Today was stellar. Woke up late––almost 10, which was reflective of the fitful back sore sleep. I feel I need to state where the responsibility lay lest the bed should feel guilty. If ever a bed should be off the hook, it’s this bed. This bed of comfort, this bed of cosy, this bed of sink. So bed is exonerated. Thank you, bed.
I headed out around noon leaving husband to his bath and very very full day of rehearsals, wardrobe and live audience shoot.
I set off to explore the area around our hotel, the old and grand Langham. The hotel supplied me with an audiotape and earbuds for my sojourn. The tape lasted exactly ten minutes before it conked out, but here is what I gleaned about the Langham. The site of the hotel was originally the private country home (yes, country) of the third Lord Foley in 1797. He secured an undertaking in perpetuity from the landowner, the Duke of Portland, that no future building would block his view northbound from his home of Regent Park. This resulted in Portland Place being the widest street in London today. It is home to many embassies and upscale law offices and businesses of the schmansy ilk. In 1814, the architect John Nash bought the entire kit and caboodle when bossy Lord Foley (no relation to Dave) went bankrupt. The hotel had its original opening on Saturday June 10th, 1865. The Langham was now London’s biggest and finest hotel and its claims include the very first “rising room” (lift-elevators) in the world. It would take me fifty blogs to describe all the firsts, ups, downs, fires, renos that took place in the Langham, but it is wonderful to stay here and be a part of her grand history. Better than a swank white boutique hotel any old day. Some of the noted guests and residents of this hotel have included Marie Louise De La Ramee, Oscar Wilde, Sir Richard Burton (the explorer––not of Liz), Algernon Swinburne the poet, Robert Browning, Sir John MIllais the artist, Lord Lytton the politician, Wilkie Collins the author, William Allingham the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Twain the author, Colin Mochrie the improvisor and Deb McGrath the blogger. The last two were left out of both the book and the audiotape due to a horrendous error in judgment. I mean, Mark Twain??? COME ON!
|The bookstore I went into to buy The Little Princess. Who's this guy?????|
So this ends my tasting sampler of the Langham and the blog continues from this point with my day.
I did the area of Marylebone, which is very near the hotel, very posh and very charm charm charming! What isn’t here? I did some shopping, I won’t lie to you. I bought two pairs of shoe/booties and a pair of slippers. A casual dress, a blouse, a wallet and a scarf. But the area is so wonderful that I could have just window-shopped. LIES. Good one. Almost bought that myself. Then I was off to Regent’s Park for a long stroll. The last shop I was in offered to keep my packages for me so I did not have to return to the hotel before exploring the park, so that was awesome. The park was dressed for fall but still clinging to its summer finery. I could have walked for days but my stiff and aching back was a constant reminder of each step I trod.
|R.P. Merman and mermaids––look at the algae!|
|Late October. Are you kidding me?|
But the best better bestest part of my day was wrapped up in conquering a hate/fear/discomfort of mine. I was determined that I was going to face it and I did. I ATE ALONE––twice. Lunch and dinner. Lunch was soooooooooooo good. It was at a bistro called La Fromagerie and it was stupendous. It combines meats and or cheeses and fruits with wine pairings. Going back with my husband to this one! Charm personified. And I did not rush. I lingered. I did not bury my face in a book. I owned it. I looked around. I drank in the ambiance, hoisting a nice Barolo in my paw and I smiled at people, unashamed of the fact that I was at a “one top”.
|Lunch––gorgonzola, pear, salad perfect wine.|
|Chairs you can rent by the hour, day or season. Wow!|
|A delightful little shop. The owners pup sleeping in a window that says:|
Music, Japanese tea and Sweets. Dogs are very welcome.
|Queen Mary's Gates leading to the inner circle of her gardens.|
The best moment of this Deb-in-progress occurred tonight for dinner when I went to a very charming tiny Italian restaurant near the hotel that Colin and I had been eyeing. When I walked in, the owner was crestfallen to see that I was on my own––translation: girl meal. Bad tip. He attempted to sit me in the corner by the drafty door and I went there, as is my wont. Suddenly I turned to him and said, “Excuse me, is that table by the window taken?” YES I PEED A LITTLE. He said, “No, but we are booked up later for the entire night.” I said (A DRIBBLE MORE), “I will only be about an hour and I would love to have that table to people-watch, as I am alone.” Yes, it’s true, I said “as I am alone.” Working the Jane Eyre vibe and might have even affected an accent, can’t be sure. Seemingly in a trance, he lead me to the good table by the window. And I sat there, tickled pink with myself, if not a tad damp.
Left the restaurant and headed to the hotel where I got an amazing massage to help my injured back. Sadly (did not think of this) that I am so badly bruised from my chiro and massage therapists attempts that he could not work on the exact area. But. Or I should say BUTT, he worked around it. And I feel wonderful. Waiting for my husband to come home from the first taping! I chose to give him one taping for free, as it were, but I will be back here tomorrow with a full report of “Trust Us With Your Life”. A great day. Solitary, it’s true. But I get on so splendidly with me so ... it’s good.