Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pub crawls and Curries

The next morning I woke up super early to grab a bus back to the airport of course the bus never came so I got in a cab and got to the airport in plenty of time.  Headed through security and located the lounge, I was the only person there so I settled myself in with some cheese, brown bread and cappuccino to facetime Sankat. I boarded my plane outside in the pouring rain and had a bumpy flight to London.  Steve sent a car to collect me and I headed to his house. 
It was a beautiful and sunny day in London perfect for sightseeing.  I dumped my stuff off and headed out to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament and much more.  We then grabbed some food and cocktails at a great French place.  Afterwards headed back to Steve’s place to grab a sweatshirt and surf the web for old friends.  After some goggle stalking we headed out on our two man pub crawl.  Steve showed me the full smear of pubs and bars by his house.  We began with a proper pint, then to another English pub called the Library, then onto a cocktail bar and finally ending the evening at an American whiskey bar (complete with bras on the ceiling).  And like every good English evening of drinking we grabbed kebabs for our walk home.   
Steve Training Ninjas
The next day Steve headed to work while I set out to find a coffee shop to get some work done.  My first stop was the Monmoth Coffee shop in the Covenant Garden area, what a great cappuccino (here they are served with a dusting of cocoa, ohhhhh yea).  I did have to move to another shop though because there was no wifi there.  I spent the day working and catching up on all the emails I had missed in bumming around Ireland.  That evening I meet Steve at a Buddhist cultural center to watch him train ninjas (yea you read right).  I was super impressed by Steve’s teaching skills and thoroughly enjoyed watching them leap over chairs with no noise and fighting with swords.  After training we hit the pubs till then closed, after many failed attempts at finding an open pub after 11 we ended up at a Indian restaurant that was complete with massive murals of the royal family and union jacks.  My personal favorite was the one of the boys with no shirts no.  The Indian place serves beer so we ordered a bunch of dishes and continued to have some pints. 
The next day Steve decided work was overrated and played hooky so we set out to see the other sites in London (Sherlock Holmes’ house, Kings Cross and the Rosetta Stone).  Next we hit up the hip new eatery called “Burger and Lobster” and it serves what the title is.  So of course we had one of each, it was delightful.  Steve has a membership to a private club in SoHo so we headed there next and had many drinks in the posh leather booths with crystal chandeliers. 
Baker Street Tube Stop
Couple of P'ville Kids in London
The next morning we headed out to Harrods, from the outside it looks like a medieval castle but the inside your average department, except the food area.  WOW!!!!  There are food counters everywhere all centered around themes (caviar, steak, sushi, burgers on and on), each counter has about 20 stools at it, and there were two massive rooms catering only to dining.  You can also do all of your grocery shopping at Harrods, they have everything up scale that your traditional supermarket does, of course you would need to take out a second mortgage on your home for one trip.  We then headed over to the financial district so I could see where Steve works and go on a walking tour entitled Crime and Punishment.  We met the tourguide at the tube stop and headed out to learn about how criminals were treated in the early days.  London proper is actually only one square mile, that used to be a walled city.  We saw where William Wallace was executed, the walk to the gallows from the jail and a church from 1130.  Pretty amazing and super nerdy.  That night we had another epic meal at Zuma, pretty freaking fantastic. 

The next day I headed back to Kings Cross to get on the high speed train to Paris.  Even though it was 6 am the place was packed.  It was pretty chaotic getting through customs and headed to the platform.  Ninety minutes later I was in Paris.

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