Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reacquaintance: London

After our wonderful weekend in Suffolk and a morning spent on wedding plans, we hit the road - well, the track - back to London.

The thing with trying to see lots of people during a short visit is that you always arrange meeting up with them over meals, which ends up getting gluttonous and expensive.  So we organized a glamorous evening out with a whole bunch of friends on Monday; we started with drinks at the Bar Americain near Picadilly Circus, followed by a delicious dinner at Brasserie Zédel and then a nightcap at a Sam Smith pub in Soho.  (What? Classy costs money, and we were all out by the time we left the restaurant. Don't look at me like you've never been to a Sam Smith's.  You have, I know it.)

My socializing over food didn't end with Monday evening, I'm glad to say.  On Tuesday, I met Jon's cousin (and my dear friend) Rose for lunch at Burger & Lobster - I'd been once before, with Jon and his mother, and loved it.  We actually had a great experience the first time we went, even though we had a wait of 90 minutes before we got a table, because we snagged stools at the bar; this time, we showed up as the restaurant opened and were seated immediately.  As I remembered, the lobster roll was absolutely delicious.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering through Mayfair, window shopping amongst the high-end boutiques, ducking into Starbucks during a brief rainshower, and pretending I was a lady of luxury.  Eventually, I found myself at the Royal Academy, where I bought a joint ticket to the Bronze exhibit and the Impressionist show.  (The former was fascinating, but I found the latter a bit pedestrian.)  My game of look-how-fancy-I-am continued when I joined a friend at his club near Berkeley Square for champagne.

The highlight of the night, though, was meeting MVB, Blair's Head Band, and Ashley for cocktails at the Coburg Bar at the Connaught... where we experienced a Tilda Swinton sighting!  I wasn't able to stay for long because it was getting late, but it was great to see my fellow expats again and to reconnect with BHB after our first coffee in New York back in the spring.

Wednesday was a day of reminiscing - I had coffee with one former colleague and lunch with another, getting the scoop on my old company before seeing a fantastic matinee of the sold-out show they've got on at the moment.  Because of the vague anonymity I try to maintain here on this blog, I can't tell you what theater or play it was, but it was a wonderful production and so good to catch up with these friends.

In the evening, I cooked spinach lasagna and turkey meatballs and for Jon and his flatmates.  It was such a flashback to when I lived in London.  I'd get home before Jon with groceries - Sam and Mandy are teachers, with earlier days, and would let me in - and I'd make dinner while Mandy poured wine and Sam messed with the TV.  When Jon made it in, we'd sit down together and spend too long over the crumbs and the dregs and it would be a wonderful evening.

And that's exactly how I spent my last night in London.


  1. It sounds perfect!

    We often find ourselves arranging our get togethers at home around food as well and I LOVE it. But, unfortunately you are right; it is quite expensive. (But oh-so-good)


  2. Sounds like the perfect whirlwind visit!! Food + Friends = Happiness overflowing!
    The art student in me loves that you use words like "pedestrian" to describe an exhibition- Paul sometimes tells me to turn off my "critique vocabulary" when we're at galleries or shows!

  3. Her Late Night CravingsSeptember 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Looks like you had an amazing time! So glad you took us along with you!

  4. Pretending to be fancy? Um, you described art as "pedestrian." You ARE fancy. (as I have no clue what that even means!) I don't know if I could ever meet up with you now, miss fancy pants! You're intimidating! =P

  5. oh dahlink - fancy is as fancy does! I dabbled in art history and my mom works at a museum, so I know the lingo :)

  6. my mother works at the National Gallery of Art, so when I go to a show I look at how it's put together just as much as what works are included because I know what happens (or is supposed to happen) behind the scenes. I'm told it makes me a nightmare to visit museums with :)

  7. oh so good! secretly an excellent part of visits. hehe

  8. La Chapstick FanatiqueSeptember 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    looks like my had a good time! london is definitely on my list of places to visit. my gradmother is english and welsh and it is a shame i haven't been yet.



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