London Diary: Wine O’Clock!
Londoners have mastered drinking down to a fine art. Regardless of whether you want to pick up at the pub, take your sugar baby for a champagne lunch or quaff Dom alongside the likes of Graham Norton, there is something for everyone in Central London. For me the combination of wine and jet lag is like fairy dust and after a day of champagne quaffing there’s no saying where I’ll eventually end up!
With 12 hours to kill and no more selfie storage left on my iPhone, I decided to grab my coat and head out to meet some friends for a lunch.
Even in one of the biggest cities in the world there aren’t many places that condone drinking at 9 am in the morning, lucky for me I knew that it was going to take until lunch time to work out how to use the Tube and get to where I was meant to be going.
Now if you just follow me down this narrow alleyway we should end up at Bond Street station…
Okay this is definitely the wrong way.
Four hours later…
So if you actually know what you’re doing it should only take you 10-15 minutes to get from Bond Street Station to Bank Station which is where we’ll be enjoying our first glass of bubbly today!
Introducing, The Royal Exchange (absolutely no relation Brisbane pub that I was rudely escorted out of in 2011). As I walked up the steps of this historic building supported by grand columns and opulent arch ways nothing could prepare me for what was inside. From the facade I expected to find a gallery or maybe a train station NOT a luxury shopping hall buzzing with distinguished suits looking for an extravagant bite to eat.
A waiter led us to one of the only available seats at the Grand Cafe Bar and I took in my surroundings and the smell of the fresh pastries in front of me.
Immersed in a sea of power suits and foreign accents I was like A KID IN A CANDY STORE…
And then my favourite treat arrived…Champagne!
Now I highly doubt that any London based man or woman with enough money to be considered a sugar daddy (or mummy) reads this little Sydney based blog but IF they do then I highly suggest that you take your sugar baby to the stunning Sauterelle restaurant located on the mezzanine level of the Royal Exchange. Glazed arches display a spectacular vista of the bank and a main course will set you back 25 POUNDS (close to $50 Aussie). I’ll just stick to my glass of Prosecco but for those who want to try their luck…www.seekingarrangement.com.
After my liquid lunch and a quick pit stop at the closest Pret for a cheap yet delicious sandwich I headed across the river to spy the iconic London Eye.
Now it might have been the champagne but I could have sworn that the sky was BLUE. Not a cloud in sight. This is my fourth time in London and never have I witnessed such a stunning Spring day.
Before wandering over to Big Ben, I sat down by the rivers edge and proceeded to delete over 400 selfies.
And even with 400 chances this is the only decent shot I managed to get without appearing like I had a lazy eye. Say ‘cheese’ drunky!
After getting lost several more times and a quick snooze at the hotel it was time to jump in a black cab and head to one of the most reputable restaurants in London…
This famous French style brasserie has a cult following in New York and attracts even more esteemed guests at its London venue in Covent Garden.
Posh and Becks dine here on the reg and so does the hilarious Brit, Graham Norton who was just spotted amidst the lush lounges only last night!
Feeling rather self conscious about the fact that I wasn’t famous or worth billions of dollars I approached the front doors with caution.
It was then that my knowledgable London friend snuck up behind me with a master plan.
“You’re going to walk straight up the the Maitre’d located on the left of the entrance and say you need a table for three, be confident and stick your nose up in the air.”
Luckily I was carrying my prized YSL bag (the most expensive thing I own by a mile) and had already had two pints of liquid courage at the pub down the road.
As per my friends instruction I pushed through the doors with an utmost arrogance and told the skinny girl exactly what I wanted.
Okay so we didn’t get a proper table in the restaurant but we did get a table at the bar…which is closer to the liquor which means I might spot a real celebrity.
You know you’re in a fancy restaurant when the server can tell you exactly which region in Europe the wine is from and describe his memories of sun filled summers there picking grapes and doing other fancy wine related things.
Of course everything on the menu is priced handsomely, however each bottle of wine comes with a story.
That’s a lot of stories…
There was only one thing that could make this night better (aside from another glass of wine)…
Just before midnight I left the restaurant and decided to embark on a spontaneous drunken solo mission. I couldn’t leave London without taking a black cab to Piccadilly Circus. It was there in a sea of tourists and big red busses, a million miles from home that it dawned on me, two weeks ago the biggest trip I was planning was to the gynaecologist and now here I was half was across the world in the heart of London.
There are those soul destroying moments like when a guy you like doesn’t like you back then there are those moments that eclipse all of the bad, those moments when you realise that all of the things that you’ve ever wanted in your life are starting to unfold before your very eyes.
This was one of those moments and I can’t describe how good it felt to finally be here.