Food, Glorious Food

This week has been a week of good food catching up with work mates, friends and relatives. On Monday I was by myself. I had to pick up train tickets for a work trip to Slough on Tuesday, so went up to Kings Cross to pick them up, check out the Harry Potter shop and get some dinner. Dinner was meatballs from an Italian restaurant by the station. I then headed down to Angel station to get my bearings as Sharon and I will be staying in this area once I’ve finished work for the week.

On Tuesday morning, I headed up to the “Duck and Waffle” in the Heron building, as it has a fantastic view over this part of the city, plus looks down over the Gherkin. Initially they had no spare tables for breakfast, so I decided to just have a coffee in the bar, but after a few minutes there was a cancellation and I was able to have breakfast there.

Tuesday night I was out with friends, Sophie picked this amazing Peruvian restaurant (Pachamama) in Marylebone, followed up by cocktails in trendy little bar just nearby. I’d never had lamb belly before, delicious and not as fatty as port belly.

Wednesday morning I was off to Slough, west of London for a meeting and decided to get a coffee from the Station on the way. Unfortunately this was a poor choice as the coffee was terrible.

Wednesday night, after a quick beer at the pub with some work colleagues under the Gherkin,  I had dinner with a cousin of mine who lives in London and I hadn’t seen in 20+ years. Kristy picked “TheCulpeper” on Commercial street in the E1 area of London. Dinner started with G&T’s and had some fantastic steak and deserts.

Sharon arrived in London on Thursday, we started in Leadenhall market looking for somewhere to eat, circled around past London bridge then ended up back at Leadenhall in an Italian/Pizza restaurant. We discovered the restaurant was also pictured in the guide book we had on London after we had finished dinner.

Manchester for a Day

Steve from one of our services suppliers lives and works in Manchester and we have always said that if he was in Australia or I was in the UK, we would catch up in person for a few drinks. Well, since I was in the UK and I had a spare day, we decided to catch up in his home town of Manchester. I’d meant to post this on the weekend, or earlier this week, but just didn’t get the time, so its a few days late.

Getting to Manchester was super easy, I just booked through Virgin Trains for one leaving from Euston station. I booked the 8.20 am train, which would give me a few hours in Manchester. Sunday morning isn’t a particularly popular day for travel, so I managed to get a 1st class ticket for 2 pounds more than the standard. I left the apartment at 7 thinking I’d have stacks of time, but discovered that the tube line didn’t start running until 7.30, so the time I thought I’d have at Euston for breakfast was spend waiting for the tube at Bank. Still had plenty of time at Euston anyway, so grabbed a coffee, the choice of which was rather poor, and to be honest I wished I’d just skipped coffee today.

The train arrived, I took a few pics, and the doors closed before i got on. Mild panic for a second as I thought I’d missed it, but it was just the doors closing to keep the warmth in. Pushing the button opened the door and it still had 10 minutes to wait before it departed. 1st class was nice, some free fruit, coffee and snacks and comfortable seats. Hardly anyone else in the carriage. Before long we were hurtling through north London, some of the most interesting scenery were the canals we crossed with the very colourful boats on them, and the nice paths the canals have next to them used by joggers, walkers and cyclists.

Got to Manchester on time a found Steve with no trouble and we headed off. There were some protest groups marching around Manchester today, so we gave them a really wide berth and headed to the Museum of Science and Industry, a fascinating place that entry by donation. If I’d had longer in Manchester I think I could have spent an entire day here browsing all the stuff. Manchester was a key part of the industrial revolution and the engine of the 19th century British Empire, so they have a lot of cool stuff. Some very famous bands and music has come out of Manchester over the years. The city does really does have a lot to offer.

After some time here we headed for “Cloud 23” a bar in one of Manchester’s tallest buildings for a drink and some lunch. The food, drink and views were awesome. I’d really recommend going here if you are in Manchester. After this we visited a few of Steve’s favourite pubs before it was time for me to leave. I had an open ticket and could get any train back to London, but I had a reserved seat on the 5.35pm.

train. I made it back to the station and got on the train with only a few seconds to spare before the doors shut. The train was moving out of Manchester before I’d even had time to find my allocated seat it was that close.

Two hours later I was back in London, grabbed a quick burger for dinner at the station and came back to the apartment to crash for the night. An amazing busy weekend considering I’d only got back from Paris on Saturday night.