Sunday, July 8, 2012

On Location in Earls Court

For my last day, a Top Ten feature paying homage to my London hood:

Proximity to the museums in South Kensington (especially, the V&A): I can walk there in thirteen minutes. And then I can wander around for a few hours, have tea, wander some more, and walk home. And, it is conveniently close to Snog, which I've raved about before. 

Earls Court Health and Wellness: No one wants to go the Doctor's, but if one must, it's nice when the surgery is brand new and also offers yoga and pilates classes and can give you an appointment for fifteen minutes after you call because you think an alien has planted an embryo in your ear and it's going to burst out Prometheus-style, and they're not upset with you for wasting time when in fact it turns out to be not an alien embryo but some kind of ear pimple.

Holistic Beauty: Much more exciting than the Doctor's, this place has me hooked on Decleor facials.  It's the best me-time place in the neighbourhood and the relaxing starts as soon as you turn from Earls Court Road onto the much quieter side street. Tea is offered on arrival, and there is a waterfall and of course spa background music (last time it was actually Enya).  

Nevern Square Garden: Normally, this is a private garden, but once a year the public can attend an outdoor movie night. Last year it was Dirty Dancing. Tall Guy and I took a picnic (well, a bottle of wine, a package of brownies and a giant bowl of popcorn) and a stack of blankets and settled in for the time of our lives: Can you believe Tall Guy hadn't seen the movie before? I'm not saying it made his top ten list, but he did say it was better than he expected.

It's surrounded by good grocery stores: Sainsbury's, M&S, there's even a Wholefoods nearby... Hey, a tall-girl's gotta eat! (It's also close to the Thames - lots of beautiful running paths!)

Evans & Peel: I like dressing up, and I like themes, so when Kanga told me there was a speakeasy hidden away in Earls Court under the guise of a detective agency, I knew we had to go. Ring the bell, get buzzed into the reception room, which is lined with book cases, give your name to the Private I. who then selects a book from the shelf and the bookcase magically swings open to reveal a resto-bar right out of Boardwalk Empire. Music from a gramophone, sliders, mac & smoked cheese, brownies for dessert, and, to remind you that you're still in England, lavender earl grey infused gin. It's new, so go in a month once staff have had time to settle in.
In front of the bookcase door. PS. I'm wearing heels...
Neighbourhood: A very trendy hairdressing salon where you are always offered tea or coffee and you sit in front of an enormous gilt mirror and watch someone named Marc-with-a-C, or Jayne-with-a-Y someone manage to trim off all your split ends without altering the length of your hair, despite the fact that it hasn't been cut in months.

David Lloyd Gym: This is where I go to yoga classes. But it has a pool. And a sauna. And towel service.

Park House: Sorry, women only. Park House has been my home for the last two months; a cheap and cheerful residence for women. Internet in my room, a balcony, a launderette, cleaning ladies once a week, and plenty of closet space.

Cafe du coin: I come here when I'm feeling French. The breakfast special is two croissants and a coffee. Mais oui! 

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