I’ve been in London from last Sunday to this Sunday. Which is the longest I’ve been here in years, not counting Christmas. Most of this time has been spending time with my new teammates, especially the international ones. Which has meant lots of socialising, but also sneaking in some things that count as tourism. It’s been nice to walk these streets, and engage with the history of the city.
On Monday we got taken to Jack the Chipper for a British dinner. I then lead us to Box Park, where we had the ID/Membership/Digital Tracking dance to get in. Also very London.
Tuesday was the office warming. Stayed late!
On Wedsnesday we sent to the Sky Garden on Fenchurch Street. It’s a beautiful view. The city is very lit up at night, and we all got swept away with it. Then we went across town to Soho to pick a restaurant between the sex shops. Then wandered through Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square. I took the role of guide, almost knowing my way exactly, and being very rusty with my history.
Thursday someone suggested the “old London boozer” Princess of Prussia. Which we followed up by a BYOB Pakistani restaurant the Lahore Kebab House. Food was good and service was fast, once we got seated. But it was utter chaos! Then to Islington for a drink, before heading I suggested The Lexington for a late one. Which turned into three. Still a good shout. Going clubbing at Corsica in Elephant and Castle didn’t seem like the best idea, but whatever give the visitors the night they want. The main room was doing a decent job of mashing up thirty years of pop hooks with house beats. The second room was underground garage and wonky beats that had the space for introspective rapping. Very London in the way that early Kano and Burial have the city in them. Even Shazam didn’t know what was what. Then back to the flat of the one Londoner, until it was time to go to the office (no, seriously). They were an excellent host! Of course 5am gin was on the cards, but the chai, hot chocolate, and pancakes were something special.
Friday was a half-day, fortunately. A day of many naps. Said goodbye to my teammates, and checked-in to the next hotel for the weekend. Then a quiet romantic meal at Dishoom.
The weekend also was full on social. Did a bookshop crawl with some other book nerds and retired to the pub for some good conversation. And on the way home, we stopped off in Reading to catch up with some old friends for lunch and afternoon catch-up.
It’s been full-on as a week, but it’s not been a grind. A lot of eating out helps recover the time needed to do the rest of these things. And, working, socialising, and sleeping with the same group of people gives a coherent focus to what this time was for. And none of that time travelling was really commuting, which opened up the space for appreciating the ground on which we walked.