Since I was a kid I always romanced the idyllic French dream. I chose to study French in school, I obsessed about French cooking and longed for a baguette and brie life one day.
Makes me sad to say that every time I’ve visited France it’s never lived up to the dream the dream. Nowhere near the levels of the Paris syndrome that people suffer. Despite 10 or so visits I never really ache to go back. When I do get the hankering for escargot and steak tartare, as you do, it never results in a Eurostar booking.
Someone once said that the only thing that never changes is that things will change. (Or something like that). London is always changing and that one thing that I really love. Love how the changes subtly happen in areas that you don’t visit that often. One of the quickest changing areas for me is Soho, other than the areas that I’ve lived in, it’s the one area of town that I’ve spent in varying levels of drunkenness in.
It’s fun to regale the history of what used to be in each location… Like the Fetish Shop that became a Hotel Chocolate, then The Nata café. How about my favourite late night sandwich shop, Old Compton Café that somehow became another less flamboyant Balan’s.
How about the video game arcade on Old Compton Street where you used to be able to play that dancing game in the window (Such good memories of that place) that became soulless eatery that was Muriel’s to its latest incarnation of the Old Compton Brasserie.