Posts Tagged ‘Covent Garden’

3
Jan

Back in London

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Ordering Beer

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Eighteen.

We left our little four-room inn in Wetherby by noon, and drove south toward London.  We’d conferred during breakfast and booked rooms in an unknown little hotel, sight unseen–always a bit dicey, but especially so in a giant city. So, we were hoping to arrive before dark, but heavy holiday-weekend-ending-traffic prevented that. The worst part of the drive was of course, after we hit London—some crazy zig zagging happened! But we finally made it to The Bridge Hotel. As it turns out, we’re in a nice part of town, and the rooms are adequate and clean, and the staff here is very nice.

After we settled in a little bit, we headed to the nearest tube station–Elephant and Castle, and took the Bakerloo line in to Picadilly Station. There, we switched to the Picadilly line and got off at Covent Garden. We’ve gotten to where we’re almost good at the whole underground thing. And, it’s fun!

At the beginning of the trip, we had tried to get to the market stalls there, and had arrived just as everything was closing.  Kyle has a very specific purchase he wishes to make from a vendor/craftsperson we’ve bought from before, so we had a mission. Today was our second chance.  But, between the rain and the traffic today, and earlier closing time on Sundays (that isn’t a part of the information we could find online), we missed her again, today. Sometimes, it seems the plans one makes are just not meant to be.  Mondays at the market are completely different–the venue becomes an antique market one day a week–and while I’d be thrilled to check it out, our crafter we want to see will almost surely not be there.

We popped into Punch and Judy’s for a snack and yet another beer we hadn’t had before, and then went in search of a little Tapas restaurant Mandi had located online.  It was a unique and mostly delicious meal of meats and cheeses and breads. We found two more sweet little pubs before finally entering the Leicester Square Station and heading back to the Bridge Hotel.

As of right now, we can get everything into the suitcases we brought. (But, I confess, we shipped a box of stuff from Edinburgh.) I simply don’t seem to be able to not bring at least one too many sweaters and probably more than I really need of just about everything else. That means any new aquisitions need to find a way home.  The last trip, we actually bought an extra suitcase! But, this time, we’re on British Airways and the extra baggage charge is crazy, so shipping seemed the better answer.

Someday, I’ll pack lighter and allow for the extra stuff that we accumulate … I obviously need more practice!  Time to plan the next U.K. holiday!

~MB

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18
Dec

From British Museum to Giant Mistletoe

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Friday, 18 December 2015 Kyle and the Babes Kyle and the Babes 2015.

Day Two They’re here! Way back in 1997, Kyle and I and two dear girlfriends made the trip to the U.K. for the Yule holiday.  Kyle’s parents were living in England at the time, and Ginger and Lisa were up for an adventure, so away we went!  Among other things, we experienced sunrise in a stone circle on Yule, enjoyed a marvelous Christmas visit with the folks, were honored with seats at the head table at a castle feast, visited one of our favorite castle ruins, froze our butts off at the White Horse of Uffington and even managed to take in a show in the West End. The Kyle and the Babes Trip was a huge success and Ginger and Lisa were forever accepted into the Clan MacRalph.

This trip is not an attempt to recreate that amazing time.  It is an exciting, all new adventure with two different dear girlfriends, Roxy and Mandalyn.  But, the label “Kyle and the Babes” deserved reviving!

Knowing the girls were arriving today, Kyle and I planned a meeting time and place with them, and filled the first part of our day with the journey into the city, time in a couple of lovely little pubs (the Princess Louise is one of the most beautiful pubs I’ve ever been in), and a visit to the British Museum.  Why we’d never before visited this amazing museum remains a mystery and the place deserves much more of our attention on a future visit.  But, today was all about a specific exhibit I was determined to see entitled, “Celts: Art and Identity.”  The exhibit set out to expose its patrons to the depth and variety of what we have come to understand as “celtic” and “celtic art.”  It presents hundreds of objects from all over the European continent–knives, brooches, torcs, helmets and shields, chariot fittings, flagons, sculptures, bowls, books and more. The star of the show, at least for me, is what is known as The Gundestrup Cauldron–an ornate, silver, ceremonial cauldron dating from c. 150 B.C.E. The entire exhibit is beautifully presented, and except for the bizarrely high temperature within the exhibit hall, it was a wonderful experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

By the time we finished there, and popped into the pub on the corner (it would have been rude not to!), it was time to head to the Covent Garden area to meet Roxy and Mandi.  We found them, exactly as planned, at the busy but charming Nag’s Head Pub, where we had a pint to fortify us for shopping.  The next planned stop was my Bravissimo store!  Roxy joined me, and Mandi opted to accompany Kyle to the next pub to wait for us.  Bravissimo is known for catering to the well-endowed woman, so Roxy and I are their perfect type of customer.  We set up fittings, shopped for a few moments, then were each given a dressing room and a fitting expert.  One beautiful bra after another was brought to me, based on the preferences I’d established–I’m sure Roxy would say the same thing–and finally both Roxy and I left with lighter wallets, but much improved wardrobes!

By this time, it was well past time for food, and the nearest restaurant won the lottery.  Sophie’s Steakhouse was the place, and although the breaded haddock was better than the steak, it was an excellent dinner in a very classy and popular spot.  The one bummer of the day: by the time we finished our meal and got back to Covent Garden, the marketplace was closed!  So, perhaps we’ll do that shopping on the tail end of this trip if there’s time.  But, for tonight (after taking some fun photos like the one above) we finished our night in town with a pint at the Punch and Judy, and then made our way back to the Covent Garden underground station, where I don’t advise taking the stairs down to the rails! Kyle and I did that while the girls rode the lift down–we walked down the equivalent of fifteen flights of stairs! The tube ride was interesting as we were on a train which was pulled from service only partway home … so that was fun. But, a short wait and we were on our way again.  We topped off the evening with a nightcap in the hotel lounge just before last call, and now, it’s time for some more sleep so we can have more fun tomorrow.

~MB

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