Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ladies who lunch

I had taken the day off work yesterday, originally because friends wanted to come to London and stay over. However, that didn’t come about so instead I just invited anyone who wanted to join me for lunch.

I spent the morning wandering around the Seven Dials area, my favourite part of London. Cappuccino at Vergnano’s (where the coffee is completely perfect) followed by a stroll. Neal Street is always appealing with its shoe and accessories shops such as Tabio (posh Japanese hosiery). I bought a lovely floaty dress for only £10 (reduced from £50) at a branch of Yumi that was closing down. Outside the MAC cosmetic shop a girl from the nearby Benefit store grabbed me (I like the way they plant a kidnapper outside their rival's store!) and took me for an eyelash makeover with their new mascara, "They’re Real". I was genuinely impressed so I bought some, even though it cost a lot more than the dress! I already use their "Browzings" wax on my eyebrows, which I recommend.

I’d booked a table at Salieri, one of my favourite restaurants mainly because of the quality to value ratio of its menu, as well as the friendly service, fun décor and excellent location on the Strand. The food and wine are very good and you pay comparatively little, especially if you order off one of the set menus. Three course lunch with drinks, coffee and service was £25-£30 a head. Besides, the management know me quite well now and so presented me with the biggest slice of tiramisu I have ever seen and which contained so much coffee essence that I really didn’t need the coffee I’d ordered for afterwards! And how am I to lose weight now?

I was joined by my friends Helena, Amy, Victoria, Emma, Saffy and Ange. We sat down at 12.30 and ended at nearly 4, something of a marathon as Saffy pointed out, but was there any hurry? We had a lot of chatting and catching up to do.

Lunch at Salieri, l-r: Emma, Amy, Victoria, Helena, me, Saffy. Ange had had to leave by the time the photo was taken (sorry, sis), but she appears often enough in these pages so I'm sure she'll forgive us.

Following lunch we strolled round Covent Garden, accidentally being pushed by the crowd into the stunning Kurt Geiger shoe shop and Hobbs among other places. Our group gradually broke up, leaving just Amy and me to enjoy a little bit of culture at the National Gallery. Well, what better way to look like an oil painting (see picture above) than to study oil paintings? 

The Gallery chucked us out (to be fair, it was closing time) so Amy and I went to La Roche for tea, again another favourite venue (though no cake was needed this time after our vast lunch). 

A very pleasant way to spend a Saturday. And the best thing was that, trying on my new dress properly at home, I found it fitted perfectly.

Many thanks to the six lovely friends who made it such a pleasant day.

Sue x

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