I recently took L down to London for the day ahead of her 11th birthday. We had a sleepover at the Natural History Museum booked in so I wanted something not too tiring to do in the day. I always remember my Mum taking me to Covent Garden. When I was a little bit older than L I was chosen to represent my year at an event I have now forgotten, but I really remember that our Headteacher took us to Covent Garden for dinner. Food and theatre have always been huge passions of mine. I remember sneaking into pubs there on a sixth form outing too. One day this one will be exploring cities without me…
So we whiled away an afternoon, mooching around shops, sitting down to watch street theatre and ALWAYS paying the hard working entertainers for their craft. Street Theatre was one of my favourite modules when I studied drama at Hull. I love that it brings theatre and entertainment to everyone, it is such a leveller and a happy place. This guy staged a ballet with the audience and had brilliant stage presence and comebacks for the rowdy drunks in the pub balcony above him.
This guy was slightly risqué and edgy, played a partygoer with a hangover who’d been mistaken for a magician, and started the performance by tripping over his case and throwing up (just water), but his playing down of his ability made his awesome magic skills shine all the more.
This guy had some serious energy and juggling skills…
And top marks again for juggling and audience participation with knives skills…caught them in mid air here:
I was really impressed with just how much street theatre there was to see and how much it caught L’s imagination. We spent more time on this than shopping, which I was really happy with. Although we had started with Lush on Oxford Street, 3 floors of tween (and her Cosmetic to Go fan Mum) heaven.
As a treat we had take away hot chocolate and chai lattes and French macaroons. In my defence we tried to find a coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks, but they didn’t have a toilet, so given we had a chat about the value of supporting independents and street performers instead.
Then it was time to wander over to China Town for tea. I asked for recommendations on facebook and New World and Plum Valley got the most shout outs. Mr A wanted us to go to Wong Kei, which I think is the one we went to years ago that specialises in comedy rudeness to customers, but I didn’t think it was the best place to go for a first Chinese in London.
We stumbled on Plum Valley first and it was incredible, the food was so so so good. Only thing I would perhaps say is the interior is very contemporary and swish and perhaps we were after a more ‘authentic’ looking and slightly more relaxed first Chinese restaurant experience, but we soon settled in and once the food arrived forgot to feel intimidated. Especially when the couple next to us clearly had no idea how to order Dim Sum either. I’m veggie so we stuck to the menu, but next time I will be braver/take Mr A and fathom that.
Then it was onto the Natural History Museum for our Airbnb Dino Snores sleepover…