Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Yesterday, my friend Dani and I had scheduled a London lunch date in the diary for a long overdue catch up.

She recently went travelling for two months to the USA, Australia and Thailand, so I couldn't wait to hear all about her adventures (and about how many giant spiders she saw in Aus, out of terrified curiosity!)

Getting the tube in to central London took me right back to my commuter days when I was working in Waterloo - it was so familiar, like I'd never even been away from it.

When we arrived at Covent Garden, we made a reservation at Bill's before having a quick browse around the shops and surrounding side streets. With the Christmas lights still up, it all felt so festive!

It felt so good to be back in London. Even though I worked in Waterloo for three years, I never made the effort to go and explore my capital city. My weekends were my escape from commuting, so my trains in and out of London during the week were the only real times I would visit. I loved the Southbank, but it made such a nice change to see a different part of London. Covent Garden has such a great buzz to it.

Freezing cold, we ducked in to Bill's to find our reserved table and escape the winter weather outside. Bill's is colourful and vibrant, with flamboyant staff and a hearty menu.

To start, the tzatziki and hummus for Dani, and the mini honey & grain mustard Cumberland sausage for me (still on my pork buzz!)

For mains, we both opted for a warming dish of butternut squash mac 'n' cheese. And it was here, that in standard Holly fashion, my camera ran out of battery. I really need to get my head around this charging lark.

All caught up on life, loves, and plans for our years ahead, we headed back out into the cold and made our way to Knightsbridge to take a walk around Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park.

I was so excited to finally be visiting Winter Wonderland! It seems to epitomise the festive period, and is the perfect Christmas (or post-Christmas!) outing for friends and couples alike.

We took a walk along the Serpentine, and then browsed the many food and drinks chalets in search of mulled wine and chocolate crepes. In the end, we settled for a bag of ridiculously sugary, fresh hot doughnuts and a mulled wine for Dani (I would be drinking later that evening, so I wanted to save my head!)

I had such a lovely day, and came home feeling ridiculously festive. It was so nice catching up with Dani after four months of not seeing her. She's planning to move to Australia for a year in 2015 so I hope that next time I pop back to the UK, we get another chance to squeeze in a meet up before she jets off on her next adventure!

Dani dropped me home, and before long a knock on the door signalled the arrival of my old boss Mossy from ITV (who also moved out to Doha for a spell before moving back to the UK for an exciting job opportunity), and his lovely wife Julia.

We had a great evening catching up over Asti, vodka, and Baileys shots. I wouldn't be where I am today without Mossy so any chance I get to have a catch up with him is always so welcome.

A wonderful second day spent in fabulous company!

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