Much ado about everything in London!

25 Mar

Dare I say it, but the weather in central London yesterday got up to 17 degrees celsius at one point. There’s a feeling in the air that summer is just around the corner and it really is an exciting feeling. The sun has been peering its head out from behind the clouds more often than usual. It’s so nice, we can’t help but smile! There is now the opportunity to head out into the sunshine and parks during lunch in the day… and every one else has the same idea. The parks are getting busy with people running and walking their dogs. The winter seems to have dragged on and on (an endless winter) and we now see why Londoners get so excited about the summer, and once it’s here they will be out in the daylight until it goes down at night (anywhere from 9:30pm). And so will we! Without wishing the summer away, it will be winter again before we know it so it’s essential that we make the most of the summer days and nights. I got out my legs for the first time yesterday and it was weird seeing my skin in the light (it was almost Vampire-ish see-through!)
It’s been quite a while since we caught everyone up on what we have been up to. Even though we’ve been busy (basking in the sunlight!), we haven’t done any major travel since our trip to Italy, rather we’ve been laying a tad low, getting ready for our bigger trips this year. Instead, we’ve been acquainting ourselves with London a little bit more with bits and pieces of what the city has to offer.
A couple of weeks back, I made a trip to Somerset House (a beautiful looking building in central London) for London Fashion Week with a friend from work – Sarah, who was generous enough to give me a free ticket! We made it a girly date and wandered around the stalls and I even felt fashionable enough to buy a £25 ring! It will probably be the only purchase I make of high fashion in my life. Our date ended after dinner and a drink… very swish!
Matt and I also went to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. It is such a great production – along with a great story, and powerful music. If we had the opportunity, we’d see it again and again. We’re slowly making our way to all the theatre productions we could ever want to see. It’s so easy to head to a show with cheap tickets in London… there is always something to see. If you are in London and are bored, it’s your own fault really.
We also made a visit to the Museum of London to see a ‘Streets of London’ photography exhibition, showcasing photographs of London as far back as the 1800s… it’s so interesting to see what the streets we are walking on were once like. So full of life just as they are now, but in such a different way. It still fascinates us that this city and country is so incredibly old and the history is amazing. That same night, we also went to Brick Lane in East London. I’m sure we’ve mentioned Brick Lane before – a street where you haggle for the price of your ever most delicious Indian meal – entrée, main, poppadoms, naan and rice – all for a tenner each! We’re guaranteed never to leave on an empty stomach, that’s for sure. But luckily Brick Lane is close to some nightclubs and pubs, so it’s easy to go and dance the meal you’ve just had off with some funky moves (which of course, we did at a funky club called Vibe).
There was more dancing and (not so) funky moves for St Pats Day celebrations in London the day after. A street parade and Irish entertainment were the order of the day in Trafalgar Square. We started off with a beautiful brunch in a very lovely French-inspired cafe, followed by a couple of Guinness (it wasn’t too early in the morning, promise!) in Trafalgar Square. Followed by a couple of more Guinness in Waxy O’Connors, a very Irish pub near Leicester Square. It is seriously the coolest Irish pub EVER where the top floor has a manual food lift that goes directly down to the bar on the level below. All you have to do is write your order on the piece of paper provided, pop it in the lift, pull the rope and wait for your receipt to come back up from the barman (or barwoman). Once you’ve sent your money back down, your drinks arrive up to you in the lift, ready for consuming. This is all without having to tire yourself out by walking down the stairs.Very clever and not ‘Irish’ at all!
We also had a couple of Guinness (or is it Guini – the plural?) at Covent Garden at the Irish pub O’Neils with a couple of our housemates, our friend Jaime, and a couple of her Irish friends (plus, their friends and some of their friends!) on St Pats night. It was a school night, so we didn’t go crazy, but we had fun wearing our free St Pats hats and joining the other revellers for a fun night out. We continued on at another pub down the street before having a very late dinner and heading back home to bed, ready and refreshed for work the next day. When in Ireland (well, London), do what the Irish do we say!

The weekend just gone, we spent the Saturday at the TNT Travel Show – soaking up travel inspiration from a whole lot of travel groups all in the one place (seriously, the world seems like it is too big to do absolutely everything we could ever want to). On the Sunday, some more lovely friends – namely Narelle, Nicole, Amy, Troy and Rachelle – made their way to our little abode in Scawen Road. We took the bus down to Greenwich and spent what was left of the morning browsing the markets and visiting the Maritime museum. We also saw ‘The Painted Hall’ – which is part of the Old Royal Navel College and is claimed to be one ‘finest dining hall in the Western world’. It was pretty and quite cool to see a massive dining hall completely covered in a beautiful mural – it was free, so it was worth it. We then made our way up to the observatory, which has one of the best views over London.

We then made our way up the Thames on the Clipper (much like the Brisbane City Cat) towards the city. We stopped off at a pub called The Ship and Whale along the way, which is close to our house in Surrey Quays. All London pubs have cool names like The Prince of Wales, the Black Lion and French Horn, the Lamb and Flag, the Pillars of Hercules… it’s quirky. We had a delicious Sunday roast with plenty of wine and then continued on our way up the Thames. It was great to see London from a different perspective and it still feels surreal to us that we live in such a beautiful city with such history and exciting things to do. It’s especially great since we have so many awesome friends to share it with over here. Despite all the grief that London can (and does!) give us, we still relish the thought that we’ve taken the opportunity to live here, even if it is for a little bit.

We’ve also both been busy with work… Matt has been training someone new (his other half in the other showroom) and having run-ins with celebrities. He refused a singer from the band Boyzone (Shane Lynch) the keys to his new car after Matt thought he was some bogan off the street. I’ve also had the chance to run into a few high and mighty people myself. Yesterday was our national Celebrate Success awards – that recognises young people who have gone from strength to strength after going through one of our programmes. Over 1,600 people attended the Odeon in Leicester Square (ahem.. the same venue where all the other big movie premieres are held!) for the truly inspirational event. HRH The Prince of Wales (aka Prince Charles) attended and I had the opportunity to see him arrive on the red carpet and listen to him addressing the audience. I was also lucky enough to escort one of the charity’s many, many Ambassadors down the red carpet and keep him in check throughout the day, making sure he was where he needed to be and on time. Even though I had no idea who Phillip Schofield was without getting on to Google, it was such a hoot to be part of the massive event and to see some incredible stars and HRH himself – merely meters away from the very spot I was standing with my colleagues. I’ve been so lucky to be given some magnificent roles in my life and this one is no different!

As we’re gearing up towards another weekend in the olde city and no doubt, another few stories to tell, it’s time to head off to bed. Photos of our past couple of weeks will have to wait until we find ourselves a new computer – ours decided to go to the grave. It’s amazing how much time you manage to find without Facebook, emails and Google to eat up hours at night.

Till next time, love to you all,

Matt and Mel


One Response to “Much ado about everything in London!”

  1. Saira March 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM #

    Lol. Guini.

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747


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