On Sunday morning, the sun was shining and we were staying in South East London. We normally do something as a family on the weekend and as we were so close to lovely Greenwich, we put on our bobble hats and drove up to Greenwich Park. What a beautiful park. What a beautiful time of year. I felt nostalgic, my husband and I used to come here almost every weekend. We parked at the top of the park and had a leisurely walk down the hill towards the impressive architecture of the Royal Naval College.
I know it’s cliche to harp on about the colours of the leaves and the crisp air, and I won’t. But it’s this simple beauty and the joy of seeing your child find a conker for the first time that makes me feel warm inside. We wandered down to the indoor market where there are lots of lovely independent sellers. It’s a bit like if Etsy had a market that you could visit. On the edges of the market there are some lovely boutiques selling women’s clothes, men’s suits, leather goods. There’s an old fashioned sweet shop, a toy shop crammed full of toys and games from floor to ceiling and a children’s clothes shop that sells the cutest little dresses ever.
At one end of the market theres is a plethora of food vendors. Handmade cakes, Moroccan wraps, mulled wine, Thai curry, Chirizo…and one stall that was serving hot roast beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and onion gravy. Believe me when I say I am salivating as I type. My little boy who is just two years old, was happy to try some gyozas (minced chicken and spring onion in little fried parcels and a gigantic prawn in tempura on a stick. I had a cinnamon bun from one place and a delicious coffee from another and my husband tried a cheesecake brownie and an Italian ball of rice filled with chilli and cheese.
The atmosphere was great and with the smell of hot spiced apple brandy and the sight of an iron monger at work, it felt as though we were in a different time. The one sad thing about Greenwich is that the old markets, the ones that sold pre-loved Levi jeans and juke boxes from the 1950s among other things – have gone. The land has been built on. But Greenwich is such a charming place, boasting attractions such as the Cutty Sark, Maritime museum and the Observatory. It’s the kind of place that’s perfect for families, little ones can scoot along the pathways in the park, the grown ups can enjoy a mooch around the market and together you can learn a thing or two about sailing and stars.