Sunday, January 27, 2013

Singin' in the Rain in London & Branca: Turning 28 in Style!

 Turning 28 in London was turning 28 in style.  A few friends from my course and I celebrated over lunch (thanks to a shift in the lecture schedule), at Branca on Thursday.  If you're looking for a delectable meal out, I'd definitely recommend it.

Delicious Italian cuisine   - a vegetarian pizza and red wine (they have an amazing lunch deal for under £8), and authentic desserts. Surprisingly, they didn't have tiramisu, although Alexandra has promised to teach me to make it next weekend.

Check out the photos below of this beautiful restaurant...what a great mid-day break from class!
Dima, Juliet & Sapna --LMH college girls!

From left: Alexandra, Kingsley, Anna, Samantha, Alex

Dima & Sapna
From back right across: Glenn, Rick, Kingsley,
Paola, Dima, Sapna, Majka, Juliet & Alexandra

Leicester Square
Thursday night, I took the evening completely off, watched episodes of The Tudors, and packed my bags for London and Kent.  Since Kiara and I were going through London on our way to Aunty Viniti and Uncle Steve's house anyway, we stopped in Leicester Square at the TKTS ticket booth to pick up discount same day theatre tickets.  Most of the shows aren't actually discounted, but you can get lucky sometimes. We got Singing in the Rain tickets --in the middle section of the Dress Circle ---perfect seats!! 

The picture on the left is of Leicester Square ---there are a few shops, two cinemas, about ten theatre ticket booths, a gelato place that I want to try next time I'm there (but apparently it's ridiculously expensive) and several restaurants. I did try to take a picture of K sitting in Leicester Square, but she kept jumping on the benches!

Singin' in the Rain was at Palace Theatre in London. The tap dancing was absolutely incredible - perfectly coordinated to the lights and music.  I remember watching the film years ago, and it was fun to hear the songs again.  Best of all was the Singin' in the Rain song, of course, where they were kicking puddles of "rain" onto the theatregoers in the first row! Good thing we were a level up! The theatre, unfortunately, would not allow any photography, even of the intricately carved woodwork and beautiful auditorium, once the play was over.  The streets were also crowded and  taking a clear photograph of the lit up outside sign was nearly impossible. So, you'll have to imagine the fluster and bustle of Friday night in the theatre district in London. So much energy! I love metropolitan cities! What a great birthday gift!

As it was nearly 11 pm when we left the theatre, we decided to have dinner at a Bangladeshi place in Brick Lane called The Standard Balti House, a place with good food and very friendly staff. Brick Lane is one of those places that reminds me of Chinatown at home; an area of town where you're not sure much is there...until you venture into the restaurants and try their delicious food!

The rest of the weekend was spent chilling at home and celebrating both my cousin Tina and I's birthdays. Tina is 21 on Tuesday!  I have a small suitcase full of gifts (including my Christmas gifts) to take back with me to Oxford today! I can't wait to put up the calendar Tina got me (full of pictures I took of Kiara!), read the book Tired of London, Tired of Life, a book of suggestions of what to do in the big city that Sunny and Nia got me, and hang up the picture Sonia made for me. The matching notebook will be used as a recipe book---the first recipe will be....tiramisu!

I also have a Bodum coffee maker, glass fruit tray, a beautiful throw for the sofa, a dog blanket for Kiara, chocolates and slipper socks!  My Gordon Ramsey blender from Christmas will have to wait until my next trip down!

All in all, turning 28 was great... now it's back to Oxford to get working on that dissertation!

No comments: