Sunday, January 20, 2013

It hasn't even been two weeks

I can't believe how much we've done so far. We have been managing to find the coolest places to go out, and some are only a few minutes away from our flat!

Wednesday night, we went to a bar called Ping! It was a really cool, decorated bar, but with ping pong tables. We signed up for a table at 9 p.m. and the night went on from there...

On Thursday, I sat outside a cafe for about half an hour reading a book for my class. Why? Well, partly because there were no seats inside, but also because it was kind of nice, even though it was really cold outside. And then you all read my post about what happened on the walk home...

Friday did not start off well. My perfect InStyler hair curler/straightener somehow decided to work in the UK for about two weeks, and then stop. It's gone, and we're back to the flat iron days for the next four months. We then went out for the day to do some exploring and meet my flat mate's British cousin and her boyfriend. First stop, Platform 9 3/4. (AKA King's Cross St. Pancras tube stop)

After some walking around in the snow, we met everyone for lunch at this Lebanese place. I was kind of skeptical since I can't recall ever having Lebanese food, but I had the most delicious Shawarma chicken wrap. It was pretty cheap, too! Then, we headed to a few stores to window shop, and then went to Primark (AKA Forever 21 on crack). I got some old school hair curlers. Being dumb, I didn't use them properly and my hair ended up straight that night. I'll get it right someday. 

Now for the best part about Friday...!

Upon searching Twitter for another club we are obsessed with, but have never been to (the Mango Lounge. MANGOOOOOOOOOOO!), I found a place called Evan's and Peel. The website is kind of cryptic, in that all you can do is book a reservation. I found some Yelp reviews and I immediately knew we had to go here. The place was a speak-easy themed bar/restaurant. I'm not going to spoil it if you ever want to go, but just entering the place is the coolest part. Just go. It's on Earls Court. And if you're from the States and probably won't be going anytime soon, ask me about it. 

Side note: My roommate's boyfriend met this British guy on the tube and brought him along to E&P! The most random of occurrences, but he ended up being quite nice! His name is Alex (Of course!) and I think this may be our first British friend! Best part, he said he thought my accent was believable and that my dialect sounded like I was from Surrey. I love it. We found him on Facebook and I hope we all get to hang out sometime soon and meet more people from around the area. 

Saturday morning, we woke up early to see the London Eye. There was a deal going on that if you got there before 9:30 and said "Lift London," then it would be free. Seriously, people probably got there at 6 am because the queue looked like it would take more than three hours to get through. After that, we went to Borough Market for the second week in a row. Probably my favorite market thus far, because of all the delicious (and free) food. We found the most incredible pesto I think I've ever had, and all split a tub to take home. Later, we went to Portobello Market and looked around at very interesting vendors. 

On the way back, we stopped in a pub for some food (which takes hours here, servers are not great). After that, we went to The Design House. An interesting museum, but not my cup of tea. (Haha, tea. I'm hilarious.) Then, we stopped at Tesco's to pick up some cheap ingredients to make our pesto themed meal. For a cheap and homemade, it was probably the best meal I've had so far here. 

Spinach, ricotta and tomato, basil and cheese tortellinis (mixed with pesto), rocket salad with avocado and balsamic  and Monterey Jack cheese bread  with pesto on top.

Last night, we finally decided to go clubbing. As I kind of anticipated, it was an epic fail. We arrived at what we thought we be the stop for the night, but at £25, we had to keep looking. Finally we came across this place called The Shoreditch, a ways away from where we began looking, but it ended up being fun. For £5, (because no where was free or cheaper), we entered. We didn't drink, because by that point it was late, but also I checked out the menu and drinks were £8 or more. Nope. We ended up staying on the first floor by the DJ and made some new British friends who were obsessed with us being American.


After we decided to call it a night, we tackled the night bus. Another 45 minutes later or so (I tried not to pay attention to time), we successfully made it home!

Today we slept in and had a relaxing morning, and then got dressed up to go to afternoon tea. I was expecting to hate it, because I don't like tea or scones, but let me tell you it was the most delicious and elegant day out ever. We arrived at the Kensington Close hotel, and were greeted by our server who showed up to our table and let us look through a tea box to choose our teas. She came back with five separate tea pots and my tea was quite good! Tip: try brown sugar cubes in tea. Especially with chamomile, it was delicious and sweet. Then came the food. We were given several platters; two types of scones with jam and clotted cream, finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, egg salad and ham and cheese) and deserts which appeared to be lemon custard pies and tiramisu. Delicious. I can't say more. You have to do this if you're ever in London. 

Now I'm home, relaxing and about to start doing my reading for class tomorrow morning. I have a lot to look forward to this week with my internship really kicking off, and then our three weekends in a row of travel. Oh right, Bath, Venice and Barcelona. It's just so awful studying abroad!

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