I arrived in London early on Saturday morning, somewhat rested. (I sat on one end of a row of five seats, a guy sat on the other end, and we each got 2.5 seats to lie down on, which was not bad.) Husband and I went straight to our friend's flat. From there, we joined her family at a Purim celebration. I cannot remember the last Purim service I went to, but I am fairly certain it did not involve a BBC announcer narrating the Scroll of Esther. Although we ate enormous quantities of hamentashen, we still indulged in scrumptious goat cheese tarts for lunch. Then we went checked into our hotel. I planned to crash for a nap, but the dungeon - er, room - to which we were assigned had no hot water. And by not hot water, I literally mean nothing came from the tap. Hence we switched to a non-dungeon room. Then I crashed.
We met my friend and her family again for an amazing dinner at Leong's Legends, which involved pork. Lots of pork. Plus crispy turnips, which sound nasty but are delicious, and red beans stuffed with glutinous rice and soup dumplings. Afterward, we walked over to Royal Festival Hall for a food and wine festival. At this point I ate the best thing I have ever placed on my tongue: a sweet macaron shells with goat cheese.
On Sunday, I woke up and ran in Green and St. James Parks. It was gorgeous. Husband and I met some other friends for lunch at Wild Honey. For dessert, I had honey ice cream with honey combs. Very nice. Not as nice, however, as savory cheese macarons, so we walked back over to Royal Festival Hall and bought more. I also tried one with cheddar. It was good, but the goat cheese is still the best thing I have ever eaten. Then Husband and I wandered around a bit and headed over to my friend's neighborhood. We split at ham and leek pie for two at Duke of Sussex. It came piping hot with a large spoon: Back at the hotel, I slept for over 12 hours.
Today I had a middling English breakfast (bastards did not include sausage!) and then went on an excellent walking tour in St. James. Then I wandered through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for tea at The Orangery. In the past, I found it to be affordable and delightful. Unfortunately, the quality has declined dramatically. The Earl Gray Tea was good, as was my scone. I got a ton of clotted cream and jam, which was a bonus. However, the sandwiches were bland and the dessert just bad. Oh well.
I walked back to the hotel to meet Husband, then we walked four miles to Brick Lane Beigel Bake on the East End. The bagels are super tasty and filled with salt beef (i.e. - warm thick slices of corned beef) or cream cheese and lox. This place is so inexpensive it is almost insane. The lox and cream cheese beigel is about two pounds and a piece of cheese cake is 50 pence. We rode a double decker bus back to the hotel. Very lovely.
So far, the weather has been great. It is mild (mid-50s to 60s) and even sunny. I love London.