Say you’re a little lost bear from the depths of Peru. You’ve found yourself in London and have in front of you a whole new city to explore. Where would you go? What would you do? And how in the world, exactly, did you end up here in London in the first place? With the opening of the Paddington film coming up, we were inspired to discover London town through the eyes of this curious little character. And if you share an affinity for playing hide-and-seek with alpacas, sampling the deliciousness of local homemade marmalade, or just really want to explore the city limits, we’ve got some Paddington-approved spots to help you (or any bear) feel like they belong here.
The Borough Market
First things first: we must put our finger on the pulse (and in the jar) of the local marmalade scene. To do that, we of course head to London’s most renowned food market. This is a haven for anybody (anybear?) who cares about the quality of the food they eat—chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks, and marmalade connoisseurs of all kinds in London come to The Borough Market to shop for the freshest, best quality ingredients available in the city.
Vauxhall City Farm
You know what a Peruvian bear probably misses most? His friends from home, the alpacas. So we head over to the city farm next to meet Tom, Ben, and Jerry, the stars of Vauxhall’s farmyard show. And maybe the best part of these inquisitive, sensitive alpaca characters? Their funky hairdos. One can’t help but want to pat them on the head. And then maybe go in for a full hug.
Marmalade sandwiches can only tide one’s tummy over for so long, so we decided make a special meal part of our London exploration. And when it comes to incredible Peruvian cuisine, there is Lima Fitzrovia, a Michelin Star-winning restaurant created by world-renown chef, Virgilio Martinez. It’s actually the first Peruvian restaurant to ever be awarded a Michelin Star, so there’s no doubt that Paddington should feel pretty proud of his much-heralded native cuisine.
After all the hustle and bustle of markets and farms and award-winning meals, a bear might be longing for some connection to the wilderness. And for that, we head to Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most popular green spaces, six kilometers from Trafalgar Square. It’s close to the action, but has just enough room to breath and feel connected to nature.
Museum of Childhood
Paddington knows who his people are, and those people would be the kids. So to soak in the fantastical world of little people and their imaginations, we head to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which houses the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of childhood-related artefacts spanning from the 1600s until now. It’s a curious, magical world of playtime memories; a world where Paddington most certainly can feel like he can belongs.