So. I’ve had a friendly face visiting me in London for the past few days! Stephanie is cooking her way across Europe, but she deigned to visit London for a few days and I acted as her unofficial tour guide. We met up on the South Bank and walked over to the reconstructed Globe Theatre. Our hope was that we would be able to score a pair of cheap tickets for Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It. When we arrived, however, we were informed that standing tickets had been sold out and the only tickets left were seated and out of our price range. After asking if there was a possibility of tickets being returned, we left with the slim chance that tickets would be available upon our return.
Part of my mission as tour guide over the few days she was in London was to show Stephanie that the reputation of British cuisine was unwarranted. Of course, the meat pie being a British staple, we meandered our way toward a small shop on the South Bank called Pieminister. Tucked into the corner of a small courtyard, Pieminister serves a great pie at a great price. I snagged a Deerstalker with creamy mashed potatoes, smothered in red wine beef gravy. The hearty combination of venison, onions, and lentils was just what the cool, cloudy day was calling for.
After filling our empty stomachs, we headed back to the Globe. Our hopes were temporarily dashed when the attendant informed us that there were still no tickets available. However, a student group had two extra tickets as some of their students had not shown up. The seats were a restricted view, but for £10 each we snapped them up. As there was still a bit of time before doors, we got some hot chocolate and wandered through the souvenir shop, chatting away about our recent escapades.
We were finally let in to the theatre and proceeded to climb to the top of the East Tower. Our seats were “restricted,” but we thoroughly enjoyed our view looking down upon the groundlings. The procession from chaos to order that is a Shakespearean comedy (complete with cross-dressing and phallic jokes) had us grinning and laughing from start to finish. Our side view provided us the opportunity to see both cast and crew prepare for the next scenes and, having worked for Memorial Hall and the Union, it was a nostalgic view that emphasized how much I appreciate all aspects of performance.
We topped off the afternoon with a few pints at a local pub, continuing our earlier chat about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. What else would you talk about over pints? But our stomachs were beckoning us onward and we wandered back along South Bank, looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. Along one of the many side streets/alleys that comprise the area, we found a Gourmet Burger Kitchen and our mutual love for a good burger drove us inward. GBK never fails to impress and we thoroughly enjoyed a Bacon Cheddar Burger each with a shared order of chips. Being the foodies that we are, we attempted to determine the ingredients of the delicious barbecue sauce that accompanied the burger. But our evening was drawing to a close. But what quintessentially English day would be complete without a bit of rain? As I walked Stephanie back to her hostel, a light drizzle began which turned into a downpour shortly after she walked inside. So I splashed my way to the nearest station and headed home. We had parted for the night, having marinated all day in good food and better company, with the promise to meet again on the morrow.