubs overflowing with people drinking coffee and tea next to signs proclaiming deals on traditional English breakfasts of eggs, ham, and baked beans…. Honestly, the most sublime experience! Plus, George Orwell apparently owned a house there at some point. The same house is also currently up for sale (ahem….)…..
Plus… a great opportunity to be super touristy with my housemates!
After our adventure on Portobello Road, Ashley and I grabbed Maddie and headed to Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived until her death in 1997. The palace has been transformed into a massive art installation called the “Enchanted Palace” while the rest of the building undergoes renovations… designers and artists by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and William Tempest have created whimsical, fantastical, and creepy designs based on the lives of seven princesses who lived in the palace over the decades. You have to pay to enter the building, and once inside follow a maze of rooms full of low lighting, shadowy corners, whispering sound recordings, and hidden clues to the identities of the seven princesses. The installation is actually very modern and beautiful, even though you don’t get much of an education about the palace itself. We would have gone to High Tea at the Orangery next door too, if there hadn’t been a wedding going on!
All in all… a very successful Saturday in London!
P.S. Click on the pictures to see them full-size. I’ve also gone back and filled in some earlier posts with a few pictures… for more pictures, go to my album on Facebook.