Central London

London: Shangri-La by 3.1

I was told to meet at London Bridge at 15:00 on Friday 19th July and to bring an overnight bag. It was for a surprise to say thank you for all of the days that I was home alone whilst Patch was working away on the Cricket World Cup.

What I wasn’t prepared for was a room with a view on the 42nd Floor of The Shard:

I tried really hard to shrug off my shock and suprirse, but I was genuinely overwhelmed. What a surprise. Even after a good 2-3 hours of staring out of the windows, I still couldn’t believe where I was. There was a whole lot more waiting too as it turned out we had a reservation for dinner at Hutong on the 33rd Floor.

The food was amazing.

Half a duck to share, with freshly-made pancakes and lovely ‘Make A Wish’ cocktails

Shredded chicken with steamed buns

The first course of duck is carved at the table and served

The duck was served as two courses, where the remaining duck came back as a re-imagined dish.

Chocolate tart with mandarin ice cream

After dinner, we headed up to the highest hotel bar in Europe, GŎNG at the Shangri-La for a few drinks.

Lovely foil on the cocktail menu, with little facts detailing the insipiring inventions that inspired the drinks

Nothing could really prepare me for the view from the hotel room. I had time to gaze out of it for a few hours before dinner, but it was equally amazing when the light was fading and the lights of London were clicking on.

Patch had made sure I had a good view of the trains. We shared a bath whilst watching the city below us and nothing could remove the surrealness of the situation. Magical.

I watched out of the window for hours, until I eventually fell asleep. It reminded me of the time I’d stayed in the Park Tokyo Hotel in Japan, falling asleep with the slow blinking of lights on the tops of buildings and the slow light trains of the trains below.

At some point, I was woken up by the cloudy light of the morning. It had rained overnight, and I do remember opening my eyes briefly at 03:00, seeing that we were inside a low-lying rain cloud.

Loving the emergency cup noodles, ha!

Breakfast on the 35th.

It was nice to be up in the clouds.

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A Good Friday by 3.1

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Struggled to shoehorn myself out of fucking bed this morning. My three weeks of waking up at 02:30, 04:00 or 06:00 respectively, have finally come to an end, but my body had semi-failed. S managed to use some powers of persuasion however... ;-)

So we got ourselves onto the bus and the Tube, heading right into the centre of town on a Bank Holiday (the horror): 

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Demolished some food in Five Guys for lunch, before heading into one of my haunts just around the corner:

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It's only just gone 13:00 and it's like a cathedral in here...

It's only just gone 13:00 and it's like a cathedral in here...

Decided that I needed some sweet treats, so we popped into Minamoto Kitchoan to pick up a few. (Because I don't subscribe to all that Easter egg bollocks.)

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I was hoping that the tsuya and senbei would last until we got back home, but my share of the wagashi didn't even make it back to Kew Gardens.

FFS. No chance.

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Took a stroll around Kew Gardens to see any changes in effect as a result of the fast moving spring. It has been too much, too soon. Most of the cherry blossom and magnolia has since departed along the breeze, but the bluebells have now begun to sprout (a whole three weeks too early), so maybe another week or so the woodland will be completely carpet with all the flowers in bloom.

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Other than that, nothing has really changed.

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