There's a tendency to rush around when you're in the heart of the city. I've been prone to doing it too. In fact, I fall firmly into the category of Londoner-complaining-about-tourist-walking-too-slowly-in-front-of-them. It's not something I'm proud of, but here we are.
Recently though, I've tried being mindful of this. Being in a rush, always trying to get to the next place, zig-zagging past pedestrians is something we're used to seeing in films, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's all or nothing. I also don't condone ambling through the city at a leisurely pace whilst people are trying to get somewhere, mainly out of common courtesy for others. The same way that taking a moment to breathe deeply and exhale allows a stillness of mind, by taking a little extra time to appreciate your surroundings makes for a much more peaceful day, without losing any time in the process.
So what did the most recent foray into London look like?
If you know me, which I hope you do by now, you won't be surprised that every meeting point is usually a coffee shop. One lesser known spot in Soho, but one that rivals any other local, is Archetype. Small in stature, the shop only has a handful of tables, and is usually soundtracked with lo-fi Nujabes-esqe records. It's perfect if you're not in a rush to be anywhere, but it's also a handy take-away spot if you do.
The trusty flat white is a great choice to kick off the day especially when paired with the Media Corona, or, should you have a little bit more time, the Tiburon, both of which are part of the new EGM Cigars collection.
When I travel through London, I always remind myself to look up. We have a proclivity at times to keep our heads down, usually staring at phone screens whilst trying not to knock into anyone. But the beauty of the architecture London has to offer is quite something. Especially if you look above the shop façades on Oxford Street. And particularly once you get to St. James's.
Once there, any lunch meeting is always made better when takes place at Franco's on Jermyn Street. The EGM Encantos, a favourite of ours, is a perfect choice for a smoke that's still light enough so you can get on with your day, but the format means it can be savoured throughout lunch - regardless of how long you spend there.
The trick with living in a city as fast-paced and erratic as London tends to be, is to make the most of the smaller pockets of time where you can switch your brain off. Enjoy the noise, the atmosphere, the food, the people, the culture and community, and of course, cap it all off with your favourite cigar.