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Phil's Travels - Valentine's in London (0215)


Phil's Travels - Valentine's in London (Feb 2015)

Love knows no bounds (or is that bonds?). In my case, when my lovely wife asked me to read all three volumes of Fifty Shades of Grey  in time for the movie release on Valentine's Day, naturally I acquiesced and dutifully began speed reading.

I managed to finish book three on Valentine's morning and we left the kids with grandparents to head into the London night. The only cinema with seats available at late notice and at a reasonable time was at Marble Arch. We fought through the thronged lobby and squeezed into the packed auditorium. The movie is missable.

Having fought our way back out of the cinema, we headed to Roti Chai for an Indian street food dinner. To digest, we walked across Mayfair to our hotel for the night. The streets were packed with couples and other 'night' people, especially around the private club and fancy restaurant district of Berkeley Square. The only blot on the nightscape was a large single chap dressed in black leather who kept pulling his black leather gloves up as he approached us, and without hesitation or deviation walked straight between us, forcing a hurried separation. I am not sure what all the fisting was for, maybe he had just read Fifty Shades  too (reference Appendix 3 of Fifty Shades  contract).

At the hotel we were checked in by Elvis and upgraded to a junior suite because of my lovely wife's loyalty status. The suite was dated, stifling and lacking in soul. So much so, that we headed to the bar for a night cap, where my lovely wife proceeded to drink me under the table with multiple Cosmos to my first whiskey in five years.

A closer analysis of the suite in the morning revealed a lack of paper and pen by the phone, short narrow towels that barely cover your bits and a kettle with nowhere to put it and plug it in simultaneously (the floor had to suffice). In an effort to cool the room down we opened the chained windows the permitted sliver and unleashed a whole range of noises and smells from the mechanical plant below. A speedy check-out was thus warranted.

In reception we heard that Elvis had left the building.

Rather than negotiate the hotel breakfast scrum, we headed out and had a quick breakfast at Cecconi's nearby (Benedict score of 4/10, which is poor, could have scored 5, but an overcooked egg is worthy of a penalty).

I got home to discover that my Valentine's in London was not yet over. My little girl turned me round, walked me out the door and took me back to the cinema to see Shaun the Sheep. From Fifty Shades  to Shaun the Sheep  in less than 24 hours, what better Valentine's weekend could a man ask for.

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