Friday, July 22, 2005

Bits n Pieces

I just cannot talk about this new situation in London. They shall not break us.


I'm not trying to flood the place with new patrons, but you really ought to drop in to The Townhouse on the tres chic Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge. I dragged Delightful out there on Wednesday evening for a relaxing drink.
Dark panelling, lots of candles, dark leather seating with big chenille cushions, footrests, cool music. Very chilled and unpretentious, despite the Molton Brown products in the bathroom ;) (Thinking British Airways Business Class here...)

I had an old favourite, the mojito but doubtless NEXT time I'll be adventurous.
Delightful had a Ruby Tuesday which came in a martini glass and had, if I can remember correctly, delicious overtones of cranberry and watermelon. His second choice was a Monkey Scrumble, just because of the name. It was half red, half yellow and all I can remember was the whiskey in it.

We went to the Touch Me exhibition late opening at the V&A. Two days later and I still don't know how to describe it fully. Although some of the exhibits don't work - that's the risk you take with interactive displays - it is worth a visit. All sorts of intuitive (or frustratingly not so) technology, gimmicky gadgets, cutting-edge ideas. Highlights that stand out: Stroking your partner's real hand while looking at a plaster cast becomes slightly surreal. Playing Pac Man with no shoes on as one person controls the up and down arrows and the other the right and left, dancing on a big felt pad. "Huh?" you say. Just have to be there.


Yesterday, my little mother and I explored nearly every street in Soho. She was flabbergasted at seeing lone women, families and tourists eating and walking around there after 5pm. It has changed a lot in 30 years.
We went to a Chez Gerard Fish Bar (?) and ate a selection of starters. Crispy whitebait, calamari (the best), Coquille St-Jacques, mesclun salad, pommes frites, accompanied by the strongest white wine I've had so far. I like a good mezze.


Ooh, the special homemade card that Jia Li and Steliano have been discussing finally arrived in the post yesterday, accompanied by cute notes! It made my day!

Over an image of her reclining on the grass, Jia Li superimposed the words:
Livvy Bear,

How could I upstage your birthday card?

By creating my own thank you note and sharing a perfect Changchun moment with you.

I am here on South lake with a fellow teacher, it is a hot and lazy day. Perfect for watching young lovers walking in the shade holding hands and watching dragon flies glide past.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for being such a perfect friend!

Then she signed her name in Chinese. Thanks Jia Li Nut!
(For those of you who don't know, Jia Li is Michelle, a Canadian who taught English in China.)


[N.B. ad J.G. I do have a dark side and I ought to be allowed to put my hands on my hips...unless you have a better idea?]


Anonymous said...

The Touch Me thing sounds fun :)

Soho is a nice place for cafes these days (not that I'm that familiar with London of yore) - it's just a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of oxford street, but you can chill in a cafe. My fave is this little one that does crepes.

I used to have a downer on London, I think cos I had a long distance relationship with someone there, and it thus coloured my image london in a negative way. Trying to pack a month's worth of relationship into 2 days wasn't a good way to have a relationship. Now I live not far from London, and I find I'm growing to like it as I explore it a little bit more each time I pass through.

-- Anon INTJ

Olivia said...

INTJ - I enjoyed reading your comment. A friend once took me to an authentic French cafe. In fact, that is why we went down every street: looking for a creperie!!! Where is it???

Anonymous said...

hello my dear ms. olivia! i thought i might visit you over here for a change. it is just like visiting another country for are wayyyy over here in blogger land!

sounds like you have been having too much fun. i am dreadfully envious. but at least i can have fun vicariously through your writings.

great blog girl!

thanks for being such a great friend.

ms. moonglow

Caesura said...

Oh wow, The Townhouse sounds wonderful, as do those It's friday night, maybe I shall go have a few drinks myself. I have most certainly earned them.

Someday, when I can bring someone dear to me all the way over there to your part of the world, I hope this quaint little place is still there. I'd like to share a few monkey scrumbles.

Olivia said...

Ms M - Thank you for trekking all the way over here!
Too much fun??? No no no, not enough - I want more more more!!!
Loads of my American friends, specially from University, are living vicariously in London through me. This is why I started a blog. It became too much to email everyone.

Caesura - as it is supposed to be one of the best bars in the world, I am sure it will be there when you bring your dear one over!

Steliano Ponticos said...

This is me from Versailles your excellency :) Today I saw the queen's little village. Mary Antoinette liked to pretend she was a little farm girl and had a little village built for her!!!

I wonder if she liked Mojitos :D

Olivia said...

Oh yes, her little Austrian hamlet, and the French thought her barbaric for doing the gardening.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the crepe cafe in soho - I think it's on the north east corner of Greek Street and Old Compton Street, as directed by Google Maps:,-0.130967&spn=0.004681,0.006961&hl=en

If not then it's on a corner near there :)

-- Anon INTJ

Jia Li said...

LB! Thx for sharing my message that was on my card! I was actually in a boat.

OMG I was so worried about you and CP! But I know you are ok. I got my mom to leave a message after I heard!

Now I hope you don't loose this card/photo. I decided you needed a pic of me. I mean a phy one, not one on the comp, but one you can hold!

So happy you like!

and I got some new pics done. and they will be on my photolog soon!

keep a blogeye out

and since I am having cake! Everyone EAT CAKE!

Olivia said...

INTJ - ooh, thank you so much for the directions to the creperie. We probably missed it. Will try again!

Jia Li - yay! She has returned!!! We missed you ever so.
Thanks for getting your mom to write.

Anonymous said...

I've been corrected - its' the corner of Old Compton Street and Firth Street - I was one block off :)

-- Anon INTJ