LONDON – Discovered Harris and Hoole tonight on Cannon Street. Popped in with a friend after work for a cup of hot chocolate – by far the prettiest I’ve ever seen in London. Was a perfect way to end the day as the rain came down.
Got a favourite spot for a rainy day in London?
LONDON – I received a £5 voucher from Vapiano in the mail this week and decided to cash it in.
Each time I go to Vapiano (three times and counting) the place is busy! A good sign no doubt. This is an inexpensive restaurant where you can eat a pizza (starting at £6.75) or pasta (starting at £6.75) and get a drink in Central London for under £10 and still feel like you went to a pretty decent restaurant for a nice meal out.
The restaurant runs on a different concept to most. When you arrive, each person gets a card that is swiped each time you order something from the counter. Only on your exit do you pay. It makes it nice for large groups where everyone wants to settle the bill separately. The downside is that since you order your food at the counter, you have to stand around and wait for it and you and your friends won’t necessarily start eating at the same time. Apart from that, it’s a decent meal out and I’d definitely recommend the Toscana pizza.
Bottom line: Nice Italian food at a decent price.
19-21 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 8QB
LONDON – On a whim I headed to the Royal Albert Hall to go and listen to the Proms last weekend.
I arrived pretty late. My friend was already in the queue near the door but I had to go to the back of the line where they give you a number. It helps staff at the Royal Albert Hall gauge the expected crowd size and it lets the visitor know whether tickets are available. There was a long line. But after waiting for about 30 minutes I was ushered in and got my £5 ticket. Cheap as chips.
At each evening of the Proms, there are 1400 ‘promming’ tickets on sale i.e. tickets for the gallery and the arena. I’ve sat in the arena before and although you typically get a good view, it’s tough on the legs. So when my friend suggested we go to the gallery, I was up for it.
And this is what you can expect to find. People picnicking. They bring blankets, pillows and plenty of food. It’s quite amusing. But we got into the spirit of things with our blankie and chocolate.
In case you didn’t know, the Proms is an eight week summer festival of daily orchestral classical music concerts. The theme for our evening was film soundtracks!! It was pretty cool. Makes me realise that some of the best music today is coming out of Hollywood.
Bottom line: certainly worth a visit to the Royal Albert Hall during Prom season. Great music at prices for all. Sadly tonight’s the last night. Until next year.
CITY OF LONDON – So much talk these days about the Walkie Talkie building on Eastcheap.
Apparently the half-finished 37 storey building, dubbed the Walkie Talkie because of its concave shape, is reflecting light so severely that it actually melted part of a Jaguar and has also interfered with shops across the street by blistering their paintwork. The £200 million building, designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, has now been renamed the Walkie Scorchie as temperatues from the beams heat up to 50 C.
I headed there after work today to find out what the fuss was all about but the sun was setting and so I saw no high power beam, just other City workers looking up at the intriguing building. The builders are yet to find a solution to the problem. Apparently the same architect caused a similar problem with the Vdara Hotel (dubbed the Death Ray Hotel) in Vegas. The Vdara Hotel solved the problem by installing anti-reflective film. Perhaps something similar will have to be done in London. I do like this building though. I think the shape is pretty cool and for a new build, it’s my favourite in London. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the Shard!