So, London. We caught a late train out of Bradford (one of the direct Bradford-London trains) and got into the capital about 10pm on the Friday night. The great thing about London is that the public transport systems don’t stop at about 7pm like they do in most other places and so after meeting a friend in a pub near Euston and leaving at closing time we could still get to our hotel, which is near Canning Town and is a good half hour away by tube/DLR.
We had intended to do some sightseeing over the weekend but when we mentioned to various of our friends that we’d be in London they were all keen to meet up with us so we ended up spending the afternoon socialising. We went to the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, again near Euston, which is an awesome place – a pub which does nice food and decent beer, but also has a 10-pin bowling alley and karaoke booths, as well as retro arcade machines. Very easy to kill a lot of time there.
Saturday evening was the main reason for going to London – to see a musical in the West End, which is something neither of us have done before. We’ve seen musicals at theatres before – we both went to see Jerry Springer – The Opera when it came to Bradford in May last year – but there’s something special about seeing it in the West End (which for those unfamiliar with London is a bit like Broadway). The musical we went to see was Avenue Q – I bought the soundtrack late in 2005 as the songs are hilarious, but it was only last year that it came to our shores. You may remember a song called “The Internet Is For Porn” being passed around the internet a lot some time ago – that’s taken from the musical and is quite a good example of what you can expect from it. If you’re easily offended then you’ll hate it; if you’re not then you’ll be rolling in the aisles laughing. Even though I knew most of the songs off by heart, to see it live was an awesome experience.
We went to the matinée performance, which had the benefit of being quite a bit cheaper than the later Saturday showing; we didn’t buy the cheapest seats since they were right on the balcony and didn’t have a good view, but the ones we did buy were quite good for the price that we paid.
Afterwards, we went out for dinner – we had to walk around quite a bit before we found a restaurant which was in our price range, but we settled for a nice Italian restaurant juts off one of the main streets which was actually very reasonable. We then had another late night tube journey – it’s surprising just how busy the Jubilee line is at 11:30pm on a Saturday night.
Sunday was also supposed to be a sightseeing day but we didn’t really do any – instead, we had lunch at Yo! Sushi (which I’d promised Hari as she has taken a real liking to sushi) and perusing the food court at Selfridges, which is the only bit of the shop we can actually afford. We came away with a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Oreo cookies – believe it or not, these are considered premium brands here and are hard to get hold of, with a standard packet of Oreos costing up to £3 (which is about US$5.50). They’re expensive, but sooooooo nice.
The journey back was okay, bar the fact that the train was 20 minutes late leaving London. All in all we had a really good weekend and although we did spend a lot of money it was worth it.
Unfortunately we’ve both been ill with colds since getting back 🙁 .