I travel to the UK on a regular basis and I thoroughly enjoyed another wonderful little trip to London this weekend! Expect lots of London updates on places to go and things to do in future. Lately I have been prioritizing seeing more theatre performances, both at home in New York and in other cities. The Today Tix app works very well for me, because it’s extremely rare that I can plan my schedule far enough in advance to buy tickets more than a day or two out. They have a daily lottery for many popular performances and also offer a really competitive rate. So during my flight into London (thanks to web access through GoGo wifi), I pulled up the Today Tix app to see what shows would be available, and I very excitedly came across The Railway Children, showing at Kings Cross Theatre for only £20. The Sat performance was at 4:30, perfect for a quick nap after I got settled at my hotel, and then plenty of time for dinner and drinks afterwards.
The Railway Children was a book written in 1906 by Edith Nesbit about 3 siblings whose father has unfortunate circumstances, so they are forced to downsize their life and move to the country near a railway station. The story is about all of the adventures and calamities that befall them playing near the railway. As I dearly loved the book as a child, I was thrilled to learn the book had been produced into a play. When I arrived, I quickly realized I was one of the few adults there who were not accompanied by children. However, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, had popcorn and cider, and I wish my nieces and nephews could have joined me. It’s a very heartwarming story and they use a real live old steam train to chug along the platform tracks, so absolutely perfect for families!
Afterwards I took the tube from Kings Cross station back to Kensington and met with friends for dinner. After many trips to London, I have become very adept at the metro system, keep an Oyster card current, and I even have the app Tube Map downloaded to my phone. We chose a Thai restaurant near Earls Court just off Hogarth Place called Siam Secret. I would happily go back again because of its authenticity, quality food and service. This coming from a girl who travels to Bangkok like other people travel to Vegas. We ordered the spring rolls and calamari for shared appetizers, and washed it down with imported Singha beer. I had the duck with sticky rice for my main entree and all I can say is that I scraped up every last spoonful of the tamarind sauce from my plate, because it was so delicious. My whole meal including drinks, tax and tip was £19.
The night being still young, a few of us decided to continue the night at a nearby speakeasy named Evans & Peel Detective Agency that one of my friends knew about. I absolutely love speakeasies, so I was very excited to discover a new one in London. He explained that their front is a detective agency, and you must formulate a good cover story as to why you need to enlist the help of a private eye in order to gain entrance. Along the way to the bar we earnestly concocted our story. Being such a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, I naturally used an amalgamation of various stories, particularly the Study in Scarlet. I chose to play Irene Adler opposite my friend, who was the King of Bavaria. We were escorted downstairs to a very small office library, with a desk and maps and dusty old books strewn about.
I was actually rather nervous, as the door keeper ‘detective’ rather questions your story seriously. Finally we were allowed in, and were led through a secret door into the establishment. Very old English, hunting room style, with green wall tapestry, landscape paintings and mounted antlers on the walls. Our table was actually an old Singer sewing machine stand, which I found quaint. Drinks are roughly £8-£14 apiece, and I chose to have a glass of Bruichladdich scotch from the Isle of Islay. I wanted to try something new I had never seen on a scotch menu before. I loved it; found it very light, almost fruity, and nicely lacking the heavy smokey peat flavor of most island scotch. (The 10 year “Laddie” retails for $76.42 on www.masterofmalt.com) Due to the speakeasy’s liquor license, they are required to serve food with the drinks, so you receive a nice complimentary china dish of popcorn as a table snack. Overall I was thrilled with the place and can’t wait to introduce Evans & Peele to all of my friends!
The next morning I went for breakfast at an old favorite, a restaurant called Balans Soho Society, on Kensington High Street. Balans is great anytime of day, for either dinner, or brunch, or just drinks on a date. Rather quirky and different, having secretive key cards for members to earn points, and interesting candelabra decor. Their full English breakfast with bacon and sausage is excellent and only £10. I feel very comfortable going in with my book for company and enjoying a leisurely cup of tea. After a filling breakfast, I continued on down High Street towards the Royal Albert Hall, a famous concert venue.
On a later trip I plan to do a guided grand tour inside of the Hall, definitely save that for a rainy day. Then I continued my stroll across the street to Hyde Park, through Queens Gate on the south side, and found a comfortable spot under a large oak tree for reading. Rain came soon though, so I packed up and headed back toward my hotel, since I had to be at the airport soon. Another lovely weekend in London came to an end, but I will be back very soon! Thanks to everyone who followed my snapchat story that day, and please check out the Instagram pics!
Check out our other London Blogs:
Way Too Wanderlust recommends:
Entertainment & Culture:
– The Railway Children, Kings Cross Theatre, Goods Way, London, N1C 4UR www.kingscrosstheatre.com
booked via: TodayTix app
Restaurants & Bars:
– Evans & Peel Detective Agency, 310C Earl’s Court Road, London SW5, www.evansandpeel.com, +44(02)73733573