Of coffeeshops and kings

February 7 2004

Well it turned out to be a great day in London.  One thing I really enjoy when travelling abroad is shopping -- not that I spend a lot of money, but just checking out the shopping areas and different stores, people watching, etc.  So I started the day (after a quick Starbucks caramel macchiato) at Sloane Square, as the hotel concierge recommended.  Just made one mistake, though -- she said to walk up Kings Road, and I headed up Sloane instead.  Quite a difference -- Sloane is the ultra-posh stores, like Gucci, Prada, Harvey Nichols, etc.  So, not much shopping for me -- and honestly, not much people-watching on that street.  Was interested in one store, called Shanghai Tang, but didn't go in.  Will have to check it out another time.  Once I did realize I had taken a wrong turn, I headed back to Sloane Square to try again, and this time indeed found Kings Road.  
What a great area.  So many people, so many interesting shops, and it was just alive today.  That is definitely part of the fun of international travel -- discovering the areas that clearly cater more to the locals, especially in a city I've visited so many times before -- great to find surprises.  I was in part looking for some bath/body items, as someone in my household is a big fan of Lush...but I noticed that there were six other similar stores on this street, including Origins, L'Occitaine, Body Shop, etc.  There was one in particular that was new to me -- and I didn't write down the name, maybe a Londoner (or other European) can tell me.  The products were Greek in origin, and the small bowling-alley-like shop was all about promoting homeopathy and the natural aspect of their stuff.  Anyone know the name?  I am pretty sure it's one that isn't here in the States.
After exploring Kings Road, I returned to Wagamama on Kennsington High Street for lunch, and yes, Neil, I had a melt-in-your-mouth cookie from Ben's in the Tube station (so thanks for the tip!).  The area around Kennsington High Street was pretty busy today -- looked like Kiwi All-Blacks fans were in the area for some reason, and many of them were drinking beer while walking around (and this was before noon).  To each their own...
So that's about it.  Took the Tube back out to Heathrow -- well, at least I tried, it was under repair part of the way and they put us on busses instead.  First time I've passed through Heathrow T3 since the shopping area there was rennovated -- looks much nicer now.  The flight itself has been fine, too -- only about 50 passengers on the whole 777.  Crew is in a very good mood, and the service has been excellent.
That's about it from up here -- looks like I might be able to avoid O'Hare for three whole weeks now.....

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