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Hungry in London

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August 14, 2014 / English / By
Anna

London. Hmmm. I must visit in winter some time soon as my summer experiences have been a challenge. I loved the parts of the British Museum I got to see before languor washed over me. The Tate Modern was a consumable size, but then the traffic noise and the hustle drove me on to a bus where I happily watched the struggle at street level pass me by.

Later I spent some time on the Tube thinking that a grave mistake had been made getting me, a claustrophobic, into such a place. I was moments away from a screaming meltdown at Piccadilly Circus. As a result, we came home by cab, which cost very little more that the cost of Tube tickets for four adults.

My impression of Tube travel was made much worse by the total lack of helpfulness offered to us by the man in the ticket office, but we were prepared for him as he had been an ass to the woman and child head of us. Whoever thought of putting service people behind glass with only tiny slots to attempt communication through deserves a good talking to. I am sure he or she has never had to try to communicate in a foreign language with a bored, indifferent service employee with a hangover.

Off topic again, so back to food. We had a booking at Kopapa, a New Zelaand fusion restaurant with  a great selection of New Zealand wines, which we indulged in fullsomely. The food was good, but due to the quantity of wine consumed, I cannot recall it accurately. We ordered lots of things to share and the staff were friendly and made sure we could position our baby buggy adequately. All in all a good night if expensive for people not earning UK, or should I say London, salaries.

Having escaped to Notting Hill, the next day food was needed again. Portobello Road was jammed with wall-to-wall people. I could not tolerate it. I really should stop travelling to places that other people find interesting. We peeled off and headed into the more salubrious parts of Notting Hill where people queue outside cafes for lunch.

Actually, outside one particular cafe they were queuing from mid-morning presumeably for morning tea or coffee.

I am originally from New Zealand. We don’t queue. We have never learned how because there was never any need, there being so few of us in the country. The concept is clear to me, and I respect the rules of queuing. I just hate doing it.

But we were hungry and we queued outside 202.

My daughter and her husband held our place in the restaurant while TTG and I waited out on the pavement with the baby. This turned into total theatre. A clutch of three drunks came along with a large bottle of cheap wine. They tried to settle down at a lovely outdoor table and chairs on display outside a very smart homeware shop, and were moved on by a nervous looking young man who showed great courage.

So they set up camp on the other side of the restaurant where we were still waiting. One of them lay down in the street and put his hat out hoping for donations. Instead, someone called the police. No surprise really as he became abusive when his hat did not fill with coins or notes. Two delightful coppers turned up. One rotund fellow with glasses looked as though he was more interested in a good nosh inside than policing the issue, but he coped calmly and admirably.

Meanwhile we got a table. The restaurant was noisy and despite the lateness of the hour for lunch, people continued to queue. The food was good, but little more than upmarket pub grub.

We had a couple of rounds of boutique beer and the bill seemed excessive but was still less than the two hundred pounds for four adults that a night at Kopapa in the city had set us back the night before.

Was it worth it: of course not, but that is what people queue to pay in London and Notting Hill. And in Nottinghill we had enjoyed impromptu theatre, or perhaps I should say observed human drama, while we queued.

Kopapa and 202

Country: United Kingdom

Province/State: London

City: London

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:http://www.kopapa.co.uk ...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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