The previous day, three out of ten of T-Rex’s jacket buttons had fallen off. This was frustrating as it was the first day wearing it after purchasing it at Oxford St. I had thrown out the receipt thinking that the chances of needing it in the next 11 days was pretty slim. So we decided to try to find a tailor to repair it. We had read several list of things to be prepared for before travelling, and not one mentioned pre-researching repair stores nearby where you are staying. T-Rex was anxious about it all evening and night tirelessly researching options for two. The first was only a ten minute walk away, but upon phoning them had a very terse woman with little English yelling not that she needs to see the item of clothing in question. The second was very pleasant and informed us it was 2 Pounds per button, but will take fives days to repair. With no other option, we decided to take it to the angry woman at The Arches.
We actually found the place after getting lost and stumbling upon it by accident. T-Rex was trembling in fear as we entered the hole-in-the-wall shop full of clothes and threads. The lady was actually quite kind, but with an abrupt and short outward demeanour. She also was charging the same rate of two Pounds a button, but said it would be ready in just twenty minutes. While the jacket was being repaired, we went in search for the next highest priority, a hearty breakfast. On the way we walked past a shoe repair shop. We noticed it because the original plan was to find a Mr. Minute-esque shop to use as a repairers, but this discovery is more relevant for tomorrow’s story. Our choices for breakfast was limited to two options for a full breakfast, the first was an Italian place and the second was a slightly dearer pub. I have several dining laws, like “only eat at a busy place because you know it’s good” and “only eat food that’s ethnicity matches the restaurant”. The latter rule applied here so we went to All Bar One pub.
The pub was fancier than our local Pig ‘n Whistle back home, with a nice decor and lit candles on every table (even though we were the only ones there). We order pancakes + bacon as well as a full English breakfast, you can guess who ordered what. What was amazing was that each of our meals came with a shot glass full of Smarties! Tanya went to check on the coat which was still not ready and returned to eat the delicious meal. Afterwards we collected the coat, the lady charging one pound less because of the delay (which was no skin off our back). Having purchased the tour bus for only two days, and not the three we had thought, we thought that we should utilise it for the last time.
We hoped into the bus on the Blue route, this is the fanciest route, taking you pass Kensington that has museums, the royal palace and Harrods. The experience felt much more relaxed without having to be somewhere at a set time, and we were smarter with our clothes layering so the cold didn’t affect us at all. We wanted to pretend to be rich and fancy so obviously we went into Harrods. As T-Rex and I walked in, we were confronted with dozens of high-end fashion shops. Prada, Tiffany, Gucci and so on, are not the places I generally buy from, so we quickly walked through, pretending that we belonged here.
The next room over had caviar and fancy fish, so we just continued walking, trying not to breathe the rancid fishy air. Finally we entered the general food area which we spent most of the time in here. There was a trend of having gold coated products of every day cooking basics, salt, pepper, popcorn etc. Obviously we bought gold sugar as a memento and to add some bling to our cooking. The next room was a bakery/carvery /Mexican/Asian fresh food court thing. Like Marc’s and Spencer, all big shops have places to eat embedded inside, but not like a Maccas and a KFC, delicious fresh and tasty meals at a slightly expensive price. Not wanting to eat a big lunch, I ordered a spicy sausage wrapped in pastry. It was amazing, T-Rex had a bite and was super jelly that she didn’t get one.
After sometime, we were worried that they would catch on to us and realise we were secretly bogans from down under, we decided to eject ourself before security could get a chance. We headed across the road to a Waitrose grocery store to see what was different and buy some supplies. We bought some dairy free puddings for little Rex and the cashier gave us some spoons when we checked out (such kindness and politeness). I think that is worth a mention, everyone is so polite and friendly. If someone accidentally bumps into you, they apologise to you, not glass you like back home. If someone realises they pushed into a queue, they apologies and go to the back of the queue, not tell you to f-off. So weird!
We headed back to our hotel room to get changed for The Lion King showing that night. Dressing in our Sunday best, we got the tube to Covenant Garden during peak time. This was the first time we had travelled at this time, and it was packed! We missed the first train as our Aussie bodies wouldn’t fit in the tiny tube full of busy London workers. We did manage to squeeze into the second and we were on our way. All the trains we had caught after our very first from the airport had been quite clean and smelt pleasant, not like the trains back home full of Ipswichians and school kids reeking of Lynx.
The plan was to get dinner nearby after collecting our tickets, but we were certainly not the only ones with this idea. There was two great pubs, cafês, Asian restaurants and more; but all fill to the brim. We were running out of time and needed to eat, so we caved and went into a Pret-a Manger. These are literally everywhere, literally! You can stand next to one and see the next a few stores down. I don’t understand why they are so popular, they aren’t cheap and the food isn’t great. We both got a Mac ‘n Cheese and ate it outside in the cold. We weren’t bothered by the current situation because we were so excited to see the award-winning Lion King.
We accidentally walked to the upper circle and the attendant quickly pointed out we were lowly stall seats. T-Rex and I bought some British mixed sweets and went to our seats; which were freakin awesome! We were only half a dozen rows back, on the aisle and could see everything. The show was amazing, I won’t go into too much detail as almost everyone I know has seen it already. Let me just say the costumes and music is amazing, it was so good I couldn’t believe they were singing live. Also I have always had a soft spot for story so it was a very emotional experience.
After the show we walked back in the brisk nighttime air to the tube station and caught one of the five elevators down the equivalent of fifteen stories to the platform (a really cool station). We then had a very quick walk back to the hotel and to sleep after a busy and fruitful day.