Around SE on a Bank Holiday weekend

Ah, our final Bank Holiday weekend until Christmas!  We didn’t have the motivation to book a proper holiday off these shores, so we’re sticking local, and heading to Hedone for dinner – more on that later.

We spent early Saturday afternoon exploring the area between London Bridge and Shad Thames (just to the east of Tower Bridge).  There’s so much crammed into the little side streets here – some we already know and love (we’re looking at you, Maltby Street) – and other places we’re just discovering.

We started by walking east from London Bridge along the river towards Tower Bridge.

West of Tower Bridge

Shad Thames itself is a cobblestone street just off the river, in the eastern shadows of Tower Bridge. It is refreshing to get away from the throngs of people walking along the promenade and bumping into each other because they cannot look up from their phones long enough to see where they’re going–it’s a pet peeve of ours and we’re sure to write more about this soon. Instead, Shad Thames, is quiet, serene, and quite picturesque in that old-meets-new kind of way that is so easy to find in London.

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Shad Thames

There’s plenty to see here – a few pubs, restaurants, shops, etc.  We picked up a few bottles of wine from the Le Pont de la Tour wine merchant – a nice Amarone and a Jura pinot noir.  The gracious sommelier – Monsieur Antoine Dugand – treated us to a taste of a delicious vin de pailles from Jura – a classy courtesy.  We’ll surely return!

One of the reasons why we actually ventured East of Tower Bridge on Saturday was to check out Lifestyles, a small homewares store on Horselydown Lane which we’d come across last weekend. It was closed that time but peeking through the window we saw some bowls we both liked. As you might have gathered, we love cooking, and are always looking for new gadgets. We’re also in need of some new plates and bowls, preferably colorful to provide some contrast in our white kitchen. We popped into Lifestyles during Saturday’s walk and took a good look at the Guzzini red and white bowls that had caught our eye. The lady and gentleman – we’re afraid that we don’t remember their names – were extremely friendly and we spent a few minutes chatting with them. While we didn’t purchase the bowls, we did leave with a dinky salt and pepper two-in-one mill that has already been put into good use. Another store that we’re certain to return to.

The night before, one of us was saying that it would be nice to have a French bistro type of place near to home – nothing too fancy (or too shabby), good for a quiet nibble and/or tipple.  So, we made it a point to pass by Casse Croute on Bermondsey Street.  This place certainly fits the bill!

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Casse Croute

We sat at the bar and shared a carafe of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Gabbro”, Domaine de Bellevue 2013. It was crisp and refreshing and a perfect accompaniment to the chicken liver pate, pork rillettes, aged Comté, and saucisson sliced thinly with the above-pictured meat slicer. Crusty bread and cornichons completed the meal and we happily filled our bellies before walking back home, making a quick stop at Borough Market to stock up on some truffle balsamic glaze and meat.

As we’re pleasantly discovering, there’s a lot to do in Southwark. Our neighborhood has the right mix of vibrancy and residential quiet. As we get to know it better, we’re ever so glad to have chosen to make this borough our home.

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