Another week flies by and the weekend is upon us again, early Friday night we head down to Clapham Main Street to finally catch up Jeremy who we became good friends with on our tours of Scotland and Ireland, who leaves not 10 minutes away in Clapham south. Tonight we are introduced to the gorgeous Sophie, Jeremy’s partner and after a few introductory drinks we are long lost friends. So we move onto a Belgium restaurant called Belgo also in Clapham Main Street. It’s here we wine and dine till the wee hours, Simone and Sophie start on a bottle of rose but as soon as the first glasses are poured they are trying to funnel it back into the bottle as we have discovered the extensive beer and cider list. With Oktoberfest fast approaching practice is crucial. The night then turns into a beer tasting extravaganza and about twenty varieties are bought out to us to sample, one flavor worthy of a mention is the coconut beer which the girls loved. The night continues and we all get very merry.
The next morning slightly seedy we continue yet again with the cliché tourist sites which we have grown to love and look forward to all week. First stop is the British Museum for a wander, and after a couple of hours and the purchase of a pin we walk around the surrounding area en route to Convent Garden. Along the way while looking though a random run down souvenir shop, Simone lets out a shriek and nearly wets herself at the site of a Kate and Wills pin. It is instantly the highlight of the day, no wait week, actually month. This little bugger has been so elusive and just its existence is cause for celebration. Further down the road we have a photo taken with Paddington who kindly posed with us. Then onto Convent Garden Markets, which are lovely. You can get drawn into the bustling environment so easily, there are street performers and live bands scattered around and it's hard not to be swept up in the variety of quaint stalls. Store holders offer a magnitude of crafts from paintings and photos to music and many a knick knack. We pop in for a quick look at the TFL museum (transport for London) the company in charge of the famous double decker buses and the tube stations. The shop at TFL is amazing with many great artifacts and souvenirs’, another stop before we return home will be back here.
We then jump on some Borris bikes (so London- Borris is the Mayor of London, the bikes were his idea, they are all over the city) and go for a ride towards St Paul’s which is kind of central/east London. On the way we find ourselves on the Mall making our way up the Queens drive way ,into Buckingham Palace, up to the gates and it is here we pass a crowd of people on Whitehall and stop to see what the fuss is about before realizing we were at the gates of Downing St and through them people were looking at 10 Downing St the home of the Prime Minister David Cameron. Back on the bikes after our brief political encounter we continued though the city then ended up at the Twinning’s tea shop where we grabbed a couple of samples of tea for Jill, who is a tea coinsurer. (Just hopped the sniffer dogs at the airport didn’t ruin them, as they apparently where such by customs in Australia). This was then followed by a trip on the DLR Docklands Light Rail to visit Canary Warf where Simone works, for a look around and a well earned drink at sunset.
Sunday morning breakfast cooked by Tom at Tom and Glenn’s place coincided with a messenger chat with Wilma, Beth and Dorothy, which was great. The four of us then took the tube and bus to the Chelsea football club to visit the museum and take a stadium tour of Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home ground. The tour took us through the players change rooms, the media rooms, the stadium seats as well as the manager’s box and we got to walk on the pitch too, well at least the edge. The tour was amazing we had the whole stadium to ourselves and I think we have all found our new team away from the Tigers that is. After the Chelsea experience we made our way back home to do the shop and prepare for the week ahead.