Going through my collection of guide books, I found one I had almost forgotten – Quiet London. Isn’t it fantastic that such a vibrant, happy city can still offer little havens of peace? One of mine is Paddington Basin. Once you cross the bridge behind the station, you literally step away from commuters, traffic and noise altogether. Time slows down. You walk past narrowboats, some with cute herb gardens. Ducks, water hens, the occasional heron. There are yoga lessons on paddle boards, a fountain for kids to play in. And on Merchant Square, every summer, a giant screen showing sport with lots of deckchairs to relax in. That’s exactly what we did last Saturday. We stopped at Kupp nearby, a Scandinavian café, collected a picnic bag and simply decided to do nothing for a couple of hours. Nothing. Pure luxury.
We did underestimate the Kupp picnic selection though. Meant for 2, it could generously feed 3! Meat lovers will be delighted: homemade Chorizo sausage roll, pork meatballs, Sussex smoked ham, potted rabbit with nutmeg butter… and 3 sorts of fish, smoked salmon and trout and even gravadlax.
In another box, we found a lovely selection of bread (Leksands Knacker Crispbread, Freshly Baked Sourdough & Rye) so we piled our sandwiches (really) high, adding cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, rocket, potato salad, roasted beetroot, pickled vegetables. We over indulged and yet we still could not finish everything. Impressive.
Kupp being a minute away, you can even quickly rush to get dessert treats and coffee. It feels like being on holiday in your own city. Did I mention how good these deckchairs are for napping? Just saying…