Don’t lose your head!

Eep! Where the hell is my card wallet?!?! I patted myself down furiously after rummaging through the content of my tote bag. Oh, shit! Where has it gone? What have I done with it? A cashier at Liberty’s stationary department went very quiet as she didn’t know how to intervene in my panick-stricken pantomime. ‘I’m sorry but I have to go NOW!’ I grabbed my bag and ran out on to Great Marlborough Street.

My first destination in search of the missing wallet was The Photographers’ Gallery’s cafe in where I had a mug of mocha early on. ‘No, we didn’t find anything by the till.’ A man in apron replied apologetically. Ahhhh, I was out on the street again, the next destination, Zara!!

All the blissful moment I enjoyed with my mocha was completely out of the window. Is this a divine punishment for feeling smug after my fortune of not having to cut out caffeine out of my daily life like poor Hubbie?!

Last Friday, we went to see his neurologist, and she advised him to have no caffeine and minimal sugar for at least three months in order to control his chronic migraine. He was already deprived of coffee, tea or chocolate for the past two weeks because of the detox regime prescribed by the nutritionist, therefore, he received the doctor’s recommendations with a resigned sigh. After the consultation, we had snack at Patisserie Valerie by Holland Park tube station. ‘Can I have a sip of your mocha?’, he pined as he sipped a glass of water. ‘No, you can’t. I am afraid.’

Anyway, back to my missing card wallet saga. After dashing out of the gallery, I made a beeline to Zara on Oxford Street. After running down the escalator, I rushed to the till and blurted out, ‘Did I leave my card wallet on the counter?!’ A girl at the till replied with a smile, ‘Yes, you did, madam. The wallet is kept at the main till on the ground floor.’ Thank god! And thank you, Zara!! Ahhh, how my legs felt like jelly after mad sprinting. I truly can’t trust myself nowadays. Should I chain my wallet to a belt loop like a skater?…

One more thing about Hubbie’s treatment for his migraine. Apparently, he has to detox his brain! The doctor has ordered him not to take any painkiller for the next three months even if he has migraine attacks. He was having way too many Nurofen Plus for far too long, and his brain needs to be cleaned out for good. ‘I have to go cold turkey.’ ‘Alrighty, I shall throw all the painkillers out of the cabinet!’ And that was the first thing I did when we got home.

I am very, very happy because Hubbie has finally realised his quality of life matters more than his workaholic lifestyle. Let’s hope he won’t have too many headaches during the detoxing period…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Lunch @ Photographer’s Gallery Cafe

One lunchtime, I stepped off from No.55 bus at Great Titchfield Street near Oxford Circus and all the sudden felt a pang of hunger. I was on the way to my hairdresser’s and had a half un hour to kill until my appointment. Where should I go? What do I want to eat?
Then, a review of the Photographer Gallery done by one of my favourite bloggers, London Unveiled popped into my head. Yes, they have a cafe there!

The gallery is located at the corner of Ramillies Street and Ramillies Place.

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In order to access Ramillies Street from Oxford Street, pedestrians descend a substantial number of steps.
Because of this level change, the tonal landscape around the gallery is significantly calmer than forever busy Oxford Street’s.

The cafe was located on the ground floor with large windows which provided a 180 degree view…

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The interior was decidedly monotone like a crisp B+W photograph.

The predecessor of the cafe was on No.5 Great Newport Street near Leicester Square. It was opened in 1980 as an additional gallery space of the existing main gallery on No.8. The cafe was located in the back of the premises and relatively obscure, therefore, it was a little like a handy hideaway amongst the hustle & bustle of the West End.
Behind the entrance, there was a reception, a staircase to their office and a narrowish corridor leading up to the cafe. The cafe sported a double-height ceiling with translucent glazing which flooded the space with light and created an intimate & uplifting atmosphere. In the middle of this oblong space, there was a long table with backless benches.
I remember how good-naturely we all behaved when a guest or two wanted to squeeze in with drink & cake in hands. There was definitely a sort of comradely feeling between the guests. The surrounding walls were painted in white and used as exhibition space. While the diners sat at the table, the visitors for exhibition quietly circulated around the gallery. The ambience of the place was so perfect therefore I was understandably gutted when they announced the gallery’s relocation to Ramillies Street in 2008.

At the counter, I found the menu on offer was surprisingly similar to the one from the former cafe’s.
It made me feel much better already…

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I ordered tuna panini with sun-dried tomato and skinny latte…

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I sat at a counter by the window overlooking Ramillies Street,
The sandwich was toasted to perfection. The filling was generous and the bread was crisp on outside and fluffy in inside.

It was a fleeting visit for a quick bite at the cafe only.
Next time, I shall definitely allow much longer time to spend at this unique institution…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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