On Friday, September 5th, 2014 I flew to London, England. The main purpose of my visit was to attend a workshop but I decided it was a good opportunity to head early for the weekend and spend it with my friend Jen. I arrived around 2:00pm and hopped on the tube to make my way into the city to meet up with Jen at her office. She had made some plans for us to go to a cocktail bar and out for dinner that evening. We met up with her friend from work and the 3 of us made our way for drinks when Jen informed us that it was a “speakeasy” detective agency cocktail bar! We rang the buzzer and were greeted by the secretary who questioned us as to why we required a detective? Our story was that Jen had been framed for murder. The secretary recommended we stay awhile while the “heat died down” and then she opened a secret door and we entered the bar. Afterwards we went out for a nice French dinner at Prix Fixe in Soho before heading back to Jen’s place in East London.
The next morning we had a hike planned. We took the train south of London to the coastal town of Seaford in East Sussex. We boarded the train at Victoria station just after 9:00 and started our hike at 11:00am. The plan was to hike across the Sussex Heritage Coast and seven sisters to Eastbourne, a total distance of approximately 22 km. We finished at around 5:00pm that afternoon and stopped for a well deserved pint and snack in Eastbourne before heading back into London. We got back to the flat, ordered in Indian for dinner, and enjoyed some red wine before finally crashing in bed from sheer exhaustion.
On Sunday morning, we had a light breaky at the local Larder restaurant before heading into the city to meet up with my old flatmate Debbi who was meeting us for Sunday Roast at the Dean Street Townhouse. We had a delicious 2-course lunch starting with a nice quinoa salad, followed by medium rare roast and Yorkshire pudding. Funny, even when we lived in London Dan and I never went for out for Sunday Roast. We were missing out! After a great catch up with Debbie, Jen and I wandered over to Covent Garden and sat outside soaking up a little bit of London sun with a Pimm’s. A perfect way to end a fabulous weekend in London. I then headed back to check into my hotel up in Kensington.
On Monday, the 2 day workshop started at a nearby venue. That evening I met up with Jen in central London. We walked by the Tower of London to view the ceramic poppy installation entitled “Blood Swept Lands of Seas of Red” to mark the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. We then crossed the river to the “Wine Wharf” in Borough Market. We ordered a selection of meat, cheeses, and did a wine pairing. After the workshop was done on Tuesday, I checked out of the hotel and stopped in a local pub for a pint before making my way back up to Heathrow for my red eye flight back to Abu Dhabi which would arrive early the following morning. The workshop was really good and I had a lot of fun catching up with Jen and Debbi in London.