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Michael’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 20 Nov 2007

Location: London, England

MapOne of the best weekends I have had in London full stop - and definitely one of the more expensive ones!

A while back now Scotty wanted to know when would be a good time to catch up before Christmas, and mid-November seemed to be the best time, and we arranged to meet in London. It didn't take much convincing to get Stef to come along as well.

I had hoped to be out of work at 1230 on Friday, but no such luck, and I found myself still busting my as at 315 pm before finally getting out. Quickly ducked into home, threw some clothes in a bag and high-tailed it for the ferry. I made the 415 pm ferry, which connected with the 5 pm train to London. Of course at 5 pm on a Friday the train was packed, so I was standing the whole way, but somehow managed finished the book I was reading - Jenna Jameson's autobiography "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star". Definitely received a few weird looks reading that one, and a couple blokes looking over my shoulder at the pictures!

Once in town, and a bit of a trek on the underground later, I met up with Scotty and Stef at the hotel in Bayswater, and then almost immediately headed back into the cold night. I had made a booking at Milk & Honey, a members only bar that you can make a reservation to visit before 11 pm if you are a non-member. As expected, it was very proper, with excellent service, and a price tag to boot. House rules include the fact that men may not approach a lady and introduce himself, the lady must approach him. Very much kicking back to the old prohibition days. The place is much larger than first appearances, and we were lucky enough that the Aussie cocktail waitress offered to take us upstairs to have a look at the member lounge. Membership price: £50 to join the waiting list, then £200 a year. Think I stick to just visiting on the odd occasion I am in London.

Given that we couldn't get a table at Milk & Honey, the Madre de suggested we try a Japanese restaurant around the corner in Soho called Roka. We could see a trend continuing... when you go for a drink at a classy (expensive place) and get recommendations for a place to eat, chances are it too will be a classy (expensive) establishment! And yeah, it was....

I don't really know when my love of sushi took hold, (don't get me wrong, I'd still murder a good steak any day of the week) but every time I dine at a Japanese restaurant, I love it even more. In fact, I think I only really had sushi a couple of times before I left Oz. Anyway, sitting at the bar around the kitchen we had an amazing view of the cooking going on, and ordered from the menu, a little bit of a bunch of different things just to try a heap of it out. The salmon nigiri was incredible, and the king prawn tempura was pretty damn tasty too. Stef trying to each baby back ribs with chop sticks though had to be the highlight of the meal though.

After dinner at Roka, we asked the next place to go and were pointed in the direction (I use that phrase loosely as we were given the wrong street name) of the Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel. It was pretty average in all honesty. The atmosphere there was as stale as the personalities of the people in there. I think there were a few too many stiffs in there. Anyway, we had a drink there and bailed on yet another place after just the one expensive round.

Wandering through Soho we eventually ended up at a bar that was a little less upper class than the establishments that we’d been to earlier in the evening. LVPO was a bar with a heap of rooms, and a couple of bars playing dodgy pub classics, but the crowd was up and dancing which is more that can be said for any of the other places we had been to earlier in the evening. When it all closed down at 3 am, we jumped in a cab and headed back to the hotel for a much needed snooze.

Saturday update coming up soon…