Afternoon folks. Today we will be flying the flag for of one of my absolute favourite places in London, Market Row and Brixton Village. Now, technically they are two separate markets, but as I never visit one without the other, I have mentally grouped them together as one of my designated happy places in the city. There are actually four major markets in Brixton, the most famous being the outdoor Brixton market, full of energy and noise and satsumas toppling from fruit stalls lining Electric Avenue (the first market street to be lit by electric lights in the 1880’s). There is also the Reliance Arcade, a splendid art deco/Egyptian/retro oddity housing an eclectic mix of kiosks for all your phone top-up/greeting card/Dandy Livingstone vinyl needs. Both are grand, but as I am ruled by food I haven’t had to peel myself, Market Row and The Village win out as two of my all time foodie favs.
Afternoon, folks. You join me on a great day. I am about to capture an afternoon tea experience like no other. We are venturing to Gloucester Road to The Bailey’s Hotel, an “iconic” four star Victorian townhouse where guests can enjoy, and I quote:
“A refined afternoon tea, which is sure to please your taste buds. The combination of British charm and Victorian grandeur ensure a memorable afternoon tea in South Kensington”.
Sounds just the ticket. Fair enough, I wasn’t aware of this “iconic” hotel before I made the reservation, but that’s not important. Bars in Blackpool used to label themselves world famous all the time and even the postman hadn’t heard of them. What is important is that my mother and I are off to enjoy quality mother-daughter time together, mostly involving her telling me to wipe all of my cutlery on a napkin and put plenty of paper down before I use the toilet. You know; girl talk.
Afternoon, folks. I came across this sweet spot during a rare trip to replenish my biscuit collection and thought I would report in (I usually pay over the odds for a cousin of The Stig to deliver groceries on the back of his Deliveroo bike, but I was passing through on the bus and had a sudden hankering for double cream Oreos. I think we’ve all been there). So, I made a detour into the main shopping area of Acton which is… er, it’s quite… er, I mean, it’s very… er… Look, no one visiting London is going to make a beeline for Acton. There isn’t an Acton tourist centre. It isn’t overburdened with blue plaques or historical sites or a faded grandeur which can characterise other districts of London (hiya, Streatham!). Acton High Street is a fully functioning, practical, utilitarian street where you can buy a shower hose, a bottle of Tixylix and a box of Mieszko Michaszki chocolates without having to take three separate tube journeys to find them.
Hello again, folks. Today we are indulging the London Landmarks tea at the Town House, Kensington. As the name suggests, this is a themed tea commemorating the landmarks that make up London’s Iconic skyline. Actually, they don’t commemorate them exactly. If we were to accurately portray them as they have been the last few years Big Ben would be surrounded by Twiglets representing scaffolding and the phone box would be decorated with cards of naked women with a river of pee dribbling from the bottom. Personally, I’d have preferred something a bit more obscure. The Whitgift Center, Croydon, carved out of marzipan, perhaps. The Vagina Museum, Camden, sculpted from an avocado with the pit removed etc. But that would attract a pretty niche market of one, so here we are, eating a praline Gerkin and living it large
Welcome back, folks. Let me introduce you to Askew Road, one of my favourite places in London. Don’t worry if you’re never heard of it. SITC loves to take you to seemingly generic London streets in parts of the capital you don’t care about. I only know of it because my mum lives nearby and she regularly invites me over to criticise my life choices and foist cans of soup and corn niblets at me as though I’m the human equivalent of a harvest festival.
Happy 2022, teaholics! Do I have the perfect post to kickstart the new year. I’ve enjoyed many a afternoon tea and will continue to do so till I am forced to take a sideline gig on OnlyFans dedicated to knee porn, but I suspect that this is the peak of my tea-drinking dalliances. This is the afternoon tea by which all other teas will be judged. It’s Fortnum’s, folks, and it’s a showstopper