London has always been synonymous with musicals, offering in avant-premiere in Europe, the best shows coming from Broadway. The offer is infinite and it could be hard to decide the one to book, especially when you are there for a couple of days. No worries, we have worked hard this last year (helped a lot by my parents every time they come for the week-end), and after seeing a dozen of them, we are eventually able to share our selection. It will depend on your taste for sure but if there is only one you can’t miss, it is definitely the Fanthom of the Opera! We put our favorites below and a top tip to pay cheapest tickets at TKTS. Enjoy!
Such a long time since my last post on this blog I know…but it was for a very good reason: a 3-month trip around the world. I’m just back from this incredible experience through Peru, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines. If the travel is not the topic of the blog – nevertheless, you can discover all about our itinerary and our favorites on Polarsteps, account: M&S – I wanted to share some memories with you. Even if we mainly chose the places recommended by the locals, few ‘London style’ spots crossed our paths. Here below, my selection of London addresses abroad.
Our last day as official Londoner bloggers since Charlotte eventually left her flat the day after…It will be the opportunity to develop our London/Paris newsletter and she has already planned to come in August. Phew! The blog will go on. No visit of museum for this special occasion but just a chill and sunny walk in East London. The recipe for some perfect little moments shared with a friend? It can be summarized as below: start with a picnic at Victoria Park, in front of the lake and the Japanese House, talk for hours and explore the surroundings. Find a nice little street, such as Lauriston Road, and chose the tiniest-cutest coffee shop which has a small hidden garden: Loafing. Treat yourself by sharing a chocolate bouchée with your ice coffee. Then, after a 30 minute walk, meet some friends at Old George, a beer garden and a vintage pub close to Bethnal Green. If you still have little time, book a spectacle at the Rich Mix Art Center. Happy East London Day!
Second edition of our newsletter across the Manche. Charlotte succeeds in her new position in Paris but her heart is still in London so I’m lucky enough to see her on a regular basis. With the summer – hot temperatures in Paris / still uncertain weather in London until recently – it’s more than ever the time to get the most of the 2 cities and to start planning your week-end. Look at eurostar.com or snap eurostar (if you’re more flexible) to spot the seasonal promotions. For this summer, we’ll talk about music festivals: Love Box in London/Lollapalooza in Paris, terraces and outdoors – barbecue versus “buvettes” and we mention a famous palace… All the links and details below, happy Summer across the Manche and let us know what you try !
First edition of our new newsletter, we will share with you once a month from now on, our best of in Paris and London. Many of you live between the 2 cities for business or personal reasons and the same goes for us. Charlotte is about to start a new professional commitment in Paris, if you look for a flat to buy she’s the one to contact with. Fortunately, she plans to keep going back and forth , the opportunity for us to exchange cross-looks on 3 main topics: the new foodie places, a cultural outing and the event you can’t miss. The Pergola in London vs Papa cabane in Paris, the 200th anniversary of the Dulwich Picture Gallery vs Cezanne at Orsay, the wine week vs the Jazz festival, which city will seduce you this month? Get the most of it with the description and the links below.
In the South part of London, Dulwich village is a green and protected area far from the hustle and bustle of the Center of London. Easily reachable by train from London Bridge or Victoria, you will discover this “chic village” spirit specific to the English countryside. Get off at the stop “West Dulwich“. 3 minute walking, you will find the Dulwich college, a boy boarding school created in 1619 by Edward Alleyn. More than 1.500 students today, the college welcomed before some famous characters such as Raymond Chandler. Walk through the Dulwich park then and grab a tea to the tiny and charming pavillon located in the middle. After that, you can head off to the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Founded in 1811, but the building dated of 1817, by Sir Francois Bourgeois it’s the first gallery, the purpose of which is to open art to public (usually a museum’s mission). To celebrate its 200 anniversary this summer, a temporary outside pavillon will open its doors on June 2nd. Discover the creation by IF-DO, the architect who won the competition organized by the gallery. The exhibition I don’t want miss? Sergent, watercolors. Easy peasy, it will be at the same dates, at the same place…It’s time to hit the road again, ok time to walk to Dulwich village Road, the high street of the area. Excellent lunch at the Italian restaurant Rocca, also present in South Kensington, with a special mention to the parpadelle with rabbit ragu! Get lost in the charming streets nearby to admire the huge houses (Do people own only manors there?), the little churches and the endless schools. Welcome to Dulwich!
One of the first posts of the blog was dedicated to our favorite restaurants in the Farringdon area. I liked a lot the one star Michelin Club Gascon, the delicacy of the mains and the excellent wine list but I had been a bit disappointed by the decoration very classical without a true spirit. I was so happy to discover they have also opened a gourmet bistro/delicatessen called Comptoir Gascon, just 5 minutes away. There, you will find a true tribute to the south-western France. Ochres bricks, large wooden shared tables and a selection of authentic products to take away, no doubt you are in “Gasconnie”. We chose to eat in for a 2 hour-session of comfort food: rillettes, saucisses au couteau with home-cooked mash potatoes, neck pork with Espelette Chilli, a pastis and a languedoc glass of wine, just the perfect match. If you will find the most delicious products coming from this countryside, Comptoir Gascon tried also to reinvent the classic ones. Why not taste the lillet-based Spritz (Lillet is an old french alcohol based on fruit liquor and wine) or the Eton Mess, plum and cointreau? A perfect address for those who are looking for an excellent touch of sun at an affordable prince – they have also the Baranis and the Cigalon for those who prefer the south-eastern France.
If you are visiting Little Venice and its somptuous surrondings, please don’t miss my favourite hidden gem in London: Clifton Nurseries , the oldest nursery in London. Built in the middle of beautiful white stuco villas, it’s the paradise for any gardener if you want to indulge yourself with some plants, flowers, furniture or even barbecue but also for the traveller in need for a peaceful and colorful break. You will find a cute little café : The Quince Tree Cafe with a very good food and pastries, and you could even book it for a wedding or a private party. You won’t be able to leave without buying a little souvenir for your home, your balcony or your garden, believe me!
Je suis sur le point de vous dévoiler ma petite adresse coup de cœur de Londres: Clifton Nurseries . Si vous vous baladez vers Little Venice, osez pénétrer dans le somptueux quartier qui entoure le canal. Non loin de la station de métro Warwick Avenue se cache la plus ancienne pépinière de Londres (1851), construite au milieu de majestueuses villas en stuc blanc typiques du quartier.
L’entrée sur Clifton Villas n’est pas très visible mais une fois entré dans cet espace hors du temps et de la ville, un sentiment de quiétude vous envahira. Vous trouverez tout ce qu’il faut pour le jardin, bien sûr et bien plus : des meubles d’extérieur, des barbecues, un boutique de décoration et même un pop-up store, et tout ca dans plusieurs bâtiments.
Mais parlons d’abord des plantes, fleurs, cactus et autres végétaux . Que vous ayez un jardin à paysager, un petit balcon à égayer ou un intérieur à fleurir, vous n’aurez que l’embarras du choix et il sera très difficile de repartir les mains vides. Je vous laisse découvrir un petit échantillon.
Mais la cerise sur le gâteau, c’est le petit café trop mignon et sa terrasse au milieu des fleurs, The Quince Tree Cafe qui propose petit-déjeuner, brunch, afternoon tea avec de délicieuses pâtisseries entre autre. Vous pourrez même le réserver pour des soirées privées ou même pour un mariage bucolique.
En gros si vous êtes dans le coin c’est LA petite adresse à découvrir. Clifton Nurseries, 5A Clifton Villas, W9 2PH London. Plan
Posted by Charlotte
Two bank holidays in a month…. No doubt, May is coming. You will have plenty of time to discover and to enjoy what London has to offer. This month, we’ve made with Marine an eclectic selection where you could see us in our favourite playground. From art and flower exhibitions to open air theatre or Peckham Rye Festival, it’s time to plan your weekend activities. Welcome in May and welcome in London.
Until the 25th of June, the Barbican – this excellent cultural center- houses the exhibition: The Japanese house : Architecture and Life after 1945. Do not miss this opportunity to better understand the evolution of the lodging after the WW2 in a country devastated by the bombs and in which a large part of the population is homeless. Under the US occupation (1945-1952) the Japan is influenced by the Western culture, its magasines, cinema, etc…Nevertheless, building houses is re-building a nation and a so-called “tradition debate” took stage in the society. The new accommodations should be inspired by the Palace style with raised floors, airy and open spaces or by a rural come-back with earthen floors and large roofs? A new genre called “home drame” emerges until the 1950’s and considers every social change under a domestic perspective. You will discover the famous directors Azu and Naruse who testify of this intellectual current. From the 1960’s, the Japan know a new era of prosperity. But the growth of the economy creates overwhelmed and contaminated cities. More and more, the architects reject the urban life and think the house like a safe heaven. The Tea house, silent and independent small room, build outside the house become a must-have. You will end the exhibition by a more immersive approach, you will enter the gardens, the kitchens, the bathrooms of the Japanese houses where some shoes and food products seem to be given up, to help you to project yourself in this domestic life. Enjoy your travel in Japanese land!