Ah London. It always feels like I’m going home when I arrive at LHR. Everything is so familiar, so easy. Everything works. Everything functions. Everyone understands me. It’s easy, which is just as well because I was feeling so so so down after saying good bye to Zorba. Thank God for my friend Kath in London. Her and I have been great friends since I first moved to London and we worked together in 1996 and it was so good to see a friendly face feeling as blue as I did.
Kath’s basement flat in Baywater is like my second home. I used to hang out there all the time when I lived in London and have stayed with her and her Italian hubby Fiorenzo several times now. They are great and always make me feel so welcome. And we always eat really well there too! Fiorenzo is a typical Italian in that good food is the most important thing – and Kath has become like that too. We spent the first night in London hanging out at their place, chatting, and eating – mmm beautiful slow roast pork belly with a salad of radishes and wilted rocket. I would have paid for that meal at a restaurant is was so good! We also drank – the three of us polished off two bottles of prosecco, a bottle of Nero D’Avola (sicilian red), another half a bottle of Nero D’Avola, several shots of grappa and an amaretto. No wonder I was feeling a bit foggy the next day!
London really turned on the weather for me – NOT. Rain, cloud…It felt weird to have to wear warm clothes again after sweltering in Italia.
I met Donna and Caroline Mounchaguy who I used to work with at 6pm in Sloan Square. Donna took us to a swanky place for drinks and dinner, which was nice. One of her friends Dr Steve came and met us after dinner. It was a fun night. The funniest thing was standing outside having drinks. The pavement was marked with a white line and everyone standing outside with a drink had to be within the white line. It was funny watching the beef cake bouncers telling everyone to step inside the line all time. So different to Italia. Imagine trying to get Italians to do that?! It would never happen!
Bayswater was my old ‘hood’ in London and I know the area really well. It was great to walk around there again, visiting some of my favourite shops. I also went walking through Hyde Park which is one of my most favourite places in London. It feels like a sanctuary away from the bustle of the big city – big old oak trees, pretty flower gardens, people out enjoying life jogging with their dogs, or lazing on the grass. I love it .
Donna took me to a place that she describes as Libararchi’s lounge room. Beach Blanket Babylon on Ledbury Rd in Notting Hill was so ostentatious! Big chandeliers, gold gilt boarders on everything, ornately decorated bar, staircase and toilets, and full of ‘beautiful rich people’. Put it this way, a cheap bottle of wine on the wine list and one bloody mary came to A$64. Who cares? This was a one off! We didn’t stay long – Donna had friends at another bar at Sloan Sq and I wasn’t really in the party mood, so we said good bye at 9.30pm and I went and hung out with Kath and Fiorenzo.
The next day Kath and I spoilt ourselves with a manicure and pedicure and we went to Ottolenghi in Notting Hill to pick up some gourmet takeaway salads for lunch. YUM!
Leaving London was hard too. Kath Taylor has been a best buddy for ages and I really hope she and Fiorenzo can come to Perth next year for our wedding prequel. Yes, no wedding, just a wedding prequel (engagement) celebration instead. Please please I hope they can come!
Next stop, Egypt with Hubba!