Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Mid Year Break

June marked the start of a mid year break for us.

I took a trip to London, then to Boston to visit the family and then finally to New York City to get some work-related stuff done.

London is a great city. The way to approach London is to avoid any formal agenda. Take it as it comes, grab something to read and head to one of the local pubs. Have an afternoon drink and wash the midweek boredom away. Trust us, the Guiness there does taste better!

Like many of the locals, I found myself firmly tucked into a pint at some of these places on the daily. The Westbourne was an interesting watering hole with a mixture of fun people. We seriously need to do a little more afternoon drinking over here like those people do.

The Tate Modern is a great structure that houses some impressive artwork from many of the contemporary greats. A must visit but to be honest, it had to be done after a few pints.

I also briefly visited a few of the stores to do some reconnaissance work. Margaret Howell's space in Marlyebone Road is amazing. Lots of natural light that illuminate the clothes and accessories on offer. One of the best by far.

On a more low-key note, Albam was a great visit. The store was tucked away nicely on Beak Street in Soho. Casual, friendly service with beautiful garments that are geared for more modest consumers. Strangely, some of the people in the neighborhood weren't even aware of the existence of this fine store. Shame.

Point to note regarding Albam: Pay attention to the little die-cut stickers on some of the glass panes that relay useful information. This was a slick display of indirect interaction with the customer. A good touch.

Another store I headed to was The Garbstore. Great space and produce but I'm not a big fan of salespeople that throw in details, sizes and colors available even when you are in the direct vicinity of a piece of clothing. Just let me know you're there to help. That always does the trick.

Moving on to food, make sure you have yourself a fry-up when in London. I'd heard about these things over and over. It is basically 2000 calories worth of every kind of breakfast food on a plate. Then wash it down with a pint nearby.

Next up was Boston to spend the 4th of July with my family and friends. Always great to be back there. The city has a real distinct vibe. It's got some sort of old world charm that you truly appreciate after spending a decent amount of time there. Very few fancy nightclubs with bottle service and the like. Everyone's just casual and in their own element. Instead of hitting downtown Boston, try the South End. It's one of the best areas around to find small bars and restaurants with a real close-knit vibe.

I then headed down to Cape Cod and Plymouth, Massachusetts for an interesting excursion with the family. Plymouth is where the Pilgrims first settled in America in 1620. It's got a great big landmark called the Plymouth Rock which marks the spot where they tied their boats to in order to dock. The city's got a small but vibrant population that relies solely on tourism. Perfect for a stop-over if ever in the tri-state area. New England culture at it's finest!



Anonymous said...

Nice & simple write-up, without forgetting to mention all the beer drinking & eating to satisfy your belly! x

galuh said...

love it, suraj =)

Anonymous said...

chillllin in the hamptons balla