The Best Trip Ever (TM) is now officially underway. Though the often onerous flight from Pearson to Heathrow was relatively smooth and seemed mercifully shorter than usual (with the added bonus of sitting behind Eddie Marsan), the resulting hour-long queue at UK Border Control was not. Though the bonus of waiting forever to clear customs is that by the time you reach baggage claim (or reclaim, as they term it here), your bags have usually beat you there…and ours had.
Less than an hour later — impressive given the traffic on the Cromwell Road — we were ensconced in our flat in Covent Garden.
We stopped for only a few minutes before we were headed out to a pub – the Nell Gwynne Tavern – to grab a pint (or in my mother’s case, a glass of pinot grigio) where the incomparable @kary_me_away once served as a lovely bar wench. My mother was less than impressed but I will continue my quest to introduce her to the “authentic pub experience” knowing she prefers to live in the dark.
Then it was off to find some food but it was the end of the work day and everywhere was full up. We consoled ourselves with a look at The Lady and two of their cover stars (yes, that is Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench):
We finally just settled on eating at the resto (21 Covent Garden) on the ground level of the Piazza. I think the food was good but given I would’ve noshed on my own arm by the time we got there, I’m probably not a good judge of the quality. Either way, there was food, it was warm and there were Christmas lights, so it was hard to not enjoy ourselves.
Then we had a bit of a wander around the immediate area, spotting our first of the 50 Paddington Bears on display around London at the moment. This one is Rainbow, designed by Darcey Bussell:
And as always, Covent Garden decorated for the season is something to see:
Then it was back to the flat to await delivery of our Christmas tree. Yes, they deliver them and yes, my mother ordered one. So we capped off our first night abroad making our temporary home as seasonally homey as possible. And I don’t know if we were entirely successful, but we like it.
Tomorrow: A visit to my favourite painting, a lunch with a view, tea at the Corinthia, and dinner with a birthday boy.