Exciting, thriving, and thoroughly entertaining Kingston upon Thames! I felt like I was walking into a lively Mardi Gras walking through the streets in full varied kaleidoscopic color and charisma. The most intriguing thing however, is that Kingston still retains a little village feel in full character where everyone is happy to see you. Everywhere my gaze was diverted, I felt like my newly widened eyes were attempting to take in all the merriment and the buzz of pumping activity that was proudly presenting itself to me.
Kingston upon Thames is only 12 miles from Central London and one of London’s 33 boroughs. I was swept away with how ‘alive’ this place feels, in turn it made me come to life just by being immersed in her exhilarating vibe. A few peaceful minutes walk away though, for a complete change of scenery, you can stroll along the Thames River path and watch the graceful white Swans as they glide through the serene water ripples.
This quirky riverside town has a mixture of everything I adore and admire. A town rich in historical treasures and interesting stories that took me on a nostalgic journey wherever I walked. Kingston is one of the few places I’ve visited that really does suit every genre, every personality, every gender and any age with a blend of unique independent and brand name shops, eclectic street markets, and a diverse selection of cafés, bars and restaurants.
Speaking of shopping, where can I start? There are over 500 shops to explore, meander into and potter around in, ranging from department stores, boutiques, high street stores, malls, and all your favorite brand stores too. The Bentalls Department Store itself in pedestrianized Clarence Street has 85 shops to visit.
The excitation and energy is in full swing as you perambulate through the Ancient Market Place. Open from Monday to Saturday, this is certainly the heartbeat of Kingston town and the shops all around compliment the ambiance. This is the perfect place to buy fruit and vegetables, meat and fish and every food group in between. At the start of every new week, you can grab a bargain at the famous ‘Monday Market’ located in the Cattle Market car park which operates from 9am – 1.30pm and has ever changing stalls. If you need a fueling snack for shopping and sightseeing, the marketplace eateries are an affordable way to eat some lunch! Yummy noodles, mouthwatering samosas and delicious tasty burgers are just some of your gastronomic choices.
If your taste buds are craving a cuisine that’s a little more worldly and foreign then Exotic Tagine is the place to be seen! Having never been lucky enough to visit Morocco yet, after being here and eating here, I felt like I just got another stamp in my passport. Just follow your nose, and the Moroccan flavors and spices will lure you with its tempting, creative, authentic dishes. The rainbow of colors served on your plate looks beautifully nutritious, fresh and healthy.
While we are eating our way through the globe, next stop Japan. Satori Sushi in the Bentalls Department Store offers dishes that are 100% pure art on a plate. Your eyes will follow each dish on the conveyor and the myriad of choices will taunt you. Each mouthful melted in my mouth with heavenly divine freshness. I couldn’t stop eating here even though I was full. It all looked too good!
Let’s deliciously travel again, this time to Germany and Austria to Steins Restaurant and Bar in High Street. This is a complete Bavarian experience. Within seconds of walking through the front door, the sensational mode in the air made me want to grab a beer stein, chink my glass and yell “bottoms up!” I definitely recommend a share platter for a social Bavarian feast. Also open for brunch and lunch, you will never forget the fantastic journey you’ve undergone here.
Kingston upon Thames will welcome you with interesting culture, live music to shop by, a rich history and a great nightlife – all nestled by the picturesque Thames River.
For more information on Kingston you can visit www.kingstonfirst.co.uk
Have you been to Kingston upon Thames?