Weekend before Christmas / by 3.1

We decided to pop into town briefly yesterday. Hopped on a bus to Kew Bridge and caught the train into Waterloo, just in time for a late lunch down at the Southbank Centre Food Market (which is pretty awesome, and on at most weekends). It's a great place to head down to if you're a foodie and want to grab something before or after a stroll along the Southbank.

I normally grab a coffee from The Ethiopian Coffee Company stand, which is quite possibly the best cup of coffee I've ever had in London. But yesterday there was a stall selling some hot toddy made with some proper Somerset cider from Burrow Hill Farmhouse. They also make a cider brandy, and my hot toddy had a shot of that in it. It was freaking amazing, though as the weather was something like 16°C at the time, perhaps a bit too warm a drink for the day.

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I still went and got my cup of coffee afterwards though as the hot toddy went straight to my head. We went for a walk across the Thames, past Embankment and Charing Cross.

I don't go into London that often anymore, not like when I was a teenager. We were stood there looking across the water for a while. Looking over at the City, it's like an unfamiliar skyline to me now – the only landmark I really recognise or connect with is St Paul's Cathedral. All the skyscrapers and towers just seem like complete architectural dross to me.

We wandered on across the Strand and into Covent Garden. It was quite busy, as it normally is on the weekend. Popped into the London Transport Museum shop briefly to see if there was anything worth having, but there wasn't. Outside in the piazza, there was a nice chap called David Sinclair on his guitar. He was pretty good.

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Once he'd finished his set, we carried on walking again towards Covent Garden Station, down Long Acre, before heading left onto quieter streets towards St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Trafalgar Square was busy with people wanting to have their photographs taken in front of the Christmas tree. The lights were just about switching on at The National Gallery as the twilight was beginning to fade.

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We headed down into the Tube station, a bit tired now the darkness was setting in, and Seth wanted to get the Bakerloo line back to Waterloo as it's not really a line we get to use very often.

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One thing I like about the Bakerloo line is that it's one of the few places now that you can still get a good lungful of brake dust. I miss the smell of it from when we used to have the A stock on the Metropolitan line. The 1972 stock trains are also the last of our "conventional" (read that as old-skool) trains left in passenger service.

It was nearly completely dark by the time we got to Waterloo. I was somewhat relieved to get the weight off my feet and head home...