Sunday, February 19, 2006
There is always the danger that when you've been ill for sometime and have done almost nothing for a number of weeks that you think you're ok and then realise you're not. I decided to have a day out in London yesterday. If I survived that, all was well.
The football was a little too early for my liking; kick off at 12.30pm. The breakfast menu would still be out at the highly recommended family-run Italian eaterie on Great Castle Street - Café Lido - and I was craving spinach and ricotta cannelloni. It really is the best. The waitress and the kitchen came up trumps and let me order it even though it wasn't quite 11am. Sets you up for the day.
We made our way to the Freemason's Arms on Long Acre. There is the obvious connection gleaned from its name (it's the old-fashioned briefcases that make me laugh; you don't see them anywhere else) but it was also home to the first meeting of the FA. This is where the first football league rules were decided. Where else to watch the FA Cup match between Liverpool and Manchester United?
We got our usual table (if we go to watch sport during the day it is always here). There's a nice mix of locals, day-tripping Londoners and tourists. During the course of our visit the table joining ours was variously colonised by a grey-haired, grey whiskered, bespectacled Italian (with too-long fingernails) who had just taken part in the Asahi Pure Logic Sudoku Championships which were being held upstairs, a French couple, a crusty sporting a Blackberry and a massive bag from the Disney Store (v. strange), two women who had 'done' the National Gallery and the shops and a couple of Notts Forest season ticket holders who were here for the weekend. (They had tickets booked for the London Eye today which is a shame as the weather has been lousy).
I was very good and stuck to four pints of Guinness (less than one an hour) before we moved on to China Town. I somehow managed to order the wrong set meal but we scoffed it all the same. A Tiger there and a Bailey's near Embankment finshed the evening off.
The verdict? No hangover but my ribs and back hurt like hell. Look's like tomorrow is going to be fun.