The next phase of fun has begun with a few days in London and a rich assortment of activities to keep me on my toes. Another complex packing challenge is complete and with just one more “adjustment” to be done later in the week, so far, so good.
Checking into the hotel yesterday brought back memories of a rather special day three years ago when we held an amazing party in this space. Now, a bunch of bankers were convening for a buffet lunch and we left them to it and buzzed off to make the most of our time here.
We enjoyed an afternoon out in the fresh air, taking a wander around Spitalfields where the remains of this paisley pattern on the pavement was representative of all that’s left of the rich textile heritage of the area. Not much going on in the market either on this Monday afternoon – plenty of sellers but not many buyers at all. We made our way through the office towers trying to dodge groups of smokers under the canopies and the fug that surrounded them.
Thankfully there are still a few trees in amongst all that steel and glass and the we admired the beautiful autumn colours on what was really a dreary afternoon. We returned to the hotel to put on our glad rags and meet up with Edward, Amy and our Kiwi friends, Fiona and Wayne for dinner over the road at Galvin La Chapelle, one of our all time favourites.
Today, we enjoyed a fun lunch at the Park Lane Hilton where the 2014 UK Bus Awards were presented and the decisions we made on those warm summer days in Victoria were announced. It’s always a lively do and made all the more interesting because we see so many old friends there and this year was no exception.
Afterwards, however, my hero and I went our separate ways. He went off to Paddington to catch the train home whilst I took off the party shoes and put my flats back on to walk through Mayfair and on into Oxford Street. I visited my usual haunts – Blink to get my eyebrows done, the magazine counter to see what’s new there and a quick whiz around M&S to see if there’s anything more inspiring in the Marble Arch store than we see at home. (There isn’t)
The shoppers were out in force and clearly, Christmas has been switched on all round here. I know, it’s only 30-odd days to go but I’m not really ready to embrace the idea yet.
There’s something about Scandinavian style decorations though, isn’t there?
I hope I’ll have another opportunity before Christmas to come and savour the richly decorated windows, but for now, enough. I was meeting Edward again tonight, he’d booked a table at one of his favourite Italian restaurants and I needed to get to Highbury station. Trullo was every bit as good as he’d said it would be and it came as no surprise that it was packed, even on a Tuesday night!
So, here I am with a huge hotel room to myself and hoping for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, I’m going to need all my powers of concentration because Bernina friends, the fun is nigh!