Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for 'If I Could Turn Back Time'
In the first of two posts, Author Nicola Doherty is sharing her top 5 favourite locations featured in the book.
Then at 9:00 read my review.
A big thank you to Nicola, Frances and Bookbridgr for letting me be a part of the tour.
Like Zoë, the main character, I’m from Dublin, but London has been my home for over a decade now and I love it. Most of the action in If I Could Turn Back Time takes place around Maida Vale, where I lived for a couple of years in my late twenties before moving to Queen’s Park, not too far away. Zoë lives on Elgin Avenue, not far from where I used to live on Wymering Road. And her boyfriend David lives on Warwick Avenue, in one of the massive white mansions I used to look at and wonder who could possibly afford to live there. (Answer: doctors from very wealthy families). That whole area, with Little Venice and Portobello Road in walking distance, really reminds me of that period in my life, summer and being single!
The Waterway, Maida Vale
This bar/restaurant is close to Warwick Avenue tube station, but quite tucked away, with an idyllic position overlooking the canal. It gets really busy on summer evenings, but if you can grab a spot it’s almost like a party. Next door is the Summerhouse, which is a gorgeous little restaurant right on the river – where Zoë and David go for their first date after she turns back time ...
Lucky Seven, Westbourne Grove
The scene of many a post-night-out brunch with me and my friends, Lucky Seven is a retro-style American diner with great pancakes and free coffee refills. You’ll probably have to share one of the leather booths but that makes for good eavesdropping …
The Boating Lake, Hyde Park
I love Hyde Park in summer, and especially this lake; there’s nothing nicer than to hire a boat on a summer’s day and row around, or better still be rowed around, dipping your fingers in the water and feeling like you’re in a Merchant Ivory film. It’s very typical of David to take Zoë boating here as he breaks the news about New York. Just watch out for swans, and out-of-control pedalos.
Saint Christopher’s Place, off Oxford Street
This hidden gem is reached via a Diagon Alley-style maneuver: you slip down the lane beside H&M on Oxford Street (the one opposite Bond Street station) and you’ll find yourself in a retail oasis. It’s a pedestrian square with shops and restaurants where you can sit outside having coffee, food or a beer. The pedestrian lanes running off also contain an eclectic mix of shops including Mulberry, L’Occitane and Marimekko. It was once a slum and was going to be demolished but was saved by an enterprising developer; whew. The Carluccio’s here is where Zoë has a fight with her friend Rachel, but I’m pretty sure they’ve come back again since.
I love Sevilla Mia, and Bradley’s Spanish Bar, both tucked away on Hanway Place off Oxford Street, which I’m pretty sure has been christened ‘Little Spain’. They’re both nicely scuzzy and lively. Bradley’s has a jukebox and sticky floors, and Sevilla Mia has tapas and live Spanish music at night. Plus, it’s down another alley (what is it with me and alleys?) and feels truly off the beaten track although it’s minutes from Tottenham Court Road. There is, or was, a plan afoot to turn Hanway Place into a delivery bypass for lorries going to Primark on Oxford Street. If this happens I will be very sad – but at least I’ll still be able to visit it with Zoe and Max on their night out together.