Dateline: London, Day 2
After our 12 1/2 hour sleep we were raring to go. We hit the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off just in the nick of time, despite being hassled by a competitor’s huckster about why we weren’t waiting for his bus. Monday wasn’t as warm or sunny as Sunday, so it was just a tad chilly on the upper deck. Nevertheless, we persevered and it was definitely worth the cold temperatures. Far, far too many things to tell you about, but if you ever do get to London and if you ever do take the Big Bus Blue Tour, get off at stop 43 – Paddington Station and walk about 10 yards back from whence you alit and treat yourself to lunch at Ya-Hala Lebanese restaurant. Ken and I each had the Special Mixed Mezze for one (fyi – this would be the the sublime)
Terry had a Falafel Special – “Fried mixture of ground chickpeas and broad beans with spices served with hommos, salad, Lebanese bread and sesame paste (tahini)” It was equally as fantastic. And, apparently, don’t miss the WC downstairs – both Terry and Ken raved about it.
From there it was off to Baker Street and my all time favourite detective – he really was a real person, you know…
As we waited … and waited… and waited for people to join us on the bus, I watched this little girl not listening to her mother. She looked a little big for that stroller.
On Parliament Street, just before the Parliament Buildings and Big Ben (Do you know why it is called Big Ben? I am willing to bet 90% of you don’t. Prove me wrong!) sits this little place. I would imagine the Blitz caused the reshaping of the exterior.
To be perfectly honest (Honestly, is there really any kind of honest other than honestly? I mean, “To be partially honest”, OR “Do you want me to be honest?” – no – lie to me OR “‘In my personal opinion…” No, you idiot, give me someone else’s opinion… Okay so I have had a couple…) there weren’t many other interesting sagas yesterday – until we reached Jamie’s.
Now I like Jamie Oliver. I think he really does care about what the great unwashed put into their bodies. I have even bought a couple of his cookbooks (ok – 4). We have watched some of his shows on TV. Thus, we figured an outing to one of his restaurants would be a pretty good experience. We snuck in ahead of a group of 16 – 20 teenagers on a school trip from Italy*. We had a good table on the window – everything looked good. Then we ordered.
Hmm, we really should have looked at the menu more closely. We asked the server if he could have the kitchen add some whole anchovies. No problem, Jake said. Didn’t happen. To be fair – it was a good salad, but a caesar – not so much. Ken ordered “Turbo Penne Arriabbata – “A fiery tomato sauce with garlic, basil, Scotch bonnet chillies, Bella Lodi & herby breadcrumbs” – he eventually asked for 1/2 cup of chili sauce to get it mildly hot. Terry had the special – tuna steak. It was good – but then again, that is all it was. No sides, just a little watercress accompaniment. I had the Squid and Mussel Spaghetti Nero “Flash-fried squid & mussels with tender octopus, capers, chilli, anchovies, tomatoes & white wine” and it was pretty fabulous! We completed our experience with the Molten Chocolate Praline Pudding (“Warm chocolate cake with a liquid praline centre, served with salted caramel ice cream & praline”)
To be perfectly honest, however, in my personal opinion, sadly, I would not rush back.
After dinner we wandered down Victoria Street – first to
and then to the statues in the park across from the Parliament Buildings.
*It seems that the time for school tours to London is the first week in May. Everywhere we go are high school tour groups. We look at them with so much …..
The Shoe Blog
I have spent just a little over 48 hours travelling in the western world and there is a little voice telling me the Shoe Blog is not something I could safely continue with. In the spirit of items which make you think, however, I wish to offer photos on which you may reflect or contemplate upon.