NFT London Paddington


Paddington Bear may not seem so cuddly if he were one of today's commuters hanging around Paddington Station. This area can seem like zombie land, a mass of tired-looking, harassed faces grabbing food from one of the endless chain eateries. It's not all bad news though. Evening boredom can be banished by listening to famous war correspondents' exotic tales over a meal at the Frontline Club. For all other woes solve it with a swift half at The Victoria.


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Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Royal Exchange
You'll have to excuse the shoddy photo attached to this here report telling you about all that's good and fine about London but frankly I almost don't want to tell you about this place and if the picture is no clue to what it looks like, so much the better. Because, come closer dear traveller, this really is one of those pubs spoken of in legend, yeah, like in "the old days." Walk by this small corner tavern and you'll be forgiven for thinking the chalkboard listing beef and ale pie and roast lunches for somewhere around the £5 mark either lies or indicates nasty reheated, flabby mulch parading as a pub lunch. Nope, this pub is Irish and bejayzus the Irish ladies in the kitchen know how to cook. And their husbands know how to prop up the bar with lively banter (occasionally spoiling for a fight amongst themselves after one Murphy's too many but they mean no harm). If regulars like the crazy lady who drinks white wine and talks to herself are not your bag well fair do's I won't persuade you to make a visit. And I won't mention the salt beef sarnies on Fridays.

Posted By:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow

Tête à Tête
Paddington is a strange transitory place. It is not the first place Paddington Bear would go to on arrival in England (was he just "Bear" before then, one wonders?) and not simply because it doesn't make any geographical sense if you're coming from Peru. However, hidden away between Praed Street and Edgeware Road there is some escape from the madness surrounding the station and the Tower of Babel that belches forth from its arches. Well, I say escape, but having sat down at Tête à Tête with a handsome slice of cheesecake to accompany my moment of respite and an espresso to send me on my way, my private thoughts were rudely interrupted by the customers next to me. "Bit far away from the ranch for Sloane Rangers to be scouting the periphery," I thought. Although I complain, I am one of those people who actually love nothing more than to earwig, and the whimsical conversation of these girls seemed to complement the marshmallowy pastel interior of the place and indeed, the name. Had I wished to avert my concentration, the café has a whole wall of books shelved in a nicely haphazard manner to browse.

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