October 23, 2014

London Makes a Great Date

Every time I've received the SNCF (France's national railway) deal emails about London, it's been impossible to go. Oh, volleyball. Oh, basketball. Oh, made plans to go somewhere else already. (Yes. Those are the only 3 things our lives really revolve around.)

But this time was different.

St. Pancras Station.
I opened my inbox in August, and ta-da! Go to London and back on the Eurostar for only 69€ each! If that sounds expensive to you, let's reflect on the fact that usually Eurostar tickets run at over 120€...each direction. We booked tickets to go on Wednesday morning and come back super early Thursday. Booked a night with an AirBnB location close to St. Pancras International. Booked dinner at Porter's and show at the Savoy.

Ready for our out-of-country date night?

We had an hour to kill before checking into our Eurostar train. (Always be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. They have customs and passport checks and everything.) Best way to kill an hour in Paris is always in a café.

Tea and coffee, merci!
We had a pretty simple agenda. Arrive in London. Check-in to the AirBnB hotel. Eat lunch. Take the tube to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Return to hotel to get ready for dinner and the show. Sleep. Get back on the first Eurostar the next morning.

(We had a slight change of plans after we found out that - WHAT - my Uncle Mike and Aunt Daphne were also in London!!! So after the show, the plan evolved into spending time with them, too! We had even more great times with them during their following weekend in Paris, to be blogged soon! Independently planning trips to the same place at the same time is one of life's perfect surprises.)

221B, the setting of some
of the world's best mysteries.
The whole change-of-currency thing in London is so annoying. We took out some pounds, and swore we'd only spend that much. After paying for lunch, this meant that the 10£ or so each to go into the Sherlock museum was just not worth it to us. I mean, he never really existed, therefore, he never really lived there. We were totally satisfied by the gift shop and Victorian decor on the ground floor. Our £ budget thankfully kept us from buying every cap and pipe in the place.

What ended up being the main attraction of our afternoon was around the corner from Baker Street in Regent's Park.

Promenading through autumn.
I. Love. October.
They really do feed the birds. #MaryPoppins
Dramatic fountains are incredible.
The rose season was ending.
I'm happiest believing this is one giant rainbow tree. I want to build a rainbow fort inside of it.
The name of this gorgeous yellow rose is "Keep Smiling."
The overwhelming citrus scent is absolutely my favorite aroma of all time.
The colors were magnificent, and the rain held back
just long enough for us to see most of Regent's Park.
After marching around Regent's Park (more fun for me than Marc, but that's normal for us), we made it back to our AirBnB room to quickly get ready for our dinner and show. I was able to break out my bridesmaid dress from Lindsay's wedding, show off Great Aunt Wanda's black and pearl jewelry, sport my comfy black slingback heels, wrap a black scarf-shawl around my shoulders from another expat, and stay warm with my new-to-me charcoal wool coat from Poshmark.

We love the theatre!
Trying to pick a show we will both really love isn't always easy, but we chose to go see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy. We figured it would be a light-hearted and easy way to spend the evening, and it was! 

Too bad Beaumont-Sur-Mer isn't a real place!
The show itself was silly and ridiculous, but had a great twist, beautiful costumes, and, of course, exceptionally talented performers. We especially appreciated the French and American jokes, and the scene with the Oklahoma lady was outrageously hilarious because my uncle and aunt, who were sitting below us, are from...Oklahoma.

After the show, we all found each other (Marc, me, Uncle Mike, Aunt Daphne, and their two friends), and walked right over to the Savoy Hotel for drinks.

The Savoy is really nice. We were relieved that we had dressed up for the evening, and were able to fit in with the crowd in the Beaufort Bar. Talk about a snazzy establishment; the high walls and ceilings were painted black with gold accents, and the piano player and singer performed only classic Sinatra-era songs. 

I adore this coat. Oh, and the theatre was rad, too.
This was all really by accident. The only "Savoy" I'd ever heard of is the restaurant Uncle Mike always goes to for breakfast in Tulsa. I booked the show because of the show and the price, not because of the name of the theatre. 

This is just the hallway.
If Mike and Daphne hadn't been in London at the same time, I would have never thought to go into the hotel and find a bar inside. Turns out the Savoy has two bars, and the American Bar is supposedly much more famous and wonderful, but it was already packed out with show-goers.

This is just the bathroom.
We were all quite caught up in the atmosphere when I considered getting a cocktail. I read over the menu (easy when it's all in English), understood most of the ingredients (alcohol tastes won't ever be totally clear to me), and settled on the "Hemingway Daiquiri." I was nearly dissuaded from the "250" written next to it because it had what I believed to be the most calories out of all of the cocktails on the page (most were between 80 and 150).

Wait. 250 calories? Or 250 pounds?

After double-checking with Marc, I decided to go with the 10£ drink on the next page. It was definitely delicious, definitely non-alcoholic, and definitely not 250£.

We taxied back to our hotel room, took a 3-hour nap, and got up in the 4 o'clock hour to catch our Eurostar train back to Paris.

But our time with Mike & Daphne was just getting started...

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