A friend of mine, Tina, came to stay to do a bit of sightseeing in London. So we went off to Westminster, where there are some sights to see, and saw them. More importantly (and you can see where my priorities always are!) we had a cappuccino at Vergnano’s on the South Bank, where the coffee is always perfect, a drink before lunch at Chandos pub off Trafalgar Square and lunch itself in Bistro One in Frith St where the quality/price ratio is the best anywhere. I can’t do anything unless my stomach is full!
We went home to change into posh frocks for the evening, a good plan in the end as I haven’t worn my best dress for a year and it was great to have an opportunity to do so. Tina loved the view from Waterloo Bridge by night, which is spectacular as you can see Westminster one way and the City and Docklands on the other with the South Bank close by. We met Helena and found a decent pub, Nell of Old Drury opposite the Theatre Royal, and were joined there by Joanne. I’d booked Sarastro’s, a very quirky, fun but good quality restaurant, and managed to get us a balcony table. Had a fantastic dinner (I recommend the duck confit; the lamb Anatolian – i.e. lamb shank - seems to be their signature dish and that’s very good, too). The gypsy band played that evening (some nights they have opera, others jazz) and the girls seemed to enjoy it very much.
Sarastro's restaurant. L to R: Tina, Helena, Joanne and me
Afterwards Joanne took us to the Cambridge pub, which was quite full, and we stood at a table chatting to some young, pretty, female Austrian students. I rather wish I was young, pretty and female (I’d be happy to be Austrian too if that was a condition). Oh well! I try to live that dream in as much as I can.
That was Friday. On Sunday a friend, Grace, came over to dress. It was her first time out and she was inevitably nervous (I can’t say I’m free of nerves myself) but we went to catch the tube by quiet back streets, hardly meeting anyone so she could get used to being out as a woman bit by bit. The first tube train was quiet, the second gradually filled up, and I thought that was a good build up. We had time for a coffee (I really do recommend Vergnano’s, this one in the Charing Cross Road!)
Off to the Cambridge for the official Angels Sunday Lunch. Joanne was working behind the bar. Ange met us there and we had a drink downstairs before venturing up the dining room. The food is good there and the portions are gigantic. The shoulder of lamb that Grace had looked especially filling. My roast duck wasn’t bad. Joanne knocked off at 3 for an hour so we just sat chatting while she ate, then we went for a stroll through Chinatown and Covent Garden. The thing about central London is that most people are concerned with their own business and are not interested in a group of T-girls wandering about, which is one of the many reasons why I love living here. Grace and I had a drink whilst waiting for the tube to empty a bit before venturing home.
I feel privileged to have been asked by another girl to accompany her on her first trip out into the world. Especially when she is such pleasant company. Grace has written at length about this day in her own blog and her assessment of her feelings are something that all T-girls should read, especially those about to venture out for the first time. [Link: Grace: Stepping out the door]
All in all a very nice weekend.