Friday, August 18, 2017

Victoria and the Chinese

It was off to our favourite City today - London – to catch-up with the Palmer side of the family and to meet Connie (Dad’s ex-work colleague) for our annual Summer get-together (a bit late this year – June in 2016).

We drove over to Bedford and arrived just before 10am. We managed to get on the East Midlands Train to St Pancras International (I’m pretty sure that our ticket didn’t allow this, but we came clean with the Ticket Inspector Revenue Protection Officer, who hinted we were OK!! – but I still think we were on the wrong one for our ticket-type!!!)

As usual, our meeting-place-of-choice was the rather splendid Grosvenor Hotel, a short walk from the ever-improving Victoria Station and home to my first blog back in May 2004!

 

Looking good Grosvenor!
And yes, the area around the Station is certainly looking a lot brighter and cleaner these days! There’s still plenty of renovation and redesign work going on, but one of the major changes was that our exit from the Tube brought us out further up the road nearer to the new(ish) shops at Victoria Place Shopping Centre.

After a quick mooch round M and S and then a coffee, we walked back towards the Hotel, immediately noticing that ‘Little Ben’ had had a makeover – and very splendid, it looked too!

Quite apart from the celebration of us simply getting together, there was additional reasons this year! Frankie had excelled during his exams and managed to bag a place at King’s College, London and Neil, my brother, had managed to lose over five-stone in weight as part of his ‘get fit’ campaign.

We arrived just after 11.35, closely followed by Neil and Debbie, and then Connie. After a quick exchange of news we headed for Grand Imperial restaurant and were offered a spacious circular table away from the crowd.


We all opted for the Set Menu, and we weren’t disappointed…

My Starter: Spicy Chicken Dumpling


My Main: Roast Duck

IMG_20170818_131053
My Dessert: Fruit Tart with Aloe Vera Jelly

Yummy! We finished off with Jasmine Tea for the girls whilst Neil and I ‘took on’ the coffee – I say ‘took on’ as it was super strength and even with a whole jug of milk, it still tasted more Turkish than Chinese!!
Confused smile

By 2.15, we were done! We’d had a great lunch and lots of chats about this-and-that – perfect, just perfect!
Smile

We said our goodbyes on the concourse at Victoria and headed for our respective Stations. Our connections worked really well, and we were home exactly two-hours later. All-in-all, a great day with friends and family.