London Life Places

Where’s everyone?

August 6, 2012

The papers are full of doom and gloom. One headline reads: ghost town: london businesses bemoan olympic slump!

Westfield stratford city shopping center has been blamed as the bad woolf while the west end, london’s main shopping and entertainment area is eerily quiet. The other culprit is boris. He told everyone not to come so people stayed away. Hmmm, what to do? Who to blame?

Well, here’s what i think. I think you cannot please everyone. I think you cannot be greedy and inflate the prices of hotel accommodation and not get caught out. I also think that business in the last decade has changed dramatically and it’s down to the individual businesses to be innovative, to find new ways of creating revenue and attracting customers.

I also think that the olympics have created the best atmosphere in london, that team gb is totally rocking it with a total of 37 medals as i write this. One last point, yes, maybe things are a little quiet for some businesses over the olympics but according to the ‘wealth report attitudes survey 2011’ conducted by citi, london will feature as no.2 in the top global cities of 2020. Part of this is due to the olympics being held here.

So, out of sheer curiosity, i hopped on my scooter for a couple of hours over the weekend and went in search of how london is celebrating and, well, to look for everyone!

Some more people:)


Yes, there are some in there too.

And then i saw some crowds.

I looked and looked but couldn’t find anyone in here!!!!

Ah, now i was on the right track.

You’ll always find people where there’s food. And in potters field they erected a mini village with delicious food outlets. They were hand-picked and the site will be open throughout the olympics, take a break and re-open for the paralympics. I highly recommend it for viewing and eating some wonderful food!

While we’re on the subject of food, this is one industry that is innovating. Food sellers are taking their fate into their own hands and creating new ways of attracting customers. We have the wonderful street food movement that is expanding rapidly. Eat street at kings cross is only a few minutes away from me and this weekend saw the birth of the much bigger venture called feast over by guy’s hospital. I popped in and met up with friends. What fantastic food sellers. This surely is the way forward in eating. Do look out for their next event. You won’t be disappointed.

To conclude, london is vibrant but maybe not as expected and only in certain pockets of the city. Personally, i’m enjoying less traffic, less congestion and a peaceful atmosphere. The olympics is over half way through and very thrilling. London 2012 is everything it was designed to be. Whatever next?

I leave you with some people that just want to say: thank you for joining us in all our celebrations this year. We love having you!

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  • Reply Catherine Bedson August 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Hi Tina, what’s going on? Everyone must be at home watching it on the tele. I’ve started to really get into the Olympics when the athletics started, I watched the women’s marathon & the family got up early to see the mens 100m final this morning. Thanks for sharing Feast, I’ve enjoyed looking through all the vendors websites to see what the latest is in looks delicious and I agree I believe this is the way forward for food, more casual, love their banner. Catherine x

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Heathrow and flight were empty this morning. On a Friday??

      The Athletics and watching Bolt was just incredible right?
      The 200m blew me away!!

      You would have loved Feast.
      Still love your post on Morocco:) x

  • Reply James Balston August 6, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Lovely piece Tina & very well observed!! I haven’t been into town since the games began, but have an appointment today, so will check out the ‘tumbleweed’! Have been meaning to visit Eat Street and the whole new KingsX area, so may well do today.

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks James.

      Hope you henjoyed Eat Street;)

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar August 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Loving your shots of London, Tina! Must visit the Lamb Shed.

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks. Food at Lamb Shed was great.

      Hope you’re having a nice time in Tuscany:)

  • Reply parisbreakfast August 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

    The foodie movement you’ve shown if it’s anything as innovative as Bourough Hall and Covent Garden and it certainly looks like it, has to be terrific.
    New York has its food trucks but they are not quite as inviting since you see the food being made in London.
    I was reading FT’s Tyler about the lack of awnings and greens at the mall.
    At least the foodies get it

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Oh, although a fan of Tyler and Monocle, I find his pieces for the FT often rather annoying:) yes, but there was a lack of awnings…

      The foodies are really getting it. Simple, tasty and going back to the roots. Thanks Carol.

  • Reply leah of sang the bird August 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Great pics! I love the way you write. I feel as though i am there with you. Ride the amazing atmosphere that is london xx

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you Leah. That’s a huge compliment.

      I’m really pleased that my coverage of some of the Olympics/festivities has made you feel this way;)

      I was quite upset today to have left the ‘buzz’ that is London but I had a full 2 weeks of it. Anyway, next up is the Paralympics!

  • Reply Holly August 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Hi there Tina. I didn’t realize that this was an issue for the London Olympics. Your beautiful pics portray a different feel, one that is happy and very lively. I would love to be able to check out Potters Field! Looks amazing! Glad to know you are soaking in all the wonderfulness that is London at the moment, and sharing it with us here 🙂


    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Yes, think you would have enjoyed the atmosphere and food at Potters Field! Must go back there for the Paralympics xx

  • Reply annie August 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I saw all the photos from potters field on instagram too late. wish we’d gone and also wish we’d gone to watch the marathon run through leadenhall market. what a sight that must have been.

    It is oddly quiet I agree. But i don’t think we can really blame Westfield as that was closed to non-ticket holders at the weekend too. All those chain stores must have been up in arms!

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Chain stores can hopefully ride the waves… It’s only 2 weeks and then another couple of weeks for the Paralympics.

      With your Olympic schedule, I doubt you could have fitted in any further viewing points!!

  • Reply Paige Elizabeth August 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Oh Tina! You totally captured the beautiful energy in the city right now! I loved the BA campaign, ‘Don’t fly. Support Team GB!’ And your photos! Love, love, love. Especially the one looking up at the shard and the one at the end of the Millennium Bridge (#6). Gorgeous!

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Yes, I also LOVE the BA campaign…

      Oh, thank you Paige, coming from the pro, that means a lot!! X

  • Reply Lauren August 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    From where we sit (stupid tape delay!), it looks like London is doing a brilliant job hosting the world at these Olympics. I’ve loved watching every minute of it, and I’ve enjoyed your London/Olympic posts as well. Our news did a report on the unexpected exuberance of the British at these games, and it was a delight to see.

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks Lauren, we’re all delighted you guys over there are enjoying the games we’re hosting. We feel the world really participating:)

  • Reply Gerard McGuickin August 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Well darlin’ I do love your images (except one in particular). You have a great way of capturing a moment on camera. I will say no more… I’ve made my feelings clear on the other thing 😉 xx

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Haha. Actually, very soon, you’ll have a 2 weeks respite period before the Paralympics. Enjoy and make the most of it. Thanks hun xx

  • Reply noreen August 7, 2012 at 12:23 am

    oh you found lots of people! and your photos of architecture are beautiful! it must feel great to have the olympics there, and to have your team doing well. hooray for london!

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Yeah, found some folks…. looked in the usual suspect places:)

      Hooray for team GB, who’ve done everyone proud.

      Also huge congratulations to Jamaica!!!

  • Reply Theresa August 7, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Really great post, Tina. Oh, the media. You really can’t believe a word they say, can you? I was watching an interview with Dan Rather and he noted something that was really interesting. He said that in his heyday, there were over 40 media outlets from where people could get their news. Today (in America anyway) there are four. Four! That means all the small (read: independent) media outlets have been purchased by the larger media outlets, which are owned by big corporations that now control the news we hear/read, pushing their agenda on us. Further, it’s no longer news for news sake, it’s for ratings. Happy you’re challenging and pushing back what you hear/read. Gosh, if we believed everything the media reported, we would never leave our house. 😉 London is doing a smashing job with the Olympics. Kudos!

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      The wonderful media. We are quite proud of the UK being democratic and open in our media coverage. Of course, to us it’s shocking that middle america is kept in the dark and NYC seems one of the only cities in th US with real international coverage.

      The media must always be challenged and YES, always take it with a pinch of salt;)

  • Reply geraldine August 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Beautiful photography. Potters Place looks like the place to be! Will also look out for Feast next year:)

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you Geraldine:) Potters Bar will close Sunday but re-open for the Paralympics….definitely worth going to!

  • Reply Nicola August 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Had in the Feast in the diary but couldn’t fit it in on Sunday as having tea near Portobello…..

    This is a wonderful post for me, not only because of your usual high standard of photography and writing but it brought back many reminiscences of the area from when I used to live there. Thank you Tina!

    August is always quiet in London, everyones away and tickets are half price in the theatres but that’s never been highlighted in the news before. This year it seems to be the only negative nugget they can zoom in on.

    The Olympics have been superbly organised and an inspiration for all generations. I’ve loved every minute of it.

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Ha. I have to say you made the right choice…:)

      Happy you went down memory lane:)

      You know, I think you’re absolutely right! August is always quite in town. I’m often away then and just don’t notice how empty it gets.
      However, there was so much talk of millions decending upon London that now it seems like an anti-climax.

      I LOVED every minute too and look forward to the Paralympics. What a great summer of sport!!! Thanks for your comment c

  • Reply Nicola August 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

    p.s. tea towels?

  • Reply Chi@106 August 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I just love your roving reportage, Tina and the fact that you do it all on your trusty scooter is waaay too cool for school!!!
    You have such a knack for brilliant story-telling with your camera. Every time I visit, your photography just gets better and better! Truly inspiring.

    There will always be opportunists and spoilsports but I’m loving the general mood of London (and the nation at large) at the moment. Such a shame it will all have to end soon. 🙁

    Speaking of spoilsports, did you hear/read Morrissey’s comments about the Olympics/royal family/British patriotism? *Blows raspberry*

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      One of these days I’ll be stopped by the police and given panalty charges. I just know this will happen.

      Thank you for your compliments….:)
      I know, I’m already feeling lost. There’ll be a huge anti-climax when it’s all over. I rather enjoyed the “be nice to your neighbour” attitude we’ve been having in London. X

      Morrisseys comments sucked!!!

  • Reply Anya Adores August 8, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Fab trip through London Tina, I am with you all the way., breathing in the atmosphere and sights. Thanks and London see you soon xxx :))

    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      That’s nice. You being here every step of the way;)
      Can’t wait for you to coem to London. Will you ride on my Vespa??

  • Reply Kelly Sparkes August 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Gosh I’m missing so much, but lovely to see it through your beautiful photos!

    I wonder how many other Londoners are taking extended holidays to get away from the ‘travel chaos’ the news and tube posters has been predicting since April. If Oxford Circus is eerily quiet then perhaps my commute would have been better during the Olympics, ironic…


    • Reply tina August 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Ha, yes, I think you would have had an easy commute to work. Gosh, you got a 5 weeks holiday out of this. Genius!!!

      Hope you’re having a smashing time xx

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