Multiple Missing Mondays

Some naysayers may have commented to us that we have not been keeping our blog up to date enough and even worse, that we were falling behind with our tight schedule of an average of one challenge a day. Sympathise though, as our plans had been badly effected by poor weather, lingering coughs and colds and excessive festive consumption, maladies that are very much symptomatic of London and the country as a whole at the moment. But I have a hidden weapon – a stash of completed challenges kept exactly for this situation (I ignore your cries of procrastination). So here we have it, for your pleasure and entertainment, a mysterious multitude of missing manic Mondays.

Claire likes her Vespa(s). After one of her hard night’s orchestra practises, I met Claire on the Southbank, so we could squeeze some challenges out of the evening. We started by crossing Waterloo bridge, with its excellent if breezy view. This is a bridge that we have been using more and more as it cuts about least five minutes off the journey to Waterloo compared with going over the Hungerford Bridges.

Challenge 423, completed 92/1000.

Christopher's Martini Bar

This conveniently brought us close to our next stop, Christopher’s (sadly not mine) Martini Bar. With a very cool and swanky interior, we ordered our Martinis at the bar, and then relaxed at a table. I was to have a Vespa (yes as in James Bond fame) and Claire a more fruity based mix (I think it had elderflower in it).John Bunyan 1Well I found my Vespa far, far too strong (basically pure alcohol from my tasting), so we swapped, and Claire lapped it up instead and we were all happy. I think Claire would have been quite happy to drink here all night – but one drink here is more than enough to make one feel quite warm, so we went on our way, with a brief stop before home at a statue of John Bunyan (famous for writing The Pilgrim’s Progress) on Southampton Row.

Challenge 313 and 455, completed 94/1000.

Who needs free wi-fi when you can have free food. In the book, we are meant to go and use the free wi-fi at the Leon in Spitalfields Market, but instead we went for a free meatball tasting session. Claire likes signing up to her free mailing lists, and the Leon one has turn out to very fulfilling, with us grasping the opportunity to help try out some new meatballs – yum. Not only did we get to try out three different tasty meatballs, we were also given plenty to drink and eat for our hard work lol – to be recommended.

Challenge 966, completed 95/1000.

From Spitalfields we decided to wander on home (via the pub), and tick off a few points of interest on the way. We stumbled across a statute of Sir John Soane along the stupidly over sized Bank of England Wall,  headed over to St Pauls to see Elisabeth Frink’s Shepherd and Sheep and then along Fleet Street to see a hidden statue of Mary Queen of Scots. To end our walk we decided to finish with a drink at the hidden away Mitre Tavern near Holborn circus – a pub with a lot of history. Unfortunately, even though it was a Monday, a number of the patrons (city types with faces so well shaved they were shiny – who shaves after work anyway?) were a bit loud, not in keeping with the cosy surrounding. Shame really, I think this could be a great pub for a quiet drink.

Outside St Paul'sMary Queen of Scots

Challenge 46, 69, 458, 872 and 993, completed 100/1000.

Ponder the thought of a French Cricket Team. This Monday we headed to one of our regular places to eat, My Old Dutch Pancake HouseThe French House 2 located very near Holborn tube station. I mention it here, not because it is in the book, but because it has a great deal on nearly every Monday – any pancake for £5. And these are not any ordinary pancakes – they are huge, as big as an extra large pizza (and probably with more calories), with plenty of topping. One to be recommended.

Afterwards we headed to a tiny little bar in Soho called the French House. This place has quite a history, and a very different feel for London, obtaining its name from being Charles de Gaulle’s and the Free French Forces’ favourite pub during World War II (check out their website for more information on its history) . They have no pint glasses, with all drinks being served in wine or glass tumblers, and some proper Breton cider – this alone makes it feel like a Paris bar. It was packed this night, as I suspect it is most nights, with a very esoteric crowd. Of course the most curious thing about the place is it having a cricket team, not something the French our renowned for, though going to watch them play is one of our challenges.

Challenge 704, completed 101/1000.

A wander through Belgravia. This Monday we headed over to Victoria Station on the bus, and then the short walk to very interesting Westminster Cathedral. This Modern Catholic Cathedral is something quite different – its interior is incomplete – giving it a dark and foreboding feeling at times. The majority of ceilings (in the main areas and chapels) and some of the stone work on the walls are missing on purpose. The reason, that they have been left for future generations to develop and leave their own mark, but it does leave you looking up thinking you are staring up at the night sky. Certainly out of all the churches and cathedrals that you can go to see in London, this is one not to miss.

Westmister CatherdralChallenge 815, completed 102/1000.

We then headed over to Belgravia for a stroll through this well to do area, with its massive houses and imposing embassies. It did not interest me that much, which celebrities had lived where and when, I was more amused that some of these beautiful houses were situated on what must be an annoyingly noisy road, and that a lot of these mansions are now occupied by all manner of different countries’ embassies. The most interesting part of the stroll was to be found at Belgrave Square, where we found well lit statues of Columbus and Bolivar, making me fondly recall our travels in South America. A relaxing stroll, but there certainly more interesting and welcoming places to see in London.

Christopher ColumbusBolivar

Challenge 472, completed 103/1000.

Bollywood Heaven. Our final catchup Monday was at the Sitaaray IMG_2902on Drury Lane. We have been looking for good Indian food in our area, and this certainly fits the bill – though better value can be had at lunchtime than with the pre-theatre crowd. The Sitaaray is a Bollywood lovefest, with exerts of highlights of various Bollywood films been shown throughout, and numerous glitzed up (with gold and mother of pearl!) film posters to boot – it has to be seen to be truly appreciated. The food comes by way of set menu – kebabs for starters and a selection of curries for main. I had the meat option, and Claire the vegi – both were excellent and very filling – somewhere to take others soon.

Challenge 393, completed 104/1000.

Chris xxx

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~ by lethaniol on 26/02/2010.

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