i was defeated you won the war…

By amy ~ August 24th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

And a fine time was (hopefully) had by all, especially me, having spent the latter part of last week in one of the plushest and most comfortable hotels I have ever had the good fortune to encounter being unashamedly spoilt rotten by my favourite London gentlemen, as well as a few very welcome new faces (who are in for a shock if they visit again in more normal surroundings, although I will admit to feeling slightly homesick for my usual Pimlico base; missing mugs, hit and miss TV channels and all).

I have been taken out for dinner three nights in a row, including a much looked-forward-to thank you trip to Pizza Express by one of our SAAFE ladies, the improbably gorgeous Marilyn (whose site is apparently playing funny buggers, so impatient readers will unfortunately have to take my word for it) who in the most thoughtful way possible and knowing I was having a busy few days, turned up laden with chocolate, crisps and cereal bars which frankly, I would have struggled without the following day. I forget exactly the logic I was using when deciding to book for three nights instead of my usual four, bearing in mind that I was getting the special ‘opening’ rate on aforementioned smart hotel, but it will not be happening again, at least not when staying anywhere with a memory foam mattress which whilst not favoured by everyone, elicits a response in me similar to that of chloroform and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that much of the little free time I had was spent not in the hotel pool, spa or the twenty-four hour gym, but fast asleep.

Special mention must also go to my daytime gentlemen, whose contributions ranged from a desirably posh lunch in the delightfully appointed County Hall restaurant nearby, to hot cross buns in bed with one of my enduring favourites and finally *fanfare* my lengthy wait for a ride on the LondonEye (and see above) was over thanks to the kindness of yet another, who not only patiently pointed out landmarks and assisted with alighting/disembarking (they don’t stop) but also sat across a table from me and my favourite virtually-raw steak without visibly cringing and happily explained the ins and outs of an iPad to the extent that even I, normally a staunch Apple detractor was (and still am) almost tempted; I did say almost. And the LondonEye ought to be compulsory.

I have whiled away an evening which went altogether far too fast over some of my other (the list is not short) favourites – crispy chilli squid in Wagamama, proper mojitos in the hotel bar, and cosy, comfortable conversation with my handsome partner-in-crime for tapas on my last visit (who I would be equally happy with drinking Frosty Jack on a park bench, but apparently Boris has put a stop to that type of thing much the same as the powers that be have in Scarborough). And all of this is before even taking into account the ‘other’, more traditional fun stuff of which there was naturally plenty and has left me with a few bruises, matted hair and a silly grin which has lasted all weekend.

Last but not least, I stopped at the lovely Hummingbird Bakery for coffee and cupcakes with the fabulous Kinky La Rue, one of the founders of SAAFE and a warm, engaging and very sexy lady indeed; we have not met before, but I very much hope we will meet again, and next time I will not be too shy to ask if she wants that last bit of red velvet cake. The ensuing girly chat landed me with a mad (and ultimately futile) dash to Kings Cross and a sixty quid bill for another train ticket – worth every penny, although now I remember why I loathe trying to negotiate London on a weekend and the news that both the Jubilee and Circle lines were shut did not exactly make my day. I finally returned home just in time for Saturday night’s X-factor, and promptly fell asleep in front of it which was probably for the best, all things considered. Back in November, if not before…

A triumphant and unrestrained homecoming trolley-shop around Marks and Spencer on Sunday afternoon was enough to wear me out once again, although the smug knowledge that the fridge was properly stocked and also that they are now selling proper sweets in tiny bags (anybody who saw a thirty seven year old woman joyfully scooping Rhubarb and Custards and Rosy Apples into her otherwise fairly virtuous and health-conscious trolley – yes, that was me) was excitement enough after such a busy few days, and I am definitely taking it easy this week. As far as the coming days go, availability will be limited and advance bookings only will be considered; having not been near the gym for a week I am intending to throw myself back in with enthusiasm and aplomb, plus I still have an entire box set of The Wire to watch which will limit availability further since it’s somewhat addictive, I’m told. And I have a fridge full of M&S snacky things, which necessitate grazing and thus take longer to eat than proper meals.

I will be in Scarborough now for three weeks before (finally) this years break at Champneys, and for another three after that before my trip to Jersey, so plenty of time to catch up, and as ever, all things come to those who wait. For now the most important and pressing decision I have to make is between 3 for £5 deli items; healthy (roast salmon flakes, tiger prawns, peppered mackerel) or comforting (pork pies, cocktail sausages, ham hock terrine). So far I am, predictably, leaning towards both.

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