Holland Park and Kensington

We set off on Saturday morning for an outing to Holland Park. Neither of us had been there before so we were excited as usual to see something new.

We caught the bus back up (I say ‘back up’ because we headed west to eventually head east again) to Ealing Broadway and from there we caught the Central Line to Holland Park station.

Getting off on Holland Park Avenue is really pleasant because there are big trees lining the street and the surrounding buildings are large and affluent. There is a Nicolas bottle shop (one of only three in London I think) on the corner and that reminds me that I’d like to go back and see if they sell Champagne. SURELY they sell French wine! [I know we are close to the continent here, but Champagne is harder to find here that it is in Sydney. Go figure!]

Holland Park itself is really nice. There are lots of big trees and criss-crossing paths where you feel you could get a bit lost but also feel safe because it’s a small enough park that it’s impossible to get lost. There are squirrels and lots of birds and there is also a Japanese garden that is very pleasant — more English than Japanese but the sentiment is there and it’s very peaceful.

After we explored the park, we headed east down Duchess of Bedford’s Walk which curves down to intersect with Upper Phillimore Gardens, which is where I lived for a while in 1991 and where I served dinner to a few guests one night… one of whom was Joanna Lumley. It was quite surreal seeing this house and it brought the past rushing up to meet me with a thunder clap. We took some photos and then walked down to Kensington High Street.

We stopped in the ‘Whole Foods Market’ to eat a healthy sandwich for lunch and then kept walking, gazing in awe at the beautiful buildings and the expensive cars parked in the street. Then we walked back up into the Kensington Gardens for some Royal spotting, except of course they are in Sydney at the moment! After a bit of exploring, we were in need of an afternoon nap so lay on the grass and gazed at the blue sky and autumn leaves in the trees. Stopping wasn’t the best idea because it made us realise just how tired we were so we finished our day-out and caught the bus back home for a proper nap.

We were really lucky with the weather because the sun shone most of the day, and the next day it rained.