Wednesday, January 22, 2014

England 2013 Part V – A Very Busy Thursday in London

old and new

Thursday in London was very busy indeed! We started with one of the London Walks, The Blitz walking tour. We have been meaning to do this the last couple of trips but never managed to until now. Previous late nights at the pub may or may not have played a role in that. Anyhow, I cannot recommend walking tours enough while traveling! We discovered some hidden areas in the City of London we did not know existed, such as Postman’s Park where you will find the G.F. Watt’s Memorial to Self Sacrifice and the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre located under the Guildhall.
St Paul's

ruins of a church

Memorial to Self Sacrifice in Postman's Park

for those who gave their life to help a stranger in need...

Fabulous photo of the queen we passed by
outside Museum of London

the bombing of WWII uncovered roman ruins

After freezing for two hours on the walk it was back to North London to hit up Camden Town Brewery for our scheduled tour. I am not sure how much longer Camden Town Brewery will be under the railway arches in Kentish Town since they are expanding at a fast pace but I highly recommend the tour if you can make it. It is a small group of only about 10 people so you have to book far in advance. It was so awesome to get to walk through this working brewery and one was definitely never thirsty as they continuously fed us beer throughout.  Our fellow tour goers were a hoot as well and it only got more entertaining as the tour (and beer consumption) continued. We would have loved to have stayed longer to hang out with them but we had to rush off to South London Pacific for The Big Six!

looking out from the Camden Town Brewery tasting room

Exactly how we felt...we were finally there!

The Big Six are one of my all time favorite bands back from when I started going to rockabilly / swing shows in the late 1990s. If it was not for Melanie from Incendiary in Red giving me the heads up about it I may not have found out this show was happening! I could not believe they were going to be playing South London Pacific for only £5! A dream come true! It was a blast and I feel so lucky for getting to be there!

Riding the Northern Line down to South London Pacific!

The Big Six in their trademark suits!


The next day we hit up the Borough Market which is always a must on our London trips. Can’t miss a bit of New Forest Cider and I finally got one of the grilled cheese sandwiches (toasted cheese in the UK) I have been eyeing for a few years. The best part this time was getting to meet up with Melanie again! We feared we may not catch up with each other again after the Rhythm Riot but thanks to Instagram we found each other. We also spent Saturday together with a bit of shopping (Camden Market & What Katie Did) and wine while Ben went to the Arsenal match. So fun to get to have a girly day out in London!

entering food heaven...


the toasted cheese stand I have been drooling over for years...

at last!

a bit 'o' the Shard peeking out over the market

Mel and I at The Rake in the Borough Market

stolen from Mel's IG from our girly day about town - we are at the
pub with the most expensive wine in town I think!

While I was shopping, Ben had his Arsenal adventure beginning with Piebury Corner and a guy spinning vinyl on the pavement outside.  Wish I could have seen that!

photo from Ben's super close seat at the match

everything Arsenal...even the Arsenal Fish stand...
That pretty much wraps up our time in England this past November. I have a lot of great random shots I may include in a future post. I’ll be counting the days until our next visit. But for now, as is the case with so many of you out there, my focus will be on planning for Viva Las Vegas! Just over 80 days to go!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

England 2013 Part IV - London

Our trip to England concluded with 6 nights in London which, as per usual, consisted of visits to some of our favorite hangouts as well as some new adventures that included a walking tour and a brewery tour.  The following are just some shots from our first couple of days back in London.

Our flat in Belsize Park when we lived late 2006 to mid 2007.
We miss it!

Can't go without a bit 'o' Wagamama...

Brew Dog in Camden

Finally I made it to Vivien of Holloway!

Gordon's Wine Bar!

Beautiful tile work at the Ten Bells...

Shampaan in Brick Lane for dinner...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Restaurant Souvenir Photos

I love those old souvenir photos from restaurants and nightclubs. They are often a bit awkward as they catch people between courses of a meal or after more than a few cocktails. Thankfully I have a couple from my dad’s side of the family from 1946 in Hollywood. I am also including one I picked up at an antique store since it is from Bimbo’s in San Francisco and the photo holder is amazing!

Tom Breneman's in Hollywood, March 5, 1946

My dad's parents on the left, my grandfather in his uniform from WWII

Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, March 13, 1946

There they are again on the right.  To the left is my great grandmother and her second husband, owner of the Tee Pee Barbecue in Long Beach (see this post)

Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco, May 25, 1968

Wonder what their story was...