Thursday 15 May was a very Londony day. It’s funny that when you live in a city, it’s not often that you step outside your local stomping ground and play tourist. Not at least until someone visits you and then you feel the need to showcase it at its best. It was just as well that the Weather Goddess came to visit.
Wednesday at 7pm was the long-awaited reunion. She arrived at the gates of Heathrow Terminal 4 with Chief Adventurer in tow. It was strange that after 25 months and many seas apart, I was seeing my parents again.
Father was looking cheery and in very good form despite the long haul and a few seasonal sniffles. Mother, glowing, be-freckled and incredibly tanned, seemed to suit her recent retirement, the remnants of a New Zealand summer and the sunshine from a 40 degree stopover in Abu Dhabi trailing behind her. Our honorary weather deity had promised us sun and that she delivered. Little did we know that it would follow us almost entirely across the continent, from destination to destination, thanks to her.
So with a remarkably unusual 27 degrees, London really was at her finest for the visiting two. And after a delicious dinner at our local pub, and a night cap to end a long day of travel, I broke it to them that tomorrow, I had the day off.
London Eye and Southbank
- Before venturing too far astray, we took advantage of an early morning start to wander Putney, ahead of a tasty breakfast at Bill’s. Praises must be sung high in favour of the gluten free feast that myself and the coeliac Weather Goddess gobbled up – delicious! (I don’t get it – it’s surprisingly simple to stock gluten free bread at a chain restaurant / burger bar but not at all an easy find in this great, sprawling city – a personal gripe of mine. Bread out of a freezer is better than none at all.)
- After we’d filled our bellies, we took the train to Waterloo (still a novelty for the travelling duo who haven’t had to suffer the wrath of London-commuter loathing) where we would disembark for a stroll along Southbank, eventually stopping at the London Eye. The extraordinary weather meant that we couldn’t deny ourselves a chance to check out the London skyline with 360 degree, panoramic views.
Central Walking tour
- A short tube ride to Green Park took us to lunch with le Monsieur and a subsequent walking tour of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Soho, Piccadilly and finally Oxford St for a spot of shopping meant by this point we were ready to rest our weary legs.
Jamie’s Italian (Piccadilly)
- This place is good, in fact, pretty damn good by way of food but… experience-wise, it was not as good as the Convent Garden branch. Why?
- This is converted pub and not much had been done to try to make it take on the Italian charm and Oliver’s personality that you’ll get in the other locales. It essentially felt like a classic pub meal out – not the “something special” you’d expect from the restaurant.
- The gluten-free menu had diminished from that shown on the website (although admittedly the gluten free pasta was still a winner)
- They made a terrible Bloody Mary and a poor tiramisu. But ultimately it wasn’t as if any of these things mattered, we were happy to rest our wary feet and happy to spend time together.
We Will Rock You
- One word. Incredible! Or in the words of the Goddess herself, “the best show I’ve ever seen”.
Unfortunately for those wishing to see it, this show was in its final month on London and we were lucky enough to catch it in its final two weeks.
Stay tuned for the next instalment.