I'm suppose to look puzzled, not angry!

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I have a book to publish. Editors love it, marketing departments say 'up the media profile'. So here I am 'upping it' and writing about the book, food, and life in general.

Friday, 8 June 2012

All the way to London and we missed the Queen!

So. . . our friend Hanke was dispatched (with her trumpet) to the flotilla at 8.30am in the freezing rain.  All we had to do was make it to the river Thames in time to watch her trumpet at The Queen.  And did we?

In the seats left warm by Charles & Camilla
Well, the trouble was that I absolutely had to see Piccadilly closed to traffic and lined with an enormously long street-party table. There was a swing band courtesy of The Ritz, a Fortnum's Champagne bar, need I go on? We had a little drinkie then meandered through Mayfair until the kids saw a Nando's and shouted  . .

"Pleeaasee can we have a Nando's?  We're starving"

Why had I thought a Hilton breakfast would be enough to see them through 'til dinner?

"They do chicken wings, mum."

"Yes, and so does Pitt Cue where we're going tomorrow."

Charles & Camilla seat warming on Piccadilly
They were not for waiting. The  Nando's wings should have been rubbish but were annoyingly good and as a bonus I got to impress the kids by lapping up the X-tra hot chilli sauce. Unfortunately, a bottle of  Sauvignon Blanc was only a smidgen more expensive than two glasses and that's where it all went wrong.  We lingered over the wine and then, bugger me, I looked at my watch and it was 3.15pm!!  The flotilla was due to finish at 4pm and we had to get all the way from Mayfair to Tower Bridge.  Needless to say, we arrived as the crowds were leaving.

Our only consolation is that, even if we had been there at 10am we would still have had trouble getting to the riverside as it was already packed out and closed off by then.
We met Hanke and her trumpet at the pier when she stepped off her boat at 6pm.  She was wet, shaking with cold and very, very happy to find everyone waiting for her so all was not lost.

Walking the cleaning plank, Green Cottage style

Thinking it sensible to head out of central London to eat, we made our way to the Green Cottage  Chinese in Swiss Cottage.  The restaurant has been there for over 30 years although it did burn down in 2011 and was closed for 10 months for a re build.

The food has always been reliably good and they have a chilli sauce condiment which is hot as hell and should not be allowed near children - yum.  We got a bit drunken.  Then I insisted on hugging and kissing the old Chinese lady as we were leaving, telling her that I remembered her from 30 years ago when I was a London nanny and used to dine there.  I was talking clap-trap of course.  I have face-blindness at the best of times and there's no way I would be able to tell one old Chinese bird from another.  She had probably only been working there for a week.

The next day I discovered this strange picture on my 'phone which seems to suggest that I was also in the kitchen at some point.  I like the balancing plank.

Tomorrow I will tell of how we missed the fireworks at the Buckingham Palace do because we were feasting on the Edgeware Road.  In years to come we will all look back on our grand trip to London for the Jubilee and think, "We were there.  Sort of."  Thank God for the BBC  Jubilee Highlights special.

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