Am I f’ing lucky, or is this a normal itinerary in London?…
Day 1 – Stay with awesome, fun, generous friends in their beautiful home, complete with the most adorable golden retriever puppy that’s ever walked the earth. Go out on the town with extended colleagues and step inside Japan at Koya, home of incredible udon.
Day 2 – Get your run on and discover Wandsworth Common, a beautiful local park full of puppies, ponds and swans. Then hire a Barclays citybike and ride down to the Natural History Museum. Learn about fascinating things like earthquakes, volcanoes and a billion different species, for free. Stumble upon Afterhours, a jazzy cocktail event at the museum, make friends with a cool group of big kids like yourself and share a drink before watching the animatronic dinosaurs come to life. Then head out for food with your new friends and wait so long for a table that you get complimentary pizza-bread and a bottle of wine for the trouble.
Day 3 – Get photo-bombed by a police officer beside the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. Discover an amazing singer/songwriter busking along the Thames. Buy his CD and learn that he’s Mark Wilkinson, the Australian sensation who just concluded his European tour with a sold-out performance night before. Follow that up by meeting last night’s new museum friend at the Tate Modern art gallery, and score free tickets from random passers-by to the very cool Matisse exhibit. Finish the night with a jagerbomb and dancing on the bar at Covent Garden Cocktail Club with more new friends, a byproduct of your previous night out in London during the world cup finals. Take a double-decker bus home but get kicked off when the driver decides his shift is over, and hire a convenient Barclays bike to cycle the rest of the way, docking in the last available spot in the closest station to home.
Day 4 – Have some tasty street food, witness an odd public wedding in a blow-up church along Southbank, get serenaded on the lawn by an odd busker and receive an exit applause from the large audience for the song material. For dinner, relive your time in Thailand with none other that your Thailand chef mate, a fellow foodie and co-student from Cooking Love Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai. Talk the night away with stories of gay stags in Soho and Sex And The City.
Day 5 – Put your personal chef to the test with ricotta pancakes and maple bacon for breakfast (Big win!) Catch up with another lovely Chiang Mai mate for a 2-pint liquid dinner and write a list of very important questions one should ask on a date, like “how do you feel about pineapple?” Attempt to test said new questions and wander the empty downtown streets until 1am. Catch the closest night bus and walk the last 30 mins, meeting a family of foxes on the way.
Departure day – Enjoy the sunny morning with a 5 mile run through the park, a nice prep for the afternoon’s 13-hour overnight bus/ferry to Dublin.
London, you’re absolutely lovely. Thank you Lui, Trent, Cooper, Jeff, Ruaridh, Elliott, Pranav, Mark, Busker Koldewey and everyone else who’s been a part of this unusually awesome itinerary.
This adventure’s pictures are on Flickr:
Amyleajacobs in London