Past few days (take 2)
Vanessa and Troy had spent a few days near Frankfurt, for an old friend's wedding. V lived a few years there as a child, and T was stationed there once in the US Army.
Sunday, they arrive:
1) Took them to their hotel in Swiss Cottage to drop off their luggage. Spotted the farmer's market.
2) Early dinner at Cumin, Indian restaurant at the 02 Centre on Finchley Road.
3) Back to my place to rest, hang out, have tea and biscuits. They checked emails and we gossiped. I trimmed my nails and as I was not doing a good enough job, Troy buffed them up to a serious shine. Then he did Vanessa's. She's not a makeup/perfume/nails kind of girl, so I had to beg her. Then he did his.
Monday, my birthday:
1) Breakfast at Cafe Rouge - you have to try that place. It's better than Cafe Richoux.
2) We went to M&S so V could buy some more British undies.
3) Leisurely wander along Oxford St (T has a dud knee and needs a walking stick)
4) Walked slowly to Yauatcha on Broadwick Street. Dim Sum and cocktails downstairs.
I had a long violet and raspberry cocktail. V had a long pear and lychee cocktail. Containing 3 different alcohols, mine was stronger than hers.
5) When it comes to Yauatcha, dessert is another event, upstairs.
I had a Shanghai Lily: a light sponge surrounded with cream, encased in a white chocolate shell topped with rose jam. In the centre is a delicious heart of shredded lychee marinated in sweet white Gewurtztraminer wine.
Vanessa had a Marron Rose: a flavoured creamy souffle with a centre of yummy marron glacé (sugared chestnuts).
And a floral tea, as they were out of orchid, my fave.
(T didn't want anything.)
6) Walk to Piccadilly Circus at twilight for the best photo opportunities, on the way to the Arts Club, where we lounged in the bistro and had coffee/red wine and a cigar until 10.30 pm.
Tuesday, long day:
1) Late morning, we met and had lunch at the 02 Centre. T wanted fish and chips before leaving London, and as there wasn't time to go all the way out to my place in Richmond, I decided Wetherspoons was most likely to offer a good deal. Some of the worst chish n fips I've eaten in this country.
2) I went off to my voice course for 2, which over-ran until 8pm! We had lashings of tea and Jaffa cakes, though. So I wasn't starving when I went back to Swiss Cottage to meet V&T. They did nothing today - he was tired - so the original plan for Tower Hill to Parliament didn't happen.
3) Dinner at a Thai restaurant at 9pm.
5) Got halfway down the escalator at the station, then remembered I was still carrying the white chocolate I'd bought Vanessa some time ago. I ran back up, went to the hotel and she came and met me in the lounge.
6) We ended up sharing one square of chocolate and chatting in the lounge till 11.30. The only time she and I spent together, so we had a nice tete-a-tete.
My whole life I've wanted a sister - and I got one in Vanessa 6 years ago :)
I am thankful that she has visited me every year since I moved back here.