From Friday evening all the way through to Sunday afternoon we visited places I would wholeheartedly recommend. So if you're planning a trip, or want to tuck any of these recommendations into your back pocket, here are some of the gems...
Day One, Friday. Dinner & Drinks
I realised when I came home, and thought about what a great weekend it was, that having a friend who lives in London and knows all the hot spots was most likely the reason why we had such an epic time. It takes any duds out of the equation! Our first instruction was to buy an oyster card when we arrived at the tube station in Liverpool Street, and after that it was plain sailing.
We left our first night in Chris's discerning hands, who was already at the restaurant waiting with the table (and the bubbles!) when we rolled in with our bags.
J Sheekey Fish & Sea Food Restaurant was where our weekend kicked off, and what a wonderful start...
Aproned waiters buzzed around efficiently; charming and friendly, but with that professional formality that comes from working in a long-established, upmarket restaurant.
A plate of oysters and half a pint of Atlantic prawns for three seafood-loving ladies was an obvious start. The oysters were delicious; sweet and juicy with that little kick of saltiness at the end. We really should have ordered more.. A great excuse to go back! And the prawns; fresh and tasty, with a delicious dipping sauce served on the side.
We followed this with a fantastic fish pie, and razor clams for Chris. The pie was moorish, luscious, gratifying - a perfect choice after we'd worked up quite an appetite lugging our bags from the airport.
We chatted non-stop and planned some of the things we wanted to fit in over the weekend. The Champagne Life exhibition in the Saatchi Gallery, a cocktail in Duck & Waffle, maybe a visit to Cahoots - a speakeasy on Kingly Court. So much to do, so little time!
We skipped dessert, wrapped ourselves up and headed across the road to Mr. Fogg's Gin Tavern where we climbed the stairs and opened the door into a gin-lovers paradise!
Rows and rows of gin line the shelves...
Over 300 to be exact. I had no idea there were so many!
A range of tonics...
And an amazing bar area where the gin-oisseur prepares gin cocktails or a perfect combination of botanicals to enhance the natural flavours of a G+T.
I choose "Berkeley Square", a London gin - well I had to really, didn't I?!
A blossomy gin with hints of juniper, basil, lime, bitter orange and lavender.
Fever-Tree tonic was added next.
Then it was time for some ingredients to take this gin to another level...
Rose petals, lavendar, kaffir lime leaves and a slice of lime.
Absolute perfection. Mine tasted very floral (possibly from all the lavender and rose petals in there!) while Christine's "Uppercut" was more spicy and earthy. Rachel assured us that the cocktails were amazing too!
We took our drinks back to our spot and spent the rest of the night nattering before the excitement of the day caught up with us and it was time for an Uber home.