My Masquerade in The City

It stood out in the middle of the City like a giant blue glass cucumber. Wherever I went, it seemed to stand out in the view from the train, from the bus, from the boat, from the bridge, from the hill. For those of you who have not yet guessed what I am talking about, it is the Swiss Re Tower (also called "the Gherkin" for its unusual shape). The Swiss Re Tower stands in the City of London also called 'The City' which houses the financial bigwigs (seriously, there's even a Bank of England Museum); I was never really into Finance - so you will have to excuse me if I don't name many. I do know three - Bank of England, Lloyd's of London and of course Swiss Re (Its a global re-insurer). So the Swiss Re Tower houses the said company.

See the Gherkin in the centre? And you can also see the Lloyd's building towards the right.

In the City you will see only two kinds of people - Suits (rather people dressed in suits) and Execs who are on a break and jogging. Lunch time is a sea of Suits in cafes and restaurants. And to some people this might seem strange (it actually feels completely bizarre to me too), but for me walking in the City was an unusual yet memorable experience - just goes to show the urbanite in me. Of course the bankers might not agree with me (I don't have to crunch numbers for my company or have the risk of millions of pounds).

But my reasons for wandering in The City were completely different. I had flown thousands of kilometers and all the way in the middle of a Banker's Paradise I was looking for a cake shop (and this was not the only time....). Obviously, I couldn't admit openly that -
(a) I wasn't a Finance Exec
(b) I didn't work in London and
(c) I was a tourist!
So I dressed for the part - formal trousers and shirt, smart black jacket, hair pulled back (I have been to a B-School so masquerade isn't new to me!)

And so I went armed with my Oyster card (having understood the Underground pretty well) and a map of central London to find a shop called Konditor and Cook. This shop can be found across London but I was looking for the one in The Gherkin. Now I saw this (again) on Rachel Allen: Bake! and this shop is famous for their Gingerbread men (with greeting card variety!) and cupcakes or what they call Magic Cakes (which are really adorable...!!). But what really had me was their Curly Whirly Cake Slice (in their words: ...our undisputed hot-seller. Layers of moist, fine textured chocolate sponge, filled and covered with real vanilla bean frosting...).  That cake was exactly as described - the butter-cream frosting with the Vanilla Bean was the first example of how real Vanilla is so different from using the essence. Moving on I also bought a couple of their Magic Cakes -

Of course I did turn back into the tourist once I got out of the City, but it left me wondering, what would it be like to be one of those hundreds of bankers...?

P.S - I don't work for any of the mentioned companies and neither am I a stakeholder, I call it like I see it :) :)


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