A night (and day) on the town.

This is a photo from my London Eye trip - fall 2010 - but I thought it appropriate.
Despite the chaotic, and slightly terrifying, beginning to this week, our half-term holiday has come to a much more relaxing close. Most of my time was spent lying on the mattresses in the playroom with my feet slightly elevated, watching the first season of The Wire. I did manage to get my chilblained toes to the doctor. So you can all stop worrying - my prognosis is good. I also managed to fit in some cleaning, arranging and general sorting of old papers. Spring is on it's way!

We did have a day out on Friday. This involved a lot of me requesting that Owen slow down as I hobbled around London and, alternatively, foisting my feet upon his lap whenever we sat down across from one another (trains, cafes, museum benches). Still, we managed to pack in quite a few activities.

I took Owen to visit the farm that I work at. It was the busiest I've ever seen it owing to the half-term holiday and we spent the majority of our time in the farm cafe being harassed by a toddler with no boundaries. Owen loved it though, especially the extensive collection of chickens. Plus it's nice that he can now more accurately picture me feeding aggressive roosters and cleaning the homes of creatures that do not seem to understand that they are supposed to be confining their excrement to one, easy-to-reach corner. We also paid a visit to the British Museum, which I have somehow managed to avoid in the last year-and-a-half. It was amazing to see the Rosetta Stone and they had a superb display on living and dying in different cultures. This included an amazing piece of art, called Cradle to Grave, involving a quilt made of mesh and thousands of pills.

Afterwards we made our way to Gordon's Wine Bar to start our evening out with friends. This was my first trip to Gordon's, but I am definitely planning to return as soon as possible. It's a relatively inconspicuous little venue, just across from the Embankment tube stop. At first glance it appears to be nothing more than a scrappy little bar, but walk down the stairs and you suddenly find yourself in a dim, candlelit, cavern-esque room which was first built in 1890. They have an extensive selection of wines and cheese boards, as well as hardier fare. But it is very popular amongst crowds of all ages, so be prepared to fight for a table. We literally stole a chair out from under someone during a table hand-off. This wasn't well received by the pair heading for the spot (granted it was a table for two). I worried that we might give in when one of the newcomers insisted, "That chair belongs to this table," but to my rather proud relief one of our party retorted with, "Uh, no, I don't think it works that way." Way to be aggressive. Below are some pictures that I stole from the Gordon's website:

After we'd had our fill and collected the rest of our entourage we moved on to a late dinner at Lupita up the road. As noted in previous posts, I have been on the hunt for some good Mexican food for a while now, so I was delighted when one of our friends suggested this restaurant. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The set-up at Lupita (independently owned by the proprietor of a taqueria in Mexico City) promotes sharing and multiple ordering through the availability of a wide variety of appropriately priced appetizers and small dishes. There are some larger mains for those who just want to order once and for only themselves, but I think the smaller plates are the way to go. After a shared starter of chips, salsas, queso fresco, and some seriously awesome guacamole, Owen and I ordered carnitas, tostadas with ceviche and quesadillas with chicken in salsa verde. I've never had ceviche before - it's a tender white fish that has been cooked by being marinated over night in citrus fruits - so this was a bit of an adventure for me. But, it was well worth it, and the other dishes reminded me of my childhood visits to Mexico. Topped off with a freshly prepared margarita and a dessert of churros with chocolate sauce, the meal was nothing short of amazing. Highly, highly recommended.

Also stolen from website, but as I am basically advertising for them, I thought they wouldn't mind.


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