.. yesterday I mean. We decided to roam the streets of london to soak in the christmas festivities in westend. I wrapped up work around 7 and we started off with an agreement to meet outside embankment station. S was out with her office folks for a friday evening tipple (pineapple juice!) and when i reached embankment, i realised she hadnt even got on to the underground. Time to kill so time for a corona ! As it turned out, there was enough time for 2 coronas actually : ) at the Ha ha bar …
We finally got off to our plan with a bit of a tiff about delays and getting mad at each other but a rose helped things sort out ! Took a while for us to conclude that there wasnt going to be a cab so it was gonna be a walk to Somerset house .. to get a taste of the mulled wine and a view of their annual skating rink setup, especially for christmas. The walk was pretty nice and this was our 3rd attempt to go to Somerset house so we were hoping it will be open by the time we reach there. Last year when we tried with A and N, it got too crowded and they refused us entry, but this year we were 3rd time lucky ! By the time we got there, we were pretty hungry though S had already had a bowl of thai noodle salad from Spar. Somerset house had setup a pretty nice skating rink and a beautiful natural christmas tree decorated with some messages in bengali which I couldnt figure out. I mean why put messages in bengali in england .. dunno. The views with backdrop of the historical somerset house, were stunning, i dint carry my camera which was a pity. You can see some pics though on their website http://www.somersethouseicerink.org.uk/ .
We tried out the flat bread (or good ol’ roti) with some humous at the makeshift restaurant but mulled wine remained something we enjoyed only from a distance.
After soaking in the atmosphere at somerset house (christmas tree was the highlight) we walked back towards covent garden to check out the santa grotto and the always special christmas tree and it did not disappoint us. The tree here was much bigger than that at Somerset house but not as pretty I thought.
we roamed around looking for a restaurant and found “taste of india” on the way (opposite Her Majesty’s theatre on Drury lane) but we thought that we will check out some other. Eventually we dint find any place else interesting enough.. so we came back to Taste of India.
It was a reasonably good decor with a coat hanging area (thats always a relief not to hang it the back of a small chair) and very well mannered bengali waiting staff. We are generally not too excited by bangladeshi restaurants pretending to be indian restaurants but this one turned out to be alright. The prices were ok by central london standards, and from what I have seen, Covent garden is largely dominated by Bangladeshi run indian restaurants, dunno if there is a historical reason for that.
As always, S had the privelege of ordering the food for both of us (thats a rule when we go to indian restaurants!). She chose a thali to share between the two of us with an extra roti. We now always eat only veg food when we go to indian restaurants. The food was reasonable, not too much oil. the thali had daal, aloo gobi, palak ,mushroom, raita, pilau (sic) rice. Quite a sumptuous meal wth a naan and extra roti, not to mention the unsolicited papadums that we started with. We actually thought they were on the house, but when the bill arrived, we were charged for those 2!
Our verdict was that the food was not too bad for a bangladeshi indian restaurant ! Though the best bangladeshi indian restaurant we have ever been to is planet spice. More about it another time.
Well fed .. we decided to walk back to embankment via strand and take a little detour to see the christmas tree at Trafalgar square. This is one tree which is always gifted by Norway to londoners as thank you for supporting them in WW II. It was a pretty sight with lots of tourists taking pictures at this famous landmark. There was a little display of birth of Jesus christ at Trafalgar square, drawing lot of attention from toursits.
It wasnt a very cold night and we walked back to charing cross station and took a direct train home. Apparently this is turning out to be the warmest year for london since they started recording temperatures! I slept for some part of the way, was really tired and two and half pints of beer had to show the effect some where… all in all a good night out and we saw the somerset house skating rink after 3 attempts!