The day started like a typical Sunday – lui en rustig. We shared a lazy morning and afternoon with family, and an adventurous afternoon with friends exploring London Town.
I rolled out of bed early with the sun to find Chris already entertaining Chewie – the Cavapoo puppy – downstairs. Once the rest of the house stirred we sat down for a breakfast of delicious bagels, chorizo sausages and scrambled egg – cooked to perfection by our host.
The morning melted away into entertaining the little fluffy bundle of joy and preparing for the extended family joining us for lunch.
It felt like a hurricane hit the house when the two boys bounced in, but the excitement of the puppy kept them distracted and subdued. It was nice hearing some Afrikaans – not that we had been deprived. The Afrikaans made it feel homely.
Lunch was served at the ornate table in the living room. Chris, the braai master, had prepared delicious chicken ciabatta burgers. Anni, the salad queen, made a wonderful dish of roast pumpkin, asparagus, pomegranate seeds with a light dusting of nuts and drizzled with an apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. Her sister, Zita (a chef and recipe tester) prepared a wonderful and filling coleslaw. It was food fit for a king!
After we were all decently stuffed, Anni and I prepped dessert. We had decided on trifle. Alternating layers of strawberry Swiss roll, fresh mixed berries, yoghurt and whipped cream was topped with a vanilla-chocolate ice cream. This decadent dish enticed even the fullest of us, who all eagerly queued for more in an Oliver Twist fashion.
We had arranged to meet friends at Leicester Square (pronounced ‘Lester’). Upon arrival, Christie ran up to me and I was reunited with my best friend from university. We spent the evening roaming the streets of London, getting lost in Eaton… or was it, Chelsea?
First stop: China Town. We wondered through the streets briefly. Still stuffed after lunch, snacking on food was the LAST thing on our mind. But it was an experience all the same.
M&M world was a MUST – even though it was only for Dean Winchester’s line in the second Supernatural episode.
“What do you mean I didn’t bring supplies?
Eric, the all-knowing, took us to the nearest pub for a local experience, He has only been here for two weeks but looks right at home sitting in a dimly lit ornate room with a beer in his hand, wearing a scowl and beard with style. He had his mind set on taking us to Bag o’ Nails.
Hereafter, we wondered to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace for a quick peak before we explore further when we use the Hop On Hop Off bus service. These areas were touristy – but we could see why. They were breathtakingly beautiful and stately. One had to admire the craftsmanship and care placed into creating the statues and the thought and precision of the architecture.
Hereafter, we let our feet lead the way and we strolled through what appeared to be a wealthy part of town. The houses we passed actually looked like they housed the Darling family from Peter Pan. The places were beautiful and the buildings stood tall and proud.
Apparently, coffee shops here close at 5 pm.
I cannot believe this. London is perpetually cold and coffee seems like the ideal beverage to take the chill out of your bones. It is summer and I found myself wishing I wore gloves. After wandering through the upper end, we made our way back to Trafalgar Square, with a lot of stopping and starting to query the cell phone GPS. And a miracle happened.
We found a Starbucks that was actually still open at 8:30 at night! Apparently, this was some kind of miracle because Christie was buzzing with excitement.
My brother had planned to meet an old high school friend at Trafalgar Square en route home. He shared stories and sights we should see and things we should do. Apparently downloading the app ‘Time out’ is a good place to start when exploring local and touristy things to do in London. We will get on that tomorrow. We need our own time out for now.