Rob: As the popular film tells us: the first rule of hundred pound weekend is that you spend £100.
The second rule is that anything unexpected that blows your budget to smithereens is not part of the weekend.
Hence, our £25 off-the-menu espresso martinis at Opium did not count. We drink a lot of these, and have certainly spent less for better quality ones. Then again, we can’t all be perfect 🙂
After the accidental espresso martini’s, Friday involved a trip to the cinema at Leicester Square. Normally a place to be avoided, we dived in to London’s trashiest Mecca of M&Ms, dodgy pubs and tax dodging street performers to watch Sausage Party; a laugh out loud film about food awaiting salvation in a supermarket. And copulation. But let’s not talk about that, it was very funny and I recommend that you go to see it! Alix had booked the tickets, which were £12.95 for two thanks to a special deal – and we dipped further into our budget by swinging by the Charing Cross branch of Itsu and getting a sharing sushi platter for dinner (£16), which was yammed in the comfort of our home.
Saturday involved the usual morning exercise; then we stopped at the excellent Mimi’s Deli at Oval to pick up a platter of meat and cheese (£12) dinner. If you have seen the deli counter at this place, you would understand our excitement and salivation!
Returning home and scrubbing up, we set off to Peckham to see the mirror maze we had read about in Time Out.
…After seeing the two and a half hour queue, we baulked and headed for a wander up the beautiful Bellenden Road, dipping in and out of the shops at a leisurely pace and stopping for coffee and a cake at Anderson & Co (£10) a cosy little coffee shop where we could sit outside and watch the world go by. Other worthy shops and restaurants up there include Artusi, an Italian restaurant with a daily changing menu in a cute setting – (definitely one for the future!), a number of beautiful clothes shops and the bookshop where we won an audiobook by smashing one of their difficult crossword clues!
Dinner was simply: Meat + cheese + wine = heaven in our books. We also watched the last night of the proms, as we had been away when it was on, except this time we didn’t build a fort to watch it in (that was last year, and it was the best.fort.EVER – see Alix’s top 5 dates post).
Sunday we hit up Crystal Palace for a wander, marching up Gypsy Hill for the spectacular views from the top over London.
We stopped for more coffee and cake at Dalhousie (£15), a cafe bistro with a very good selection – especially their crack biscuits, so called because they are as addictive as their namesake (no lie here). This was followed by a trawl round many of the nik-nak and vintage shops, stopping to enjoy a lot of the odd finds!
We then went for a wander around the amazing Crystal Palace park and grounds, pausing to admire a beautiful rainbow, and after a life-or-death search for the loo (Alix: sorry!); we headed into the maze. It took us about 15 minutes if you’re up for a challenge (try and remember which animals you have passed as a guide), and paused for a break to admire our handiwork once we reached the centre of the maze (which contained a map of the maze, so a maze-within-a-maze a la Inception).
One sleepy bus ride home and we were ready to make our healthy fish pie (approx £12) and settle down for the night, after a nice day exploring the beauty of Crystal Palace!
Total cost for an excellent weekend for 2 people: £78 (not including espresso martinis)