Feb. 6th, 2016

london1967: (knocker)
January, arguably the longest month of the year, is behind us.
We did quite a bit, in fact we've been out every single Friday night (and also had a busy couple of Saturdays).

The first Friday was Adrian's sister's birthday. She came down to London for the week-end, so that she could also see the Panto.

We - and our dearest friend David, in London for the panto - went out for dinner at a local pizzeria, Sicilian Art Pizza. The food, as always, was excellent and a good time was had by all.
I managed to sneak in a cake I had bought from Patisserie Valerie but we didn't embarass her (or ourselves) with a rendition of Happy Birthday!

That was reserved for the following day, when the whole Panto audience sang! No picture of her blowing out the candles as I was carrying the cake.
We recreated the scene at home later that evening, although it was only the 3 of us and David.

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"Cyril the Squirrel and the Magic Nut" went really well.
Yes, there were a few complaints that they couldn't quite hear at the back but apart from that it was a success.
It was thrilling to see my 'work' performed and people enjoying it.

Here are a few photos from the performance plus a portrait of my very own Panto Dame. Doesn't she look familiar? LOL

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Well despite having the scripts in their hands, some of the actors managed to forget their lines, etc. Although in a way it added to the merriment.
One of the characters was called Verbena Vixen but at some point Kitty Furball called her Vergina. Corpsing ensued, and I can still laugh out loud now just thinking about it!

The following Friday Adrian met me straight after work and we first went for a steak and lobster dinner at a restaurant at the Hippodrome Casino. A touch of Vegas in the heart of London!

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Then we wandered around Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, St. James' Square and Piccadilly, and later King's Cross for  for "Lumiere London", a free light festival.
We expected it to be busy (some streets were closed to traffic) but not so ridiculously crowded!
We only saw about half of the sights and after King's Cross we had both had enough of the crowds and decided to call it a night.

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The following Friday it was dinner and opera.
We had an early dinner at Vico, a "bustling trattoria in the heart of the West End, where Soho and Covent Garden meet. We serve Italian food, The Appian Way – from along the Via Appia, which connects Rome through Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia to Brindisi in the South. We serve simple food cooked with heart, and are located in a perfect spot for dining before or after a show, or a meal in town“.
It's round the corner from work and I have a 25% discount card for 'locals' until the end of February.
We had been once before in September when it had just opened and it was noisy, had a sort of industrial look with plenty of empty space and stools to perch on, and you bought your food at the counter and ate it with plastic plates and plastuc cutlery!! I thought it could have been a place where teenage skateboarders from the rich Italian bourgeoisie would hang out.
Obviously the concept didn't work and now it has been refurbished like a proper restaurant. And we enjoyed it much more.

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(the courgette chips were to die for!)

Then we went to see La Traviata at Covent Garden, the 3rd time we've seen this particular production over the years, but always very enjoyable even from our £14 seats up in the gods.

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Last Friday it was culture again.
We went to see the "Celts: art and identity" exhibition at the British Museum. It wasn't too busy and we really enjoyed it.

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After a quick Mc Donald's, we went to the cinema to see 'Youth', the new film by Paolo Sorrentino. We absolutely loved it!

On the Saturday, we had invited Roberta (Adrian's Italian teacher) and her brother Carlo (visiting from Italy) for afternoon tea, so we had a busy morning and early afternoon of baking, but it was fun and we enjoyed a few very pleasant and chatty hours, drinking tea and prosecco, and eating.

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