If you’re looking for a mini escape in London, Nunhead offers the scenery and views for quiet reflection and gentle exercise.
Pitched on the hill between New Cross Gate, Dulwich and Peckham Rye, I’d recommend starting off at Telegraph Hill for breathtaking views of the City of London.
A short walk away, Nunhead cemetery offers grand Victoria architecture, in a lush green mini forest, open to all.
The oldest structures, weathered from the years, are classified as ruins and off bounds. They offer scenes from gothic eras, alike those filmed in Highgate cemetery for Dracula.
There’s a steep incline for a cardio friendly circular walk, offering many photogenic moments.
The thick foliage create an ideal temperature in autumn and summer.
The easiest way to get there from central London, is to get to New Cross Gate and walk up the hill
After a 2 year absence, carnival was back, bigger and better than ever.
Only love ❤️💚❤️💚
Just opposite Beacon Rock in Washington there is a turn to the left. Next up the car park and from there a mere 13km round loop through the falls up to the peak.
We encountered a bear cub, on the tough uphill trail however the views over to the Columbia Gorge and the return through the cool breeze of the forest were all worth it.
Here some pics from the route.
As 2021 comes to a close, with winter on its tail, here are some shots from spaces of places that made me stop, and stare.
Happy holiday season my loves.
With life full back to normal in London, the choice of places to try can be overwhelming.
That’s particularly true for those who tip their toes in the sea of options and perhaps are looking for good tasting treats in not too crowded settings.
The following five cafes show how can you be in the know, eat and drink well at cool spots, not break the bank and leave with the appetite to return for more.
1. CINNAMON CAFE, Wapping:
On Cinamon Street, facing an original crane glad warehouse in the still very much cobblestones Wapping, the Cinammon Cafe offers sweet vegan treats and tasty cold brews amongst other flavours that get regular 5 star ratings.
With old wooden school desks and chairs, on a suntrap of a side street, against yellow bricked walls, Cinammon Cafe is a very special and warm corner of the London world to visit.
Coffee brews and vegan cakes for £5 for the lot.
103 Wapping Ln, London E1W 2RW
2. 21 WEST, Smithfield:
Wall to wall windows give way for views of the Barbican towers from this chilled out disco vibing cafe/kitchen. With a typical clean white and beech furniture and light green plants, 21 West provides a sacred feel like escape from the rich backdrop of Smithfield Market, the Georgian town places and brutalist architecture of the East. Perhaps a bit pricier than your average trendy looking kitchen, and with a good reason for it, the beet oat latte and vegan pistachio cake were out of this world.
020 7248 3339
3. ARTFIX, Greenwich Market:
Right from the peak of summer through to the deep winter, ARTFIX is a hide out on a side alley from the busyness of Greenwich Market itself. It has revolving art on the wall, and attracts regularly a unusual/ethical/green/political crowd. The chai latte is to die for as much as the super comfy sofas whilst you’re people watching locals and visitors alike strolling through the market. Management is student friendly offering discounts and a quiet study room at the back. I love this place because I’ve personally had many memorable moments here working away, bumbing into and meeting friends. I am a big fan and pleased Greenwich got this uniquely colourful calm addition to its cafe portfolio.
4. DOCK Cafe, Blackwall:
In one of the new developments next to Blackwall Dlr, right by the bus terminal, you’ll find Dock Coffee across the plaza, next to the playground. What’s special about this place is the delicious Vietnamese sandwiches (bah-min), coffees, friendly service and we’ll brewed lattes in addition to the usual sugary snacks you’ll find in other brew serving joints. I love this place because it’s a suntrap, has a cozy upstairs space and can always find savoury food.
Unit 9 Elligood Court, 21 Goddard Way, London E14 0RG
5. GELATO A CASA, Republic, East India
Homemade gelato in all delicious and non traditional, vegan and for doggie flavours, Greek baklava and sweets, tsoureki and mean protein shakes and coffee. Gelato a Casa is known for the 5 star ratings, uber friendly hosts and beautiful surroundings. In the summer you can bask under the sun surrounded by greenery and view of the dock. In the winter, the lit trees and cozy passage offers a cool spot to chill out in the evening. They are open til late which is an extra bonus. Try once and you’ll be hooked.
1 Clove Cres, London E14 2BA
Andrew Baldwin’s open air metalworks automaton exhibits are warmly welcomed at a time when everything is in lockdown in London.
The playful sculptures, moving parts and colourful lighting tell fantasy stories, a parallel universe within deep winter’s energy of colourful skies.
Located in Trinity Buoy Wharf, earthbound figures matrix into a melting pot of sensations made in fairy tales.
Winter wonderland materialised.
Well here we go again, only this time things are a bit different.
In London, there are noticeably less people out after dark, but shopping malls and cafes are still serving take outs and grocery essentials.
This means the earlier photos from the lockdown in spring bear a significant difference to the way urban landscapes look now.
For example, there are a fair amount of labourers and cleaning staff going out and about their business as usual. Spaces look less derelict and more like Sundays before London got crowded millennium onwards.
In urban green spaces, people don’t consider being in fairly crowded conditions, a threat from covid anymore. Benches are open and cyclists have equal access to parks.
The level of interaction with larger crowds is a personal preference.
On a recent cycle with Simon around trendy Hackney Wick and guardian reader pretentious Hackney on Victoria Park, the crowds were heavily dense in many public play areas and entrances.
Away from the long queues outside to pick up coffees and take outs in places where some think it’s important to be at, our was certaintly picking a fish and chips from a good old reliable affordable local chippy just east of Victoria Park to the Wick.
No queues, no wait, no hassle. After a five minute walk, we were enjoying dinner on a bench in the park.
In my next blog I will write about meaningful ways to spend preparing for Christmas holidays and Christmas day itself.
Many get carried away with meaningless cultural traditions, missing the point. Culture can be as oppressive as American culture’s cultural non existence, when it adds no experiental reflection or mindful rest.
In a time of self reflection I couldn’t be luckier having met four days after landing back from a two month trip away early August 2019. And here we are still are today.
Back in the park, we sat watching the lowering sun introducing the mist, the temperature drop, the sensation of colours struggling to define themselves in this new reality.
I suppose this time, it is also the first time of the year’s season under covid for our urban neighbourhoods too. Well I say, we can only pay homage to this another new reality for the family albums to come.
Really, what’s there to complain about? And why not to?