Thursday, April 20, 2017

The View From Up Here: The SkyGarden at 20 Fenchurch Street


Yes.  20 Fenchurch Street is that hulking form that you'll see rising above you


like someone's bad sci-fi dream as you gaze across the Thames from the Tate Modern


or Hay's Galleria at London Bridge.  It makes "the Shard" (across the river) look positively inspired, artistically speaking.


20 Fenchurch Street is otherwise known in London as the "Walkie-Talkie" or, the "Cheesegrater".


You can use your imagination (or click here).  Thankfully, there is the SkyGarden.  Free admittance.


Glorious views of changing London.  The Natwest Tower - at left - in the 80's and the "Gherkin" - at right - in the 90's once dominated the skyline.  But the City is astoundingly different now, with no signs of construction - and thus change - stopping, if one is judging by the building crane count.


Some liken the SkyGarden to an airport lounge.  But that IS a tiny bit excessive and unkind.


It's quite a pleasant place.  If you love light, greenery, clean air, open views and.....cakes.  (Plus two bars and two restaurants.)


Sadly.  Despite the compelling visuals, the 3-color cake at center left did not pass the discriminating 


Paradis palate test.  It was artificial tasting and too sweet and otherwise flavorless and expensive.  So you're forewarned.


There is a viewing platform outside.  Very cute seating inside also includes Stark bubble sofas and blankets for chilly days.


You must book your visit in advance.  Do NOT though, think that it will be an inexpensive outing with the kids and bring your own food (like my parents would have done).  THEY WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU.  

If you don't buy them some of those cakes!!!!!!!!!! Hello???!!!!!








Sunday, April 16, 2017

Barrafina - Time Out Says Its London's Best Restaurant(s)


So who were we to argue with Time Out London?


It was Mr. Paradis' birthday and since he's a counter-sitting and tasty bites

(Adelaide Street:  Fennel, pear and radish salad and Oyster, lime and chilies)

kind of a guy, Barrafina seemed the obvious choice.  And a new London option

(Drury Lane: Scallop seviche)

in a town with endless options.  Centrally located with three locations meandering

(Drury Lane: Crab bun)

out of London's Soho (Leicester Square Tube) and around Covent Garden....

(Drury Lane: Sea bass special with pickled radishes and pepper aioli)

Barrafina is three Barcelona style tapas bars with three separate but somewhat overlapping menus.

(Adelaide Street: Doughnuts and Chocolate Sauce)

Most of the food is cooked right in front of you.  No reservations taken.  Counter seating mostly.  We had no problems getting in - and very much enjoyed - our 1:30-ish quieter lunchtime with sweet and solicitous servers.  It was so good, we went back the next week!  (Because you know, the good things in life don't always last so you have to grab them while you can.)

HOPE IT WAS A GOOD EASTER FOR YOU ALL!!!!!!!









Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Green and Pleasant Land That Loves Its Flowers


Leaving L.A. in Spring is hard as you might imagine - missing our epic wildflower bloom......


as well as developments in my own garden.


But missing Spring in England is hard, too.


Let's face it, there only so many numbers of Springs in any person's life......


And when the English do it so well in truly c-u-l-t-iv-a-t-e-d


ways.  It's such a gift.  That asks nothing back.


Only that you stop and linger for a moment, or several.


Inhale.  And celebrate.


Honor Mother Earth and your own time on the planet.


And make a promise to yourself


to buy some bulbs next fall.  










Monday, April 10, 2017

It's Spring! It's Spring! Isn't It? Oh YES. It is.


Just came back from two weeks of sunshine and mild temps in London.  Of all places.


Came back to a garden full of artichokes


and orchids.


Our California drought is OVER officially.  (Yay!)


How is Spring going where you are?  All pics above, Jo Chambers of Studio Legohead via Print and Pattern.   More L.A. and London pics soon!