Saturday, October 21, 2006

Victoria and I Visit London - 14th & 15th October : Part 1

Victoria and I took our long anticipated trip to London this weekend. As it is our fourth wedding anniversary on the 18th we thought this was a good excuse to head darn sarf and stay in a nice hotel/see a show/have a nice meal out.

While we were away Alice was being looked after by mine and Victoria's mum's. Sheila (Victoria's mum) had Alice from about 5pm last Friday night which meant that we could go out for a drink in a pub that evening!!!!! WOW!!! We walked to The Blue Stoopes in Dronfield, had a few pints and then walked home again with a bag of chips. What decadence!!

My mum picked us up the next day at 7am and took us to Chesterfield station to catch the 07:45 train to London. This was a nice trip as we were travelling first class. We booked so early it only cost us £17 each way per person. Bargain.

After we reached our destination it was simply a case of hopping on to the nearest tube to Charring Cross and we were at our hotel. We stayed at the Charring Cross Thistle and as it was offered to us for a reasonable extra fee we upgraded to a suite. It is a lovely hotel, build in the 1800's and still having very high ornate ceilings. All the staff were really nice and the room was fantastic. In fact we had the worlds most giantist bed!!!!

We had some time to kill before Evita started so we went for a walk. We were eating at a floating restaurant called 'The Hispaniola' so we thought a trip down to the Thames to check it out would be a good idea. It looked great and had a view of the London Eye. More on the Hispaniola later.

After finding the restaurant we walked along the River until we reached the Houses Of Parliament. Although we have both been to London before neither Victoria or I have ever done the tourist bit and been to see all the buildings. We were both very impressed by the architecture and the beauty of the building, especially the Houses Of Parliament which was amazing. Strangly enough though there is a life sized plastic cow in the grounds which is dressed up like a judge. Probably to satisfy some politicians fetish I am guessing!!!

We walked back to the hotel for a quick brush up before heading off to the theatre to see Evita which you can read about below. Once again though, it was amazing!!!!

After the show we chilled out for a while in the hotel room and at about 19:30 we went out the the restaurant. It was weird on the 'Hispaniola'. Neither of us have ever been to a restaurant that rocks before, and I don't mean in a 'You Rock' kind of way. I mean it rocks because it is a boat. When a decently sized craft sails by it also rocks some more. Great fun!!!!

After a quick G & T in the bar we were shown to our table. We were sat about 2 thirds towards the front of the restaurant (boat) and due to the design of the ship our table was tilted slightly to the left and towards the back. Also great fun. Strangly, neither of us ordered the soup!!

Starters first. I had the Venison Terrine and Victoria had the scallops. Both were excellent. For the main courses I had the fillet steak with gorgonzola and Victoria had the wild boar. Once again both were excellent. Strangly enough though when I asked for my steak to be cooked 'Blue' the waiter gave me a look like I had just asked for a shit sandwich!! When he brought the meal he said 'Here is your steak, cooked blue, just like you asked' in a 'you asked for it and there is no turning back now' kind of way. I suppose some people must order steak blue and not know what it is but I love it, and I loved it when I had it last Saturday night.

I was stuffed after my 'A good vet could save it' steak so I didn't have a dessert but Victoria did. She had a Tiramisu with Lemon and from the small taste I had it too was great.

We had a last drink in the bar and paid the bill and decided another G & T on our floating eatery was needed as we were quite settled and were enjoying ourselves. The bill came to £104 including tip and I would really recommend this unusual location for a meal if you are ever in London. I was worried that it would cost a fortune being where it was but the bill was comparable with a good Sheffield restaurant.

We finally managed to get up and leave the bar after our last drink. Getting off the boat was different to getting on as the tide had gone out while we were there. The gang-plank was flat when we arrived but sloping up quite steeply when we left. :-) All adds to the fun if you ask me.

Next we decided a walk across the Hungerford bridge was needed. London was all lit up we wanted to see it from over the Thames. I took some pictures on the bridge but they don't really show the views at their best. You should get the idea though.

Once we reached the other side we walked a little way along Riverside Walk and pretended to be in Spooks. :-) Had to be done!!!

We wanted one final drink and decided to head back to the hotel, where a bottle of Magners and a pint of Stella cost £12!! There was a wedding going on that night and I think the guy behind the bar was a little pissed off with drunk people propping up his nice posh bar. He was very dismissive when I ordered the drinks but when I asked to put them on our room he instantly changed and was all 'Yes sir' and 'I'll bring the drinks to your table sir'. He even brought us a tray of olives and pretzels. All well and good but I would have preferred to have had my ass kissed from the moment we entered the bar. :-)

Anyway, that is the end of part one. After our drink we went to bed exhausted. Sorry this post is so long but we seemed to do so much, and this was only the first day!

I will post part 2 later today and there are photo's here.

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