24 Oct 2012

Finally Some Sun in London

We had lunch at Automat with E on our third day in London. Prior to getting here Ian and I took the tube to Piccadilly Circus to take some touristy photos.

We then walked from here to Green Park station where we were meeting E. What I love about London is everything is actually walking distance but there is still a tube station somewhere within 300m of wherever you may be.

From the station we headed to a brasserie called Automat. Apparently this place is very popular due to its quality tasting American food. The overall ambiance also had that American diner feel too but not the cheesy 70’s diner but more like an older period say 1940’s. When we arrived we were the first one’s there and by the time we left the place was full so obviously it’s a very popular spot.

We ordered the famous macaroni and cheese with truffle to share. I had the lamb rack, Ian had the smoked brisket roll and E had the fish. My rack actually 3 lamp chops but it was cooked perfectly. Ian’s brisket looked very appealing with the pulled pork and melted cheese oozing out of it. I was tempted to have the same thing but was feeling a little over meat after dinner at Meat Liquor the night prior. 

After lunch E gave us his walking tour of London. We walked through Green Park up to Buckingham Palace, half way down the mall, looped around Westminster Abby, House of Parliament and Big Ben.

Then we cross the bridge heading towards The London Eye. Originally we were going to ride massive ferries wheel but the queues were extra long that day (we figured because it was sunny) with waiting times up to an hour and a half so we decided to just leave it for another day.

We crossed the Hungerford Bridge and walked up to Trafalgar Square. Due to the Para Olympics this usually open public space was blocked off at certain parts to control the crowd flow. They set up large screens; food stands and seating areas so that public can watch and enjoy the olympic games coverage.

This was the first of many key tourist monuments that had something blocking its view. For some reason throughout our holiday at various cities many major tourist sites were going through some form of renovation or construction blocking half the view with scaffolding. At first it was annoying … towards the end of our trip we just found our luck to be hilarious.

From Trafalgar Square we walked to Covent Garden. Did a spot of shopping and then met up with my old colleague from BT, AM. She moved back to London, her home town about 12 months ago. After several pints of cider and catching up on all the goss we headed to Chinatown for some asian food.

I mean or should I say “oriental food”. FYI: in London Indian’s are considered Asian and what we call Asians here are called oriental there.

They say that the food in London is terrible, I disagree. We had some of the tastiest meals in London and most of them were cheap eats. However when it comes to asian food, London seems to miss the mark. They say its due to the geographic – London is too far from the asian/oriental spices. Their menus seem to have all the stock standard asian dishes, it looks like it but, it just doesn’t taste that great.

Walking around is a great way to see many of the sights in London, once you know your bearings. Its actually doable on foot to get to one area to another. It's always a great way to get off the beaten track and see parts of London you weren't expecting to see.
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