Thursday, 20 March 2014

Following in the Footsteps of PC Peter Grant

While I was in London, we did quite a bit more than attending the Super Comic Con. One thing I was determined to do was to visit Patisserie Valerie in Old Compton Street. I've been there before, but this time, I wanted to sit at the very table that is mentioned in Moon over Soho, the second book in Ben Aaronovitch's series about magical policeman Peter Grant.
In fact, I managed to follow quite a Peter Grant trail over the weekend!
I came into London by National Express coach, which goes through Holland Park - a rather lovely, leafy area, with beautiful houses - and the scene of some gruesome murders in the first book, Rivers of London.
Later, my Young Man took me to Moss Bros to pick up the suit he'd hired for his Penguin costume. This is not mentioned in the books - but wow! What a wonderful shop!

While the Young Man was trying on the tail coat, I asked one of the assistants if he knew about the history of the building, and he said it had been a fire station! That was obviously in the days when public services were a cause for celebration rather than cuts!

We went on from there to Covent Garden, which is where the first book opens - just here, in fact -

Here's St Paul's church, and I was amused to see the Punch and Judy Tavern opposite.
When we came back that way to drop off the tail coat after the weekend, I heard opera playing from one of the sunken courtyards. "That's live," the Young Man said, and led me through to the other end of the row of shops to look down at a young lady singing. She wasn't using a microphone, and we'd been able to hear her right at the other end of the building.

Later on Monday afternoon, after we'd staggered out of the Viking Exhibition at the British Museum, our heads bursting with all the new knowledge, we headed to Old Compton Street for cake and coffee at Patisserie Valerie. On the way, we passed the Spice of Life - one of the jazz clubs mentioned in Moon over Soho. Then we sat at the very table used by Simone and Peter Grant in the book and enjoyed the double chocolate gateaux (me) and the Black Forest gateaux (the Young Man). It was a wonderful (and very sweet!) end to a wonderful day.

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