I paid a visit to Camden Town this morning, partly as an outing and partly to buy cat food. My first destination was Palmer’s, a small but well stocked pet care store in Camden Town’s Parkway.
The modern shop is on the other side of the road and the above picture shows the original shop, opened in the 1920s. It took the name “Regent Pet Stores” only later, perhaps as an allusion to the London Regent’s Park Zoo which is not so very far away. Many zoo visitors would have passed this way and perhaps been tempted by the thought of taking home their own monkey or parrot.
The shop remained vacant for some time but now appears to be operating as a cafe. It’s future is assured as it is now a Grade II listed building. Whatever you might think of the trade in helpless animals, the shop is an interesting reminder of times past.
Camden Town is quite a lively place. Camden High Street, a broad but fairly typical English high street full of shops, branches at the tube station (and appended HSBC bank) with the right-hand branch becoming Kentish Town Road and leading to another interesting area, while the left-hand one passes Chalk Farm and up Haverstock Hill to Hampstead.
On the Kentish Town side is the famous World’s End, one of the area’s many pubs, but the more interesting side is arguably the left branch.
That’s where you will find the Camden Market, quiet today but besieged by tourists in the high season.
If it is “alternative” that sets your heart a-flutter, then this is the place to come.
Here you will find clothes, shoes, underwear and all manner of goods, suitable for every possible fad or fallacy known to the young (and the not quite so young) and trendy.
You can be dressed, shod, accoutred, tattooed and pierced without breaking sweat. You can purchase purchase anything mentionable and a few things it would be better not to mention.
Just up the road is Camden Lock, but that merits an article of its own.
Opposite the Camden Market is Inverness Street, which has its own market and a row of cafes and restaurants.
My main reason for coming to Inverness Street was to see what had happened to Bar Solo. I have mentioned this excellent cafe several times before as we often went there for breakfast at weekends. One day we found it closed, much to our disappointment. I wondered whether it had closed down for good or whether it had risen again.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that it had indeed risen again. It was still closed so I didn’t go in (the photo above was taken on a previous visit) but the manager saw me and came outside to speak to me.
He said that Solo had indeed closed for 3 months but was now open and running again. He confirmed that they were still serving their tasty vegetarian breakfasts and I promised that we would visit and partake very soon!
It’s nice when an outing ends on a high note like that!