Europe Travel Blog› entry 1 of 5 › view all entries
June 24th, 2006 – by: martinikitty13
- Land in London and nap in Jason's flat
- Attend "Taste of London" and enjoyed a myriad of yummy foods and wines
- Pussycat Doll Concert at G-A-Y ... I didn't realize how much the gays loved this band - i think they squeezed in 500 people in a space meant for 100 - fun, but I thought I was going to be crushed! Luckily the friend is 6ft 6in and served as a good guard.
- Checked out Spitalfields Market for some shopping - arts and crafts, gourment foods; there are also great little pubs and bars in the surrounding area
- Coffee with a new friend - Dominic
- Made a lovely supper (cheese plate; mozzarelle, tomato and avocado salad; proscuitto & leek pasta; cannolis)
- Walked along the Thames to Tate Modern, visited the Globe Theater
- Lunch at Tas Pide (despite the rave reviews, I thought it was just ok)
- Took the ferry to Tate Britain - loooved this museum, particularly the Pre-Raphaelite art (Lady of Shalott; also loved Sargent's work
- Checked out Westminster Abbey, House of Frasier, etc.
- Dinner at Roka to celebrate a bday (very overpriced restaurant - akin to Sushi Roku in LA, but three times as expensive)
- One Bar
- Shopping at Harrod's, Oxford Street, Bond Street - snacked on Laduree macaroons (heavenly delights in your mouth!)
- Watched a world cup match at The Camel
- Dinner at Thai Silk (again am shocked at how much food is at London - even mediocre food)
- Almost got run over by someone running away from the cops (kind of scary)
- Visited Hampton Court Palace
- Dinner at Le Deuxieme (quite disappointing, and again, expensive)
- Watched Avenue Q - soooo funny and refreshing - i'm watching it again in LA
- Shopping at Covent Garden / West End / Soho
- Lunch at Mango Room - I actually enjoyed this place - good food at decent prices - it's run by a guy from Australia - really nice guy
- More shopping at Camden Market
- Lunch at Lavendar - fancier pub - pretty decent food
- Travel to Bilbao - check into Sheraton Bilbao (nice location - near the city, next to a huge mall and a beautifully manicured park)
- Explored the city and snacked on tapas (had some yummy machengo and ham at Larragan Cafeteria)
- Room service breakfast - mediocre and pricey
- Guggenheim museum - amazing architecture; art was good
- Strolled through city
- Lunch at a local eatery - Oredos - delicious clams, roasted fish and potatoes ... perfectly fresh and seasoned.
- Dinner at an Asador (steakhouse) - delicious but they didn't seem to serve veggies other than some lettuce and raw onions. We had an assortment of fried cod & squid, steamed shrimp, duck breast, bloody steak (Jason's fav).
- Wandered from hotel bar to hotel bar - At Escilla Hotel, I discovered the most comfy leather lounge chair and wanted to live there forever, but unfortunately, their wine was awful - barely drinkeable.
- Breakfast at Miro hotel - shrimp & asparagus scrambled eggs (yum)!
- Explore old town Bilbao (gorgeous architecture - i fell in love with the balconies and picture box windows); snacked on delicious chocolate and churros - it was the thickest, richest chocolate I'd ever seen; walked across the White Bridge.
- Lunch at McDonald's ... not sure why we did this; perhaps we were tired of snacking on ham sandwiches all day.
- Dinner at Tapelia - delicious sauteed squid and musrooms; salad with asparagus, ham and artichoke hears and steak & foie gras. I think this is a chain restaurant - quite good food.
- Buffet breakfast at Sheraton - the most yummy pickled cherries - I tried to find some to buy but I think the hotel makes the cherries themselves - sigh.
- Drive from Bilbao to Gernika (before we even left Bilbao, we had a mishap - a flat tire! - and some good samaritans stopped us on the road to tell us to find a mechanic - luckily we found a man who spoke absolutely no english but agreed to fix it for us for about $20).
- Gernika - a gorgeous town with a tragic history - this area was completely bombed and devastated during the war, but has been rebuilt with love and care. There is still a sense of sadness, but what you sense more is the incredible strength and pride of the people and of the town.
- Lunch in Gernika - some random local eatery - literally the best deal I had in euroope - paella, fish, flan and a bottle of wine for like 9 euro. And the flan was amazing!
- Drive from Gernika to San Sebastian - beautiful scenic drive. Kept hearing the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" on the radio...
- Checked into Hotel Maria Christina - gorgeous, glamorous hotel - but our room was a bit outdated...the chocolate covered strawberries and wine was a nice welcome treat!
- Explored the city and had dinner at Aita Mari - garlicky shrimp, bublly white "Txakoli" wine and veggies!
- Breakfast buffet - yummy croissants (but I'm getting tired of ham...)
- Walk along beach to see the "Peine del Viento" by Chillida
- Lunch at Cafe Saigon - vietnamese food was a welcome change.
- Shopped in city.
- Dinner at Zuberoa - the best meal of my life - see photos.
- Travel back to London and took Eurostar to Paris - ate a picnic for 4 people on the train even though we were only 2!
- Rested up in John's flat in Paris - gorgeous location - he works in the U.S. embassy and I now know where my tax dollars are going ...Strolled around the neighborhood
- Explored the Louvre / Seine / Palais Royal/ Rue St. Honore
- Lunch at Welcome Cafe (probably a tourist trap but i was pooped at the time) - I did discover "Kir Sauvignon" here - so yummy but no one in the U.S. seems to know how to make it properly
- View sunset along the Seine along with the hundreds of other people picnicking along the river - glorious!
- Woke up early to buy fresh croissants, eggs and fruit at the farmer's market using my pathetic french - but it worked!
- Arc d'Triomphe / Shopping along the Champs Elysee / snack at Laduree (loove loove loove the caramel macaroons)
- Lunch at an Alain Ducasse bistro - foie gras platter and cherry souffle - we also saw the most intense, serious sommelier here - he was like a mad scientist! i wish i could have taped his dramatic display.
- More shopping madness - definitely try to hit Paris in Jan or July - they have 2 major sales every year and it's amazing! (the only stores not on sale were Chanel and LV ... arghhh).
- Dinner at Taillevant to celebrate Jason's bday - beautiful restaurant - food was quite good (but not as good as Zuberoa)
- Dancing at "Queen" until 4 am - i'm way too old to stay out so late; and to hang out with gay men who try to drop every single straight guy they find in my lap.
- Dinner at Roubouchon Cafe - good, but slightly overrated.
- One last morning to shop in Paris
- Return to London
- Takehome Indian food for dinner
- head home the next day - the end of a wonderful trip!
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