Like a moment of pause in front of the mirror to really reflect on your own worth, the best way to reflect on the privilege of living in your wonderful city is to see it through the eyes of the visitors who come to visit you. Given it is always ON in LondON, numerous tourists – both international and domestic, descend every day and night on the very heart of this Capital of the World. And no other place but along the River Thames on both sides of the bank one can really feel the vibe of awestruck visitors absorbing the full charm of this magnificent city.
Like taking a dip in a warm swimming pool in a rather chilly autumn afternoon, we immersed ourselves last Sunday in the teeming stream of tourists as soon as we came out of the Westminster Underground Station. Major spoiler as soon as we surfaced on ground because the beautiful Big Ben was found to be wrapped under the layers of scaffolding in anticipation of a supposedly long make over. Wait for four more years! However that didn’t seem to deter the exuberant tourists from getting themselves photographed against the backdrop of the Houses of Parliament.
We took a nice little walk along the Victoria Embankment where the autumn leaves were strewn giving a golden welcome to the visitors. The chilly wind above the flowing tides of the Thames meant that I was appropriately warmed up for the weather by snuggling myself happily into a cosy turtle neck dress with thigh-high boots, faux fur gilet and with a large floppy woolen hat to keep things under control and under cover.
From this side of the bank, our eyes absorbed in full detail the hypnotizing structure of the London Eye and I had the eye to use the London Eye as a great backdrop for one of my solo shots. Mixed with a feeling of guilt and pride, we realised that so many times we tend to overlook the striking monuments found in our own city, all in exchange of the desire to explore the remote sites and sights of the world outside first.
Along with evoking emotions of pride and guilt, River Thames also had the effect to generate appetite. Given that the lunch hour was approaching fast, we walked faster crossing the Westminster Bridge and making our way to Southbank side in search of the Nando’s. With a free full chicken awaiting to be redeemed in our Nando’s Rewards Card, there was no other destination where the hunger thunder could have been pacified but at Nando’s.
It can certainly be a topic of research or a discussion over a cup of tea or a drink or two that what is the link between London and Nando’s? The UK itself prides in being the country with the most number of outlets (315) of this peri-peri chicken eatery. Also, when you have celebrities like Dev Patel vouching for his love for Nando’s, you know that you would make a perfectly plausible move by settling in inside your nearest Nando’s. Dev said during one of his interviews that if he was made the London Mayor for only one day, he would arrange for free meal at Nando’s for everyone for that day! Also, he mentioned in another interview in Los Angeles that of all the things he missed the most in his hometown of London, Nando’s was high in that list.
So while a walk along the Westminster Bridge right in the peak weekend hours made us feel touristy, what made us feel like Londoners again was when we nicely tucked away some peri-peri chicken dipped with love in garlic peri-peri sauce, away from the hustle and bustle of the visitor buzz in the riversides.
If you are still not done here, watch this little vlog below.
What Were We Wearing?
Shehzaad’s Wardrobe: Zara Chinos, Turtle neck jumper, Jacket, shoes0