No matter how much I love music being away from home is NEVER easy. Luckily I have found a fantastic boutique hotel. They are so nice to me here. Long trips in a single destination at least allows for a sense of familiarity to make things feel more homey. It is 5 times now, at least, I have been in the very same room which is actually more like a spacious studio apartment than a hotel room or, as the locals here would call it, a flat.
Because I know the majority of the staff and we are on a first name basis they tend to genuinely give a care. I bus my own dishes at breakfast and the other guests look at me like I am totally crazy. There’s one gal here I call by her nickname, but not to her co-workers. They would have no idea who I was talking about if I asked for Patchi. Most times I am coming and going alone so I am able to say “if I am not back in two hours come look for me because something is wrong.”
I also have a Local. What’s a Local you ask? A “Local” is your nearest pub. It is quite the culture to stop off at the pub for a pint and/or a chat with friends on the way home from work. For me the local became a necessity, not for the pint necessarily but for the food.
The Hourglass on Brompton Road is my nearest pub. I discovered it a few years back when I was in London alone and wanted a warm safe place to sit and write outside of the walls of the hotel. As it turned out, the owner Pam cooks up a storm every day of the week but Sunday. It is now entirely impossible for me to spend any time in London and not pop in to see Pam.
Her home-made beef & Guinness pie is amazing and arguably the best in the world! I have taken some London friends there only to leave them raving about Pam’s establishment and her food. Sometimes I will go see her and eat at her place my first night in town (and then a few more times before I leave town) because her home cooked comfort food is, well, a comfort! And a hug from her makes me instantly feel less homesick. Her kindness and sweet nature remind me of my favorite Auntie. We even burst into a spontaneous hug recently when we literally ran into each other on the sidewalk. I was on my way to the studio via The Tube, and she was heading back with handfuls of groceries to start cooking up the feast for that evenings menu.
London has been good to me. Yes it can be miserably cold. But as I always say, we don’t come to London for the weather, we come for everything else.