28 June 2009

The New MHS?

It was nice to wake up to the glorious sunshine this morning and I'm glad I decided to take advantage of it by going for a walk early on, as thick cloud seems to have descended over London Town, although it's still very hot and humid. After I had been to Marylebone to get my new Young Persons' Railcard (in case anyone at National Rail cares), I headed back towards Regent's Park. I'd been planning to walk to the top of Primrose Hill and then back down the side and then back home via the Broad Walk, but on impulse, I decided to pay a visit to the oh-so-chichi shops of Regent's Park Road.

The shape of the park around Primrose Hill has always been confusing for me and it always takes me longer than it ought to find the part of Regent's Park Road that has the nice little shops and cafes. I could look at a map, but I always assume (wrongly) that I can work it out. I say, "always" but actually, I've only been to that street twice, the other time being about six months ago when it was about 25 degrees colder than today. Aujourd'hui, it was a very nice place to have an amble (although I didn't spot any of the celebrity local residents), with many of the bakeries, patisseries and fromageries exhibiting their wares on tables in the street, under their canopies. I was extremely tempted by some huge and gorgeous-looking brownies but even though I hadn't yet breakfasted, I restrained and had a custom-blended fruit juice at a posh, New York-style deli/juice bar (watermelon, lime and fresh mint was definitely a refreshing combination for such a hot morning and it satisfied my sweet tooth, temporarily), which has a tiny, leafy courtyard garden at the back for consuming one's healthy beverage.

Meanwhile, yummy mummies towed husbands and designer-clad kids in and out of the posh boutiques before rewarding them all at a little toyshop-cum-cafe. I didn't buy one of their delicious-looking macaroons either and wasn't quite tempted to buy anything at the lovely, independent bookshop, Primrose Hill Books.

I will definitely be remembering the place as an alternative to Marylebone High Street when the sun is out because there are about the same number of cafes and patisseries but more of them have outdoor seating and also, the street is a bit quieter than MHS, which has an almost-constant flow of car traffic. Apart from the odd patisserie, RPR feels a little less French than MHS too--despite the cafe society of RPR--which is, I guess, somehow reassuring.

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