Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Little Venice - not the real thing, but not bad.

Anyone who knows me will have had at least one conversation with me which involved me uttering the words "I really want to go to Venice". Truth is, it's always been top of my list of places to visit, for reasons unfathomable. Although I've not made that pilgrimage yet, a friend - who had probably got fed up of my whining about wanting to go to Venice- recently took pity on me and arranged a trip to Little Venice, which is surprisingly situated in the heart of London, just around the corner from Paddington station.

To get into the spirit of things, we took a canal boat to Little Venice. The 30 minute journey along the Regent's Canal was lined by canal boats on either side, each more extravagantly furnished and bizarrely named than the previous. On arriving at Little Venice, where the Canal opened up into a lake (probably not the technical boating term, but it'll suffice for these purposes) we hopped off the boat and began exploring. The first thing we came across was The Waterside Cafe, a quaint cafe in a boat:

(The photo doesn't do justice to the quaintness)
  We meandered on a little further passing a few exclusive-looking restaurants - one of which, The Summerhouse, I very much intend to return to one day, when I have pennies in my pocket- before crossing over the river and walking back down the other side. Along our way, we came across London's answer to Jack Sparrow's ship, moored in the canal.
Our wandering taught us that there isn't much to actually do in Little Venice, once you've had your fill of boats and window shopping (window eating??) in overpriced restaurants. So we pottered off to the nearest restaurant we could afford (Strada), and ate Italian food until our hearts were content, all the while imagining that we were in real Venice.

Conclusion: Worth a visit for an hour or so, but not a lot to see and do. Fingers firmly crossed that the real Venice is more lively.

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