Despite being right in the heart of London, the thriving neighborhood of Marylebone (pronounced mary-le-bone) maintains a fairly low profile. Tourists to London rarely venture south of Madame Tussauds on Marylebone Road, and the shoppers on Oxford Street almost never stray north to Marylebone High Street. Those who do discover a world of independent cafés, homegrown designer shops and markets, epicurean emporiums, and lovingly restored Victorian pubs. Though the stream (or bourne) that once ran along St. Marylebone Church and gave Marylebone its name has long since been built over with slender Georgian town houses and cozy squares, you need only turn to the tranquil Paddington Gardens at the neighborhood's center for a glimpse of the area's rural past. The overall effect - of a sort of village unto itself - is a gentle reminder that small-town living can happen even in the largest of cities.