Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Aaahhh. Summer in London. May 2011.

The morning was a bit drizzly, so we set off with umbrellas. We walked about seeing the changes in London’s shops. Times have changed. Changed very much. The iconic HMV store which stood proudly for so many years, dominant on Oxford Street while the imposter's came and went, think Virgin Megastores, think Tower Records the imposter from USA, have all shut down. HMV the company is burning. No one buys cds any more, no one buys DVDs anymore. HMV bought UKs largest bookstores Hatchards and Waterstones and now no one buys books. HMV is really in trouble. Our friend Marco was aghast when he discovered that HMV store has shut down. I remember my first visit there in 1985 and I just went crazy buying music. I have been buying music like crazy since then. Of course then I bought Long Playing Records, LPs remember them? Then it became CD’s and now HMV is gone. Ok there is a store at Piccadilly and another further down the road but this one was iconic. Very very sad.

Last night sitting at the Pub looking out I suddenly realised that the shop I was looking at may have the answer. Arti has a dress that she had got made in Jaipur/Udaipur. This had a border. The dress was on its last legs so she was looking for another border. I must clarify that Arti is not yet on her last legs only the dress is! Not many people had much of a clue as the where in Mumbai to get the border. In London was this shop that seemed to have all the answers. So we walked in and the shop was an Aladdin’s Cave, treasure trove of borders, ribbons, braids call it what you like. She had such a wide selection. She bought 3, job done, painlessly, with a knowledgeable store assistant and pleasant surroundings. Have a look at the shops website. Gives you a taste of things.

Lunch was at a “Pan Asian” Chinese cafe/diner, something less than a restaurant but not a dim sum place. It’s called TpT Cafe which is an abbreviation of 'tai pai tong', a type of open-air food stall popular in Hong Kong. Lovely food. Arti had a vermicelli with duck and preserved veg while I had egg fried rice with fried pork topped with baked egg curry Macao Style. Baked egg curry sounds odd. It’s actually egg combined with the delicious Japanese curry powder poured on top and then flashed under a grill so it’s like a curried omelette on top of the rice.  Huge portions. Nice.

We then watched some rather good television. Food vitamins nourishment for the mind. London like Coca Cola truly refreshes every part of the body.

Dinner was at an old favourite Black & Blue which is a Burger Steak place which we both like. We shared a Burger with bacon and gruyere and a rib eye all washed down with a bottle of Merlot [yes the Merlot was an uninspired choice but we were in a restaurant with a small wine list, this seemed decent, which it was].

There is so much to do and just so little time. Book shops music shops Borough Market the legendary Harrods the cook shops the Museums Tate Modern, V&A Imperial War Museum, a walk along the river, the eating ............ Onward Christian Soldier!!!

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