Friday, July 15, 2011

Long Weekend in London – Friday

Room with a view
A quick look out the window and it looks like a gorgeous day ahead.

After last night’s stuffing, Ann skipped breakfast, but we three decided to try the hotel’s offerings. It was most impressive – everything you could possibly want  on an ‘all-you-can-eat’ basis. Top marks for quality and quantity!

After brekky, the girls went shopping in Berwick Street, Soho, whilst Ralph and I, temporarily with no partners, did what any prospective Best Man and Groom would do in Soho – found a coffee shop and talked tech ...and then found another coffee-shop and talked more tech. Just after midday, we started the walk from Tottenham Court Road all the way to The Dorchester. It was surprisingly quick and we arrived just before Ann and Karen.

The Dorchester Grill - totally OTT
Lunch was a totally lavish and completely OTT affair  - with prices to match! Great food though and more waiters-per-person than anywhere I’d previously visited! 

Greenwich Old Naval College
Suitably stuffed, we headed back to the hotel for a quick change and then caught the Thames Clipper down to the Old Naval College at Greenwich. A quick look round there and then onto Greenwich Market to soak up the unique atmosphere (and another beer and a coffee!)

Then, it was back on the Thames Clipper bound for the hotel with just enough time  to change our clothes and head off to the Novello Theatre for the evening’s production of Betty Blue Eyes. The Novello Theatre was pretty full for a Friday evening. I wasn’t sure we’d been here before, but Ann recognised the ceiling (!!), so we must have.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the production, and although it came highly recommended, I hadn’t read-up on it either. These days where Plays begin and multimedia experiences end, is all a bit blurred – and this was no exception! It started with some old Movietone news shown on a large screen. It turned out that the storyline was based around rationing – and more specifically, pork!

I only recognised one of the cast – Sarah Lancashire (ex corrie and other TV shows)... and what a voice she had! belting out numbers without any effort at all! The star of the show was, however the animatronic pig (!!!!) that looked so real, it got the audience ‘ooo-ing’ and ‘ahhing’ every time it appeared. Not so, when the cast were trying to kill it though (cue: really piggy squeals!), when the audience were stunned into silence!

All-in-all, I felt it was a great production – the cast really looked like they were enjoying themselves and the way that the complex scenery glided on-and-off and changed was a real eye-opener.

We left just before 10.30 – and on hitting the streets, it looked like the whole of mankind has descended on London thousands of people all ‘exploring’ London at the same time. After a glorious day of sunshine, there was now rain in the air, so we headed back to the hotel by way of the South Bank. We looked for somewhere for a quick bite, but strangely, most places seem to be closing down. Luckily, there was an Italian restaurant opposite – Cucina where we tried out the pasta... the desserts... and beer!

11.30 – late for us, but the rest of London was just waking-up. We were all shattered, so it was back to our rooms for a good night’s rest!