I love the light in London this time of year. What a switch from Southeast Asia, where the sun follows a rather set clock, year-round, with few leisurely sunsets. In torrid climes, the ball falls below the horizon and suddenly it’s night. But at 51 degrees north, in May and June, you get long, drawn-out evening light.
So, then: one fine weekend day, we piled into the Tooting mobile and began our grand tour. Not the usual or expected tourist sites. First stop: Wimbledon Parkside for a look at the Buddhapadipa Temple, the UK’s first Buddhist temple, established in 1965. A treat! Not every day do we see a Thai temple amid such northern vegetation and temperate air. The murals inside differed from the usual as well. Airplanes and missiles? How about the two-headed demon featuring Muammar Qaddafi and Ronald Reagan? Interesting, indeed.
All of us book fiends, we visited an Edwardian favorite, where I picked up a copy of this and this. We looked for this too, but the store had sold out (our dear guides later gifted us with a copy). Jerry bought me a bizarre little item, which I finished at 5 a.m. one sleepless night. It contains several worthwhile musings on food: “Don’t despise the domestic potato.” And my favorite: “Don’t forget to feed the ‘brute’ well. Much depends on the state of his digestion.”
We also stopped at Rococo Chocolates, where packaging is an art as much as the goodies inside. We picked up a four-pack of truffles filled with Islay whisky, which we’d come to love during our Edinburgh trip last fall.
Can you tell I have a thing for light? We found ever more of it at the Bull & Last, one of London’s most notable gastropubs…
…which makes its own charcuterie.
“…a most thankful acknowledgment of Your Crowd of Favours, both intellectual and Culinary, at my late visit; and both of them heightened by the conversacion and kindness of your Excellent Lady.”