Between Japan and walking the Amalfi Coast I managed to squeeze in 48 hours in London. A large portion of the weekend was spent around mum’s friend Gina’s kitchen table cuddling her grandson Jaspar and throwing tennis balls for the dog dangermouse.
My visit to London was very well-timed as it coincided with one of my very best friends giving birth to a beautiful baby boy. So, arriving in London on Friday afternoon I quickly went to the hospital to surprise her and give her son the first of many, many cuddles. Being able to surprise Steph at the hospital was awesome, she looked so very confused at my arrival saying “but you’re in Dubai” before coming to terms with the fact that we (her parents, partner and myself) had all pulled the wool over her eyes.
From the hospital I had another wonderful moment, being able to see my Mum. While seeing her had been somewhat overshadowed by the chance to meet Austin and see Steph, as soon as I saw Mum I was very pleased that she was in England too! We then went out to a delicious Japanese restaurant in Chelsea called Kurobuta – this was a sort of modern Japanese restaurant where the food was recognisably Japanese but not how they would serve it in Japan!
The next day I ventured out round Battersea Park early in the morning as an attempt to fill in the time due to my very early wake up!
The rest of the day was filled walking around Chelsea and South Kensington with Mum and her friend and going to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A had an excellent exhibition on about the History of Underwear – there were some extraordinary exhibits, such as the corset for golf, cycling and tennis or the more modern dominatrix style lingerie.
After looking through the exhibition, Mum and I met Gina and her friend for lunch in the V&A restaurant. An amazing restaurant set in three rooms decorated by William Morris, the food was varied and delicious leading to an enjoyable long lunch.
Tiring in the late afternoon, potentially due to jet lag, I convinced Mum to go to Me Before You at the local cinema. We sobbed our way through and went down to the pub for dinner with rather puffy eyes. I made a rookie error at The Pig’s Ear and ordered quinoa for dinner… Not a pub specialty!! Mum and Gina made a much wiser decision ordering fish, something that was actually well cooked as opposed to my quinoa.
My final day in my short visit to London was an endless stream of catch ups over food and coffee. Starting with breakfast at A Wanted Man in Chelsea with Mum and Gina where I had a delicious bowl of porridge, this melted into coffee at the same location with two friends from NZ and then I moved on to lunch at Gail’s in Battersea Square with my sister and mother and some friends who live in England. Good company and good food is an enormously enjoyable way to spend a day!