The weather the past week in London has been cold, wet, and frankly rather miserable. Since Christmas, the weekdays and weekends have been merging and the days are just flying by making me ever more conscious of how quickly this year is already going by. This weekend I finally found myself in London with no plans and an urge to get outside and breathe in some fresh air and stretch my legs. So regardless of the drizzly rain that kept making an appearance, my friend and I bundled ourselves up in coats and bobble hats and headed in the direction of Maida Vale to wander the canals and explore a part of London that neither of us had ever really ventured to. Little Venice is somewhere I have heard of in passing, but I’d never really given it much thought as to what it was or where this foreign sounding place was located. But a short walk from Paddington station, we found ourselves in a charming little area surrounded by stunning houses (emphasis on houses not flats or apartments, but proper houses with gardens, garages, steps leading up to perfectly Farrow & Ball painted doors!). One particular house even had an orangery style conservatory attached to the back which we spied, not so subtly, by standing on tip-toes and gazing longingly over their gate. Oh to dream!
The canal that winds its way through this area has been suitably named Little Venice and when you visit you can tell why. Sweet little narrow boats moor alongside the canal and create communities along the riverbank with urban gardens full of the sort of items that can only look charming in such a setting. Even on a damp January day it looked beautiful, so I can’t wait to visit again this summer when the sun is out!
Since the rain had stopped we decided to walk to Marylebone where we had a coffee shop in mind that I have wanted to try out for a while. The Attendant is a underground cafe located just behind Oxford Street, inside and old converted public toilet. With just enough seating for about 20 people, this place feels both exclusive and stylish. Perched against converted urinals (yes it has been thoroughly cleaned), with ivy covered cistern dangling filament lamps above, this place oozes quirkiness. And to top it off, the coffee is top notch! I love finding fun new places to explore in London and now I know of this little place, I’m definitely going to be back for my coffee fix!