Posts Tagged ‘tastour’

Southall – Little India in London

A stroll in Southall (zone 4, get a train from Paddington Station) is like stepping in another country altogether. This, my friends, is Little India. You will glimpse saris, sikh and buddhist temples, silky fabric in stores, entire aisles filled with dozens of varieties and shapes of peas and lentils, flashy coloured treats, extra-sugary but absolutly irresistible like the very orange jalebis, rainbow ranges of bracelets, sun filled guavas and mangos, refined necklaces of gold, street food, shelves curving under the weight of spices, let alone the terribly exotic vegetables that you have never encountered before…

I barely dared to take pictures – it seemed to break the charm of this neighbourhood so community-linked. I spent however, a good hour Quality Food  collecting the ingredients for the most amazing dahl, finding amazing squashes, discovering a box of Thums up, the Indian cola, adding a bottle of pure cinnamon syrup, masala mix to flavour tea… I could not leave without trying the panipuri, crunchy  cup of bread filled with chick peas, potatoes and spices and of course stopping at the pan shop to have one of those funny leaves filled with all kind of contents and meant to have digestive vertues. Mine was sweet themed with sugar coated fennel seeds, rose petal jam, coconut… A fireworks of flavours.

Look out Tastour for culinary walks in that neighbourhood – an excellent introduction to the culture, history, food of Southall. Ideal when you have a thousand questions and no idea where to start.

Ideas for a week-end in London: June 03-05, 2011

Inspired by Tastour, I’m thinking of a themed week-end. La vie en rose!
Rosé wine. Fentimans’ rose lemonade. A bouquet of peonies. A raspberry and litchee trifle. Cranberry scones and cristalised rose petals.
What’s your program? Looking for ideas? Here are a few:

* Renew your shelves by swapping books.

* Photograph London at dawn.

* Have a sweet tooth. There will be an incredible gingerbread house, with a popcorn chimney and chocolate furniture at The Brunswick. I have heard that clouds will be made of meringue and that cupcakes grow in the garden… Kids can have a bite, listen to accordion or tales. The fabulous Lily Vanilli will also give gingerbread men masterclasses. Not to be missed!

* Art does recyle. A very colourful project in Spitafields.

* Royal beasts take over the Tower of London.

* The Old Truman Brewery will be home to quite amazing pieces of art.

* Al Fresco cinema? Sure, but on the city rooftops!

* The zoo will open late every Friday in June and July. With silent discos and cabaret, you will roar of pleasure.

* Regent Street will turn Spanish on Sunday: giant paellas, drums, dancing horses…

* Temperatures should go up to 22 degrees. That definitely calls for a cool pint in a beer garden.

* We’ve been begging her to – Lily Vanilli is opening her café on Columbia Road. Stop there for a treat before getting those bunches of flowers.

* Pssst: Banksy’s back at the Andipa Gallery.

Ideas for a week-end in London: May 27-30, 2011

Bingo! This week-end is forcasted sunny AND will last an extra day. Around me, there are constant talks of Pimm’s jugs.hammocks, barbecue-parties, of the pleasure of walking barefoot in the grass…

* Is there a spirit in the Old Operating Theatre?

* Couldn’t get a ticket to the Chelsea Flower Show? Cheat, enjoy it differently with dedicated cocktails and afternoon teas.

* Put on your dancing shoes at Spitafields. You can even learn to tango there.

* The V&A late opening is dedicated to Yoji Yamamoto. Fashionistas should rush there.

* Always wanted to own a real theatre costume? Now is your chance: this pop-up sells them at affordable prices.

* Stik is back!

* Or would you prefer miniature street art?

* Foodies, the party’s in Hampton Court this week-end.

* Fancy a picnic but don’t want to prepare anything? Try this. enter the code MAY15 for an extra 15% off the price.

* Come and admire the fab sport cars at Covent Garden before they race away to the Gumball 3000 rally. Gentlemen, we promise this is not a ruse to let the girls fo even more shopping…

* Take some height at the Sky Bar.

* To keep those little pirates busy, click this way.

* Yummy! There is a new Hummingbird Bakery branch in Spitafields. Street art & cupcakes, now thta’s good news. Follow the crumbs and you’ll find me.

* Top Shop hides a pop-up with limited edition clothes. It is hiding behing the florist shop…

* Discover London the yummy way with Tastour. I have just registered for their famous Indian food walk in September.

* Visit a Huguenot House.

* Sip a bubble tea.

* Pssst! Next Wednesday, go and see some opera on Trafalgar Square.


This Week End in London

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