Sunday, November 20, 2016

London, Baby! Part II

My whole reason for being in London was for work, and come Monday I had to remind myself of this fact!  I loved putting faces to names, seeing the office in real life, and getting to know the people that work there.  Plus, it was a really productive week!

Office decor

A couple of American girls now work from the London office, and there were three more of us that happened to overlap visits.  As I was there during election week, it was nice to have some camaraderie through the experience.


Among tapas and happy hours, a big group of us also went to Wicked.  I felt fortunate that I happened to be in London when they were going!  It always brings me to tears.

Another evening I went with my Italian coworker, Giulia, to the Churchill Arms, a traditional Notting Hill pub that transforms into a Thai restaurant and living garden the farther you progress through its rooms. 

A big highlight of the trip was getting to see Giuseppe, Azzurra's brother, who's been living in London the last couple years.  The last time I saw him he was 18 and living at home; now, my little fratellino is all grown up!  We met for a drink at Waxy O'Connor near Piccadilly, catching up and reminiscing, finding it hard to believe that we met almost ten years ago, when he was only 12!

My last day and a half I spent exploring on my own, shopping on Regent Street, and doing lots of eating of course.

There was actually a gap at this station!
I get the danger now.

That last night in London I went to the famed Duck & Waffle, where you can guess what I ordered.  The restaurant is a bit of an enigma, as it's open 24/7, specializes in duck and waffles, and is actually very high class, with a stunning view:

Later on I walked over Tower Bridge and headed to the Southbank Christmas Market, one of the few open that early in the year, for some mulled wine, music, and people watching.

...which led me to Big Ben!

There was a great moment on this bridge, when a cab pulled over and a group of young tourists rushed out for a quick picture with the London Eye in the background before jumping back in and speeding off again.

The next morning I stuck around Notting Hill, enjoying my last full English Breakfast at Electric Diner, and some more antique market shopping before heading back to Heathrow.

What a joy London was, living like a local!  I encountered so many lovely, welcoming, chivalrous people.  I loved so many of the words they use, favorites including:
  • "Bits", as in: "It's bloody freezing out, make sure to cover all your precious bits."
  • "Alight", as in: "Next stop: Marble Arch Station.  Alight here for the central line."
  • "Fancy", as in: "I don't fancy myself a cold weather bloke."
Fingers crossed I get to go back again next year.

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