The perfect day.
Saturday was the perfect day. The sun was shining after a few days of dreary cloudiness and raw, cold weather. I couldn't wait to get outside. The kids and I were sick last week and I spent most of the week alone with them in survival mode. Putting one foot in front of the other and silently hoping the hours would pass quickly so I could take my aching body to bed. I barely touched my camera or laptop and was slipping into a funk. I needed a good day.
We started our morning with a stop at one of the Holland Park neighborhood bakeries. The kids and I each had a mini pain au chocolat and my husband had some chocolate custard croissant sandwich looking pastry that tasted like heaven itself. We walked a few more blocks until we reached the Portobello Road Market. It's the world's largest antique market and must be experienced by every London visitor. It was incredible.
I'm not a thrifter or antique afficianado. Neither is my husband. I wasn't on a shopping mission. It was more of a visit for curiosity's sake. I had no idea what to expect and since I wasn't looking for anything in particular I allowed myself to get swept up in the monstrous mass of people and take in the sights. My husband pushed the kids in a double stroller while I attempted to photograph the market. It wasn't easy. There were thousands of tourists trying to do the same. I hustled a bit and politely threw the occasional elbow on an encroaching photographer but it was worth it.
Check out the paella below.
We then walked back to Shepherd's Bush where we sat down at a little Caribbean restaurant and ate lunch. We had beef patties, jerk chicken, peas, and rice. One of the men who worked there was from Massachusetts which was a cool suprise. It was an unassuming down to earth but good quality spot. We'll be back. I'm glad it's not closer to our apartment because the last thing I need in my life is to increase my beef patty consumption.
They're just so good.
As we walked home we passed gangs of happily drunk Australians draped in flags wishing everyone within earshot a "Happy Australia Day!". There was a soccer (I can't call it football, I can't!) game at the nearby stadium so the restaurants and bars were packed. Drunk soccer fans spilled into the streets chanting their team songs. The kids sat in their seats wide-eyed observing the masses.
When we got home we played in the garden and let the kids have some candy. Once they fell asleep my husband and I watched some Bill Maher, ate a bit of a Belgian chocolate chip cookie (not sure I'll ever eat a non Belgian chocolate chip cookie ever again), drank some wine (I can't believe we finally found a red wine that my husband will drink), and then polished off a bit of hazelnut gelato.
Simple pleasures sometimes make the biggest difference.