Friday the 8th was one of the slower days of my mom’s visit. We got out of the house rather late and had our first meal of the day at the Station House Pub attached to Acton Central station. It wasn’t out of this world by any means, but the staff were very friendly and the atmosphere was comfy, with plump cushions and color everywhere. I often hear raucous groups of young…somethings (I hesitate to say “professionals”) talking animatedly with friends, laughing loud, glasses clinking. It seems like a nice place to go in the evening if you want to have a good time.
After eating, I took mom to what has become my haven since moving to England: the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road (the Shoreditch location is cool, too, but Portobello is my fav). I’ve already written about what it’s like to watch a movie there, so I’ll spare you. I told mom she had to order the honey fried chicken (which she loved). We also got an order of nachos and a carafe of white wine to enjoy while we watched Far from the Madding Crowd (an entertaining film that reminds me of Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice — mostly in the way it’s shot). We sunk into our armchairs, covered ourselves over with blankets and checked out of real life for 2 blissful hours. I’d recommend Electric Cinema to
After the movie, we roamed up, down and around Portobello Road trying to decide where to go next. Since every place (and I mean EVERY place) that looked even remotely interesting had human beings spilling out of its doors, we rode into central London and I shared the delights of Shoryu with mom.
Shoryu’s is the best ramen I’ve had in London so far (if anyone has other ramen recommendations, plz tell meeee).
Saturday was a busy day. Firstly, we did something that I’ve been wanting to do since before I moved to England: we had afternoon tea at Sketch. Spoiler alert: it was guuuuuud. Afternoon tea at Sketch is £39 per person, but you absolutely get your money’s worth. We each had our own tiered tray of afternoon tea goodies (a nut-free version for mom). The friendly waitress offered to refill our trays with any sandwich(es) we wanted (on offer were: smoked salmon and Jacob’s cream, cucumber and ricotta, mozzarella and pesto panini, and an egg & mayonnaise sandwich w/ quail egg and caviar). We totally took her up on those refills. The salmon sandwich was my favorite, but the cucumber and ricotta was the (surprising) runner-up!
Sketch also offers a variety of teas to choose from. I had a pot of their Vanilla tea and it was glorioussss.
We were also given scones with clotted cream, fig jam, and strawberry jam. The scones were perfectly made and tasted like a mouth full of butter. I’m so glad I don’t know how to make them… The pastries on our trays were impressive and so beautifully made that I felt like a brute popping them into my mouth effortlessly like a fairytale giantess gobbling screaming villagers. I’m not gonna bother to list them because I think they change their menu every so often (they used to have a blueberry eclair that I nearly flipped the table over searching for — wasn’t on the menu anymore 😥 ) and anyway, you can check it all out for yourself on their website. The biggest lesson I learned from that meal? DON’T BE DECEIVED BY TINY FOOD. I thought I’d have to hire a forklift driver to haul us out of there. Or a beefy, bearded, lion tamer who (literally) picks up ladies in his spare time.
Before we left, though, we had to check out their bathroom. There are pictures of it on Yelp and I’d heard about it before, but even the waitresses urged us to take a peek before we left. It was the weirdest, best bathroom I’ve ever been in.
Once you’ve closed the door of your pee-pod, you are treated to the calls and bleatings of random animals. Kind of an unsettling soundtrack to do your biz to, but I thought it was hilarious.
…we rode to the North Greenwich stop on the Jubilee line so we could do the next thing on our list: ride the cable car!
After that adventure, we headed back to my side of town for a little tipple at Vindinista! my local wine bar. It’s quite a small venue, but the wine comes from the artisan wine shop across the street and is run by the same people who run that shop. We had some delicious prosecco and some tasty eats. I finally tried the magical food bomb that is manchego cheese with quince jelly, and mom tried potted shrimp for the first time in her life. We also had grilled truffle & cheese sandwiches. All good. No pictures, though (sorry! The hunger…it overtook us).
Next post: Mother’s Day, and the fabulous Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V&A!