Monday, 11 June 2012

Day 1: 9th June 2012 - London/Essex

As I was flying out tomorrow (the 10th, despite it being the 11th when I'm writing this) it was decided to spend a little time in London, as check-in at the B&B where we were staying wasn't open until 6pm, due to it being a privately owned guesthouse near the airport with very little to do in the area.

Upon leaving the impressive newly renovated Kings Cross station, instead of taking the tube I decided to take my usual route down Judd Street, where one of my favourite bookshops exist, a language bookshop. As there wasn't too much time however, we pressed on and I decided to take a slightly different route to normal down one of the other side streets. This is one of the great benefits in London - you can take a different street you've never taken before, and discover something new and exciting that you've never seen. This was what happened to me on this occasion, as I found a marvellous bookshop called Judd Books which had a great selection of everything from travel and history to politics and languages, and all at very reasonable prices. In particular, there was a great section on the Balkans featuring some quite rare books. Made a mental note to return here on my way back home, as baggage allowances wouldn't allowed to take everything with me!

After leaving Judd Books, found another quirky little bookshop in a basement just off the Brunswick shopping arcade. Not quite as good value as Judd, but a great find nonetheless and it would be easy to spend a few hours there! As time was marching on we moved into the centre of London for a bite to eat before taking the train to Stansted for the bus to the B&B. The B&B was a pleasant surprise. Mercifully quiet, on a peaceful street 3 miles from the airport in the heart of Essex, it is easy to believe you are somewhere else entirely. The hotel owner was actually Polish so had a gold chat with him before settling I'm to put room. I think I made him homesick for his homeland!

After a quick drink in the room, we removed to the bar down the road that had been recommended to us, which was very small but turned out to be a delightful little country establishment where a drink and a home-cooked meal could be enjoyed. Characterised by wooden-beamed ceilings and food available until 11pm, little more could be asked for in such a pleasant location! As it was already 10 however, and we had already eaten, we retired to our room after one drink, to get a good nights sleep for tomorrows flight to Genova.

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