Monday was a bank holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
One of the girls and I had booked a table at Tsunami for lunch – they had an offer of 50% off and it was on my list of places to go while I was in London.
I was exhausted from the night before but was ready by 1pm. The food was incredible. For starters we had: nasu goma (my favourite), snow crab shumai, chicken gyoza, ohitashi and salmon tartare (it was better at Maguro – and I didn’t fancy the quail egg on top):
For mains we ordered the black cod, kim chee lamb and wasabi chicken. We also had a couple of sushi rolls. I was already full after the starters and I had the black cod, tried the lamb but didn’t touch the chicken.
While we were there one of the boys’ dads came in with some of his friends and sat at the table right next to ours. He’d brought a bottle of champagne with him and insisted I have a glass with him. It was really the last thing I needed, but I just couldn’t say no to him. He’d been asking me since Friday at the pub when I was coming over, but I just didn’t have the time… so I hoped this would make up for it!
After lunch we went to Baker & Spice to meet up with the third of our coven. FYI, we’re not really a coven, it’s just a joke between us. The weather had started to clear up so when I left I decided I was going to walk home through the park. It was a good decision – it helped to clear my head (somewhat) and I hadn’t yet been to the park. It took me about an hour to get home.
I was supposed to have dinner with a friend that evening but I cancelled. It was the only evening I cancelled while I was in London. I stayed home with my friends, we had a relaxing dinner, and I was falling asleep in front of the TV by 9pm.
My plans for Tuesday were somewhat up in the air. I was supposed to meet up with a friend but something came up at work for him – luckily one of my schoolfriends got in touch and we went out for lunch. It wasn’t terribly exciting – she was hungover, I was tired – not a good combination. We spent a couple of hours trying to have a reasonable conversation but it just wasn’t happening that day.
That evening I went to see War Horse at the New London Theatre with a couple of friends. The theatre is quite small so no wonder the show is sold out for so long! During the first 10 minutes I thought I might fall asleep – I had no idea what was going on and I couldn’t focus. I used the Maltesers to keep me awake. And then all of a sudden I was engrossed in the story and after a while I forgot that the horses on stage aren’t even real. The way they moved, the way their ears and tails flicked, it was brilliant.
After dinner we went to Maroush to grab a bite – it was the only place we thought would be open, and we could walk back home from there. Houmous is so much better in Dubai!
On Wednesday I decided I’d better book my flight back to Dubai as I hadn’t done it yet! Once I’d sorted that out I went to St Paul’s to meet up with a friend for lunch. He took me to Barbecoa in New Change Passage. I’d been there in December 2010 and thought it was just OK – being a Saturday night in the City it was pretty empty. But for lunch on Wednesday it was lovely – it was crowded, and our table overlooked St Paul’s. We shared the calamari to start, we both had the lamb skewers and shared a portion of duck fat chips (because I really needed that).
After lunch it had started to drizzle but I decided to walk anyway. I walked past St Paul’s and decided to peer in.
I’d forgotten how beautiful it is. That’s one thing about London: the architecture is breathtaking.
I continued walking down Fleet Street, down the Strand and to Trafalgar Square. I then caught a bus that took me home.
I met up with my work friends that evening at The Crown & Sceptre in Fitzrovia. We’d never been there but it was near the place where I was having dinner – it’s a nice summer pub. I’d go back. Ten of us had a few drinks and I then went to join a couple of friends at Riding House Cafe just down the street.
I thought the atmosphere was really buzzy but that the food was only average. There was nothing we ordered that I wanted more of. For starters we shared goats curd with figs and honey, artichoke dip with crostini, and squid and chorizo salad. For main course we shared the chorizo hash brown, smoked haddock kedgeree and grilled lamb chops. We had dessert but I can’t remember what it was. Something with rhubarb and custard, I think? And doughnuts? No idea.
That night I stayed at another friend’s place – and we caught up properly. She’s known me for over 20 years and can read me like an open book. I think it’s also because we’re so similar. We talked until about 1am and then went to sleep. I woke up, had tea with her and the kids (her 2-year-old daughter is also called Amreeta) and then I had to leave.
I got home and my friend and I went to see our friends’ twins who were almost 3 months old. There is something about holding a sleeping baby that is extremely soothing. We stayed a little over an hour and then went to Goldfish, a Chinese restaurant in Hampstead. We had marmite prawns (I love marmite!), steamed beancurd, vegetables and rice. What I’ve really missed about not eating bread is having marmite on toast. This definitely made up for it.
It was miserable weather that afternoon – I went shopping for a while and then went home. I stayed in that night – I could have made plans with friends but I was shattered and thought I’d save some energy for the weekend. I’m glad I did!
Read more about London here.