Nothing beats a good Canadian summer. And my first English summer hammered the point home. The only way I made it through this summer without going back home was thanks to the constant influx of familiar faces that came to visit me in London. A visit from my parents followed by girlfriends coming to see me from Canada, Australia and parts of Europe made this summer in London quite a memorable one. And of course, London being so awesome helped a little bit. After showing all the guests around my favourite bits of London, I have become a semi-pro tour guide. That got me thinking, why not share my favourite spots with everyone? It’s all iPhone photos as opposed to my trusty Jacques (the Canon 60D), but they do the job. East London is what I call home these days and don’t leave it unless I absolutely have to. It’s a bit of a market heaven, especially on the weekends. My absolutely favourite being Broadway Market which springs up every Saturday. Regardless of what day of the week it is, Stories on Broadway Market serves my favourite brunch in London. If my sweet tooth is aching after brunch – it often is – then finding desert is not hard at all. Another East London gem is Crate Brewery and Pizzeria. My flatmates introduced me to this spot. The weekends we go to Crate are better than the weekends we don’t go to Crate. And every now and then, I need to show face at The Book Club and drink a soy latte or two to restore my hipster cred. Now when I said I never leave East London unless I absolutely have to, I forgot to mention that I have to leave it everyday – for work. I work in Notting Hill, which is quite a different change of scenery. In this area, my go-to place is Jamie Oliver’s Recipease restaurant. If I am being honest, I was dreading summer in London. A half-ass, cloudy, rainy, mid-twenty degrees summer is not my cup of tea. I am used to living through harrowing winters with the promise of a clear, gorgeous, sunny summer days that do wonders for my tan. Plus there are no beaches and lakes in London, so the amphibian that I am wasn’t very pleased at the prospect of a land-only summer.
Londoners keep saying that they got a beautiful summer this year. I tend to disagree. It was cloudy most of the time and their definition of a good day is “oh look it’s not raining even though the sky is a deep shade of grey.” However, the looming scare of the sky splitting open any second really makes you appreciate any glorious days that come by. And admittedly, there is so much to do in the city (regardless of what the weather is like). So cheers to a memorable Summer 2014 and thanks to all the visitors and local friends who made it extra special.