Sunday, April 3, 2011

London - Day 2: Eat. Walk. Drink.

Those three words really sum up how we spent our Saturday. Following our feast of Indian food and one long train ride home on Friday night, we were "absolutely knackered" as they would say here on Saturday morning. It was nearly noon before we rallied, made ourselves presentable, and met Renita at her flat in Southwark (pronounced Suth-ick). She took us to the most incredible outdoor market called the Borough Market, home to delicious foods that vendors are most willing to let you sample. We set the tone for the day immediately with a cup of white wine sangria, immeasurable samples of cheese, and tasty bits of duck roasted in its own fat. Yum!

Wow do the English ever like to drink ... already spilling out of the pub so early!

So when in Rome ... the sangria didn't last terribly long, and made all the bustling and elbowing of the Market virtually unnoticeable.

Renita and I promoting the consumption of goose fat.

Borough Market: home to epic sandwiches. I went with cheese and salami. Of course.

Will went for roasted duck. Of course.

In need of a refresher after our market excursion, we meandered over to The Anchor to have a pint on the Thames.

Our seat afforded us a view of St. Paul's cathedral over the river.

We headed toward the London Bridge which, contrary to popular belief, isn't much of a site to see. Pretty plain, actually. But it does provide a great view of Tower Bridge, the one whose image actually comes to mind for most when thinking of London Bridge. Fancy churches are becoming a dime a dozen a this point - there must be hundreds! One whose name escapes me on the way to bridge ....

The more popular Tower Bridge

We crossed over and followed the Thames walking path toward St. Paul's cathedral. I really had no idea how many  bridges were here ... sort of sorry to admit I thought it was just the one!

Approaching St. Paul's

There we met up with Tim, Will's mate from his school days here.

Exploring Fleet Street, noting its many pubs and their ubiquitous hanging floral baskets.

One of England's oldest pubs. They're not playing at anything, it's "Ye Olde..." because it was named when people still spoke like that.

Fleet street is quite fancy.


We emerged back out on the main thoroughfare bordering the Thames to reconnect with Renita, who had dutifully departed to watch India versus Sri Lanka in the World Series of cricket. 1. It was nuts! Look at this place - absolutely packed, abound with drunken, chanting cricket fans. 2. Your guess is right, we couldn't find her. I've learned to refer to people here in this state of drink as "absolutely battered." I think it works.

By the time we meandered to the Covent Garden area, ye olde feet were absolutely battered. I needed refreshment and liquid pain-killer. Enter The Globe.

This + discreetly slipping boots off under the table = all better.

Covent Gardens - not gardens, actually, but a former market where farmers and tradesmen brought their goods to town, now a proper mall.

But I don't really do malls ... A pub named The Dog &; The Duck, on the other hand? Yes.

We were joined by another of the boys' mates, Chris. The evening was building momentum.

When Renita called to invite us to her friend's rooftop barbeque in SoHo, I was intrigued, but when the boys expressed to me what an anomoly such an invitation is, I was convinced we had to go. Apparently, it absolutely unheard of to a) have a rootop in London; b) have a rooftop in super trendy SoHo; and c) have weather mild enough to actually enjoy said rooftop.

The guests were primarily young, French, fabulous, and absolutely excited to give us all sorts of recommendations for Paris. C'est magnifique! We felt extremely Euro-cool for the evening. Will gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to gin.

The fabulous Frenchies eventually led us to one of the few clubs still open (most in London close at midnight) that could only squeeze in about forty people. To our amusement, they only played Chubby Checkers, Bon Jovi, and The Beatles, to which the Frenchies danced to with admirable enthusiasm, as if they were a current Billboard chart-topper. Overall, a fun night which left some battered and all knackered!


Bruce said...

Awesome trip! Thank you so much for sharing. I can't access your pictures can you invite me?

Love ya,

Janis said...

I can't see the pics either, the ones from Day One are absolutely fabulous
Have fun, Jan

Nicole said...

Put up a different link ... try again!