I started writing this post thinking that I could somehow figure out how to explore and explain London’s area guides sequentially but I GIVE UP THEIR NAMING SYSTEM IS MAD.
But I’m sure you want pictures first, so if you want to know why I think London’s gone bonkers with names then read to the end.
When we start a day of exploring, we almost always start it right: with noodles.
Our first stop after such a satisfying breakfast was Old Spitalfields Market, an open-air area covered by a glass roof filled with tents upon tents of handmade art, cheap clothing and a few tasty goodies. On our way to the market we passed by a majestic goat statue as well as an orchestra playing what I think was Matt Smith’s Doctor Who theme.
Nearby was the esteemed St. John’s bakery, famous for its custard doughnuts. Their baked goods are known to sell out quite early in the day, however, and it turns out the customer before me bought the very last doughnut, leaving me to purchase a mince pie to ease my sorrows. Although it was no custard doughnut, the mince pie was a treat, with a solid buttery, sugar-sprinkled crust and mince filling so packed and rich that you could taste the headiness of the alcohol in the fruit. The pie refrained from being overly sweet down to the very last bite.
Another sight to brighten our custardless spirits was the Little Big Planet Christmas tree.
Shortly after we decided to try eating pho at a nearby restaurant. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best experience so I’ll just leave my review here.
Now when I say London’s names are mad, I’m not having you on. There are about a billion billion names for central London’s areas and it’s a little mad trying to figure out how to explore everywhere. I am caught in what we will term an efficiency conundrum, because try as I do to correlate visual maps like this to Google Maps to Time Out’s area guides. This post was going to cover the Spitalfields, City of London (apparently a lot smaller than I thought) and Borough Market, but when I realized Borough Market is mentioned in the Borough area guide, the London Bridge guide and apparently located at Southwark (what?) I gave up trying to follow any sort of logical order.
I do think this conclusion says something about this mad, bursting city of life and things to do and see and eat and hear. Long live this crazy place, and we’ll continue the story of exploration in the next post.