The Paris Experiment: Chapter 1. Saying Goodbye to London

In I am... on September 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

So I’ve decided to move Paris. I’m giving the city of romance six whole months to convince me to stay, vs the twenty-five loyal years I’ve given London– possibly not a fair fight but those are the rules.

Naturally, I had to allow at least three months from the moment that my parents finally gave up their tireless “move to Paris” campaign to when I could actually announce that I had made the decision– on my own (parental compliance is boring).

For some, moving back in with Mom and Pops at the age of twenty-five can be a terribly daunting prospect (suicidal in some cultures) but since I’m keeping my fifth-floor, no elevator, shabby chic London hub as an insurance policy during this unpredictable experiment, for the next six months I’ll have to achieve a suitably comfortable slouching position on my father’s impossibly rigid Neoclassical chairs, until I can decide which city wins my heart once and for all.

With barely three weeks left in London now, how will I bid farewell? If, after six months I choose Paris and return only to pack up my life here for good, what can I do to say goodbye to the city that raised me?

I could wander the streets of my childhood neighbourhood, reminisce under the tree where I had my first kiss or do something far less miserable and just go back to the pub where I first got trashed. I thought I might be very self-indulgent in my preparations to move and make something similar to that of a bucket list for leaving London…

Things to Do Before I Leave London

Be a Complete and Utter Twat Tourist

Why not take a cruise down the Thames, make a phone call from London’s first red phone box or see if my joke about the nun and the prawn has any effect on the Queen’s guards?


Check out the city from the crest of Primrose Hill

I think I tried my first cigarette here. I should probably have a broody moment up at the top of the hill while listening to sad music on my iPod and looking onto the panoramic views of London. Or I could not be a dramatic little fart, pack a few beers and snacks and enjoy one of the last few days of sunshine on London’s coolest hilltop to huddle with friends.
Make sure to stay for sunset.
Nearest tube, Chalk Farm.


Eat Dodgy Chinese food in China Town

It always seems like a good idea when you go in but it’s really a 50-50 chance that you might find yourself with your pants down at 3am in the A&E, waiting for an injection to stop the projectile vomiting. On the other hand, you could walk away feeling marvelously stuffed with all that sweet and sour goodness! Must take the gamble one last time…


Share a bottle with a lover

Gordon’s Wine Bar is a “crumbling candlelit warren of a drinking den” and it also happens to be the oldest wine bar in London (they have a fabulous cheese selection too). Now I just need to decide which ‘lover’ to take with me. I could go with Marc or I could go with Mulberry 😉

Gordon’s Wine Bar, 47 Villier’s St, WC2, Embankment tube.


Get Hot and Sweaty at a Gig

The aggressive elbowing (then pretending it wasn’t you), spilling most of your drink before you reach your friends at the front of the stage– all in the name of music and a band you’ve never heard of.

Proud Campden, Cobden Club, The Tabernacle, Notting Hill Arts Club, The Old Blue Last all come to mind for good ‘get hot and sweaty’ gig venues.


Take afternoon tea

I have a feeling I won’t get around to doing this one and I’m pretty certain the finger sandwiches are worlds better at the Ritz in Paris (in fact, they are). I suppose if I happen to stroll by The Wolseley or Claridges before I leave, I might just drop in for a spot of tea and scones. Bish, bash, bosh and tickety-boo.

Claridges Afternoon Tea

(On second thought, tea at Claridges looks pretty damn delicious!)


Launch a Campaign at Speaker’s Corner
Oh, the sweet sound of rambling tramps, drunken priests and those ever-optimistic green party speakers (that can never quite gather the same kind of crowd as the atheists). Yes, I must pay another visit to see London’s finest, preaching from plastic milk crates before I leave.


Feast on Fish & Chips

Those two delightful little words only make me think of one place and one place only: George’s Portobello Fish Bar.
A local landmark since 1961, cod, skate and haddock all come fresh from Billingsgate and are battered to perfection. If anyone wants to know why I was slightly overweight several years ago when I used to work for that magazine in Notting Hill, this, my friends, is why.
George’s Portobello Fish Bar
329 Portobello Road, W10 5SA

Also excellent Fish & Chips at Thomas Cubitt and Admiral Codrington


Shop, shop and shop!…. And shop some more…

High street, East and West London markets, my favourite vintage stores… it’s going to be tough fitting them all in but I know I can do it!


As of October, MessyNessy will be blogging about the fashionable, the unique and the chic, from the beautiful city of Paris 😉

Wish me luck!

  1. this cracked me up. a.) i had to decide whether to move to dallas or houston (not glamourous, either way) b.) i had to move in with my mom, but i may or may not have been 29 when that happened (thanks, unemployment!) and c.) your blog rocks my face off!

    best wishes in paris!

  2. […] Chapter 1. Saying Goodbye to London […]

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