London 2013 – as told by my tweets


Had a great time in London – I really enjoyed the city, not that I had bad memories of it having lived there for a couple of months 19 years ago – and we just did our usual thing of wandering around, drinking coffee and taking in the sites. A sample from the London Flickr photos:

Orange Street! Parliament & Big Ben London Eye Hyde Park Monmouth Coffee Company Tea & cakes Regent Street Xerocon London 2012 Xerocon London 2012

  • London was a lot cooler than San Francisco – and rained on 3 of the 5 days we were there. We generally had the right clothes for the weather.
  • We used a great site called One Fine Stay to rent an apartment for our time there rather than a hotel, so we cooked in one night and enjoyed takeaway meat pies from the Battersea Pie Shop in Covent Garden another night. Nice not to eat out all the time.
  • Covent Garden wasn’t quite what I remembered from my youth – I thought I remembered vegetables and flowers, not upper class trinket and scarf shops. Perhaps they have market day during the weekend.
  • We had a lovely tea-and-cake meeting with ex-Xero Adam. No scones though – they only do those in the afternoon and we were there in the morning. Never-the-less Victorian sponge cake and pink raspberry lemonade was delicious!
  • Regent Street was just as majestic as I remember.
  • Black cabs aren’t black much anymore – some are – but lots are all graffiti’d up with advertising – flashing colorful single company ads.
  • People smoke still, everywhere. Well, not inside, but in door ways, park benches, wandering the down the street blowing it onto people following them.
  • The London Eye is huge! We didn’t go on it because it was really windy the day we wandered along the Thames. And it had one orange bubble/capsule/riding pod thing on it. Wonder how hard it would’ve been to engineer waiting for that one!
  • Waiters and baristas are French, Australian or New Zealanders.
  • The tube is expensive! GBP4.30 for a single zone – so $2.25 for the New York subway doesn’t seem so bad. And the tube carriages are way more cramped & stuffy than the subway and felt quite claustrophobic.
  • Butter is good and yellow. And proper bread.
  • Our few days there coincided with the first XeroCon (Xero Conference for our accounting partners) in London (6th for Xero) – The Mister gave a presentation and I sat down the back at the ‘press table’ live-blogging and watching social media channels.
  • Lots of good coffee – the flat white is a live and well and we went out to different places pretty much twice a day while we were there. Here’s the line up of – London coffee.

London coffee map

As well as asking friends for coffee recommendations in London I did my usual online search. We created a map in Google Maps but not knowing whether or not we’d have data on our phones while there I went armed with an old-school map as well. Post-it notes in the A-Z of London!

London coffee map

With one sip of good coffee …

In our search for coffee shops for our upcoming trip to London we came across this great statement on the website of Taylor Street Baristas, a cafe recommended by a friend in London. Awesome!

The first time you have a really good coffee can be a bit of a curse. With one sip, your expectations are radically transformed. All other coffee is ruined for you. Coffee shops that used to prop up every corner of every city block soon reveal themselves to be mere pretenders: the blind serving the blind.  Purveyors of limp and burnt and watery coffee.

With one sip, your coffee options dwindle to a precious few: a mere handful of skilled baristas capable of meeting your newly enlightened needs.

Yours is a wretched plight, indeed.  For those who inhabit this lonely world, we welcome you to our humble little corner of the web: a place where real coffee lovers can gather around and share and console and learn from each other.

Will track them down and let you know what we think of the coffee!