God’s Own Junkyard – the best of secret London

When Cooper said he was taking me to Walthamstow to explore a cool London secret he’d heard about called God’s Own Junkyard, well, I thought he’d slightly lost the plot!

But, as it turns out, this place is extraordinary. Housed in an unassuming warehouse, the immense collection of neon signs and vintage finds from old nightclubs, bars, film sets and abandoned stores really lights you up. It’s fascinating. There’s a bar and cafe too.

Take a look around God’s Own Junkyard with us…

Do you know somewhere quirky and cool we should visit in London? Drop us a line in the comments below.

 

Loving life and food at the Japan Centre London

We are huge fans of Japan and have been meaning to visit the relatively new London destination, Japan Centre London.

For anyone who loves Japanese food, culture and products direct from Japan, the Japan Centre London (Soho) is the destination for you.

Take a peek inside the Japan Centre London here…

Know another cool cultural experience in London that we should take a look at? Please leave us a comment below.

Anzac Day in London

 

Back at home in Australia sometimes you’ll find us engaged in banter at the pub with our neighbours from New Zealand. We’ll give each other a little good-humoured grief about our accents and get into heated debates about who boasts the best cities.

We can make fun of each other at home, you know? But overseas when we run into an Antipodean on our travels we more often than not stick together.

It’s a little like how in your family you can make fun (within reason, obviously) of siblings or cousins, but if someone else tries to, we’ll automatically defend the other.

A lot of this mateship goes back to war times, and on 25 April each year our nations commemorate Anzac Day to observe when our troupes landed at Gallipoli in 1915.

Today Anzac Day still stands as one of our nations’ most important occasions and is marked by a public holiday each year, as well as moving dawn services and daytime military marches.

Incidentally, it’s also my birthday.

Indeed, many of us make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli in Turkey for special dawn ceremonies.

And, there are always services in London including a dawn service at the Australian War Memorial, Hyde Park Corner which is – you might be surprised to know – usually overflowing with attendees.

If you have spent any time travelling or living abroad, you’ll appreciate that the sense of patriotism is often stronger when you’re away from home.

Add that to an emotional national day and you’ll usually find a hive of expats huddling together flying their flag.

On Anzac Day, Aussies and Kiwis unite, and being this far away – just as our men were 102 years ago – it’s a poignant moment to be part of.

It’s for this reason that I jumped on an opportunity that a colleague at work – a lovely lady from New Zealand – told me about.

Each year our High Commission offers passes to special ceremonies, and those with an Australian or New Zealand passport can apply.

You can try this link from the beginning of each year (or if it’s not working, Google ‘Anzac Day London High Commission’).

You must apply for passes to attend this special service, held at the Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall, and followed by a church service at Westminster Abbey up the road.

Here’s a sample of what we experienced:

The day was moving and memorable. Highly recommended – add the task to your diary from February next year. We’ll definitely do this again.