Thursday, October 20, 2016

London: Day 2

Pastel houses along Portobello Road
There's not much I love more than a good flea market.  Except maybe a good flea market on vacation, in a different country.

There are a ton of markets in London, but I always gravitate back to the first one I found in 1983, Portobello Road.  It's got a mix of antiques / vintage / food / junk, something to appeal to everyone.

The only problem was that on Saturday morning when we got there, everyone was there.

I'd never seen such a mob scene in my life; it felt like NYC at Christmas, just trying to look at stalls along the street.

Street performers.  Their "umbrellas" didn't do
much good when the rain started
We did manage, however.  I always manage.

What I didn't do was shop, which is unusual for me at a vacation flea market.  I think I've just gotten so used to not buying (other than for resale on Etsy -- and I'm not going to schlep stuff home from overseas for that) that nothing really called to me.

Maybe I've just gotten better at spending my money on experiences instead of stuff.

Does food count as an experience, or as stuff?  (I'm voting for experience, because food is still my number one vacation expenditure).

We had a late breakfast / lunch at a stall in the market, then picked up a bag of Belgian strawberries to nibble on back in the room.  (They didn't last that long).

Mario was in charge of food this vacation.  When I went to London before, I was on my own, and it didn't figure as prominently in my plans.  It was fuel to get me from stop to stop, nothing more.  I was also younger, and not as comfortable eating alone in a restaurant as I would be now.
Venison with mushrooms, new potatoes and
sprouting broccoli

One place that was on his list was called 10 Greek Street.  Just the address.  When we found it, there was no sign or anything, either, just the address on the window, and a small menu card.  The menu changes daily, and we were lucky enough to get there on a night that they were serving venison.  I love game of all kinds, but it's not often I can find venison at home, so I went for it.

As did Mario, because he figured out pretty quickly that I wasn't going to share mine.

Both before our meal (there were no reservations, and about a 30 minute wait) we walked around the area.  It's not far from where all the theaters are, so we looked at what was playing and wondered about the cost of tickets and I lamented the fact that we were just a bit too early to try to score Hamilton tickets.  (This has become a serious addiction -- how is an entire soundtrack an earworm?  How?)
No, we didn't go see it - but I loved the theater

There's just something about
hanging lights on a street . . . 
Ran into the theater where the Harry Potter show is playing.  I didn't particularly want to see it, but I though the lighting and decoration outside were pretty cool.

After dinner we walked some more, no place in particular, just keeping a vague awareness of where the Tube stops were so we could meander home when our wine and dinner finally sat too heavily on us.

There were hefty museum-going plans for Sunday, but after all, it was Saturday night in London, so we had to stay awake and try to see some more sights.  We also started to discuss whether or not we could fit a visit to the theater into our plans (and into our budget) before we left, and we decided to try.

Once we got back to the room, we indulged in some wifi.  I checked in on my Etsy orders, we both did a little time on Facebook (indulging in pre-debate reading, and being both sorry and glad we weren't at home to see it) and then I looked up tickets for several plays we had passed in our wandering.

Turns out theater isn't as expensive as we thought, and I picked up tickets for a show on Tuesday night (our last night in London) for far less than expected.

We went to sleep tired, full, happy and anticipating Sunday's activities.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing what sounds like a wonderful trip - so glad you went and so glad to be experiencing vicariously!


Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm off to London next May all on my lonesome. So i'm taking notes :)