From Archway to Willesden Green

This weekend we had to say goodbye to the place where we have lived for the last two years. Although we had to live on 23 m² / 240 ft² we had a great time in Hargrave Road. Long summer nights on our quiet balcony, endless cooking sessions in our small kitchen and brilliant dinners in the St John’s Tavern (we’ll never forget our first of many gastropubs and now we know pork scratches!).

Hargrave Road

Archway has a couple of very good delivery services like the Indian Holy Cow or the Chinese King’s. Another hidden treasure chest is the restaurant 500 (the food is miles better than the aesthetics) and our fantastic Theatre of Wine where we spent so many Saturday afternoons (and a lot of money). If you are living in or visiting London check out their tasting schedule – it’s affordable and the food/wine pairings are spectacular. Great guys. Last but not least walking towards Tufnell Park and Kentish Town there is Ruby Violet – will be hard to find better ice-cream in this area (they also sell salted caramel sauce which we combined with juicy pears for desert tonight).

Last coffee from Bread and Bean

Not to forget Bread and Bean just around the corner – it was a pleasure living so close to a little independent cafe. Top coffee, really tasty cakes, a neat corporate design and a cosy atmosphere where we spent a lot of time developing plans for our journey. Being able to walk to the office or get a direct bus connection made many mornings a lot more easy going. Plus the famous Highgate Cemetery – a magical place for inspiring walks – and of course Hampstead Heath for wonderful picnics in the summer.

Time also for a big thank you to our friend and landlord Nils who introduced us to many of these places and was the most courteous and helpful person we could have met. Thanks Nils.

Moving out

So time to leave. Movecorp (so far very recommendable and affordable) is currently shipping 16 boxes to Kitzingen containing all the books, toys and winter clothes we bought over the last years. It was still a lot to drag in the minicab we ordered at that brought us to the place where we’ll be living the next four weeks.

Our kitchen in Willesdon Green

Here we are now in Willesden Green. A flat which couldn’t be more cosy and pretty. AirBnB is not exactly specialised in several-weeks-rentals  but we found Kristina’s apartment and we really, really like it. Specifically as it has a fireplace which is very useful for this snowy March. Also there is Sky TV which is pretty unusual for us as we both never have owned a television (I’m also looking forward to being able to watch Game of Thrones!).

2007 Čotar Malvasia

And of course there was the wine of the weekend! An orange wine we brought from New York. Orange wine is basically a white wine where the crushed grapes had skin contacts (called “maceration”) for a few days – a method normally only used for red wine production. Grape skins contain loads of tannins and anthocyanins (colour agents) and after being crushed all the good stuff becomes part of the juice. Tannins in white wine give it the mouthfeel of a red wine and a lot of colour which makes it: orange. It’s not only interesting to taste but also to pair with food.

This six year old Malvazija from Slovenian winemakers Branko & Vasja Čotar has the expected tannins and the orange colour you can expect after a few days maceration time. It comes with pear and some exotic fruitiness and freshness (freshness I find important for these kind of wines). It has a super full body but with 12.5% alcohol it’s almost light (compared what you would expect seeing this colour and tasting these liquid golden sun-rays).

The grapes have been farmed organically, crushed and fermented without cooling or added sulphites (but I assume they added a bit for bottling). Autochthonous yeasts (so no artificial industry ones) give the wine a lot of its character I guess and the wine is unfiltered too so it still contains its little yeast particles helping it to age well. It was around $30 so no bargain but a pleasure to drink and a good beverage for this crazy weekend.

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