Saturday, June 11, 2016

London 2015 Day 14: Hamelys and London Whole Foods

London 2015 Day 14: Hamelys and London Whole Foods

This morning I wandered by the Le Pain Quotidien, a French bakery chain near my place. Open till 9pm? nice. The bread is excellent quality and the sell you a 1/2 loaf which is good. And they have a slicer! Good good. I got some break for lunch, Sainsbury's for some cream cheese and took along some tomatoes, smoked salmon and a yoghurt cup. (In case you need all the details -- ha) :)

A quick stop also in the morning at Selfridge's (fancy!) to grab some Nespresso Capsules for my desk. As is usual in an Nespresso sales location, they tried to talk me into a million things, but I just wanted a couple of rows of Nespresso Capsules. I tried this morning to take the Bus in but it was a bit of a fail "As usual, we have about a 20 min delay on Oxford St." they announced. I ditched the bus and walked the rest of the way.

I made my lunch today instead of buying and it was great. People were hilariously quite impressed that I had brought something in -- I suppose maybe that's not as usual given how easy and ubiquitous a place like Pret-A-Manger is. It was quite funny. Everyone said "Ooh, so healthy!" when they saw me making my own stuff. Haha. The runners again amazingly helped me with the tea time.

Selfridge's is fancy.

Just my epic luck, there is a 1 week free trial from the YMCA club right near here, "The World's First YMCA" (really? wow!). They have great gym equipment and a POOL!!! Yes. Super friendly staff. This is a MUST to maintain some semblance of normalcy given the amount of biscuits I am crushing here. I'll probably go this weekend and check out the pool.

I walked home via a slightly larger Sainsbury's and got some tupperwares to help with packing my lunch for work. And then a walk to Hamley's, the legendary multi-floor toy shop I remember from 20 years ago! They had a bunch of funny, super soft bears to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte!

The "Premium Bears!" and "Baby Safe Bears!" signs were hilarious. I love the addition of the exclamation mark. Good times, hilarious and awesome.

This was a really cool shop. I skipped past the girly stuff and up to the train and car sets :) There was a cool British Telephone booth made out of Lego.

More wandering took me to Piccadilly Circus. And I found a real grocery store finally!! There is a Whole Foods in Piccadilly which I figured would be too much like a US one and not have a ton of local things, but figured it was worth a look... turns out it was AWESOME! Totally excellent, lots of local stuff, and some great options. Even the prices were pretty reasonable and not over-the-top given the quality of everything. They had interesting local yoghurt (you know how I feel about that), excellent cheese from England and France, and it was pretty stellar. A little bit like the the other shops though, I still found myself wondering where all the produce was -- I suspect maybe I'm just used to California where there is constant fruit and vegetables everywhere you look -- but I was surprised that even at Whole Foods (of all places!!) the produce section was comparably tiny (and not 1/3 of the store like in SF). Funny and odd. One day I will find some vegetables to purchase in this country! :)

Home for a nice dinner of some of the fun stuff I bought (Gooseberries!!! Dolmas! Elderflower soda!) and to plan a biking trip for this weekend.

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