We were very lucky to have two fabulous visitors for 12 days in December – C & AD! The time flew in the blink of an eye I tell you. We could have spent a lot longer than we had to spare gallivanting around, but anyway, we soaked up every minute of those twelve days and managed to accomplish a huge list of lots of tourist activities, cooking, eating, chatting and even a trip to Disneyland Paris (which is a story for another blog post!). Blake and I stayed in an apartment with our London guests in Limehouse which was an adventure in itself – it was such a treat to be able to spend quality time with them rather than just meeting up for dinner, negotiating London crowds and then going our separate ways for the evening. Instead we got to stay up late chatting (my favourite!), have breakfast and dinner in our own kitchen, watch telly and really soak it all in. It was perfect.
Highlights of the London segment of The Great C & AD Trip To London of 2013 included:
A visit to literally the greatest place on the earth. Anything you want to buy that is delicious, you can buy here. For that reason it is always really, really busy… but worth facing the hullabaloo for what awaits at the Borough Markets. It was great to see Blake and C totally in their element (good food is both a love and a skill for these two masterchefs). We tried hot meat on baps (bread rolls) from the famous Roast Hobbs Meat just outside the market, we did several laps of the different sections of the markets and free-sampled to our hearts content.
Blake and Courtney devised a plan for eating pheasant (?!) for dinner, courtesy of a Maggie Beer recipe, and went on a mission to acquire the necessary ingredients for a roast pheasant whilst AD and I attempted to keep up. By the way, if anyone is wondering, roast pheasant is delicious. I have learnt to not ask questions and just try it with Blake’s sometimes obscure choices of ingredients, as his cooking always blows me away. Also, if you ever want to buy a bizarre meat product (python, anyone?), the Borough Markets is the place.
Literally chilling outside the markets with insanely good hot chocolate. It was really cold that week.
London Bridge Experience
After our guests had overcome their jetlag, we really made the most of it and spent the next few days being the biggest tourists of all time. This included a genuinely terrifying visit to the London Bridge Experience. C is a thriller connoisseur and I think even she was scared by this place. If you don’t like the idea of spending an hour being squeezed in between giant blow up air mattresses in the dark which actually make you feel like you’re suffocating, having random people jump out at you with running chainsaws, and generally terrifying scenarios which we were all very scared of, don’t do the London Bridge Experience. It was actually great fun but I needed to sit down for five minutes after we were done… No pictures were taken because I could barely breathe let alone get my iPhone out…
Visiting the London Eye
This one had been on our to-do list since we arrived and we had been waiting for the opportune moment to join the very long queue along Southbank and ride the eye. The time had come! It was beautiful. We managed to get there during a sunset and the views did not disappoint.
We had lunch at the Southwark Cathedral, which I also didn’t take pictures of because it was right after the London Bridge experience and I really needed some time to recover from the most terrifying experience of my life. But, it was delicious.
Southbank in general…
We spent a few hours wandering along, taking in the sights and the sounds…
We were lucky enough to see two shows in a matter of days… Courtesy of the very kind AD who sure knows how to spoil her niece/nephew/ring-in! ‘Twelve Angry Men’ was a brilliant play, clever and funny and intense with almost no elaborate set-changes, costume changes and the same characters on the same stage at all times… Yet it was completely engaging and didn’t lose me for even a moment which after a really long day at work (I was late to the play and had to sit up in the heavens by myself!) was no mean feat.
We also saw the classic play ‘Woman In Black’ which also had an audience of giggling schoolkids *shakes fist* laughing at inappropriate and tense moments, but nonetheless, was a fantastic experience. Thank you so much AD…!!!!!
As always with these folks, we ate well and we ate plenty. We had burgers at Five Guys, more burgers at Shake Shack, treats from M&S, and the creme de la creme for me was celebrating Courtney’s birthday in style at Burger & Lobster in Soho… Where there are two things on the menu at the silly price of £20 each – silly if you’re getting the burger but awesome if you’re getting the lobster! We celebrated with lobsters and delicious cocktails. It was a very happy birthday for a wonderful lady.
…did I mention that C, B and I also got on a train to Paris Disneyland? Cos we did!