This was a busy, busy morning, since I was booked in London but there was mass confusion at the HC-UK office and no client visits were scheduled and hence I was being seriously stressed out by Heather, but some IMs between Alan and I, cleared up things nicely. A call from Scott also helped to realign things quickly and it was decided that I would go to Exeter to meet the UK team a bit early. Hotels were cancelled and rebooked, new train arrangements were made. By this time after everything, it was about noon. So of course, called up Fiona and Nerissa and made plans. Now I try not to be indecisive about things and im not indecisive about plans, but Fiona spent 3 hours trying figure out her plan, when I knew the plan was Oxford Street for some shopping…. Well I didn’t know Oxford Street but I knew shopping.
Eventually we went out for shopping, ended up at a very nice Spanish restaurant for Tapas and Sangria. A delightful combination indeed! Nerissa joined us at the middle of the meal. With my assistance, they ordered the Artichokes (whch I would eat in a second but they tried they wouldn’t try it, and a awesome scallop, pancetta and monkfish skewer. Quite tasty, if I do say so myself; with this great tomato and anchovy sauce. Im not an anchovy fan per se, but this sauce gave me great ideas for something different. In fact, this whole trip with all the Arabic and Middle Eastern flavours, it has really perked my cooking interests.
So after this nice meal and drinks, there was the consequent buzz in mind from the 3 pitchers of sangria, we proceeded to walk down Oxford Street for laughs and a trip to the Gelateria : Strawberry for me!!! Then back to the apartment at Vauxhall. Quick nap and we decided to head out for shisha. Now there has been a lot of Shisha in the last 4 months… 3 times, which is a lot for moi, seeing as though I don’t smoke at all. So the plan was to head to a Lebanese bar that served shisha… I didn’t know it was a Lebanese restaurant, else I actually might have vetoed, given all the Arabic food I had in Israel – but this would have been a mistake.
The food was excellent, with some great shish taouk, and of course seeing that the girls never really had lots of Lebanese food before, it was nice for me to play food guide for them… so I did all the ordering: Tabouleh, Falafel, Shish Taouk plate with Zata, Spicy Merguez, Lahem B’agine, Hummus, Moussaka and of course tons of pitas and drinks. This was a lot of food, but the main entertainment was the people watching and the belly dancing. Those belly dancers would be awesome back home, no doubt. There were two girls who pretty much rocked the house, and one girl would have done a West Indian winer girl proud for sure. Took a couple a videos of the Belly Dancers, I had seen a couple Belly Dancers before, but these two girls were awesome.
We didn’t end up doing any shisha, since the restaurant didn’t have a license but it didn’t matter, we had an awesome time. So grabbed a cab and headed back to the apartment till I had to leave at 4.30am for Paddington Station to head to Exeter.