So, as I said in my previous post, on Thursday I made the trip to London to see the fabulous “see it, don’t Google it” Teenage Dick. It’s a routine I have become quite practised in since I moved to Newcastle, and there are days when it works wonderfully – when the trains and tubes all run on time, and London unfolds itself like a cat wanting a belly rub, glad of my attention; there are days when everything goes to hell and I get home at midnight feeling like I did an endurance test. Luckily, Thursday was one of the former days.
While I am still not a fan of the much-hyped Azuma trains – they seem more cramped and less comfortable than the trains they are replacing, and I feel like LNER’s constant attempts to convince us otherwise are just corporate gaslighting – the journeys both ways went smoothly enough, giving me time not just to enjoy the play but also to have a potter around Covent Garden.
It’s a neighbourhood I love, but not one I have spent a lot of time in over the last few years, partly because it’s impossibly busy at weekends, and partly because most of my pottering in London tends to be dictated by my theatre schedule, and I haven’t been to the Donmar for a while. So I wasn’t entirely surprised to see that while much of it remains the same, there were some changes – the most noticeable of which was Seven Dials Market, a foodie paradise that has opened right next to the Donmar. Unfortunately I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to eat there – there’s a dedicated cheese section that has my name on it – but I did have a delicious custard cake made my the lovely people at Wheelcake Island, and a mooch around the food-themed bookshop downstairs, which has tables where you can eat (and which you can hire out for parties – hello, birthday plans!).
After the play I was heading back to Kings Cross to meet my friend at Vinoteca, but had time to squeeze in a 20 minute session with the magnificently nimble-fingered folk at Walk In Backrub, in Neal’s Yard, which left me feeling loose limbed and more relaxed than I can remember being in months: just about ready to face those fecking Azuma seats again…