50 weeks in London (1)

As Samuel Johnson has famously said: “Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”. Living in London is a dream come true for me, so to not get into the busy everyday routine where I can too easily forget about all the amazing things I could do and all the amazing places I could visit while here  I decided to start blogging again, blogging about the life in London. Mainly for myself – to discover and rediscover some of the fabulous places this city has to offer and also to share that with you (at the same time it gives me a brilliant excuse to search out for even more new things to do and new places to visit).

And what could be a better place to start, than the place I call my home here – Camden.

Camden is best know for its markets – Camden Lock market, Stables market, Camden Lock Village and is associated strongly with alternative culture. Amy Winehouse for example is among the most famous Camden residents. It is  is renowned for its cheap restaurants and busy nightlife. So you can already get the idea of why I like it here :)

I mainly concentrate on the Camden markets this time  - as to be honest, it has everything that Camden has to offer in one.

It is the largest street market in the UK and attracts 0,5 million visitors yearly. You can literally find everything and anything from there – starting from food to designer clothes and jewelry, alternative and vintage clothing (as well as Chinese fake Prada bags), handmade cosmetics, arts, crafts, old cameras, etc.

I often buy my presents from there, as you can always find something that is of very good value but at the same time special and personal.

My favorite part of the market is the canal side courts. They have some amazing food stalls as well as some cute jewelry and crafts.

My all time favorite food stall is “The Frenchie”. They make the most amazing toasties with loads of cheese, salami, pickles, onions and truffle oil. You can smell it from miles away and it is truly heavenly :P My boy likes the Turko Kebab, he always orders the chicken wrap – the chicken is incredibly tender and the wrap is nice and juicy. The Pakistani Roti House is also nice. And the best thing about this market is that you can try most of the staff before you decide what you want to go for. So have a nice stroll around the market and see what is available first – try as many things as you can and only then decide :)

But this is only the start of it. Then you have freshly roasted coffee, homemade desserts and cakes, fresh churros as well as fruits with melted chocolate, homemade fudge…. I could go on forever!!!

The next good thing is that everything is very affordable. You can get a delicious toastie for £5.50, the-best-chocolate-cake-in-the-world for £3.50 and coffee for £2.50.

Parkway and the Jamestown road have a line of good restaurants to offer to the less adventurous who prefer restaurants to the market food. Try Goodfare for Italian food, Cote, Market or Mezza Express on the Parkway (further down the road towards the Regents Park is also a bit fancier York & Albany, one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants). On the Jamestown road you can find the Byron Burger and Rosso Pomodoro.

Camden is also home to some of the most identifiable club venues in London. Clubs – The Electric Ballroom, WKD’s, The Underground, Camden Palace, The Laurel Tree and HQs. Live music venues like The Proud Camden in the Stables market, Barfly, Blues Kitchen (they also serve great burgers) and Roundhouse, where Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix have performed.

Now Roundhouse hosts the yearly iTunes festival, that brings together the most amazing list of performers from all over the world during the months of September. Last year we were lucky to see Norah Jones there. Other artists last year included Usher, The Killers, Jessie J, Alicia Keys, Muse, etc.

So Camden is a fun and vibrant, slightly edgy part of London where the human life can be found. Not to be missed by the young and young at heart.