NEAL’S YARD in LONDON

NEAL’S YARD a Londra – Un angolino di colori!” in italiano

So, how many times have I said that in London is so easy to find hidden amazingly pretty places?

Well, Neal’s Yard is definity one of those places.

Full of bright colours, it is a small alley just off Covent Gardens and has pretty and colourfull buildings,  with shops and cafes. picturesque and very hippy style, which is actually some kind of “refretion” of the person who created Neal’s Yard.

 

Nicholas Saunders, a  businessman and pioneer of the so-called “healthy food” lifestyle, loved unconventional stuff so much that his flat in west London soon became a gathering spot for hippies and people who wished to lead a more “alternative” lifestyle.

The flat burnt down by an accident caused by one of his friends, who was using a candle suring meditation, Sanders seized the opportunity to get started in a new adventure which involved some of his friends who had great ideas but very little money and could not put into practice those ideas. He bought a building in Neals Yard and made it a focal point for the high demend of wholefood that there was at that time, selling it at very good prices. He ended up buying almost every single buinding in the alley and opened a Bakery and other shops.

Then he deided to make it look prettier and added in nice trees and colours, he actually had everything painted in bright colours, even rain pipes and garbage bins. The doves you an find in there today have actually been bought and freed there in order to make the alley even more peacefull and nicer.

This is a very nice corner of London and many city workers gather here for lunch during nice weather.

It is very close to Covent Gardens Market but you must be very carefull in not going any further the entrane of the alley, it is actually so narrow it is easy to miss it!

It definitely worths to be visited ! Noce for a coffee, lunch or just a walk in there. To be visited if you wish to forgert for a few minutes about the caos caused by trafic and people in central London, this is a very peaceful place. Kind of the same thing that happens when you step into ……nope, not going to tell you.

Have you read that post? I’ve revealed a similar “secret” in this post, check it out 🙂

 

 

 

 

SPITALFIELDS & BRICK LANE Markets – London

SPITALFIELDS Market – LONDRA”  in italiano

It is not for everyone, but it is one of those things I strongly suggest you to visit in London: Spitalfields Market, London’s oldest market.

There is a little bit of everything in here, vintage fashion and modern items, home design, clothing, vintage children toys, and of course restaurants and food tracks.

It is actually the place in London that has the higher number of award winning restaurants all gathered into one place. Great choices, and it is for everybody: kids and adults, and offers to all of you a family friendly location with lovely cafes too.

It is all mixed up, you can find indipendent small shops next to a well known brand, old accessories and shops with modern interior design items, and guess what the famous beauty and make-up products Benefit is in Spitalfields as well!

 

Some love it, some hate it. Back in 2003 Sir Norman Foster re-designed the entire market, making it a cleaner and nicer place to visit. Some say this renovation kind of took the real hearth of the market away, but still…some just adore it. And I’m one of them.

Yes, it is a market but as you enter it it kind of feels like you are entering a mall, and it is split in different areas. Nice restaurants at both sides and stalls in the middle, this is what is called Spitalfield Market, then we have the area called Old Spietalfields Market, just at the other end of the previous one, with maily stalls all crammed into this space, and there is a third section which is what is left of the original market.

It becomes very crowed on Sunday so if you can try and come on a Thursday for example, which is a good day for vintage fashion and antiques.  Sunday is very lively, a very fun place but it is just like being in Oxford Street, so full of people. Advice given !
Don’t even think about withdrawing cash from ATM’s in the area, they are usually packed with people! Bring cash, plenty of it 😀

One of my favorite place to eat while in this adorable market is Chop’ed, where you can design your own salad and they also sell soups & stews. But of course there are plenty of very good eat places, Bleekers is here too, Leon, the amazing food truck that has a real wood oven inside and serves typical pizza from Naples, Gourmet Burger, Wagamama, and many others. For a complete list please visit Spitalfiels Market Website.

Is this a place that you like in London?! Come on, I wanna know what did you buy on your latest visit to the market!

So, whats in the same area? Brick Lane of course! How could I possibly tell you about the market and skip Brick Lane!

I must admit, although I lived in London for a few years back in the 90’s as well, I’ve never been to Brick Lane lane before, it was just last year that I visited this area and loved it immediatly.

I decided to write about these two places because it is a very characteristic area and needs to be visited, al least once. Street food vendors, shops packed jam with colourful clothes, music and of course tourists, but also the locals hang out here too.

Unlikely Spitalfields Market that can be visited on week days as well, Brick Lane offers its best “show” on a Sunday. So yeah, in order to avoid coming to this area twice, you should accept the fact that it’s better to come on a Sunday and see the best from both places. The locals avoid this area on a Sunday, but they can see it every single place, so be patient and enjoy your Sunday here, because it really is super fun.

What will really  strike you are the independent stores, that have been here forever and one of the nice things about comeing here on a Sunday is that all these small shops will be so full of energy, colours, voices, people, so lively!

Did I convince you to come on a Sunday?! Nope? Ok, I’m sure now I’m going to succed with the following information: Sunday is the day where all food trucks gathered in the area and offer food from all over the world. They are actually part in Brick lane and part in the Old Truman Brewery, just around the corner basically. Seating area, juicy burgers and so many other yummy things to eat!

HOW TO GET TO SPITALFIELDS AND BRICK LANE

Brick Lane’s is very close to  Shoreditch High Street station and Liverpool Street station. If you decided to use Liverpool Street Station and walk your way up, it will take you no more than 8 mins to reach Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane is literally around the corner.

When are you planning to go!? 🙂

 

15 REASONS WHY LIVING ABROAD IS A GOOD THING

15 MOTIVI PER CUI VIVERE ALL’ESTERO E’ UNA COSA DA FARE!in italiano

I knew I was going to write a post like this sooner or later. I’m a great believer in moving abroad, even if it is just for a year of two, or for the rest of your life, like in my case.

This list is long but believe me you will not regret having reached the end of the post…

So let’s start.

15 reasons why everyone should live abroad at least once.

1-LANGUAGE

Learn a new language is definitely one of the most important point in this list. It will give you the chance to learn more in general and will give a new skill. Even if the language is the same, and you are not actually learning a new one, you’ll soon find out how two Countries with the same language can have a very different culture.

2-FOOD

Discovering new food is a fantastic way of getting to know the place. Very often you will learn that the delicious dishes you love that much are not just the ones you are used to in your Country, but many more can be found all over the world.

3-DIFFERENCES

It will take you a little time for some things… and it will be clear to you straight away for others…But in a way or the other you’ll eventually notice all the differences from your Country and the one you have moved to. What you used to consider “routine” and “normal” may not be that normal anymore, this will enrich you as a person and will expand your knowledge. The word “normal” will be used more rarely from now on, because you’ll soon understand that things are more “typical” instead of normal, you will see how much you can learn from people that might be very different from you. To adapt to new situations is another skill that I personally find so important in life. There is no school that can teach you this.

4-STRENTGH

You will be faced with challenges such as finding a new home to live in, setting up bills etc. And even though all these things, at the end of the day, are nothing major, you’ll feel like you wanna cry all day. It is normal, nothing to worry about. You’ll keep going and soon find out that just by doing those daunting  things you have become a stronger person.

You were used to be protected by friends and family, but you’ll find yourself on your own, that’s totally ok, millions have done it before. You’ll be surprised of how much  more confident you’ll soon become, and so many things in life will be easier to you compared to those who have never had to experienced you did.

You’ll need to be organized and that’s why you’ll become very good organizer and a great planner. Life abroad will give you challenges and by facing them you’ll become stronger and ready to face anything else, really.

5-MORE SKILLS MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES

You’ll have to deal with different people from different Countries, and will need to communicate with them, plan things with them, and by doing these things with people with a very different background and culture, you will definitely improve your communican skills, leadership skills, and you will become more productive.

RANDON FACTS

  • 6-The satisfaction of going to sleep in your new place for the first night, the place you managed to find and rent.
  • 7-Learning once again how to do daily little things such as going to the supermarket (nope, mommy will not go food shopping for you any longer), ordering dinner in, learning how to use the local transportation system, etc etc- all of this will make you feel so good about yourself.
  • 8-You’ll learn the difference between alone and lonely. To be alone is something that not everybody can do, and it is a very valuable skill in life.
  • 9-Think about all the things you’ll see and do, and all the nice stories you can tell to every body, one day.
  • 10-You’ll learn how to react faster to daily challenges.
  • 11-One day you’ll look back and see how good you have been to do all those things without being helped by friends and family. Achieving things on your own will make you feel so pround of yourself, and yes, you can definitely feel like a better person, a more “complete” person.
  • 12-Living abroad will make you think twice to what your priorities and goals used to be. Being away from your “routine”, surrounded by the same places and same people every single day, will get a different picture of what your life can be, and it often can be a lot better and different from what you’ve always thought about.
  • 13-You’ will definitely grow fatser than your friends back home, due to all the things listed above, and this can mean just one thing: you’ll become more independent and open-minded.
  • 14- Living in another country will kick you out your comfort zone and rapidly teach you a lot more about who YOU are. Think about this.

15-FUN, FUN FUN!

Of course it is not all about challenges. Think about all the fun you are going to have, life abroad is exciting. Meeting new people, going out to new pubs and restaurants, going to explore new places. Moving abroad will allow you to grow and learn a few things about the rest of the world.

 

Don’t you think that this last point alone is a very important one to make the move?!