The weekend just gone I spent three days in das capital, we had to go and see a man about a dog. I shall stop being metaphorical right now, sorry.
I do like London, there seems to always be somewhere new to visit, something new to see on every trip. Managed to see some sights, visit some shops and drink in some great pubs. Not to mention walking what seemed like twenty odd miles over two and half long days.
There's never enough time in the day really, a tube strike meant more than half a day stuck in a car, stuck in traffic on Monday. Saturday morning started whilst it was still dark, wrapped in as many layers as I could find as I bolted out of bed, CC pocket tee, Ralph Lauren denim club shirt, herringbone tweed vest, wool Daks scarf, Artesania hand knitted gloves (toasty), and some tan jumbo cords topped off with a Heritage Research watch cap which kept me snug as a bug in a rug all weekend, with a large padded Woolen Mills hunting jacket and some funky Euro comfy shoes, I didn't realise just how cold it was until the four of us travelling made a services stop in Staffordshire which revealed lots and lots of snow.
We got to the outskirts in good time and found a greasy spoon to get us started, before meeting a few local cohorts for the day ahead. The plan was to cram as much in as we could, shops, sights even the odd museum, unlike the heavy weekend the week before, we wanted to leave the drinking until later. We were in the pub on our first pint by noon.
One of our little crew managed to get us some great deals in two pretty nice hotels, but the nice heavily discounted price was slightly tainted when I had to share a double bed with our kid and woke up early on with my other hand between two pillows, I didn't really. 'See that Bears game last week?' 'Yeah, helluva game, helluva game...'. Nice hotel, though they seemed to forget the cooked part of a cooked English breakfast. Pfft.
Shops visited included Oliver Spencer and Folk around Lambs Conduit St, Bloomsbury, which really is a lovely part of the world for a browse, even better is The Lamb pub at the end of the street, an a amazing olde worlde public house still complete with original Victorian snob screens along the bar, I'm no lush but I could never simply just walk past these kinds of alehouses.
Had a gander in Number Six, Son of a Stag and a Howies pop-up sale store which you'll probably see more of later. Also visited Benetton on the busy, bustling Regent St, to stock up on a bit of nice high street affordable steez, a store where I think you must have to be a female model to get a job. Whilst thumbing through expensive but nice, in fact nice but too expensive, coats and jackets in Liberty department store I spotted actor Martin Freeman - he of The Office and Sherlock Holmes fame, I didn't let on or anything like that, just because he's on the telly doesn't mean we know him does it? I know people think it's a bit gay to say this he always looks to be a well turned out chap, likes his clobber, pretty stylish cat. On leaving the store I also spied that Edith Bowman off of the radio and stuff and our sleb spotting didn't finish there, oh no, with numerous people we spotted who were that famous we couldn't remember their names, oh and that Kevin Day from Match of the day two, too. As you can guess we're from up north/don't get out much, bright lights, big city and all that innit?
Saturday drew to a close late on after walking from St Pauls to the East End after a jaunt around Shoreditch's stores and busy pubs and dodging somewhat mithery men outside their various food emporiums on Brick Lane it reminded me of a shite holiday in Corfu eight years ago. Two of us then later found ourselves heading back towards our hotel in Maida Vale/Kilburn, via Warwick Avenue where we spent an hour, but no more than two, in Little Venice just in time for last orders in a couple of great boozers, The Warwick Castle and The Bridge House, but we couldn't find Gordon Ramsay's place - which my little pocket CAMRA guidebook told me was one you must see.
This, in a drunken, dark, hazy state of consciousness looked a beautiful part of London, amazing old Victorian and Edwardian terraced mansion apatments split through the middle by the Paddington Basin full of houseboats, it just made me want to win the lottery.
Sunday evening myself and one of my cohorts had to go and cross some t's and dot some i's in North London, going via Arsenal's Emirates Stadium - which being a lower league football fan who's team are admittedly currently a fucking embarrassment, but who's heart and soul has been stolen by a Rugby Union out of towner - I have to say I was rather impressed, I'm no great fan of modern day football stadia but this was a great looking place and one I believe once you're inside has been done very, very well. I longed for us to just be good enough to have a stab at visiting places like this in the FA cup third round, alas, we'll have to wait another year for that after yet another dicking in the early stages. Sunday evening was spent in the superb Market Porter overlooking Borough Market, there can't be many better places to waste away a Sunday evening supping all the beers on offer in places like this, before walking back along the river to crash out in another posh, but discounted hotel. All in all another good insightful jaunt, my legs are still aching now. ~