On the Saturday, a lovely clear and sunny day, we caught a train up to Bicester (pronounced Bister), which is about 12 miles from Oxford, to do a little retail therapy at Bicester Village. Well my goodness, they said it was outlet shopping, but I was not aware that it was designer outlet heaven.
Passing the yet to be finished Wembley Stadium on the train!
Thank goodness it was open till 7pm, because after arriving at 1pm (lazy sleep in thingy...its dark in the morning here now you know - daylight saving ended on 28th Oct) we needed a whole 6 hours to browse the entire length of the cute cottage style shopping strip.
Bicester Village in the evening
You name it they had it - Dior, Quiksilver, Burberry, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jaeger, Hobbs, French Connection, Ted Baker (my fav), Mulburry, Nicole Fahri, Pringle, Mexx, North Face, Versace, Paul Smith, MaxMara, and the list goes on. Good thing we saved up our pennies.....but now we are broke and will be poor when we come home....nah just kidding, but I will need new feet though all that walking around.
That Saturday was also part of bonfire "Guy Fawkes" weekend so the whole town of London went a little silly with fireworks from Friday right through Sunday night. Well the whole country really, even in Bicester they had a huge fun fair set up with a bonfire about 5 stories high and fireworks were going off left right and centre.
Bicester bonfire from bus stop
Thus the urge to go and see one of the millions of fireworks displays on was much diminished, especially when they go off anywhere all weekend!
Sunday we fortunately had a relaxing day and the weather was a bit greyer, but still ok.
Monday, aside from work as usual, we finally (we got tickets back in April) went to see Little Britain LIVE at the Hammersmith Apollo. David Walliams and Matt Lucas are hillarious, they had us in stitches, especially when they pulled people out of the crowd to be in the show for certain parts. No photos though, not allowed!!!
Oh and it turns out that Matt Lucas, apparently lives around the corner from us in West Hampstead, though I have never seen him. Must try to hang around at home more often, which is hard when there is lots of other things to do around London.
Then Tuesday night we had Jet at Brixton Academy - per last blog. Then lots of work, lots of work....for the next two days.
Though Mark had to, well its a tough job but someone has to do it, go on the London Eye on Wednesday night and be entertained in one of the capsules by some suppliers of theirs. Lucky him, I was very jealous - especially when he told me they got the special deal with champagne and a little book that points out all the main landmarks that you can see from the eye!!! So not fair....
Our weekend consisted of a late drinks night at the The Patternoster pub, near St Pauls on friday night. This ended up with Mark and I in Oxford Circus checking out all the pretty Christmas lights, we fortunately were there late enough to avoid all the crowds, as its certainly getting busier with Christmas around the corner. The shops are open till around 10pm at night all week with Xmas shopping. The night before, the Thursday, there were 60,000 people there when they turned all the lights on.
Saturday we headed to the Borough Markets, yet again, but to get chocolate brownies - now these are to die for and are the best in the world - for a girls dinner that I was going to that night.
We did have good intentions of going to watch the Lord Mayors Parade, but alas between eating lunch at the Markets and a dash back to Covent Garden, by the time we'd gotten back to Embankment it was all over!! Bugger, but we did get to see all the lovely poppy wreaths on one of the memorials for Rememberance day. My girly dinner was lovely, my Croatian friend Maristela is so sweet and stuffed us all full of good food and girly banter!!
Sunday - today - was the craziest day of all this week. We even slept in till 10:30am or so, so I don't know how we still did so much. We went down to the Tate Modern to go down the slides........yes the slides. There is an exhibition on with cool slides created by an artist called Carsten Holler - http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/carstenholler/default.shtm, check out the link for more details. We unfortunately got there after 1pm, its free but first in best dressed for the slides, so were too late to get tickets for the 2 big slides (from 4th and 5th levels) but we got them for the 3rd level slide at 5:30pm!
Fortunately that was our plan, to go at the end of the day that is. We had booked London Eye tickets for 4pm and had time to wander around a bit prior to that.
Southbank is always bustling with people after all down that way is; the Tate (of course), the National Theatre, the Millenium bridge - which takes you across to St Pauls,the National Film theatre, Oxo tower, various pubs, Shakespeares Globe Theatre, the Golden Hinde (a ship), HMS Belfast and way up the other end is the Tower or London and Tower Bridge.
The bank itself is always lined with people watching at least a dozen or so street performers so its a nice walk, if you don't mind dodging tourists if your in a hurry.
Down towards Tower Bridge we came across a movie being filmed, its called "Run Fat Boy Run" and it stars Hank Azaria (from Mad about you and more obviously the voice of Homer Simpson) and is being directed by David Schwimmer (formerly of Friends).We were just watching for a bit, while they were filming a scene in which the characters are beginning a race (fun run type thing).
It takes forever, seriously after 5 minutes we moved down to be "a part of the crowd", as they were asking for more people to go down. Though we were in the wrong bit for what tiny part they were filming, so we certainly won't be in the movie at all. After another 30 minutes or so they had only just filmed like maybe 10 seconds of footage. I had absolutely no idea so much work goes into just a tiny bit of movie. I managed to get some photos of David Schwimmer pottering around with his little movie camera viewer attached round his neck. Very exciting - a real movie.
Last time I saw a movie being filmed was on a work day when I went to get a coffee at the Borough Markets (I was working in the office there that day and i cannot stay away from that place - clearly) and it was a Bollywood film!! Hillarious.
Well we could hardly top that for the day, even the London Eye was looking pretty boring after that. Anyway, we still had plenty of time and our plan was to visit the Tower of London gift shop...alas it was really lots of overpriced crap so none of you will be getting goodies from there.
Next stop a flight on the London Eye. We got there on time but it really wasn't that busy, despite the fact it was a clear day and we were on it earlier than planned as we'd hoped to see the sunset (the sun sets a 4:30 at the moment) while we were up there. Nevermind, we can go again, i actually think it would be nicer at night.
The London Eye - Pod...
House of Parliament and Big Ben (note the distortion from the pod
The start of Sunset
Lisa on the eye....
Mark on the eye...
Since our ride, flight, was earlier than we planned Mark had time to stop in the pub for a pint to watch the Arsenal vs Liverpool game, Arsenal won 3 nil, but we didn't see that bit as we were back at the Tate for our ride down the slide....weeee.. all the way down. We will go back again to do the top two slides as they are supposed to be quite fast.
Dinner was Greek, at a place called The Real Greek, nothing gourmet but nice and light. And now for another fun filled week.. more soon...on that.