+44 20 7222 5577 the Albert Pub 52 Victoria St London
Raj and Tania SterlingLights owners...can be found at 0207 235 2030
Raj says, "People come in here and all have different designs. That everybody has his own beauty. In here it's like heaven and my house is full of beautiful lamps,of course, I have to show what I do to people." When I ask if like a person that is a CEO of Godiva Chocolate that has his refrigerator full of Godiva if he has tons of his lights in his house, too.
Wow is all you can say when you walk into the showroom... long Crystals, see transparent-curtains in the middle of a lion claw bathtub, funky wild designs...all at the command of the guest who enters the store and asks if they can "make something i am thinking of that is inside of my head" Raj says... "That is the fun of the job and the most difficult to put on the paper what each customer has in his imagination and to see the team make the lights from the first idea to the completion."
Okay the bottom line how much do these masterpieces cost? "The long crystals run about um 30,000 pounds each and o you love the bubbles?" When I o and a about the bubble chandelier hanging from the ceiling..."Of course with children we adjust it high so they can't grab the bubbles. They can walk out of here with spending about 100,000 pounds in one seating if they try real hard." We laugh...and he says "The street is named Sloane street and it is a exclusive section of the city that has all of the famous stores such as Harrods etc. It is a long buy you know. People come back and forth all the time and finally come in and purchase. We have Americans, English, Chinese, Saudi Arabia...all people from everywhere. And we ship everywhere in the world."
Some of the lights look old fashioned and some super modern. I tell him a story of a home that is all cool and Austin Powers 1960's looking and I tell him that at the time my mom asked the real estate agent since the house is all pink and had these cool tiles on the floor everywhere and it looked like the Jetson's tv show with heated tiles if the owner was a rocket scientist. The real estate agent had replied, "as a matter of fact the builder is one of the lead scientists on the Manhatten project!" You just never know.
Amine Mikko Yasmine Beth Paul their all the owners that quit their corporate jobs to open the tiny french themed cafe opposite the Olympia train station. The owner jokes, "I didn't have any fun at my other job so I decided to open a french cafe in London!"
020 7603 2316
93 Hammersmith London
Everyone of the 5 owner's came from Corporate positions and they're all happy doing the day to day "much more of a social interaction with the people" type of work they now do.
On the French inspired cafe you can find black and white photos that are Audrey Hepburn style of the Parisean life. Asmine, "Me and my wife used to live in Paris a couple of years and she loved the Paris photos and designed the walls that way." One of the owners says as I admire the pictures. Talking to a guest as I leave the cafe he says, "O yes the L'Elysee? It has great cakes...a little expensive yet they're great cakes."
When I tell him that they must come from Paris and that Paris cakes are very expensive and he says o yes they must fly the cakes in everyday...that explains how the cakes became so expensive... ps. I think he was joking.
Another cool place in London...try Evan's Cycles...they are located near Victoria Station and a lovely staff of team. 320 Victoria +44(0)20 7976
As I am trying on makeup near Harrods at London I see a little boutique makeup counter tucked away from all of the big ones such as Chanel and Dior...it's name is Shu Uemura and it has the most beautiful foundation girls just to let you know...however as I am applying makeup the sales guy comes to help a Chinese lady. As we've all been kidding about making it out of Dublin to London the last couple of days with Megabus and how we all made it but we jumped totally fast and how maybe us kidding Alejandro with A.D.D.S. It is a joke of how fast can you make it out of Dublin to London on a zero budget! Half way to London on Megabus there is a little camping stop where the driver's change drivers.
If you wanted to camp you could I guess it is called Butterfly Gardens or Butterfield Gardens... anyway my cousin Kevin had been a Forest Ranger in the big Yellowstone Park in America and had shot a moose camping in Alaska...a big adventurer but the one time he camped in Yellowstone a huge grisly bear layed on his tent...all night 4 hours he was afraid to move... and for some reason it struck me as funny as the makeup sales manager said to the lady, "o its just a moose" when she asked about a makeup and I started laughing so hard thinking of how camping near megabus it would actually be a grisly bear but telling someone o don't worry it is just a moose... and I started laughing so hard thinking of how if a person thought it was just a moose instead of a bear it might have a differnt outcome!
And last but not least is the lovley hostels that we all know and love and stay at all year long...the funnest ones varying between Generator in Dublin to the St Christopher's in London...they all supply one common thing..... fun to everybody that stays here.
"Yes I guess that is the way it is..." says the other bartender and I involve these two old guys sitting at the table okay old i mean about 69 71 years old... "Hmm says the other guy, "I guess yes since the only original ones would I guess hmm the aborigines...that does mean that all of the other descendants came from the criminals that England sent there a long time ago..." Okay finally I say that is the reason that all of the Australians are wild and crazy and fun and drink all the time and have that wild spirit... the other bartender says, "Yes you know they do like to party. That could be the reason that the kraziness is in their blood." That is the way we like to think about it. So when asking what do you talk about at the bars all day Emme when you interview the bartenders... that is what we talk about.
category of transitioning from England to Australia except Australia must be one hello of a cool country... anyway of course my reply is deep thinking... Okay I say does that mean that every descendant of Australia of today as we know it is descendants of criminal blood?
My next question is... if people climb over the walls near Buckingham Palace do they now get deported to Australia?
http://www.theloveshake.co.uk/ 5 Kingsland Road E2 8 AA
I wander around the neighbor hood and come back in to the Love Shake Hey do you know that there is a little strip tease place called Browns just around the corner up the road? "Yes" says the barmaid that makes great shakes, "He is a regular here..." she points to a young guy about 28 sitting at the bar...and he smiles and nods... when I ask if the girls there are pretty and in shape or not, the girl says, "Where?" and I say at Browns... the girl says, "O I meant he is a regular here in the Love Shake..." and she starts laughing the guy at the bar says, "O I been in the strip tease one time with my sister. They're pretty...It is one of the famous clubs in London..." I say that I am going to go in and say that I am looking for my brother to see if I can check out the club to write about it... The guy says, "It is no big deal. They're just normal looking..." Okay anyway check out Love Shakes alcoholic shakes...
Okay what is the special at the unique little cafe bar that is representative of every American Icon since the 1930s? Come to Shoreditch London since it is the coolest of all of the sections of London and sit at the Love Shake to talk to locals and funky people including the funny bartender that gives me a peanut butter shake with two shots of vodka...o yes they are famous for their shakes that are named Hotties and that means that it includes two shots of whatever... mine is pretty good since I love peanut butter.
http://www.urbancoffee.co.uk/ Managing Director Peter
David the music barrister says "Birmingham is kind of sinister but I love it. It is tiny although it is the second biggest city in England. Cadburys you should google Cadburys..."
The Manager Peter says, "Sometimes I sit and people watch at 6am that is my favorite time between 6 and 6:30 am since it is when the city is awakening. I have about 25 employees and they're all great and young and fun to work with. In the future we shall have about 130 employees and that is when it is crazy." As we sit there I can't stop giggling as we too people watch and a man from a beer company is slowly walking by which I find amusing since it is difficult to not remember my 24 mile hike along the canals yesterday and all of a sudden a priest starts following him and turns and starts talking on his phone and turns and starts following him again and I start giggling ... It looks like he is stalking him like okay buddy you had better show up to the wedding! Aaa the life in a coffee shop in Birmingham England...who would of thought?
They have hot jazz and Cake Day which is the old Sundays and now is called Cake Day, M, T, W, T, F, Sat and Cake...such little things and cool bean bag chairs in the balcony nose bleed section where professionals sit around a big wooden table of 15 and co-work with their laptops if you have one while sipping the BEST coffee I've ever tasted. The first part of the conversation is where is the coffee roasted at...and I found that it is in a Roaster in London named Union Roasters...the coffee comes from Guatemalua and Brazil and it is the very best coffee in the world...and I've tasted tons of coffee in the 3 and 1/2 years of backpacking 33 countries it is that great. Try it. Definitely.
Peter, "some of the things that I love about Birmingham is the multi cultural people here. Racism is almost non-existent. The things I don't like about the city is the politics such as they do incredibly decidely stupid decisions , such as putting in a tram system from Snow Hill to New Gate at a cost of 500 million pounds when all you would have to do is walk about 15 minutes and reach the other side. That money could be put in say a tram from Mosely to another wealthy suburb which has absolutely no connection from one to the other at the moment. " David is funny and laughs all the time and says the most incorrect political things but I have a feeling from being in Birmingham a little while that Brummies are used to saying politically incorrect things since they feel that their government is politically incorrect!
I love the students at Stratford upon Avon especially the media students who attend one of the most progressive and innovative schools in England for media arts. The students have their own television station where they make a free as you like it programming event such as Cake me Out... a spoof on the Dating Game at America where people ask each other dating questions and the winner or is it the loser receives a big cake in the face...still waiting copyrighting and editing rights to post... anyway in the meantime check out the Ghosts tour...where yes I saw real ghosts through out the 10th century house tour of the cellar and upwards where the famous pyscho man killed 20 women in the house...and where I stood in the spot where he chopped up 6 prostitures I got huge cold pressure and shivers up my spine...scary...
http://www.shakespeare-country.co.uk/ the Lantern lit ghost tours at Tudor World the most haunted building in England...
40 Sheep Street,