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24 June 2015

london | when erica met char

on saturday, an amazing thing happened. i got to meet another internet friend, in real life. for months, char and i have been talking about a meet up in london, and all the fun we would have, so a few weeks ago she made it a reality by buying herself a day ticket to the big smoke. it was really happening, and i had to make it worth her while. she was heading down from her neck of the woods on the first train out, and planned to not head back until near on ten pm. so much pressure to make her trip worthwhile, and ~try to not burn us both out in the mean time.

thankfully she had made some plans of her own, and headed off to fabric shop with some other twitter friends before ~aiming to meet me under the shard at 12:30. i say ~aiming, because our char managed to misjudge the london underground and when she fiiinally turned up, i'd managed to head into borough market, line up for and drink a coffee at monmouth, and pick up some more tape for my poor fingers. when i located her in our agreed meeting spot with the lovely giulietta in tow, we three decided to forgo the wander around borough market (i'd already done that without them!), and head straight for brunch as we were all starrrrrved.

we headed to the table in southwark off the back of a tops recommendation from both miss west end girl and guy who were hanging out in london recently, and we totally ended up there expecting a massive line. it was after 1pm on a saturday, there definitely was going to be a line, yes? well... surprisingly, no. not a single line to be seen, so we were seated and ordering pink lemonades within minutes. i went for a giant american pancake, while gi went for a dessert waffle and char for a delicious-looking breakfast bruschetta. the food was amazing, would recommend.

after brunch we said goodbye to gi and made our way to waterloo's tourism central for the next item on our day's agenda: a london duck tour. char had been lucky enough to win two tickets and been able to book to use them the day she was meeting me - such fun! having lived in the city for almost five years now, and having been on a couple of london tours now, there's no chance i would have ever bought a ticket myself - certainly not because i don't think those big dumb buses are totally interesting and totally terrifying, but because... tourists are awful. 

i reckon i know a fair bit about this city, thanks to the numerous walking tours i have been on in my time, but i definitely learnt quite a bit more on this one. because of the anti-austerity protest and west end live, and other such mass-gatherings across the city, the traffic was terrible. instead of head into westminster as the plan suggested, we went on an alternate tour of the city of london, down into southwark, and then to vauxhall pier where... we then drove straight into the water.

at 2.5m below sea level, we were waaaaay closer to the thames than i ever expected us to be, and - typically, as soon as we hit the water, the heavens opened and it raaaained like it had never rained before. the water became choppier than before, and waves started to crash against the bus. we were... ill prepared for the extreme weather, and pretty keen to get back on dry land. thankfully, the tour ended shortly after that, and we trudged, soggily, to find some coffee to recharge our batteries (figuratively and literally) before meeting up with mike and his pals from leeds, to eat all the meat.

street feast's newest location - dinerama at shoreditch yard, is the closest one to me to date. it's literally sat opposite the 'adore and endure' street art in shoreditch, and an easy walk from old street and shoreditch high street stations - excellent for getting me home from, that's for sure! as we were walking to the festival, there were some #burgerbastards trying to hawk their own burgers out of the pub they'd popped up in that week; when we'd said we were headed to street feast, the assholes pointed us in the wrong direction just to throw us off...jerks! maps was telling us we were in the right place, but a quick s.o.s to mike had us back on track in no time. those damn burger bastards! we were so close, those sneaky, sneaky assholes!

within minutes we were sat with the northern crew, pork belly burgers from busan in hand, and gin cocktails from the bar in front of us; we were in our meaty element. mere moments after finishing round one, it was time to go back in - it would have been rude to only try one stall, so we then hit up bbq lab to share a serving of baby-back ribs. totally delictible and cooked to perfection, the ribs hit the nail on the head, and with one extra g+t to tip me over the edge, it was time to call it a day. char headed back to the train for her long jounrey home, the leeds crew headed back to walthamstow to spend the night drinking gin in an underground bar, and i went home to take off my tights and nurse my meaty belly.

all in all, i'd say that #charandericadayoffun was an overhwhelming success. 
come back soon char!

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