Stopover in London
London Travel Blog› entry 2 of 15 › view all entries
September 23rd, 2009 – by: puttyland
We weren't supposed to take photos during the tour of the Globe Theatre, as they were rehearsing for Love's Labours Lost, but somehow my camera, which was already on, managed to somehow go off several times as I was holding it under my coat, and the guide didn't seem to hear the shutter click as I happened to clear my throat as the same time.
Then we went to an old pub (Nicholson's - just outside Blackfriars tube station) so I could get my Ploughman's Lunch with pork pie, cheddar & chutney, and a cider. The pictures I took didn't do the place justice - it really was a gorgeous building inside. After that, a quick jaunt through the British Museum...just enough to see the Rosetta Stone, Greek antiquities, a bit of the Southeast Asia wing and some gorgeous tilework and pottery in the Middle East wing...about an hour and a half and then my attention span (roughly equal to that of a 5 year old child) gave out, so we headed back to Hertfordshire.
That night I was invited to join Alister, Fran and about 20 of Fran's relatives at a dinner at an Israeli/kosher restaurant to celebrate Fran's grandmother's 92nd birthday.
Fran said her family was actually on good behavior - last time they had dinner altogether the restaurant burned down right after they left! Her grandma doesn't have much in the way of short term memory anymore, so when we walked in she asked if I was Alister's girlfriend.
Today, Alister had school, so Fran took the day off and the 2 of us went window shopping on Portobello Road (antiques, etc.) and then met my college friend Greg. We took to the Underground to the Savoy Hotel for a cream tea (finger sandwiches, scones, etc.), but it was closed for renovations, so we went down the street and stumbled into the very posh Charing Cross Hotel (Greg sent a text and his iPhone changed "Charing" to "Chafing," so we kept calling it the Chafing Crotch), so had our tea there.
The conversation started getting silly when Greg asked our server if she was from the Philippines. She said she was, and Greg said his wife is from the Philippines, and the poor server awkwardly looked over at me, and then Fran, and was genuinely confused. We finally explained that Greg's wife was not at the table and the server looked relieved. Then we asked her to take a photo of us, and she tried to smoosh me into the corner so we'd all be close enough, and she somehow pushed the table so that I was kind of straddling it. We were trying to stifle a giggle and then as she finally focused the shot we noticed she was holding the camera crooked and we just cracked up.
We paid and went into the hallway, and while I went to the ladies' room, some very tall, immaculately dressed guy in a suit came over to Fran and Greg out of the blue and asked if they needed to know where the toilet was, and proceeded to give them very specific directions (whether they wanted them or not).
Greg took off for his tennis match, and Fran and I took off for the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Square to pick up our theatre tickets and then grabbed a bite at Tiger Tiger around the corner (which apparently is a big pick-up joint for Jewish singles...but also great food). The play we saw was The 39 Steps - a very tongue-in-cheek version, making fun of the Britishness of it, with lots of references to other Hitchcock films thrown in, and the entire play was done by 4 people performing 150 roles. It was a hoot. And with the last minute ticket service online, we wound up with 2nd row for half price.
I'm going to try to have a cup of coffee with Charlie, another college friend, before I leave for Gatwick Airport in the afternoon. And then Sicily, here I come!
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