Tattoos, glad rags and cat food

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.

Palmer's Regent Pet Stores
Palmer’s Regent Pet Stores

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 High Street branches
Camden High Street branches

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.

The World's End
The World’s End

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.

Camden Market
Camden Market

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.

"Alternative" shopping
“Alternative” shopping

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.

Glad rags, tattoos  and piercings
Glad rags, tattoos and piercings

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.

Inverness Street
Inverness Street

Opposite the Camden Market is Inverness Street, which has its own market and a row of cafes and restaurants.

Brasilian Restaurant, Inverness Street
Brazilian Restaurant, Inverness Street

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.

Bar Solo
Bar Solo

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!


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Tattoos, glad rags and cat food

  1. Reluctant Blogger says:

    I love those buildings that you find on corners, that are shaped like headlands – I’m sure they must have a name but if I knew it I have long forgotten it.

    I too like to see old shops and think back to their past lives. There are several like that here where the old name is part of the building and the new one appears alongside. Imagine stopping off and buying a monkey! It’s just the kind of thing my boys would want to do after a trip to the zoo.

    I’m glad Bar Solo has reopened and that you will be able to partake again of a tasty breakfast very soon.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Tigger is fascinated by those cheese-slice buildings as well. I’ve never been inside so I don’t know what it is like.

      I enjoy going to museums and seeing mock-ups of old shops and businesses though I am glad that wild animals are no longer on sale.

      We are looking forward to returning to Solo for breakfast. I was nice to be remembered as well!

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