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Report 2023: Two Weeks in the Cotswolds and London

By Deva from USA, Fall 2012

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Page 14 of 15: Day Fourteen: Camden Market, the Canal and the Zoo

I started my last full day with a special treat: breakfast at the Wolseley, one of the fancy establishments that also serves fine teas and such. This was fun, though I would not do it again, or perhaps I would return for an actual tea. The atmosphere (art deco glamour!) was the best part, as the food was surprisingly just-okay given the exorbitant prices. They also tried to put me in a side room at first, though when I asked, they moved me to the main hall. It was interesting to watch all the business men and women in suits and fine dresses, and wonder what their lives were like, that they would eat at a place like this regularly!

Back home, I reconnected with Bob and we headed out to Camden Town. We loved this, and wished we had had more time to visit. We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a great place to just people watch and ogle the goods. We especially loved the Stables market, which is built in the old horse stables, full of dim and twisty passages lined by small shops full of antiques and cheesy souvenirs and glittery jewelry and cool gothy fashion. And numerous giant bronze horse statues! It was a bit like I imagine Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books...

One of the most impressive stores is Cyberdog, the entrance flanked by giant brilliant chrome robot statues, and inside is like something out of Bladerunner or a William Gibson novel: low throbbing techno music and bright neon and space-age clothing.

We had lunch at the Camden Lock market along the canal, hitting several different delectable food stalls for our meals. My Jamaican chicken wrap with fried plantains was delicious. After that, we hunted down the Chin Chin Laborist ice cream parlour, where they make your ice cream fresh on demand with liquid nitrogen. It was entertaining as well as delicious. I had vanilla with honeycomb, while Bob had special flavor of the day, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, made with PB ice cream with bits of caramelized toast, and a swirl of jam.

After a bit more wandering and a peach boba tea, we headed back to the lock to try to catch a canal boat to the zoo. You can purchase a combination boat and zoo ticket, and the boat lets you off at the zoo, then you can get back on when you are done and continue on to Little Venice.

The canal boat ride was restful and lovely, with views of enormous manors and sculpted lawns. We enjoyed our visit to the zoo as well, especially the butterfly tent, warm and moist and full of greenery and free-fluttering butterflies in all colors.

Back on the canal boat, we continued on to charming Little Venice, where we admired the house boats, and then found the tube station.

For our last evening, we made one more stop at the British Museum, which was open late on Friday. Just enough time to see the mummies and get souvenirs! We thought about trying to eat on Frith Street again, but the restaurants were packed and the streets thronged with theater-goers, so we caught a bus back to Chelsea and went to a small Italian place on King’s Road (Ca’puccino) for a light but delicious salad caprese and foccacia. We went to bed shortly after that, since our early flight meant waking up at 4:45am to get to the airport.

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