1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
My favourite is a small store near Baker Street, it’s a hidden gem called The Fruit Garden. It styles itself as a ‘health food store’ stocking organic food, fresh fruit and vegetables and almost every specialty food item I’ve ever wanted to include in a Foodie Penpals box. Even though you can’t do your weekly shop there, for random ingredients it is fantastic. Unlike the big brand supermarkets I searched in (who stocked none), it even stocks three types of dessicated Coconut – necessary for Lolly Cake of course!
2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand?
The Fruit Garden doesn’t really do ‘store brand items’ but I find generally the answer is yes as the brands have really brought their quality game up. There are a few items that we like to buy brand names such as biscuits (Jaffa cakes). Such a discerning Foodie, no?
3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? i.e. bus, bike, car, etc
For commuting it’s generally the tube & train system in London linking and transporting millions of people everyday, but for sightseeing and getting to know London I definitely adore the bus (especially the heritage bus routes 15 & 27).
4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies?
One of the four giants – we prefer particular brands for these. Funnily enough, one of the hardest obstacles we’ve had to overcome is not having a car to transport all of these delights home. Weirdly, we catch the train 5 minutes to our nearest supermarket – only in London!
5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends?
Well, where do I start? Kiwi faves include Ozone, Sacred and the Attendant, more exotic finds include the Nordic Bakery, the Forties Tea Room and Broadway Market.
Plus these questions from, well, me!
What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment?
When I started to understand the way Brits talk in idioms – at the Foodie Blogger Connect conference, a blogger asked the speaker how long it could take to break into ‘real journalism’ and I automatically thought “how long is a piece of string” echoing the speaker’s answer. Basically it means there are so many factors that you have to take into account that it’s difficult to put a number on it. Why not just say so? I’m not sure, that’s the beauty of British eccentricity.
Does your real accent get in the way?
Not anymore, sadly. When I first came to live in London I had quite a soft but still discernable accent, my speech was all at ‘suxes’ (sixes) and ‘sivins’ (sevens) but the longer I live here with my British hubby (and cat) and British workmates, the softer it’s becoming. It’s now getting to the point that people don’t realise I’m from anywhere else.
I do have Kiwi friends to have been here much much longer, and still have fair dinkum accents. I wonder what the difference is? I was told by a kindly gentleman that adoption of an accent is a sign of assimilation, so I guess I just need to enjoy the way things are.
What’s your favourite or least understood accent?