― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows
Katie and Adam have left the typically-less-sunny-climes of London for the infinitely sunnier climes of California as Adam finishes up the last leg of his business program. We’re missing our buddies, but lucky we got to hang out with them one last time in Little Venice for a weekend market and festival.
Little Venice is a portion of Victorian canals in Paddington, that is about as charming an area of London as you could possibly find. It’s packed full of Edwardian houses, beautiful houseboats, and lovely (if somewhat pricey) restaurants.
Some of the houseboats have been transformed into businesses, even though most are still residences, it’s kind of impressive to see what people can create in a limited space. (In other words, I have no excuses not to have our flat in order.)
This one was turned into a second-hand bookstore, but I saw artist galleries, full cafes, shops, and I’m pretty sure at least one yoga studio. Resident house/boat cats abound, there were full gardens on the roofs of boats, and many captains hats to be seen. I approve all of this.
There’s an entire culture related to houseboat dwelling in London, and I wish I knew more about it! Just wandering around Regent’s Canal, there was a common style of dress, a shared aesthetic taste (a colorful, out-of-time sense of color and composition that clearly calls back to the days when the canals were first built and used). Houseboat doors were open to reveal furniture that intentionally rustic rather than modern, crockery on display like old farm kitchens. It’s an interesting take on minimalist or small home living.
Frankly there are few better ways to spend a weekend than wandering through the city, eating from food stalls and ending up in Hyde Park for a long talk over cheese and olives.