#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 7- Postman’s Park (and App!)

Postman's Park - Detail

Good morning, the first week of #365DaysofLondonBaby went by so fast! Time to close the week with a hidden gem – the Postman’s Park with its Watts Memorial to Heroic-Self Sacrifice.

The park gets its name from the former Old General Post Office nearby and is located on the site of the old burial grounds and churchyard of St. Boltoph’s Aldersgate Church (thanks, Wikipedia!) . For those, who do not know where that is, its between the Museum of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral, bordered by Little Britain and Aldersgate Street.

At 2500m2, its not bigger than an average supermarket (see the picture to the left, taken from Footprints of London’s website), but its still one of the biggest parks within the City of London, and certainly one of the most beautiful ones. It contains a memorial of the “Heroes of Self-Sacrifice” – people who lost their lives by trying to save others. The memorial consists of more then 100 wall tiles under a shelter, describing the names and deeds of those who died (see pictures). The latest addition is a recent as 2007, of Leigh Pitt drowning while trying to rescue someone. It is truly touching to take the time to read through them. There is even an app to let you explore all heroes – click here for further information.

Postmans Park

The park is open all year round from 8am to 7pm or dusk, whichever is earlier.

The City of London has a great website of the Park, which even features an Audio Tour of the park by a City Gardener.

For the exact location of the park, please see below.

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 6 – London’s Cable Car

“Emirates Air Line towers 24 May 2012” by Nick Cooper at English Wikipedia.

Good morning! An ordinary Thursday, and you might have just gotten out of a crowded Bus or Tube and be moaning about TfL and the London Transport. While overcrowded public transport is not the best of London’s features, one TfL line is usually empty and provides a great travel experience – The “Emirates Air Line”, London’s Cable Car.

Emirates Air Line Night ViewIt opened on 28th June 2012, just in time for the Olympics, and is an official line opened by TfL from Royal Victoria Dock (DLR Station Royal Victoria) to the Greenwich Peninsula (Tube Station North Greenwich or by boat). The journey takes you up to 90 metres (300 ft) over the Thames and takes about 10 minutes (five minutes in “Commuter Rush Mode” from 7-9am; 12-13 minutes in the “Evening Sightseeing” mode after 19.00 in the evening). At this hight, you have a great look over the O2 Arena, London Docklands, London City Airport, Canary Wharf and the skyline of the City of London on the horizon. The night picture is one I took at a  crossing a few months back.

Next to an “ordinary crossing”, if you want to make it a “true experience” – or if you are an aviation geek , you can visit the “Emirates Aviation Experience” right next to the North Greenwich Station. It costs £3 for Adults and £1.50 for Children (Discount Prices available in connection with a return ticket for the Cable Car). There are even real Boeing 777 and A380 flight simulators (to be booked separately for £45 for up to 4 persons for 30 min).

All practical information on opening times, fares, accessibility etc. can be found at TfL’s Website. Oyster/ Travel Card Holders get a discount on the fares, contactless is not yet accepted but if you go to the ticket window with the contactless card, you’ll still get a ticket for the Oyster Card Price.

#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 5 – Jazz in the Crypt (St. Martin In The Fields)

The days are getting slowly colder, so what could heat spirit and soul better than some hot Jazz? Probably the most unusual Jazz Venue of London is hidden underneath this church on Trafalgar Square (Image taken from Wikipedia).

The Crypt of St. Martin in the Field does not only completely modernised housing an  excellent cafe and shop, but on Wednesday nights, the Crypt Cafe hosts a long-standing series of Jazz concerts. The line up varies for all tastes and prices are a bargain at normally £3.50 -£12. Concerts start at 8pm every Wednesday. All info, the program for the next weeks, ticket etc. can be found here.

Not into Jazz? St. Martin hosts many other concerts, mostly classical almost every day. Several times per week they will even have free Lunch concerts and their Friday evening Candlelight concerts present seminal classical pieces in a unique atmosphere at reasonable prices. Oh, and you can also stop by the Crypt Cafe any time during the day to escape the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square.

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 4- Fix Coffee

Fix CoffeeGood morning! Hopefully, you had a good start in the week! If not, let Paul Currie cheer you up! Tonight is his Comedy Show at the Soho Theatre :). No, I am not running out of ideas yet, no worries. #365DaysofLondonBaby is about well-known places / activities to do, but also just to share some of my favourites, so every now and then, I’ll introduce a nice restaurant / shop etc. that I got to know since my time in London (some of my locals or otherwise). I am neither taking any commissions from the places nor do I claim they are the best or unique in London, I just like them and want to share them here.

Fix CoffeeEnough intro! Today is not about a corner pub as in the picture on the top of this post…wait…almost. Its about Fix Coffee – an independent Coffee Shop in Whitecross Street, occupying the site of a former Corner Pub. Just as in many of the excellent coffee places in this area, you can expect good coffee (they use a house roast by Crimson and Sons), pastries, sandwiches and a fridge with lunch grub.

Fix CoffeeWhat I like about Fix Coffee though, is the atmosphere. It has a good vibe and its share of “Hipsters with Macbook” sitting and working there. But its not over-hipster / “too cool for school” and has a friendly atmosphere, almost like a good pub. You can just hang around on the sofas and let the time pass and – hipster or not- you’ll feel welcome. The pictures here I took on Sunday late afternoon, so excuse the lighting, but just wanted to show the place as it is. Cozy and welcoming.

If you are around on Lunchtime during the week, you can also check out Whitecross Street Lunch Food Market, one of the best Street Food Places in London, existing since a time when Street Food was not even Hipster – but that’s a story for another post 🙂

#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 3- Paul Currie Comedy Show

Good Morning Monday. The Best Day of the week…or so…If you need some cheering up, book some tickets right now – one of London Baby’s Favourite Comedians is playing a show at Soho Theatre tomorrow. As a disclaimer, humour is always a question of taste, but Paul Currie’s show “Release the Bamboos” (which he will play in Soho Theatre” was the best show we have seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.

He is doing stand up comedy with a twist, a very physical show, completely absurd (see second picture below) at times and definitely not for the weak hearted.But one of the best laughs you’ll have in a loooong time.

Tickets are only 10£ and can be booked here.

#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 2- Chatsworth Road Market

Good morning to a Sunny Sunday! Sunday is market day in many areas of London. If you feel like venturing to the East, make yourself a wonderfully lazy Sunday morning / afternoon at Chatsworth Road Market . 

Chatsworth Road marketChatsworth Road market
Chatsworth Road is one of those typical East London Streets that is now changing, with Restaurants, Coffe and Bike Shops next to the traditional traders. The market reflects this as well, featuring street food, artisan goods and regular market goods (mostly non-food, except for the wonderful Fish Monger, see picture). If you need a break you can enjoy a Brunch in one of the many places (I’ve been to Pivaz and the Avocado Mash Toast was very tasty) or pop into the E17 (very fancy) supermarket and restaurant. Let’s hope Chatsworth Road will keep its balance and not weed out all the old in its bid to become Hipster!

All info on the road, shops, traders, events can be found here.

Chatsworth Road Market E17Chatsworth Road Fish Monger

#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 1 – The Geffrye Museum

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Good morning and Welcome to this very first post of #365DaysofLondonBaby!

As a start, I wanted to introduce to you the Geffrye Museum. In my almost 5 years in London, I cycled past it many times, always planning to go, but never did. At the beginning of this month, I finally did and I was not disappointed. While its a place to go all year round, I wanted to start with this tip- as the Museum Garden closes at October 31st for its Winter Hiatus, so go before and have a  look to see this jewel!

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Quick and sweet (as is the plan for #365DaysofLondonBaby 🙂 – what is the Geffrye Museum? I

wpid-wp-1445672104290.jpgIt’s a “Museum of London Living” through time. Situated in an old Almshouse (with beautiful gardens) and a stunning new architecture wing for the 20th century exhibition , it features 11 “period rooms” – living rooms from 1630-1998 with original furniture, accessories etc. Each room is preceded by an explanation how a London house and room would look like in these times to provide some background and understanding.

wpid-wp-1445672059080.jpgThe Garden is likewise styled in different styles of English gardens and is a tranquil Oasis that you would certainly not suspect to find in this bustling part of Kingsland Road.

The Museum is situated in 136 Kingsland Road, EC2 8EA and all information on visiting can be found here.

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Your Halloween Guide to Theatre Land

London’s West End is one of the most famous Tourist Destinations in London. An unrivalled number of Plays and Musicals attract countless visitors and Londoners alike, and the area is always buzzing. But there is more than meets the eye….as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, the Ghosts of Theatre Land awake…

As London Baby is unfortunately not specialised in Ghosts and Theatreland as such, we have teamed up with the ticketing website www.fromtheboxoffice.com . To be honest, I have not personally used them yet to buy tickets (I have been so busy running around discovering new places that there was no time for theatre :)) but I love their blog – rather than being a bland sales channel, one can really tell that they have a passion for theatre land- bringing not only the latest news on shows, but also tell background and historical facts about plays, theatre land and much more.

So enjoy their guest post, where they take you into haunted theatre land and give you a rundown of the best shows going on at the moment! If you feel like heading to one of the shows, you can always check their website for tickets. I do want to clarify that I have not received any benefits, commission or anything for posting this, but I am happy that in this way, I can bring some different than usual tips and stories for you!

Theatreland’s Greatest Ghosts Continue reading

#litfest launch -A walk through Shakespeare’s London

Imagine you walk on the Southbank, just passing the Globe Theatre- you blink with your eyes and as you open, the scenery has changed. Out of the Globe Theatre sounds a massive noise – a crowd yelling and commenting on the latest play, some firecrackers exploding. Next thing you see is a bear being paraded through the field, cheered on like a modern day celebrity. Welcome to 1603!

#litfest launchThis is the walk that Dr. Matthew Green took us on by presenting one chapter of his book “London- A Travel Guide Through Time” during the launch event of the Literary Walks Festival (#litfest) on Monday night (my first blogger’s invite, yeah :)) Who knew that Bear fighting was one of the most popular past times of the Londoner’s back then, only to be rivalled by a visit to one of thousands (!) “Tobacco Houses” where the “Tobacconists” indulged in consuming the “holy herb” in an almost meditative fashion…

It was a great “walk” we took and I am looking forward to “walk” through different time periods in the book. However, I hope that I will make it to at least one of more than 50 walks of the #litfest! In case you need some more inspiration, read Rob’s Sneak preview post on the festival here.

Happy walking (or reading)!

Sober October, Stoptober? Not with London Baby! Exciting times ahead!

Time is flying and London Baby is now existing for a bit more than 6 months! It’s October and in the tube and on billboards, it screams “STOPtober” and “Sober October” – all for a noble cause but does not sound like fun! The good news is that London Baby is far from stopping – on the contrary, after the summer break, I have been busy with a few ideas, reaching out for feedback and trying to make connections within the bloggers’ sphere.

Therefore, I am very excited to tell you that it will be a great October (and hopefully more months) ahead here on London baby!

  • London Baby’s first invitation to a blogger’s event, organised by the lovely people from Footprints of London. As London Baby Readers, you might know about their Festival of Literary Walks this October (if you don’t, check Rob’s Guest Post with a sneak preview!) – and they invited us to the launch event – hopefully something worthy to report on 🙂
  • As you can see from the picture in the blog post header, London Baby now got their own Mini Cards! They look pretty cool and hopefully they’ll help to spread the word:)
  • There will be a guest blog post on Halloween in Theatreland
  • There are a few regular posts cooking, on the capital ring and on Art and Exhibitions this fall
  • Last but not least- I am very excited to announce a big project for me on this blog:

 #365daysoflondonbaby

My goal with this blog is to share “my London (adventures)” with you readers. Writing blog posts has been a lot of fun for me and I sincerely hope that they contain useful information and will make you as excited about these things as I am. However, writing them costs a lot of time, so posting has not been as frequent as I would have loved to. At the same time, one of the most common (and helpful) feedback I have gotten is “the posts are very interesting, but they are sooooo long, so I often don’t read them or just scroll through them”… So I thought of ways to improve this situation. And I came up with a challenge for myself – writing a small post every day. This can be just a picture, or a small recommendation, or a commentary of what’s going on. I am not sure where it will lead to. And if I can make it all 365 days. And whether you’ll like it. But I  want to give it a go. This will not mean the “regular” posts will be a thing of the past- I still aim to post them in about the same frequency as today, to tell more in-depth stories and (hopefully) working together with great guest bloggers.

I aim to launch #365daysoflondonbaby towards the end of the month when i have built up a few ideas and first posts. And I also wanted to ask YOU if you like to be part of it! Do you have any great ideas, favourite places, quirky observations that you like to share? But you never considered yourself a (guest) blogger? Let me know and you might be one of the 365 days. Yes, it will make my job easier 🙂 but most of all- I hope that this could also make the blog more interactive, a true place of sharing London.

I am very much looking forwards to this new adventure, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!