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03 February 2014

Brick Lane, Taylor Swift, and Covent Garden

As has been our custom on the weekends, we went out again this weekend in search of interesting markets and good food.
First thing Saturday morning, though, Georgia's hockey (field hockey is just called hockey here) team had a game.  We dressed warmly for the game, but not nearly warm enough! We were freezing!!  It was fun to watch Georgia as she is learning to play a completely new sport, and she even scored a goal, although her team didn't win.


After returning to our apartment and putting on even more warm clothing, we headed out for more adventures!  This weekend, we decided to head out to Brick Lane, an area known for good Indian food. There is a Brick Lane market, but it is held on Sundays, and we visited on Saturday. So, I am sure we will venture out that way again soon.

We took the tube to a nearby stop and walked toward Brick Lane. We found an Indian restaurant that looked promising, so we stopped in for lunch. It was delicious. There was a set menu of a starter (appetizer) and entree and you could choose between several selections for each course. We ordered four meals and tried one of each of the starters and entree selections. We were not disappointed. All were very tasty.  One was particularly spicy, but the rest were mild but very flavorful. I wish I could tell you all of the names of the dishes, but sadly, I cannot.  We did order one of my favorites, Chicken Tikka Masala, and it was very good.  We also tried Indian beer that was good too.

The menu was interesting. Of course the girls wanted to know what "flatulence" is.

Look who lost another tooth!
We were all members of the "clean plate club"

After lunch, we started walking around some and found food stalls that looked interesting for a future visit, and some craft stalls.  The craft stalls were very neat, but most had signs demanding no pictures be taken, so I cannot show you those.

Next time, I am going to find out what a "fast dumpling" is!

We also saw lots of neat street graffiti type murals and took some pictures of the girls in front of those.

We headed back down brick lane and ventured off onto a side street toward Spitalfields and found more food trucks and a really cool vintage double decker bus, decorated with photos of Taylor Swift's Ked advertising. We went over and asked what it was all about and were told that it was a promotional thing for the Taylor Swift concerts this weekend and next, and inside girls would be getting glamour photographs taken, make jewelry, have manicures and cupcakes.  We were told it was all free and that they had room if we would like to go inside. The girls were so excited and we went in.


Later, we found out that it was for contest winners and the others who were participating had all won the opportunity to be there and were scheduled in advance to come for a particular time slot. So, it was really, really lucky that the girls got to do it!

They started off by taking the girls photographs and asking them what was one thing they would like to do in 2014. Their answers were hilarious!

After their photographs were taken, they were turned into "magazine covers". And we took home 8x10 size print outs of them.

Next came cupcakes and drinks, and then the girls went upstairs in the bus to make bracelets.

The bus got quite crowded after that, so Sophia was the only one who got a manicure. Red fingernails with tiny white hearts painted on. She was so tickled with her manicure, she basically held her hands up showing it off for the next hour!

Last, but not least, the girls were each given a goody bag filled with free stuff. They were truly on Cloud 9! What a neat experience that we just stumbled on!

After the Taylor Swift adventure, we went back to our apartment, but before we did, we stopped off at a little cafe and purchased quiche for the girls for dinner and a meringue treat for them to share for dessert. They chose the meringue out of all of the other options because they remembered how much they love Jen Michalski's meringue cookies!

On Sunday morning, we relaxed a bit and in the early afternoon, we decided to go to Covent Garden. It was really crowded and really neat!

 Go large?? Yes please.

This building scaffolding is covered up by a drape so it looks pretty while its being worked on.

There were lots of street performers here. The girls really like the ones painted all in gold.  There were several that appeared to be floating above the ground. They, of course, were just illusions, but the balancing they were doing was impressive, nonetheless.

These people were doing a 48 hour row-a-thon for charity. They were taking turns and trading off, but they had been rowing for 46 hours already!


Yoda was a huge hit with my Star Wars lovin' girls!

We wandered around the market area, which features some upscale shops and cafes.  We looked around some craft stalls, but really didn't see much in the way of crafts that we admired.

We popped into a really neat store that sells coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, and samples all of the above. We sampled tea and hot chocolate, and the hot chocolate was so delicious, we bought some to take home!  I hope we can make it taste as good as the samples were!

After we wandered around Covent Garden a bit, we decided to walk to the Bloomsbury section of London (about 20 minutes) to a playground that we had read about. It was a good playground and the girls really enjoyed themselves and got really muddy!  Then, we headed home on the tube.  The girls have gotten really used to traveling by tube and are getting more familiar with some of the stations that we use regularly. 

On our walk, we ran across this building and thought it was really cool. It is Freemasons' Hall. The girls posed for pictures in front.

They even have the hang of making use of only having one seat available for them!

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