Saturday, November 13, 2010

London bound

We met up with David and Val today and drove to Bedford station to catch the train for London – nothing wrong with Kettering station, just a lot cheaper from Bedford!!! We’re making a day of it, including a matinee performance of ‘Yes Prime Minister’ at 2.30 at The Gielgud Theatre  and then a bite to eat afterwards at Savoir Faire (New Oxford Street) with their son Jonathan and his other-half ‘Becs’.

8.45am: Round to D and V’s for the shortish drive to Bedford station. Gosh it’s a cold day!

10.30am: We arrived at St Pancras International, ready for a 'full-on' day. We’d realised that it was also The Lord Mayor’s Show and decided to see if we could get close to the procession, so Ann suggested that bus would be quicker. After a really long wait just outside King’s Cross, the ‘46’ to Holborn arrived , and fully 'oystered' we jumped on board – yes, even I got on a bus!!!.

11.05am: We jumped off at High Holborn and after a brisk walk to Fleet Street, we got the perfect vantage point, and for the next hour and a half or so, we saw an exciting range of floats and people – and although it was very cold just standing around, but worth it to see the new Mayor in his gold coach.

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12.45pm: With the Show over, we, together with zillions of others, started looking for somewhere to eat. We didn't have long and after ignoring many of the large chains, because they were so busy, just after 1, we settled at Patisserie Valerie in Long Acre. We ate lightly as we’re eating tonight, although Val and I did manage to squeeze in a slice of gateaux  each!

13.55: The service was excellent (and so was the food), and after our quick pitstop, we headed for the Gielgud Theatre. It was already busy when we got there, but they ushered us in pretty quickly and we were soon settling down in row C for the production of ‘Yes Prime Minister’. 

image14.30: Curtain up. I wonder what it'll be like? Well, we needn’t have worried, as the first half was just brilliant - David Haig is stealing the show as Jim Hacker.

15.30: The Interval. David got drinks and ice cream! Perfect!!!

17.00: The Play has just finished. It was better than excellent! Maybe even better than the TV series.

17.15: We left the Theatre and headed towards the restaurant. We were early, so we popped into one of the smallest Costa Coffees I’ve ever been to, but at least it close to the restaurant - Savoir Faire in New Oxford Street.

Restaurant - Savoir Faire18.00: We arrived at the Restaurant and Jonathan and Beck joined the four of us not long after. The place was already busy and although we were seated downstairs, where it was quite cramped, it was a great atmosphere. It’s a family owned business and has been running for 10 years. It came highly recommended by Val and the on-line reviews were good too.

Although the service was painfully slow (45 minutes between ordering and the starters arriving), the waitresses were charming and the food absolutely gorgeous. I had the beef bourguignon, and the meat was so tender, I didn’t need the knife! Part of the reason we met up with Jonathan and Becs is that Jonathan is off to Paraguay tomorrow, to study snails! It sounds like it’s a mission into unchartered territory...no internet, sat-phones only...and no washing for three days!! – brave guy, and definitely not for me – and that’s not because I don’t like snails!!!!

19.45: Suitably stuffed (we couldn’t manage dessert and time was marching on), we said our good-byes to J and B and  then took the short walk to Holborn Tube. The Tube was heaving, but we just managed to get the 20.30 to Bedford.

21.04: We finally walked through the front-door – shattered!

We've had a really good day. It was great to visit London again, and spend some quality time with David and Val. Can't wait to do it all again!