Tag Archives: food

A Foodie Themed Christmas Lights Walk

On Monday, I went on a London walk named A Foodie Themed Christmas Lights.

The highlight of the evening for me was that I met fellow blogger Gianni of Across the Hog’s Back fame (https://acrossthehogsback.wordpress.com). I always like meeting other writers; it gives me a chance to get a different perspective on what I’m doing. I also knew that we’d both write something about the evening in our blogs but that they’d both be very different.

She and I ended the evening going for a drink; well, it would have been rude not to! I don’t know the name of the bar we went to, but it was near to Piccadilly Circus, and it was the most magnificently decorated place I’ve seen in a long time, including a chaise longue in the ladies, but so, so loud! We could barely hear each other speak! I’m not going in there again unless I’ve got one of those bone-inducting headsets on. However, I digress.

The walk started outside a pub – the only pub – in Thayer Street, W1, The Angel in the Field. We walked from there down some side streets and up to St Christopher’s Place. I’m not sure whether my photographs do justice to the Christmas lights here, they were light giant baubles and very pretty.

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Sarsden Buildings is one of the properties managed by social reformer Octavia Hill back in 1869. Hill was also one of the co-founders of the National Trust. From here we turned into Wigmore Street and ended up crossing Oxford Street to go down South Molton Street, where there are these lovely blue arches dotted down the street. At the bottom of South Molton Street is Brook Street, with Claridge’s over to the right, and the passageway leading to Handel’s House Museum opposite.

We walked down Lancashire Court and passed the entrance to the museum, which is well worth a visit, by the way, and stopped opposite Hush, a brasserie that won the Tatler test of Time restaurant of the year award this year. Apparently, it’s a good place to eat, but I just loved the way the lights covered the whole of the top of the building.

From there, we made our way to New Bond Street. These lights were like big ostrich feathers, and quite magnificent. And I had to take a photograph of my old workplace, Sotheby’s as we were passing.



Further down in Old Bond Street, this beautifully decorated place is Cartier, the French jewellers.



And this one, Ralph Lauren. In 2012, he was estimated to be the 191st richest person in the world.

This is the top of Burlington Arcade, built by Lord George Cavendish, who lived in Burlington House next door, now the site of the Royal Academy.


From here we made our way down to Carnaby Street. Personally, I don’t think there’s much to say about Carnaby Street now, I don’t think it’s anything very special.


The mural below is called the Spirit of Soho, in Broadwick Street, just off Carnaby Street, was completed in 1991. It depicts St Anne as the main figure, with her skirts showing a map of Soho, London landmarks and various famous people and craftsmen. You may notice that there are dogs and hares in the mural – this is a reference to the days when Soho was a Royal hunting ground.


There is a clock set into the mural, and when the clock strikes the hour, the depiction of opera singer Teresa Cornelys winks at Casanova who blows kisses back at her. Karl Marx just gets to take a sip of Coca Cola.

Somewhere along the way I’ve missed a bit because we went along to Regent Street and Heddon Street, where the photograph for the album cover for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was taken, before it became very trendy. There is even a plaque there saying something like “Ziggy Stardust was born here.”

So, that was my Monday evening. We did look at some restaurants along the way, although I think there was less food involved than I might have desired, and I will have to go back to investigate further at some point, but that’s it for now.


© Susan Shirley 2014

Cats shouldn’t eat….

I am an animal lover.  I admit it unashamedly.  Anyone and everyone who knows me, even slightly, will know that.  My first, as yet, unpublished, book is about my cats.  So, it will come as no surprise to you to learn that I am signed up to a number of blogs, etc, about animals.

I received an e-mail today that told me about a number of common foodstuffs that cause cats a problem if they eat it.  That got me thinking.

Four cats, all with different tastes in food.  All with different eating habits.

Rhea, for example, loves a spider plant.  She’ll have a little chew whenever she can.  I tell you, I can put a Sergeant Major to shame now, for my shouting abilities. I’m sure that isn’t good for her,

“You ‘orrible little cat, get off that plant!”

Artemis:  Pretty much anything that is edible goes where she is concerned.

Oceana: she is convinced that she’s human, except of course, when she is bringing mice home.  And is very keen to take food off of my plate (or anyone else’s, come to that).  Even the bones of sprats, which was one occurrence.

Telesto: I think she comfort eats.  For a cat that doesn’t much like humans, she certainly finds enough humans to feed her.  Anyone who puts food out for stray cats or the foxes, Telesto finds her way to their homes and then comes back her for seconds.  I seriously thought she was suffering from bulimia when she vomited over my freshly changed bed linen on Monday morning.

And Dreamies.  They will do almost anything for Dreamies.  Or the supermarket home brand equivalent.    Rattle a bag of Dreamies and I can do anything.  Actually, I’m a bit surprised that they still fall for that one, but they do.  Polythene bags.  What is the fascination for polythene bags?  Rhea loves a little chew of them; Artemis tries to sit in them.  (I know, I know…)

Cats are curious.  Whatever it is, they want to know all about it.  This morning, Artemis was standing like a meerkat, sniffing the bottom of my coat.  (That will be the dogs I stroke on the way to work.)  They even go through the waste bins, just in case I have inadvertently thrown away some food that might be essential for their survival.  I can’t have a glass of wine without them checking that it’s not something they might like.

Telesto knows that she doesn’t like peanut butter, but it doesn’t stop her from holding a full inspection of my breakfast every morning.  Just in case something might have changed.

So I’m not surprised that cats often eat things that they shouldn’t.  I’m only surprised that they stop where they do.

©Susan Shirley 2014