I so always compare Finland and England. I guess it is natural if you are not living in your home country that you observe around yourself a lot more. I am, however, not one of those patriotic Finns who cannot see many positive things outside of Finland, in fact I always try to find the things that are better (sometimes it is not that easy though :)). Of course I recognise that where I come from things are arranged amazingly well. I think the fact that British newspapers so often write about Nordics and particularly about Finland in a very positive or even admiring way, tells that our system is quite great. I have to still say that if I didn’t find London so fantastic I wouldn’t live here just for the sake of a good job and cosmopolitan vibe. There are many things in this city and in this country that I so love.
I love British pub culture. I truly admire how you cannot see old drunks in the pubs often but they are places where you can take your family for a lovely Sunday roast. I love the theatre and show culture in London. I think Scotland is stunning with its beautiful old stone houses. I love London being so multicultural that there is hardly anything you couldn’t find. If you fancy Belgian beer or Indian curry ingredients you will find a place to buy them and not too far from you.
One thing I particularly love is London high street culture. There are always nice small high streets in different areas in London. On those you find independent bakeries, butchers, fish markets or greengrocers. This is something what I know I will miss when (or if) we return to Finland. In Finland most of the shopping is done in big supermarkets or grocery stores. Sure there are pros and cons in this. In Finland you hardly ever leave the store without getting all your groceries in one go, but the sad side of it is that it is pretty hard to get freshly caught fish ( I mean fish that comes straight from the port) or delicious fresh and meaty roasts or home made sausages.
The are where my Aussie husband and I live in we have this lovely Mrs Lovell’s Greengrocer on our nearest high street. It is so cute and believe it or not Mrs Lovell’s carrots, parsnips and apples are just so delicious. They are always so fresh and juicy. This greengrocer has fruits, vegetables and herbs and everything is packed in paper bags so it is environmentally friendly. I go there regularly as I like the idea of supporting the local stores and I love munching carrots for snack.
We have also a cute little fish store called Fishmongers nearby. The sales assistants are so friendly that for example when I went there the other day and took this photo the guy wanted to be in it and show his prawns to my camera! They have a fantastic selection of fish and seafood!
We also have a few nice independent butchers in this area. This one is the closest one and they sell delicious pork roasts!
The best thing with these small stores is that they are not actually that much more expensive than supermarkets, in fact sometimes even cheaper, and the quality is to the roof have to say! Meat, fish and vegetables are so much better when bought in these local stores rather than in plastic wrappings at the supermarkets!