My Instagram posts from the trip.
My friend Kate has been trying to convince me to go and visit her in London since she moved there over a year ago. Before she lived in London she lived in Texas for a while and before that she spent three years trying to convince me to go and visit her at her uni house in Kent. So basically she's just been trying to convince me to go and visit her for a while. Much to her amusement I finally agreed to go up on Monday the 29th February ('an imaginary day' I think were her words) and stay with her until the Friday.
This is Kate. I've known her since she moved to England from Ecuador when we were five and she is still one of my very best friends, even though she used to eat bugs in the playground. (She definitely won't mind me telling the Internet that, I'm sure.)
We didn't end up doing too much on the Tuesday because we were up stupidly late talking on Monday night, because we basically just don't shut up whenever we're together. We did head over to Spitalfields Market for something to eat (I had a very nice veggie burger and lemonade and we shared those delicious fries you can just about see in the above picture) but unfortunately, thanks to our inability to shut up, most of the market stalls were already closed and gone by the time we got there. Still, it's an area of London I've never been to before so it was nice to see somewhere different, even if I did feel supremely uncool walking around in my strawberry hat and trainers among all the cool hipster types!
Wednesday was our proper 'in London' day. In the morning we headed over to Limehouse and grabbed some lunch in Sir Ian McKellen's pub, The Grapes. I'm not sure if you can really tell from the picture above (I didn't take many pictures during my trip, I'm afraid, and I was plagued by bad light for the ones I did take) but it's a really lovely, cosy kind of place, totally my idea of a perfect pub, and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend it! We spent ages in there.
Then we spent quite a long time in the Lush flagship store on Oxford Street... Somehow I managed not to spend too much money but I have no idea how.
In the evening we went to see Guys and Dolls, which is basically how Kate finally convinced me to visit her in the first place. You see, I love The History Boys and around my 21st birthday Kate went to see Samuel Barnett (Posner in The History Boys) in a production at The Globe and she waited at the stage door afterwards to meet him and got him to sign a copy of the play for me for my birthday. So with Jamie Parker (Scripps in The History Boys) being in Guys and Dolls, Kate had the idea that we would go to the show and then afterwards hopefully get him to sign my book too. Which we did!
Guys and Dolls was brilliant. I've seen it once before but a long time ago and I was really impressed with all of the cast at this production, especially Sophie Thompson, who was amazing as Miss Adelaide. Jamie Parker was great too, of course, and very nice after the show when we literally ran after him and stopped him half way up the stairs as he was clearly just trying to get home. He stopped and chatted to us for quite a while and didn't even seem to mind when we left and then immediately ran back because Kate had forgotten to ask for a picture with him. Also he wrote 'happy 21' in my book, which I'm pretty pleased with to be honest.
Now Kate says we need to go to America and get James Corden to sign the book next.
On the Thursday morning we went for a little wander around Covent Garden but in the afternoon we actually got the train away from London and up to Norwich to visit our friend (and Kate's cousin) Holly for the day! I didn't know a thing about this plan until I got to London and it was the loveliest surprise. I've known Holly even longer than I've known Kate and the three of us have always been really good friends but with her living in Norwich now and me still in Cornwall, it's been about two years since I last saw her. Also I've never been to Norwich before, so this was a doubly nice surprise.
I'm afraid I don't know the name of the cathedral in the above picture but Holly tells me there are a lot of them in Norwich. Holly gave us a quick little tour of Norwich but, again, we managed to get there just as most things were closing. We had some delicious macarons and visited The Book Hive, which is a lovely little bookshop that Holly works in. Then we went for a drink and got some dinner (that delicious fish taco in the instagram collage at the top of this post) and then went for another drink, and then Kate and I headed back to London and the next day I headed back home.
It was so nice to spend some time with Kate and Holly again and to be reminded that actually I do really like London. Sometimes it's easy to forget that. Hopefully I'll be going again soon and hopefully I'll remember to take some more pictures next time!
And here's a picture of me standing very awkwardly outside The Grapes. Kate insisted.