1 Apr 2013

Travel: London

Just back from 4 days in London. Damn, time goes fast when you're having fun.

Thursday 28 March
I take an early train to Brussels to catch to Eurostar and meet up with Marina but some idiots think it's a good idea to run around on the train tracks. Result: a slight delay and me completely hyper. But not in a good way. I finally get to meet up with Marina and we have a drink at Sam's Café just opposite the Eurostar terminal. We go and check in and the train leaves on time. We travel in style so start on the cava I brought along and the Japanese mix Marina took along (and we nearly lose our teeth ;-) )
With a slight delay of 10 minutes we arrive at St Pancras Station. When we hop on the Piccadilly Line, Marina gets left behind...I'm on the train and she isn't. no worries, I just get off at the next station and get on the one she's on but apparently, people go to her and tell her how sorry they are she's lost her friend. LOL
Once reunited I'm in stitches cause this bloke gets on the train, trips over then bumps his head.
We arrive at Gloucester Rd and the hotel is just opposite the tube station. Montana Hotel is highly recommended! It's clean, very well situated, in a nice neighbourhood, lovely people at the reception, big rooms, nice breakfast....for London standards: Great!
We freshen up and then go to Leicester Square trying to score some tickets for a musical. We go for A Chorus Line that same evening and then just walk around Covent Garden and the theatre district. In some pub close to Covent Garden we have some fried king prawns and guinness, then do some shopping at Covent Garden (I find a very lovely owl scarf there) and then (after a short stop at Superdrug) head towards the London Palladium for the musical, where we take some silly pictures of ourselves. ;-) After the musical we head towards Piccadilly Circus (where I buy some stuff at Boots - open till midnight!) and then take the tube back. At our local pub, The Stanhope Arms, we have another Guinness...I get a Happy Easter by a lovely bloke, then attack  him with a falling chair. So all in all, an eventful day. ;-)

Friday 29 March
Breakfast is OK at Montana Hotel: toast, jam, yoghurt, fruit, muesli, ... after which we walk around the - rather posh - neighbourhood. It's just lovely. Then we head towards V&A for the Bowie expo. My god....I'm so excited, I'm like a kid in a candyshop!!! And the expo is just....breathtaking...the costumes, the photos, the lyrics - the ACTUAL lyrics where you can see where he changed what words in something else - the footage, just my god EVERYTHING. It's orgasmic. When in London you MUST go.
Then we walk towards Harrods where there's a nice Dior window display and then have lunch at a Chinese restaurant opposite Harrods. I take the noodles with chicken and salted fish while Marine goes for dim sum with some white wine. Afterwards, we head towards Oxford Street where we go crazy in Boots just before Merie joins us. At House of Fraser I spend some pounds at the Urban Decay counter while Merie finds the pearl she was looking for. We go to Primark (rubbery smell...yikes) and Superdrug and then find a pub in the theatre area (more guinness!) before heading into Soho for some amazing noodles at Tonkotsu with some Umeshu coctails and finishing it off with fresh green tea. yummmm.
We say our goodbyes to Merie for the night and then head off to The Stanhope Arms for another guinness.

Saturday 30 March
After breakfast we head towards Waterloo station (direction: Cockfosters...giggles) cause I booked a tour on the London Eye. Once we arrive there, we're slightly panicky cause it's so so crowded. But all in all it goes quite fluently. First, we go to the 4D film where you're introduced to the bird's eye view you get on the London Eye before getting on the thing itself. I must say, you do have a lovely view on there. It's rather impressive...afterwards, we walk across the bridge towards Parliament but it's so crowded. Then we take the tube towards Portobello Rd and it's even crazier there...We do manage to score some nice handbags there (mine in bordeaux, Marina's in taupe). Then onwards to Queensway where we have a lovely pasta (King prawns and pomodoro sauce) and a glass of wine. Afterwards, we have a walk in Hyde Park but the wind is just so cold. Then back to the hotel to get changed...and off to Wood Green where we meet Charissa and Merie. We go into this shady pub The Goose. Or so we think. Cause once inside, it's not shady at all but really big with lovely (cheap) food. Sonja and Manja arrive there as well and I have a great salad with bacon and chicken for £3.50. wow. And some Guinness. ;-)
We then take the shuttle bus to Alexandra Palace (what a venue) where the doors just open when we arrive there. The venue is HUGE. there are food stalls, drink stalls, a jazzy band that plays Suede songs....wow. I (and Merie) buy the T-shirt of the gig and get the tour book free. Then off to the main hall where we get quite close to the stage. The audience is quite diverse. Older people and very young people and everything in between..First it's Temples (sort of a crappy version of the Kooks) and then Spector (which I love! even bought the album now!!). We catch Mat and Brett watching the support acts (Brett drinking tea and with a heavy scarf around his neck).
And then... SUEDE
Brilliant gig, such great atmosphere...7 new songs (no Always sadly) and then a mix of songs from the debut, DMS, Coming Up and Head Music...and including Sleeping Pills...aaaaah.
Brett was in such excellent shape, the backgrounds were stunning, and I found out just how good these Blox earplugs are cause for the first time ever I actually hear Neil singing clearly.
The perform for almost 2 hours and I'm sweating like crazy. Sadly, because the venue is a bit in the middle of nowhere, we have to dash off like mad women afterwards to catch our last train back. When we get out of the venue I notice there's a bit of a blood moon over London...what a sight.....So beautiful.
Some girl nearly gets hit by a car when we walk/run back to the tube station...We arrive at Gloucester Rd just around midnight...pub just closed, bar opposite closed, no drinks at Tesco...and we're somewhat dehydrated...thankfully, Marina had her bottles of prosecco in the fridge and it tastes like heaven.
I'll have a night filled with Brett dreams ;-)

Sunday 31 March
Easter...Clocks go forward, so less sleep. After breakfast I start on the impossible task of getting all my stuff in the suitcase. Only the handbag doesn't fit (success!). We then head off for a walk and buy some new prosecco at Sainsbury's and have lunch at Paul's (a tasty salad). Then back to the hotel to collect our bags, on the train to St Pancras and a final Guinness in the Eurostar terminal. On the train, where we have more prosecco and Japanese nibbles and we arrive in Brussels right on time. And then off to Bruges and Marina to The Hague....
It was SUCH a lovely and funny weekend....I had a brilliant time....

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Tresemmé dry shampo and Batiste dry shampoo, handbag, suede Ally Pally t-shirt and tourbook, owl necklace, Urban Decay pencil and liquid eyeliner, lipbalms, Barry M mascara, nail polish remover, Barry M nail polish

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sensodyne tooth paste (travel size), owl scarf, Starman (Bowie biography), Aladdin Sane Thunderbolt earrings, lots of hairdye

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actual colour of handbag (without flash)

pics of London Trip
pics of suede gig