Sunday, February 28, 2016

Farewell, Mr. Croque


I was sorry to see, when I went down to Baker Street yesterday for my French class, that Croque Monsieur has bitten the dust. Where will Sherlock Holmes go now?! There have been other casualties in this same building -- Bar Linda is long gone and has been replaced by a chain sushi restaurant. Methinks the landlord may have hiked the rents?

I suspect this is a lean time of year for small businesses. Dave and I tried to do our part on Friday by going to a small local restaurant we've been curious about, called The Petite Corée ("The Little Korea," en Française). It's a cute place and we were very impressed with the food, sort of a French-Korean fusion -- which sounds unusual, and I suppose it is, but it works. We started the evening at the nearby Railway pub, where supposedly the Beatles played back in the day. (And where recently there have been a few renovations. It is indeed very light and pleasant inside -- although I seem to remember some grumbling among locals, either online or in the newspaper, about gentrification.)

I got out in the garden yesterday and cleaned out the area where our climbing roses and blackberries grow. It was getting a little jungly over there, overshadowing the day lilies and other flowers beneath. I cut out one of the biggest blackberry canes, which I hated to do, but after I'd cleaned away the rest of the brambles it looked ridiculous lying across the flowerbed all by itself. So, gone. We will have fewer backyard blackberries this summer. I never could keep up with them all, anyway -- and I can always pick them on the Heath.

9 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

We have a bramble hedge at the bottom of our garden. I deliberately left it like that for security reasons. I mean - which would you rather tackle - barbed wire, an electric fence or a jumble of vicious brambles?

Ms. Moon said...

Oh. Poor Mr. Croque! I would make a pun but I won't.

Red said...

With the low success rate of small businesses, I wonder why so many people start them?

John Gray said...

Oh dear...lets hope a starbucks doesnt appear in its place eh

Sharon Anck said...

I checked out the link for that restaurant and it looks very, very interesting. I saw on the menu that they serve a Croque Monsieur also with stir-fried kimchi. I wonder what that is like.
When I worked in Chicago one of my favorite places to eat was called Le Colonial a French/Vietnamese restaurant. A combination that seemed to work very well.

Linda Sue said...

Shame about Bar Linda...no worries about your blackberries, once established they are difficult to discourage.

jenny_o said...

Small businesses have been dropping like flies in our town the past few years. Probably not just our town either, from the sound of things. It's everywhere. Glad you and Dave are doing your bit to keep them going!

37paddington said...

It must be hard to keep storefront business's going these days when so much of retail has moved online. It's great that you and Dave support your neighborhood establishments.

Sarah Bynum said...

I'm sorry. I'm just going to plant myself here and have a moan. You have broken my heart! I live in America now but I go to Croque Monsieur every time I visit and had been eating prawn mayo there for 17 years. I used to take my lunch down the street into Regent's Park for a picnic. It does feel like the quirky authentic spirit of London is being scooped out and replaced with pre-packaged sameness. I suppose that's the way of things, at all times of history and all over the world - but I'm alarmed by what I perceive as so much of what made London London being burned away so rapidly. Every year I visit, I can barely recognize the skyline over the East End because they've thrown new skyscrapers up. CXR used to be a famous place to pick up books - almost an entire street of literature. Now they've moved and downsized Foyle's and it seems most of the independent book stores have closed. And the markets, Spitalfields covered in particular, used to be a neat place to pick up cheap tat off a stall or some home printed shirts off some upcoming young designer. Now you can buy the same exact shirts for £5 off any number of stalls because so much mass produced junk is being shipped in from the east to anyone who'll flog it. I used to go to an old hat stall and buy a good quality flat cap my grandfather would have worn but now I see that stall's been replaced by a new stall where I can buy a flimsy flatcap in any colour of the rainbow for £5 from China. I know I probably sound like a moaning old woman but I DO miss my London. I miss the London that felt like a real place and not something that was shipped in from a factory. It's the timeless refrain - I'm sick of "wonderful progress" gnawing away at the things I loved...