This past weekend John had a friend over and massive amounts of gaming ensued, which I mostly skipped except for a game of Battlestar Galactica (I lost) and one of Power Grid (I lost a lot). We did leave the house once or twice as well, once to hit 7bone for a burger and on Sunday we popped out briefly to get a pint with his visiting uncle.

But Monday it was time for my birthday! John had to go into London for work-related activities and as my birthday present he took the next day off and we got a hotel for the night. While he was off presenting his poster I met up with a friend of Jade’s named Miko who lives in London and has many overlapping interests, life being life we both ended up running late and we had less time to hang out than I had hoped but it was still fun and hopefully I can make it back up to the city for a more extended visit at some point.

Once John was done he made his way to the hotel and we popped over to Queensway street, where there’s a whole street of restaurants that Miko had just clued me into. We had a light lunch at a Persian place to lay a basic foundation for the evening and then got changed before heading down to the Soho area. I had a list of likely looking places that might do for a drink, but not a strict itinerary. We started with happy hour 2-for-1 martinis at a trendy, kinda slick, but still fun place called Dirty Martini and then moved on to a very friendly bar called Graphic which was hosting a gin tasting. The tasting was already wrapping up when we arrived, alas, but we still had a couple of pretty great cocktails served in paint cans (presumably to match the theme). By now we were properly hungry so we hit an American diner which has alcoholic milkshakes. Mine was pistachio and rum and extremely good. Satiated and tipsy we headed through the freezing night in the direction of the hotel in order to get a nightcap at a warm and cozy bar in the Zetter Hotel. This was the perfect place to end the night and even the subsequent walk through the cold didn’t quite defeat the afterglow from their very civilized cocktails.

On Tuesday we woke up late and had a solid continental breakfast at the hotel before making our way towards downtown. We popped into a few stores, has some barbecue at Bodean, and then wandered in baffled circles in Soho trying to find one of the delicious looking French pastry shops that had seemed plentiful earlier in the day. Luckily John’s instincts led us to what I’m sure must be the cutest pastry shop in London (and which Wikipedia assures me is the oldest) Maison Bertaux. Despite being quite sated from our plentiful lunch it was difficult to restrain ourselves and we ended up leaving with three slices of assorted cakes to bring home to Southampton.

We wrapped up the extended weekend drinking coffee on our new sofa, eating a lovely and surprisingly light chocolate mouse cake, and watching Her.

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