(May 2, 2015)
I’m seriously jet-lagged, so this is going to be all over the place, but I wanted to get a few notes down before I crash for (hopefully) 9-12 hours. . . .
We just had a splendid dinner at The Bobbin, a ‘local’ place only a couple of tube stops away from our lodging near Vauxhall station. A nice collection of wine (a tad pricey, but not astronomical) and a seasonal menu. J. had the mozzarella/tomato salad (aka Caprese) while I had the goat cheese, Portobello, caramelized onion tart. He enjoyed the salad, while my tart was deconstructed — sort of stacked, really. Seriously delicious. Our mains were pan-fried sea bass with peas, leeks, and fingerling potatoes (me) and a sausage sauce penne for him. Both were lovely (his sausage was spicy). My fish was cooked perfectly, as were the tender peas. The addition of leeks and a garlic aioli sauce brought the sides to a new height — very fresh and delicious. We skipped dessert.
Lunch was at Pizza Express (multiple locations all over London; this one was right outside the Tate), which I never would have chosen . . . and missed out on a wonderful pizza experience! Fresh made, tasty, and excellent service. My pizza was a Parma ham and mushroom — basic but when done well, sublimely perfect. J. had a marguerite pizza with a super thin crust — tasty.
Breakfast was at a little diner type place (although they don’t ‘do’ diners here) and I don’t have the name. We’re going back, so I’ll link to it when I do. (No link, they have no website. But its called Wedding Patisserie and is on the corner of S. Lambert Road (A203) and Old South Lambert Road, just south of the Holiday Inn Express.) I had a delicious panini of Parma ham and mozzarella, the others had a grilled chicken panini, a Parma ham & egg sandwich, and a sausage & egg panini. All accompanied by fresh squeezed orange juice.
After breakfast, we headed out to see the Changing of the Guard, made extra special by the both of the new royal bay girl. (Which we didn’t know about until after we arrived at Buckingham Palace.) When the guide books say to arrive early, they mean it. We basically saw the tops of black hats, and a bit of the Horse Guards.
We walked through St. James Park, which was lovely in the dappled sun of the day, and full of people. And then walked to Parliament Square to see Big Ben. From there we made our way along Parliament to the Thames and then to the Tate Britain.
A lovely museum, now with an entire wing devoted to Turner. We also got to see the Blake (finally) which were strange and disturbing and divinely mad. Turner was a bit of a showman, and knew how to use publicity to his egomaniacal advantage. He also painted a LOT, and was pretty bad at people. Sadly, we were really low on energy and didn’t see the rest of the Tate’s treasures.