Sunday, 16 October 2011

City Living

Living in a city like London can sometimes be a test of patience. The public transport lets you down when you need it most (especially at weekends, during "maintenance" work) and when you do get on a train or bus no one looks at each other, or acknowledges your existence. People are short tempered, particularly in rush hour, and it's easy to get a bit depressed about city life. Now and again though something comes along that renews my love for the place, and this weekend was one of those times.

My friends had found out about a food and wine festival happening on the South Bank (near Waterloo train station for those not familiar with the city). So we went along and were confronted by the wonderful sights and smells of fresh bread, cheeses of every variety, and wine. Lots of wine. After buying a few baked good of the sugary kind, and a gorgeous lunch of new potatoes with posh cheese drizzled over the top, we went to sit by the river, wine in hand.

The food and wine festival - very busy!
Days like this London are rare and magical, and having the river as your view while you catch up with friends is lovely. But best of all was how relaxed the whole thing was. Despite it being packed with people there didn't seem to be any bad tempers and everyone was sitting around on the floors, walls, stairs - wherever there was space - and, best of all, smiling as they quaffed their wine and ate their cheese. A day when everyone gets to be a bit middle class for the afternoon. I spotted a number of students who had obviously all chipped in to buy blocks of cheese, bottles of wine and a bit of bread, and were camped out on the pavements around the Royal Festival Hall nearby.

The River Thames; my view while getting nicely sozzled on wine.
Yes, days like this in the city don't happen often, but enough to make me love the place all the same. Finishing it off with a meal in Chinatown was just the icing on the cake.

Night falls, and the city begins to look even prettier.
So here's to good friends, good wine, and good food. Hoping you all had a marvellous weekend too, or at least have one lined up for the near future.

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