Sunday, August 6, 2017

Working Week in London

As promised, this next catch up post is covering our last week in July, spent in London.


We arrived in London on a cold, overcast Monday, and headed straight to our hotel, the Corinthia (the same hotel I stayed at last time I was in London in May).   It was as lovely as I remembered (But had some weird quirks too).

I took a long nap, jetlagged and really tired from the short flight, and then promptly worked on a memo that I had procrastinated the entire weekend before.

For our first dinner in London, we went to Margot, an Italian restaurant in Covent Garden.  We got a simple salad, a lightly seared veal loin in mustard sauce, steak with argula and parmesan, and gnocchi in a bolognese meat sauce.

For dessert, we got a delicious ice cream/mousse concoction that was served with coffee poured over top.  The meal was okay, but nothing particularly exciting or innovative.  The dessert, on the other hand, was fantastic.  Michael ordered a glass of grappa at the end because he fancies himself an Italian.
After that, my Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed by in a completely monotonous blur as I camped out in conference rooms with my clients and opposing counsels and their clients, trying to figure out where we would come out on a series of transactional documents.  For three days straight, I saw nothing of note except (1) the sunflowers in the reception area of the London office, (2) glimpses of fancy cars parked outside the hotel lobby when I left for work in the morning, and (3) the view from the office conference rooms.
Still overcast and rainy.
On the final day of negotiations, we pulled out a miracle and somehow managed to get to agreement.  To celebrate, a bunch of us walked over to a little street where everyone stood around sipping their pints, undeterred by the rain that would sporadically appear.
Once I had some free time, I took advantage of walking around the streets.  I happened to meet up with a group of college friends who were also in London at the same time (what a fun coincidence)!  We had lunch at honey & co., a Middle Eastern restaurant in Bloomsbury that served a fantastic, incredibly filling lunch.  The mezze for the table alone was a sight to behold. 
I thought the weather had cheered up for the better, until we got to Regents' Park and then raindrops started splattering again.  See those storm clouds rolling in?

Even they couldn't deter to me from enjoying the beautiful gardens.

That evening, Michael and I went to the British Museum.  We saw the Rosetta Stone and wandered around their great Egyptology exhibits before closing. 


For dinner, we went to Galvin La Chappelle in Spitalfields for dinner, a restaurant set in a former parish hall with soaring ceilings and lots of glass windows.  To be completely honest, though, I found the food rather lackluster.  Michael ordered a very simple and not particularly inspiring or fresh tuna tartare, and a chateaubriand that lived up to expectations but was only two measly slices.  I ordered a buttery crab lasagna which was very well executed, but my red mullet was not innovative and so, so fishy.  So a bit of a mixed bag.  The venue is undoubtedly beautiful.
On another day, we went to brunch with Michael's friend who happened to be in town.  We had a great brunch at Dean Street Townhouse, where we sat by the window and just happened to be under an original Damien Hirst doodle.  Cool.  Of course, first we had to fight through all of the street 
blockades for the Prudential cycling event.

Have I mentioned how much I like London's gardens and parks?
After brunch, we headed to the National Gallery, one of my favorite museums in London.  We made a beeline for the Turners, then the Impressionists.  So predictable, I know, but those colors get me every time.

I also ended up dragging Michael to a show, Kinky Boots, which may have made him squirm in his seat a little.  Whoops.  I just wanted something lighthearted and fun with musical numbers, but in retrospect this one may have been a little too campy.

We spent the rest of the trip hanging out, doing a little shopping (I didn't allocate enough time to this, unfortunately, and didn't walk away with anything that I wanted) and then packing up all of our stuff.  Check out this cool store, Swaine Adeney and Brigg, that has been making umbrellas and leather bags for centuries and showcases true craftsmanship by having each one made by hand.  Amazing!

Finally, it was time to head back to Hong Kong.  We'd been away for an incredibly long time - we realized that Michael had been away and on the road for nearly 40 days! We departed London on Sunday and headed back to the hot, muggy swamp that is Hong Kong in August.

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