Monday, 4 January 2010

Bye Bye 2009- A Retrospective of My Fave London Discoveries

Happy New Year, zesties! This year is going to be a good one. I am so excited to get into gear and accelerate into this new year, better yet, into this new decade, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where I have yet to discover many many new places, gems and secret spots. My New Years resolution: continue on my quest for London Zest. But first, let me recollect on my favourite London discoveries of 2009.

1. My fave neighborhood: Though I live and breathe the Notting Hill life, Farringdon was by far my best 2009 discovery. Quirky, industrial and cool, it offers some of the hippest London restaurants, cafes and boutiques. St John's for a good old British dinner, Modern Pantry for a funky North London breakfast and Quality Chop House for the most bizarre and out of the ordinary steak dinner.

The Modern Pantry, Farringdon

2. My fave brunch: Bistroteque in Bethnal Green/Shoreditch is always my back-up brunch alternative when I am looking for a little jiggy jiggy. The food is delicious, the scrambled eggs and mushrooms are mouthwatering and the avocado on toast has won me over big time, while the musical background provided by the extravagant and bizarro restaurant pianist have made me a usual at this hot Shoreditch spot.

Bistrotreque, Shoreditch

3. My fave shop: Aime on Ledbury Road is the hub of all the designers that are cool (and somewhat affordable) in my book: Isabel Marant, APC, Vanessa Bruno etc. It's a mystery the shop is always nearly empty, when it's just off of Notting Hill's hip and posh-laden Westbourne Grove.

Aime, Ledbury Road, Notting Hill

4. My fave shoe brand discovery: Bloch Ballet flats are the most comfortable, adorable and affordable ballet flat on the planet, available at Bloch in Covent Garden, Liberty's and Selfridges.

5. My fave jewelry store: Kabiri in Marylebone. I have not yet found an equally diverse jewelry store in London. This eclectic shop offers some of the most original, creative and wearable pieces.

Kabiri, Marylebone High Street

6. 2009: the year of the bicycle: Wandering down the streets of Islington, I discovered London's, better yet, Britain's, most beautiful bicycle shop, Bobbin Bicycles. In this gem of a jewelry box, I found my Christmas present, the vintage, the gorgeous, the one and only Gazelle bicycle.

7. London, the land of tea parties: Sketch Tea Parlour and Liberty's Tea Room have given me a new appreciation for Britain's staple beverage and favourite afternoon activity.

Sketch Tea Parlour

8. My fave open market: Borough, of course. No further explanation required.

9. My one and only lunch destination: Leon's on Carnaby, Canvey and Regent Street, organic fast food joint, has me addicted to their Superfood Salad, Beef Chili and Carrot Juice.

10. My fave Notting Hill discovery: All Saints Road, with the yummy and neighborhood find, Italian Ripe Tomato restaurant, and the sweet and lovely The Jacksons, the gem find of the year, with the coolest boots.


  1. Ahhh, All Saints Road. Memories...
    I hope you have bought the chains for your bicycle already. Unless you want a new one for next Christmas ;-)
    How was NYE en France? We had a very quiet one. Looking forward to go cupcaking soon!!

    LOL xxx MM

  2. All your discoveries and pending discoveries make me want to pack up and move tomorrow!!!

    Happy New Year!


  3. ...welcome back London Zest and Happy New Year! Looking forward to a lot of hidden London gems in 2010

  4. Wow! Fabulous pictures. I adore London. I lived near there for 15 years and hope to move back one day. Your post has really motivated me to plan my future move.

  5. lovely round up- and I agree about Farringdon- I need to be out there more! Those are excellent boots too. Happy New Year.

  6. kathy peck leeds4 January 2010 at 07:00

    Just wrote down a bunch of stuff from this post. Can't wait to go to Aime and The Jacksons!

  7. The boots are fabulous! And so is the bike - I purchased a bike last year toward the end of winter. I need to make a great effort to ride it. Such great excercise!

  8. Great post ! Its good to know nioce places to go.

  9. How awesome and lovely is your creative blog. So glad I found you sweetie. As I have English parents, I have been lucky to visit London throughout the years to see my friends and family. I love Carnaby St, Oxford St, Notting Hill and Brighton to get away. Come stop by for a slice of San Francisco from one of your newest followers...

  10. JMW: I know, I actually haven't picked mine up yet but I'm so excited! Though the cold in London may have put me off riding it for a while:)

    Laura: Thanks, your blog is lovely as well:) And San Fran has always been up there when it comes to fun cool dynamic cities.

    Kathy: whena re you coming again? I'd love to see you! xxx
    Rose: to you too! And yes, you shoudl definitely get yourself a pair of those too. They never leave my feet!

  11. lovely finds! i will be making note of some of your 2009 discoveries for sure. and i am still lusting after that bike...!