Keeping with the Chinese theme, we traipsed over to Chinatown to this awesome speakeasy that Ollie knew about called ECC (Experimental Cocktail Club). The only thing that gives away the fact that this dingy, rotting wooden door between 2 Chinese restaurants hides a 3 story craft cocktail lounge is the man in a suit and earpiece standing out front. Very cool experience. From there we went back to SoHo to a basement tequila and mezcal bar named El Camion, prior to the grand finale of the night: the hottest new club in SoHo that also happens to be a burlesque show, complete with knife throwing, sparklers, dancing leather-clad gimps in bondage wear, and even what can only be described as simulated sex acts. There was a line around the corner, but Ollie had reserved us a spot by getting bottle service. Amazing night that we'll never forget (even if we may not remember all of it).
Dinner was in SoHo at Duck & Rice, which was by far the best Chinese food we've ever had. The crispy duck and wasabi prawns were like crack.
After Hyde Park, stopped in Notting Hill for some beer and Pimm's cups on the patio at the Ladbroke Arms, then walked up Portobello Rd back to Erin's to get ready for dinner.
After the V&A museum, walked around Kensington to pick up food for a picnic in Hyde Park. Walked the grounds of Kensington Palace and the surrounding gardens on the way. It was the best weather of the summer in London, so Hyde Park was full of picnickers, sunbathers, and families playing cricket and soccer/football. After we ate, we walked around the park to visit a couple of art galleries. According to my phone, we walked over 10 miles today!
Victoria and Albert Museum, the largest decorative arts and design museum in the world.
Erin's flat above George's Portobello Fish Bar (the best fish and chips shop in London, according to Jamie Oliver). Erin introduced us to George, who knows her by name and gave us a free bottle of water for our walk to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Also, Pizza East where we ate last night, and the beginning of Portobello Market, both right outside the apartment.
Took the red-eye to London from CLT, landed approx 11:30am local time, then took an Uber to Erin's flat on Portobello Road just outside of Notting Hill (west London, W10). Grabbed lunch at a great little salad and sandwich shop on her block, then walked around Portobello market and Erin's neighborhood for the next hour. Went home to shower and change, had a beer at Erin's while Brie went to the salon downstairs for a pedicure, then headed out to the Westbourne to grab drinks with Erin, Ollie, and one of their friends (an hilarious German). Left to go to dinner--Nate and Erin in an Uber, Brie on the back of Ollie's scooter. Had a delicious and entertaining meal at Pizza East across the street from Erin's flat with Erin, Ollie, Ollie's brothers Alex and Jeremy, and Alex's wife Ennis, then stumbled across the street to hit the hay. Great first day of the trip!
17 July 2015
Beers on the patio at The Westbourne
Random/interesting London trivia: this public housing project (which we walked past on the way to the pub) was designed by Ian Fleming's neighbor, an architect nicknamed Goldfinger. After an argument between the two, Ian decided to name the villain of his next story after him.