Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So London

So yes, London.

I was on vacation, had time, on my own, so I bought an Oyster Card at Heathrow to get a discounted tube ride into town. I am an in-the-know London visitor. I jumped on the Picadilly Line and laughed like the immature person I am when the woman on the loudspeaker announced "This is the Picadilly line to Cockfosters". Hee Hee

I decided then and there that I would visit the wonderful tube stop called Cockfosters...and that Ford had to go with me.

Friday night we met up with Cob, Gita and Rick for some much-needed indian food, then spent some quality time in a pub.

Saturday morning, Ford and I headed out for a long walk.

We started at Borough Market, where we ate our weight in free cheese samples, then settled down for a meal of bread, cheese (we actually did buy, so the samples paid off for one lucky cheesemonger) olives, and what was described to me (by Ford) as Thanksgiving on a bun.

Sampling the cheese.

We even went to a museum, and saw Katherine's favorite building in London, the Gherkin. See, I did more than just visit pubs.

That said, soon after this picture of my big head was taken (with the gherkin in the background), we retired to Gordon's to get out of the cold and into an old wine bar in a very old wine cellar. No electricity, candles on the table, vaulted ceiling about 5 feet high, nice wine list, old, stooped English lady calling the shots.

Fortified, we braved the cold again to meet up with Cob, Gita and Rick to tour the Cabinet War Rooms, the series of reinforced rooms below Whitehall that served as Churchill and his war cabinet's headquarters during the Battle of Britain. Very cool.

We stopped by a pub afterwards (why not) to figure out what to do next, then had an early dinner and continued on to yet more pubs throughout the evening, ending at Ford's local, The Cock & Bottle. It's open until midnight so, you know, a good time was had by all.

Alas, all our good cheer couldn't convince anyone that a trip to Cockfosters was worth a Sunday afternoon. They just kept bellyaching about Zone 5 or something.

It was left to Ford and I to brave multiple Tube zones, but we had an ace up our sleeve. We knew about the Cock & Dragon, 4 out of 5 stars for their delicious thai food surrounded by a pub-licious atmosphere, and all right there .3 miles from the Cockfosters stop.

So after a visit to Holland Park for tea with Amanda, Blair, Bex and Gus, we headed out on our Cockfosters.

Ford was a trooper, even though she too had her reservations about traveling so far outside of her comfort zone (that would be Zone 1).

Her mood didn't improve much as we waited to (gasp!) transfer to the Picadilly line at Holborn.

But we made it without further incident. In fact, Ford and I had a bet as to when exactly we would arrive at Cockfosters. 2:14 pm, I said. 2:23 for Ford. As we walked out, the clock read 14:14:10. I totally rule on timing trips to Cockfosters.

And Ford's mood was much improved, even though she lost the bet.

And just down Chalk Lane, past the cricket and lawn bowling fields and tastefully decorated suburban homes, sat our Shangri-La, the famed Cock & Dragon...of Cockfosters...

...where sustenance awaited. Just one thing, though. While perusing the menu, Ford noticed that they serve food from 12:00 to 2:30 and 6:30 to 10:00. It being 2:25 when we arrived, and having settled in slowly, I decided I better run to the bar to order. In response to my question regarding the possibility of ordering food, the bartender craned his neck, looked at a clock and said we had made it just under the wire.

Hooray, now we could have Thai food with our delicious English ale.

And because it was on the menu, I decided to get a Tiger just to mix it up a bit.

Nummy Thai food.

And the icing on the cake of our trip to Cockfosters (as if it needed one), is that you are pretty much guaranteed a seat for the Tube ride home.

So that was Cockfosters, and that was London.

Almost worth a car accident on the way home.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger TeamJacobson said...

Wow, Phil, awesome update! LOVE the pictures...and what a true sport Ford is. Bravo!

Terrible about the accident. What a way to come home. We loved seeing time in Kyiv!


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