Saturday, 3 January 2009

My Neighborhood:Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, Kensington

Currently, I live in Charming Bayswater which is located
2 blocks from Hyde Park in West London.
It's great to live so close to the Park because
on sunny days I can jog or if I am feeling lazy walk in Hyde Park.
Also, on Sunny days,( they do happen even in Winter)
I grab a croissant and a thermos and head down and walk through
Hyde Park and sit on a bench and have a great look at the Swans
and the Ducks and think about what I am going to do today
and think about the great mysteries of life, no, just kidding.

Straight through Hyde Park is Kensington Palace
and right next door, The Orangery.
The Orangery is great for tea and many
fabulous ambassadors and tourists dine there.
If you keep walking through Hyde Park for about 20 minutes,
you land on the corner of Marble Arch and Oxford Street.
Walk one block down and the fabulous and super cheap department
store,Primark is there. Primark, is one of London's great
finds. You can find really cool pajamas for £4 and
great berets for £5. All Londoners know and shop at Primark
for the cool chic clothes and great bargains.

OK, back to Bayswater,the neighborhood where
I have lived in for about 6 weeks now.Bayswater,
is opposite Hyde Park is a great little neighborhood,
filled with great Restaurants,two tube stations
( Queensway and Bayswater), a Skating rink, Casino,
Whiteley shopping Mall that has a Marks and Spencers
and an Odeon movie theater, and even a Tesco. Tesco, is the British
version of Ralphs or Safeway, but to me, it's more interesting
because they have all these great spices I have never seen before
(Morrocan Spices for Cous Cous, Bouqet Garni for Stews is only £1.29

Bayswater is big Arabic village, so many restaurants are Persian,
Middle Eastern and Lebanese. Many restaurants sell Shisha, which is flavored tobacco that you smoke from a Hookah.So, if you 'd like you can smoke your shishah and have some Morrocan Mint tea in these very groovy caravan type restaurants. I say,"No thank you! but you go on smoke your shishah and ruin your lungs see if I care." Anyway, it's a big past time in Bayswater.

If you walk West from Hyde Park on Queensway, make a left on
Westbourne Grove, you end up in chic and trendy Notting Hill.
Notting Hill where the famous movie with Hugh Grant and Julia
Roberts took place. My favorite chic street in Notting Hill is Ledbury
Road there is a Pisarro Gallery, a Dyptique pefumery and many
chic clothing stores. Notting Hill also has the cooleset restuaurant bar,
Beach Blanket Babylon where you can hang from the chandelier
in this ultra trendy restaurant that looks like a boat.

If you keep walking on Westbourne Grove you'll end up on Portobello
Road. Portobello Road is a shoppers paradise, it's about 100 stalls
of antique's and vintage finds.It's an absolute heaven and very fun.
When, I went today they had beautiful Swing Music playing,
which added a glamorous touch of a bygone era. If you continue walking
on Portobello Road for about 15 minutes, you end up at High Street
Kensington make a right and your about minutes to Kensington, another chic place for high end antiques. My yoga studio, The Life Center is close by.
If you walk another 5 minutes, you get to Kensingston Church Street,
Whole Foods London is there, being from California I feel like home
whenever I see Whole Foods, I get very excited. Anyway, Kate Hudson
was last seen there.If you keep walking another 10 minutes you end
up on Embassy Row, where you see the most glamorous and opulent
mansions that house the Ambassadors and the like. When, I went last
Sunday, there was a big riot in front of the Israeli Embassy
to protest the Gaza Attacks. You keep walking on Embassy Row
for 10 minutes (or longer if you want to admire the mansions)
and then you end up on Bayswater Road. Again, Hyde Parker right next to you.

You walk two blocks or as the Brits say 5 minutes and there,
you found my home. During this walk I found out later
they were protesting outside the Israeli Embassy for the attacks
in Gaza.

The whole loop takes about 45 minutes and in the freezing cold
is quite invigorating,energizing and very inspiring. It's Great Excercise
Blokes for burning off all the beer that you drink in the pub.

Cheers !

Beautiful, Eclectic Portobello Road in Notting Hill


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