Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Treated like a king and queen!

Matt and I were treated to 24-hour babysitting services two weekends ago, and took advantage of our relative youth and the fact that we live in a European capital city to enjoy a night away in central London. We got a deal on to stay at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, which was nice (although getting a massive discount on the normal room rate also meant that we were in all likelihood given one of the worst – or at least the smallest – rooms in the hotel!). No matter, as we weren’t there very much and instead were out exploring all that the local scene had to offer. We headed off at around 4:00 pm on Saturday, leaving behind a dinner of Spaghetti Bolognese and explicit instructions on how to operate the dvd player. The instructions weren’t really needed, because Mom and Dad have become experts in their 5 weeks+ at operating this crucial device for children’s entertainment. After Matt and I checked in at the hotel, and inspected the full 8x8 hotel room and amenities (the £6 can of beer from the mini bar got a pass), I had to laugh at what we did next. Scoping out the local shops (which included Vivienne Westwood and Issey Miyake – I would be unlikely to even afford a single sleeve or trouser leg on any items of clothing in these shops!), we headed straight for…Hamley’s – London’s largest toy store! I was just struck by how strong those ties to your children are…even when we were free to think about anything but them, there we were, trying to find a Cars 2 “Professor” car for Blake. Sheesh. The place was a madhouse, so we quickly made our purchase and then headed out to look at a few more shops, before stopping for a beer at the Red Lion pub. That was more like it! It was fun to people-watch and remember what it was like to be able to do this type of thing whenever we wanted!
Later on, we had cocktails at the hotel’s Polo Bar - wild lavender and pomegranate martinis which were very tasty. We then went and had a pretty amazing dinner at the Japanese restaurant Chisou, where, of one of the dishes I tried, I had what I think was the most amazing eel sushi I’ve ever eaten in my life. So good. I also sampled a new flavour of ice cream – azuki bean, which was really yummy. The best part of the whole weekend was perhaps the fact that we got to sleep in the next morning – until about 9:15. I can’t remember the last time that happened, but I don’t think it’s been in the last 2 years at least. We rounded off the trip with a posh brunch at Cecconi’s – where everyone but us seemed likely to have this be their local brunch spot.
We headed back on the tube to Brixton and then got the bus home – bringing us back to earth with a small bump! Mom and Dad and the boys had had a good night, and were at the Rosendale for lunch, so I headed up to meet them. It was a fabulous night off, and I can’t thank the babysitting team enough for their help!

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