Little Venice review
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It always feels like a slothful Sunday morning in Little Venice: sunny, slow and easy. I can see one guy shuffling along the towpath with his paper and a giant mug of tea -- he's still got his pyjamas on. I'm being serious! He's just popped his head out the door to listen to the songbirds. That is Little Venice for you.
Little Venice consists of three different sections separated by two blue bridges. The prettiest stretch is definitely up the far end of Blomfield Road and Maida Avenue (which run either side of the same canal). This is the picture postcard place that everyone comes to see. Obviously I prefer the other two sections -- the 'lived in' bits -- because there are more tales to tell over there. But let's start with Maida Avenue.
There are two kinds of houseboat in the world. Some are covered in green crust and bird sh*t and have peeling panels flaking away like dandruff. Whilst the pretty ones (the ones down Maida Avenue) have got a chimney on top and bright red gypsy-style lettering -- like a poster from Billy Smart's circus. Let me describe it to you. You probably won't believe it's as twee as this, but I promise you I'm seeing all these things this morning: chopped logs and fairy lights wrapped around the railings; empty bird feeders dangling from the spindly winter trees; rusty coloured water-cans and ornamental benches. One houseboat owner has put fifty plant pots on top and tied some ribbons to a tree. Another one has put a carpet of artificial grass and a deckchair on his roof. I've just had a quick little look inside a porthole and seen a collection of china teapots and pottery frogs -- that is a perfect example of what this place is all about. It's the kind of place where old grandmas and grandpas and robin redbreasts might live.
But then you cross over the bridge and everything turns into concrete (I'm talking about the junction between Warwick Avenue and Westbourne Terrace, where the two canals meet.) It has a few ugly ducklings in the water -- the kind of ducks that never turn into swans -- and some stooping, drooping trees trailing their wooden fingers in the water, but it's mainly a place to catch a canal bus up to Camden. The most popular one is Jason's Canal Trip (check out my separate review -- it's well worth a try), but there's also a cheapo waterbus on the opposite side. Or you can grab a cup of tea from the little houseboat cafe.
Don't bother going any further into Delamere Terrace. The ornate blue bridge might look tempting, but it's actually an iron curtain hiding a waterway of doom. The overgrown towpaths don't have fallen twigs and flower petals over there -- they have old Coke cans and cigarette ends. They have weeds instead of flowers. A punctured football instead of a swan.
The boat owners down Maida Avenue arrange a parade of country stuff on top of their homes, like candle lanterns and bags of wood chippings, whereas these ones dump their empty Calor Gas bottles, blue tarpaulins and giant plastic sheets.
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Fri 18th Aug, 2017Hi, I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Clarence House is going to be closed in October, by the way, if you were... more
Thu 10th Aug, 2017I emailed them to ask, and got this reply back: You are more than welcome to bring your dog on our boat trip. Not only... more
Tue 8th Aug, 2017Cheers Jim, I hope your enjoy your visit. I've been to Sydney a few times so I'm almost an Aussie. Never got... more
Wed 19th Jul, 2017It's a beautiful building to visit and well worth seeing inside, but I agree that the court cases themselves can be... more
Sat 15th Jul, 2017I can not think about your review, I am still laughing ... thanks. I plan to visit the Jewel Tower in August. The... more
Mon 10th Jul, 2017it's funny that you posted your comment today because I've just been thinking about going again (it's... more
Tue 27th Jun, 2017Not sure I can really help with a visa mate, but I hope you enjoy your visit
Tue 20th Jun, 2017I'm in the Top 10 fruitcakes, definitely... maybe the Top 5 on a good day
Tue 30th May, 2017Cheers bob, handy piece of info
Mon 29th May, 2017They're basically just buskers so I wouldn't have a clue, sorry. You could try contacting the Covent Garden... more
Thu 25th May, 2017To be honest I can't remember. You definitely can at St. Paul's because I sat in them myself (but then... more
Wed 24th May, 2017Apparently that's nothing more than a pat on the head, to tell the horse he's done a good job. But it's... more