Doggie X’mas Market @ Netil Market

Shoreditch is a fun place to live, and one of the many reasons is how dog/-friendly the area is. Especially on weekends, we see many people on the streets, enjoying their day out with their four-legged pals.

Look, even a dog is on the hand rail!

So when there was an announcement that a Christmas market for dogs was coming to London, it had to happen in Shoreditch, naturally.

Netil Market was the host of Santa Paws – A Christmas Market for Dogs and Their Owners…

It was soooo coooollldddd! The forecast was 9°C but the biting wind was so bitterly cold, it felt more like 4 or 5°C.

Bella the Social Butterfly was in her element, regardless the weather…

‘Hi! Hi! Hi!!’ Bella, they don’t know what make of you.

She just dashed towards anything four-legged and started to flirt like there would be no tomorrow…

It didn’t matter if the receiving ends of her attention appreciated her open friendliness or not, she just advanced to them with her tail wagging manically.

I call her Bella the Serial Flasher…

I don’t know why but she flashes herself to all the dogs she encounters. Yes, she is very friendly and submissive which everyone finds cute. However, she does this gesture all the time, regardless how wet, how muddy and how grubby the surface she is rolling on. No, Bella!

Stalls at the market was a pure retail heaven for doggie lovers.

This stall offered personalised soft furnishings for furry pals and their owners…

You can send an image of your four-legged friend to the designer and she will customise it to a plush cushion, etc. The end result will be a very special seasonal gift, won’t it?

How about doggie themed Christmas decorations for your tree?

Unfortunately, we can’t have them because we have decided not to have a proper tree this Christmas. Do you know why? Because I can visualise how Bella will trash the decoration, eat some bits and pieces of the tree and end up on a vet’s examination table. I will have to keep our seasonal decorations beyond her reach on the window sills so she won’t do any harm to them and to herself. *sigh*

Now, this was one thing I really loved…

A beautiful handmade dog lead by HIRO + WOLF. The main colour was turquoise blue and the effect would go very well with her neon orange harness as well as her neon pink one. I will love to use it during the summer, I thought.

The leads on display were for larger breeds and I asked the seller behind the stall if they had any option for small dogs…

She gave me a business card and suggested me to forward the details so she could customise a lead for Bella. ‘I will drop you a note as soon as I get home!’ I waved and left the market.

‘Too cold here!’ Hubbie, Bella and I hurried to Market Cafe on Broadway Market…

Despite it was after two o’clock, the place was still very busy and a manager told us that we would have to wait for about 15 minutes if we wanted a table. Still, we didn’t dither and agreed to wait because we just wanted to be indoor!

For late lunch, we ordered the same dish…

Ham hock hash with a fried egg! I had a glass of rooibos tea & apple ice tea. Hubbie had cold pressed juice of carrot, orange & ginger with his lunch.

For pudding, we shared apple & spiced plum crumble with cinnamon ice cream…

We found huge juicy plum chunks underneath the crunchy crumble top. It was very good.

At home, I measured the length of the lead…

So I can commission HIRO + WOLF to make us a new lead. Oh, I can hardly wait…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

The Society Club

The Society Club is another doggie friendly venue in Soho. They are found on Ingestre Place, a quiet street tucked behind lively Berwick Street and Broadwick Street…

They are a rare and out-of-print bookshop…

However, they also offer tea and coffee during the daytime and cocktails in the evening….

Tables and chairs are dotted around this small but airy space, and the customers are free to leaf through the books on the shelves.

We sat ourselves down around one of the table in the corner and ordered a pot of English Breakfast tea. I was delighted to find a book about the British wartime films as I was a big fun of old black & white films made by the Rank Organization. Hubbie and I had an impromptu game of who could name more famous British war films while we sipped our tea.
‘In which we serve?’ ‘Cruel Sea?’ ‘Sailor of the King?’ ‘Desert Rats?’ ‘The Man Who Never Was?’ ‘Sink the Bismarck?’ ‘Dunkirk?’ ‘Mrs.Minibar?’ ‘Battle of Britain?’ ‘Decision before Dawn?’ ‘A Canterbury Tale?’ ‘Reach for the Sky?’ ‘We dive at Dawn?’ etc, etc…

Again, Bella was a very good girl. She sat on a cushion and was chilled…

Guess how much this paperback copy of The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp’s was?

The book was autographed by Mr.Crisp himself, and it was £95.

After enjoying a quiet break at the shop, we headed home via Berwick Street.

The street was a little windy and Bella hated it…

‘I am not moving until the wind stops blowing into my face!’ She insisted.

A street market on Berwick Street was a quieter affair in the weekend. There were only a handful of stalls opened and one of them was a used bookshop.

It is always delightful to find a secondhand book stall on the street…

Because you never know what gem or bargain may be waiting for you. I found mine in the shape of “Los Angeles – The architecture of four ecologies” by Reyner Banham…

I remember reading it when I was a student at UCL. After all these years, we met again. ‘Can you buy this for me?’ I handed the book to Hubbie. When we got home, I found a postcard placed between the pages of the book…

As the spring approaches, and we spend more time out on the street, the odds of finding serendipity in all shapes and sizes will increase. I am so looking forward to it! Aren’t you?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Mildreds Restaurant @ W1

‘Oh, come in! We are very dog-friendly.’ Hubbie, I and Bella were ushered to a dining area at Mildreds on Lexington Street, Soho. It was Saturday lunchtime and the restaurant was packed.

Originally, Mildreds started serving their delicious vegetarian / vegan menu on Greek Street in the 80s. I used to dine at there with my friends, and then we moved on to Maison Bertaux for dessert.

Bella can be rather wild when she is at home. However, she behaves like an angel when we are eating out…

Because we never feed her at the table at home, she considers our food is not for her. She sniffs at it and then curls up for a kip.

My Sri Lankan sweet potato and green bean curry with roasted lime cashews, pea basmati rice and coconuts tomato sambal…

The dish was soooo delicious! I just love love love this curry. I am drooling over the image as I write the sentence!

Hubbie had classic burger which was made with smoked tofu, lentil and piquillo pepper. The burger looked very substantial.

On our way home, we encountered Million Women Rise March at Oxford Circus…

Go women go!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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