This year I couldn't think of a thing that Mike would like for a birthday present which seemed like enough of a present, so instead I decided to take him out for the day, and that day was yesterday. We got the train into London and then the tube to Piccadilly Circus and then had a lovely day out in the West End.
First up was lunch, at The Living Room, just off Regent Street. It was such a warm day they had the big windows at the front opened up, so we dined almost al fresco. I had a lovely rib-eye steak with chips and bearnaise source, and Mike and roasted belly pork, with slow-roasted tomatoes and chick peas. It's a fairly smart looking place, and rather nice for what is really a chain, even if the W1 version has its own different menu. Once you get downstairs and see the loos though it's rather eccentric! They've had to put signs up in order for you to spot the rather camouflaged doors, which fade into the walls with only a single lady's or gent's shoe above them to show the way. And then the cubicles are wallpapered in carpet, with shelves of books at the back, and Radio 4 piped in to listen to. Very very strange.
Anyway after lunch we went for a little walk through the backstreets between Regent Street and Shaftesbury Ave, pausing to watch and listen to a Falun Gong demonstration march. It was a lovely day, and we arrived at our next venue a bit early, so we ended up dozing in a churchyard park for half an hour, just chilled out, before heading over for the next and main event.
This was a pair of seats for the matinee performance of Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre. Neither of us had seen it before, or knew the story, and suffice to say we both ended up needing Mike's hanky, and there was a standing ovation for the cast. I don't think I can describe it, for I wouldn't do it justice, but it was wonderful. Just wonderful.
Rather emotionally drained (but in a good way) we left into the evening sunshine and wandered up Wardour Street through Soho. Sad to note that the Intrepid Fox pub is closed - Mike knew and liked it - we instead stopped for a drink across the road in the Ship, which had rather good music, so we were mildly put out to see the posted saying that by Westminster Council's conditions on the pub we weren't allowed to dance, though mostly just amused. I really do find it hard not to bop along to things a bit if standing in a pub though.
Last stop was for dinner, a short walk away up Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road to an italian called Camerinos. The menu sadly didn't have anything which quite managed to make Mike excited, but I think in the end he was happy with what he chose. My smoked goose breast for starter was probably the highlight, but with lovely prawns served shell-on with a garlic and chilli dressing for Mike, then salmon and ravioli, and finally chocolate and almond tart and tiramisu I think we were both very well fed. Then it was time to get the train home again, slowly via the Liverpool Street line due to engineering works, but life can't be perfect all the time, and otherwise it was a pretty near perfect day.