perfectly pint-sized patio

We spend endless hours lovingly tending the gardens at Kernolou, quite certainly disproportionate to the time we find to sit and relax there.  Conversely our pint-sized patio in London that we use on a daily basis has customarily received scant attention apart from the occasional watering, wash and brush-up.

All change this year though. We’ve repaired and repainted the walls; the old garden furniture that we bought from that stalwart of the high street Woolworth’s for next to nothing some 12 years ago finally gave up the ghost and has been replaced. New pots, tubs and containers are all brimming with flowers, fruits and herbs and we’ve installed some solar lights so we can enjoy the space well into the evening.

Although the pint-sized patio is less than 12sqm we’ve nurtured and harvested the freshest of tomatoes, a lovely crop of succulent strawberries and now have a constant supply of fresh herbs.

Right now the geraniums are a riot of red clambering ever higher out of the window box and the new succulents in their pristine terracotta tubs are producing a wealth of trailing delicate daisy-like flowers.

As it gets a little cooler moving into Autumn we’re already thinking about planting snowdrops and daffodils, in fact ‘All Kinds of Everything’

Check-out my garden gallery for more pics!

Courtyard garden gallery

a little oasis in the heart of London; even surrounded by 8′ high walls our tiny courtyard garden is a real sun-trap

a little solar lighting to brighten up the dark nights..


Our London home is in Islington just moments from the Angel. The area is called St Peter’s, it’s a leafy, quiet sort of place with a mix of rows of Georgian Terraces and the new high-rise luxury apartments springing up along the City Road complemented by the peace and tranquility of the Regent’s canal at the heart of it all.

Islington canal barge

Islington Tunnel

After passing through the Kings Cross-Islington tunnel, the Regent’s canal surfaces here and narrowboats, longboats and river cruisers of all shapes and sizes are moored along this short stretch. These are visitors moorings so boats may only stay up to 14 days at a time.

Regents canal tunnel islington


In addition to the hundreds of bars and restaurants along Upper Street just a few minutes walk away, we’re spoilt with a wealth of local pubs in the immediate area, each individual and with its own unique twist, but all serving great food and fine ale!

The 170 year old Charles Lamb, named after the Essayist and Poet who was born just around the corner on Colebrooke Row, is a local’s delight with board games a-plenty, real ale and a warm welcome for humans as well as their dogs!.

Charles Lamb

Herbie favours the bench seating…

Charles lamb pub Elia street

Just along the canal opposite Wenlock Basin is the hugely popular Young’s pub, The Narrowboat. Food is seasonal, fresh and the Sunday lunches here are legendary. It’s a dog friendly pub too..

Where else would you expect to find Britain’s first (and only) Certified Organic Pub? The Duke of Cambridge on St Peter’s Street offers a daily changing menu celebrating all things fresh and seasonal from their own farm, complemented by a wide range of organic wines and beers from small independent breweries. Pampered pooches are permitted in the bar area..

Riverford duke of Cambridge pub

The Island Queen, on Noel Road defines itself as Islington’s local pub with great food, a weekly quiz night and an upstairs lounge. High ceilings, etched glass and mirrors combine with scrubbed tables and soft sofas to provide an enchanting and welcoming atmosphere. Dogs allowed.

The Earl of Essex is Islington’s first BrewPub, and.they’re serious about their beer. They also serve great food and have an amazing beer garden tucked away at the back. You guessed it, dogs allowed but best avoided on the weekends when it can and does get lively!

Islington pub

Finally, the new kid on the block – formerly the Prince of Wales and now beautifully restored and restyled as the Plaquemine Lock, this welcome addition to the area is the brainchild of renowned restaurateur Jacob Kenedy.  The simple menu is based on Cajun and Creole cooking; it’s all very relaxed, great atmosphere, great staff and above all great food. Friendly canine pals are welcome.

Although not a pub, I couldn’t resist recommending the cheekily named Canal No 5 at City Basin for their amazing breakfasts. Just the perfect location to watch the world go by.

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