Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn in Holland Park

London is full of pretty parks, among them is Holland Park located in the fashionable and well-heeled Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London. As we have been petsitting my friend's adorable, if not quirky, Yorkshire Terrier, I organised a doggie playdate with another friend and her sweet Haile (her mongral i.e. mutt in British English) in Holland Park. 

My friend had to cancel last minute so Miss Ruby (the Yorkie), Keenan, and I explored the peaceful setting of Holland Park, starting with the magical Kyoto Gardens. Donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto, this picturesque garden had a koi pond, waterfall, and at least half a dozen of peacocks. Nostalgic memories came flooding back of our first international trip to Tokyo some 10 years ago (yikes!). We miss 
 Japan a lot and 
​have been thinking about making a trip next spring to see the cherry blossoms, and pay tribute to Keenan's late host father who passed away two years ago. We shall see. 

Holland Park, covering over 22 hectares, is a delight to stroll through, definitely one of London more romantic parks and the 

​stunning Orangery is a beautiful place to host special events. There's a giant chess set, lovely gardens, sports pitch, and a children's play area. We then headed to Holland Park tube to meet our friends whom we travelled to Iceland with. The northern end of the park is mostly semi-wild woodlands, well with the exception of the YMCA. 

​Highly recommend a stroll through Holland Park. Ruby concurs. ​

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tottenham vs Norwich

At last, finally, I attended my first Tottenham game at White Hart Lane thanks to a very generous expat friend who got tickets from a client. I get slack from all my hard-core Arsenal supporting friends, including my beloved husband, but I stand by Hotspurs even if they sold Gareth Bale for a cool €100 million to Real Madrid.

My friend also lives in West Hampstead so we met up for lunch before taking the overground to South Tottenham for the 3pm kick-off against Norwich. Earlier this year, I saw Arsenal stage a last minute comeback against Norwich at Emirates Stadium, so I expected nothing less from Tottenham who ended up beating Norwich 2-0.
Sigurdsson scored on both occasions!
White Hart Lane is a far cry from the state-of-the-art glittering Emirates Stadium -- it's like comparing the S.F. Giants stadium in downtown San Francisco to Oakland A's stadium in the industrial zone of Oakland.   But they have a loyal fan base and the atmosphere was amazing. 
On Sunday, whilst hanging out with friends in Chelsea, we saw Frank Lampard and his WAG (wives and girlfriends) at the The Hollywood Arms having a relaxed evening with his two daughters. It's still early in the Premier League but shaping up to be an exciting season.