Troy and I have happily made every effort to explore London with baby in tow, but there is something refreshing about sitting in a restaurant without a pile of breadcrumbs at your feet or little hands grabbing the cucumbers off your plate and an evening of entertainment that involves no pitiful “Mawah”s or sweet whimpers from the next room over.
As if all of their walks in the park with E, gourmet breakfasts and diaper changes weren’t enough of a break and blessing, my dear parents also encouraged Troy and me to take a night off while they were in town. We eagerly agreed to spend Friday evening in the city at dinner and the theater.
We have been fans of Jamie Oliver’s for a while and curiosity had us booking a reservation at his restaurant, Jamie’s Italian Kitchen, in Piccadilly Circus. Initially hoping to take in a new view of the town from the rooftop deck on a gorgeous summer evening, the afternoon downpour caused a slight change of plans. We grabbed a table inside instead and were still able to indulge in the Crab & Avocado Bruschetta, yummy Squid Ink Pasta, and a delicious prosciutto and sage drenched steak before the show. Troy and I would definitely head back for the tasty food, however, the atmosphere was a little more touristy and casual than expected.
Theater tickets for the “greats” like Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis were no longer available by the time we got our act together, but we ultimately opted to go with a different piece of history and scheduled a thrilling evening with Agatha Christie at the St. Martin’s Theater. We caught performance #25,677 of “The Mousetrap,” the longest running show in the world. The play’s milestones have been celebrated by everyone from young Agatha Christie fans to the royal family! (It was such a special occasion, Troy even hired a Rolls Royce for the evening! Just kidding. We’ll keep dreaming about that day…)
After the show, we headed north to end the evening with the most mouthwatering dessert that came to mind…authentic French crepes from a famous local institution – La Creperie de Hampstead. It is a small food stall that has served crepes to the community for more than 30 years. Locals, tourists and even celebrities (Ashton Kutcher was spotted here earlier this summer among others) form lines down the street and around the corner, regularly waiting 30-45 minutes before digging into the perfectly balanced ooey-gooey deliciousness of the sweet and savory crepes. Two dark Belgian chocolate and banana crepes for us, please! Yum.
It’s easy to forget the importance of a good date night when every weekend is spent doing our favorite things with baby anyway, but we quickly adjusted to the pleasures of a real conversation and the ability to sit in a quiet room without having to pull out back up plans A, B, and C to keep E quiet while simultaneously trying to take in an experience. Thanks for the night off, Mom and Dad! Now on to finding that babysitter so we can enjoy the rest of the shows London has to offer…