They say that what most makes London the capital of the world (today anyway, sorry New York) is that it is the premier financial hub. Attracting immigrants from everywhere — immigrants that want to work and achieve — London is abuzz with activity. Building cranes span the horizon despite the world famous grey clouds.
And, inspite of the ever growing population, burgeoning cost of living, traffic circulation challenges (being fought aggressively by congestion fees, etc) and a relatively ramshackle tube underground, London continues to thrive. And the charm of it is that the people remain globally so courteous (not just the cabbies). The defining English touch: you can still find milkmen doing their rounds with crates of fresh milk and grain-fed chicken eggs.
In addition, it is obvious that “natural” and/or “organic” is spreading like mushrooms no matter the category. The latest concept that caught my eye: The Natural Kitchen (77/78 Marlyebone High St) selling ‘organic, wild and artisan food.’ The part that got my attention was the “wild.” The store was just a day old when I visited, but the selections were tantalizing and the setting was agreeable; the staff were visibly fresh. A concept restaurant is planned as well.
Following the “eco” flavour, I ate a yogurt on the Eurostar that is qualified as Bio Live Yogurt, where each ingredient is Organic, including the starch. Along side “wild” you have to love “live” food, especially which never once had a heartbeat.
And then there is the discovery of the Fairtrade Chocolate & Raison Geobar with 30.9% Fairtrade ingredients certified to international Fairtrade standards. Eating this bar “guarantees a better deal for Third World Producers.”
I also felt that there were a lot more bicyclists – even as commuters. Not exactly Amsterdam, but a far more civilized feeling than the zippy motorcyclists dominating many mainland European cities.
And, I constantly admire the Fair Queueing practiced by the English. Thinking of the 300,000 transplanted French people living in London (making it the 7th largest populated city of French citizens), how much do they love (and respect) those habits? In any event, it is lovely to see a London so “wild and live.”