Friday, 9 July 2010

A Foodies Tour of London (Day 1)

To celebrate our 3rd anniversary, my husband and I have been on a trip to London for a few days this week.

On Sunday we travelled down, dropped off the bags at the hotel and made our way via bus, got off and the wrong stop, tried another bus, and then gave up and jumped in a cab to the Royal Academy of Arts to see the Summer Exhibition. It was an interesting way to spend the afternoon and a few of the pictures really stood out, but as it is supposed to be an "open" exhibition, I was surprised to see how all the submitted works were mostly crushed into two small rooms whereas the major rooms were filled with work from the Royal Academisions. The standout pieces for us were definately the two pieces by David Mach RA, Silver Streak - a very large sculpture of a silver back gorilla made entirely out of coathangers, and my personal favourite, Babel Towers, an enormous collage of photos of buildings and people of clashing styles that come together somehow to make a piece in perfect perspective. Very clever, very beautiful and unfortunately very expensive (not that I have a wall big enough to display it on!) but one of those pictures that you could look at every day for the rest of your life and always see something different in it.

From there we went to Covent Garden to meet my husbands niece and her partner where we briefly watched (through our fingers at certain scary points) an ex cirque du soliel performer, up a large pole held only by rope and four strangers - mad man! We then moved to our first foodie experience of the weekend - dinner in the Real Greek on Long Acre which was, on the whole, disappointing.  The place has a nice feel, if a little Cheers c.1990 with the high chairs and tables (the chairs aren't that comfortable or easy to get in and out of if you're under average height either!), and the menu is good.  That's the good part.

On the negative, the service is abysmal!  It was busy, but not packed out, it was early on a Sunday evening so not peak time, we were given menus straight away but offered no drinks, and then we waited, and waited.  20 minutes later our order was finally taken, 20 minutes later most of it was delivered to table, except for my husbands kofte, which still hadn't arrived when the rest of us had almost finished our souvlaki and there was no waiting staff in sight to even complain to about it.  The souvlaki themselves were not hot enough and were pretty tasteless.  My dessert of Greek Sundae which proported on the menu to be a mix of pistachio and vanilla icecream with nuts, seeds and homemade kataifi was also a big disappointment.  At £5.25 it was quite pricey for what was essentially poor shop bought ice-cream, a couple of pumkin seeds and a bit of honey.  I can only assume that whoever usually made the kataifi had the night off as there was a distinct lack of it in my dessert......  I expected better.  The Real Greek didn't deliver.

A nice walk across Waterloo Bridge in the cool evening breeze followed, a more successful bus journey back to our hotel in the City ready for a mamoth day 2 - details to follow.


  1. Sounds like you had fun even if the food was not up to your high standards. No mention of sore feet? Thanks for popping over on Sat. Take care Lynne xx

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