Friday, January 16, 2009

New Friends, Old Friends, Good Friends…in London

It’s been a quite a social week thus far. Monday I met up with Erin and had a quick dinner before my meeting at the UC-London Alumni House at Princi’s, a causal Milan-style bakery/café on Wardour Street in Soho. Londoners know that restaurateur Alan Yau is the brainchild behind the uber successful Wagamama noodle-chain, Yauatcha, Hakkasan, and Sake No Hana. One of his latest ventures with Rocco Princi is the establishment of Princi’s Bakery. Inside has a sleek design with communal tables. Great place to grab lunch of thick crusty pizza, quiches, salads, pastas, and desserts.

Afterwards, I hustled over to the California House to meet with Matthew Daines and some fellow UC alumni to plan social events for UC alumni residing in Greater London. Many of you know that I am a runner. Each year the California House participates in the British 10K Run as a fundraiser for a scholarship fund to bring UC students to the UK. Expressing my interest in the 10K run, I somehow got wheeled into coordinating the event in July. No big deal. After coordinating the IASTE conference, this sounds like a piece of cake. Anyone interested, please feel contact me! I’m actually excited, as I haven’t ran in a race in two years. Then I tubed over the Waterloo to have drinks with Keenan’s new friends that he met at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

New Friends in London:


It also turns out that my friend Howard, whom I met through my college roommate is in town on a month-long business trip. I haven’t seen him in five years; he was living in Seattle and recently moved back to SF. It was so nice to reconnect with old friends! He is staying up near Regent’s Park and works near Oxford Circus, so we met up for dinner Wednesday at Busaba Eathai (Thai) on Bird Street, which happens to be another Alan Yau establishment (I didn’t know it at the time I picked out the restaurant). Again, it has a nice atmosphere with communal tables and the food was good, but not spectacular. Quite busy for an early Wednesday evening. Keenan, however, raved about Yauatcha when he went with his friend back in November and is looking forward to going back. But we’ll save that for our favorite foodie friends when they visit London (you know who you are =D). Of course, we had to introduce Howard to British beer, also known as “bitter,” room temperature beer that is flat. I’ll pass on that and have the Chardonnay, please?

Old Friends in London:


On Thursday, Erin made her way to Clapham and we ventured to East London to check out the Spitalfield’s Market. We couldn’t let Erin leave without having proper “curry” – so dinner on Brick Lane it was! Thursday evening also happened to be Erin’s last night in London; drinks at The Alexander on Clapham Commons. Great fun hanging out with you Erin. Hope you enjoyed your time here and our place is always open for good friends and family. Bon Voyage!

Good friends lunching at Bierodrome (Belgian) in Clapham:



Walking near Liverpool Street:


Dinner of "curry" on Brick Lane:


Love, L.

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