Early this week, my parents touched down in London after spending the previous week exploring Ireland. They were a welcome sight. We spent A LOT of time eating. We dined at a top Indian restaurant, some small coffee shops, a traditional pub, and a Thai pub. I found it interesting that, in London, pubs owned by Thai people and that specialize in Thai cuisine are somewhat analogous to Greek diners in America. Our indulgence reached a peak last night after dinner in Chinatown, dessert in Knightsbridge, and finally a martini-making lesson back at my parent’s hotel. Our teacher, who was voted as making the best martini in London in November 2012, provided the whole nine yards: drinks, snacks, olives, and jokes. Now I will share with you how to prepare a classic martini – stirred, not shaken. Start with a frosted martini glass. Add a bit of vermouth, just a one-second pour. Next, fill the glass to the rim with chilled, high-quality gin. For the final touch, slice off a bit of lemon peel and hold the peel over the glass. Crack the peel lengthwise to release the lemon flavor and place it in the martini.Voilà, now you can make the best martini in London!
Food and drink have not been the only point of indulgence for my parents and me this week. We also had the pleasure of seeing The Book of Mormon in Piccadilly Circus. It was hysterical. This afternoon we are going to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. The theater is gorgeous. On Tuesday, the Lafayette students enrolled at Goldsmiths, our professor and his family, and I took a tour of the Globe Theater and saw a presentation of Macbeth. For you Lord of the Rings fans out there: The actor who plays Pippin (Billy Boyd) played a leading role in Macbeth. The experience at the Globe is really unlike any other theater. About 600 people stand around the stage; they get so close they lean up against it. Surrounding the “groundlings” are three stories of elevated seats, topped by a thatched roof. The rest of the theater is open air, so I am praying for clear skies today as my parents and I will be situated in the open-air standing section. The location of the Globe is not where the original was, which burned down. The Globe is now against the bank of the Thames, next to the Millennium Bridge. While the constructors of the Globe strove to keep it as close to the original as possible, some aspects were just not possible, such as the grass ground and the Winchester Geese, which I will leave up to you to research.
As beautiful as the Globe Theater was, it was not the most spectacular sight of the week. My parents and I took a day trip to the Kensington Gardens, where we saw the Prince Albert Theater and the monument dedicated to him. These structures were breathtaking. I don’t consider myself a great photographer and these pictures surely do not do the landmarks justice, but the beauty of these dedications to Prince Albert is clear. A final interesting fact about Albert: he was German.