Saturday, April 13, 2013

London Adventures, Part 3

I'm almost caught up on sleep and back into my normal routine...I'll definitely be hitting the gym come Monday - maybe I ate a little too well on this vacation... ;-) Here are the last remaining pictures from my trip (great shots of London by day, and by night):


Lunch with the Simons at Polpo 




Me and Duff


Om nom nom - another tapas style meal where we got to share 8 or 9 amazing dishes (plus dessert!)


Sooooooooooo.....gooooooooooood....


Me in a Simon Sandwich


Next stop - drinks at Bar Americain


Art Deco


A "classic American bar" (as the website says)


Cocktail time :) 


Boys and their tech toys....


Next up - a quick stroll through Chinatown before....


....heading into Empire Cinemas to watch....


...my first ever 3D film (!) which was...


G.I. Joe! Can't say much for the movie, but it had some great action sequences and it was awesome seeing it in 3D...a very relaxing way to spend a Friday night :)


Next morning - trying my hand at Simon's infamous breakfast. First step, gather ingredients


Next step - boil eggs. THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL. Must use the tip of a knife to *carefully* poke a tiny hole in the fat end of the egg (to allow air to escape and not let the shell crack) and then place the eggs in already boiling water for 6 minutes and 36 seconds (precisely!)


Next up, get some good, chewy, seedy bread and toast it...


...add butter (always add butter)...


...add Marmite (I'm obsessed, so I put on a lot - this is not for the faint of heart...you may need to tone it down a bit)


Next up - add peeled soft-boiled eggs and shop up on the bread 


NOMS - a great start to any day!


I <3 Marmite


Like I said....slightly obsessed (crisps, crackers, cashews - all flavored with yeasty goodness!)


Saturday was the Grand National, so for fun we went to Paddy Power to place some friendly wagers


Took a couple tries, but finally figured out how to fill out the thingy


10 pounds on Imperial Commander, 10 pounds on Cappa Bleu


Then on to Coat and Badge for a nice pint (and to watch the race, of course) 


Pretty pub


Haha....they call them 'loos'


Bunch of chaps watching intently


Checking our odds


Oh my gosh - Emily won something!  


Cappa Bleu came in 2nd! Strangely enough, a horse with 66-1 odds, Aurora's Encore, won the whole thing (if I had bet 10 pounds on her, I could have had close to 700 pounds on my hands....alas, it wasn't meant to be). I didn't win anything major, but I did get my money back ;-)  


That night - dinner at Mark and Becky's. Becky made an *amazing* salmon tartare with quail egg as an appetizer


So pretty! (and delicious)


Time to make sushi...


...if we can pry the guys away from their technology...again...


Ready!


:)


We may have gone just a teensy bit overboard...but it was SO GOOD


Uh-oh...something's not quite right...


hot...HOT!


It's a dreaded *wasabi bomb* (don't worry, they recovered with extremely clear sinuses)


What's going on here? 


Simon why are you holding things to the light?


....oh....that's why...


Multi-tasking Becky


Rockband time! (I was on vocals)


A lovely dessert wine (highly recommend it)


Simon as Dr. Manhattan....I really need to see the rest of Watchmen


Sunday morning - last full day in London. Gotta start it off with a full English breakfast (made by Simon)


We actually fit a lot into our last day of site-seeing, including a stop at Waterloo station (this is where a scene from Bourne Ultimatum was filmed - watch the clip by clicking on this link


Another shot from the movie


Next up....a surprise (what could it be??)


An 'insider's spot' in London! This is the view from Paramount (the bar/viewing floor of Centre Point)


You can see the London Eye in the distance



Parliament 


Emily was here 


See the greenish building with the dome in the middle? That's the British Museum! 


Remember in Part 1 where I had the pictures of the glass panes on the inside? This is what it looks like from the outside :) 


The Simon Stance


The actual bar


Very pretty :)


Next stop - Neal's Yard


Unfortunately the cheese shop was closed, but we still got to walk around and see the pretty courtyard


Then another surprise...




...for...


Afternoon Tea!


Petit fours


Finger sandwiches


Scones (mmmmmm) 


Accoutrements


I *finally* got to try clotted cream! This was the perfect combination of warm scones, cold clotted cream, and fresh strawberry jam




Interior


Twas quite lovely :)


Now a walk onto Trafalgar Square 


See Big Ben in the background?




I'm at the very center of London - this is a statue of King Charles I


I....can't remember what this was. It was bound to happen eventually... 


Being a tourist (just for a minute!)


I spy the London Eye


And Parliament


This is actually called the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben is just the clock in the tower) 


Progression of nightfall...




I am SO EXCITED that I got to see London by night - it's something I've always wanted to do!


Inside the 'pod'


Great interactive video that showed what you were looking at as you went around


Next up - a series of photos as we went around the eye (took about 30 minutes to make the full rotation)





 

A pod and Parliament 



This is a shot Simon took earlier in the evening 


And to end the night (and the trip) - our last cocktails


At Skylon


Japanese Sour for Simon, Zeal Raspberries for me (great cocktail menu)


And finally...our last shot together. This really was the perfect way to spend the last day of my trip - I can't believe we were able to do as much as we did in just one afternoon! 

I really can't believe just how fitting this vacation was - it was just the right combination of relaxation, good food, seeing sites, and being with amazing people. I think the pictures do a good job of illustrating all that I got to see and do, but they're not able to fully capture all the experiences I had. London became one of my absolute favorite places in the world - I can't wait to go back!
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6 comments:

  1. You have experienced a Simoverse, which is the Universe of London from the eye of Simon. I am about to experience a Daniverse, the Universe of Arizona from the eye of Dan. I expect mine will mostly be burgers and beer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Re: comment from Duff--he's probably right--burgers and beer! :)

    So we took care of most of my questions via Skype, but I always comment on my fave pics. This time, has to be the afternoon tea (PETIT FOURS!!! SCONES!!!) and the pic of you and Simon at the end. Trying not to say, again, how ugly breakfast is...oops, I did it, didn't I?

    So glad you had an amazing time in London!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Emily's Mom,

      That breakfast, cooked by my own fair hand, is a work of art.

      I have spoken.

      ;-)

      Delete
    2. Oh, gawrsh, am I in trouble now? I'm sorry for the offense, but I stand by what I said after my eyes saw what they saw. But I'll bet your hand is awesomely fair...

      ;-) to you, too!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete