I been down that London. And thence further south still to check whether Newhaven is still there. It is, although Jim, though grateful for the Argus I brought back, says it's nothing like as good as the Express and Star.
My two day break started with lunch and a pint (Titanic Anchor) with a former colleague at the Bree Louise. If you are venturing into London from the Midlands, this is an excellent place to start. It's a couple of minutes walk from Euston, and has a really outstanding selection of real ales. You can also get a (admittedly average) pie and rather good chips (or mash if you prefer) from £6, and there's a discount on beer and pie if you show a CAMRA membership card. According to Mike, who accompanied me there once, it also has the most appalling gents he has ever visited in a British pub. But I will have to take his word for that, and suspect he may have caught them on a bad night.
Then after a trawl of Waterstones it was time to go and meet up with some more friends from Birkbeck for a drink (London Pride), and then, most excitingly, to go on with one of them to the highlight of the evening, dinner at the legendary Gay Hussar. Founded over fifty years ago, this Hungarian restaurant is famous as the haunt of politicians, cartoonists, and the staff of Private Eye. We didn't see anyone famous last night, but evidence of their presence was all over the walls in the form of cartoons and photographs. The food was enjoyable, and my smoked sausage starter was excellent, and very similar to the ones sold by Porters in Newark. We selected from a special offer limited menu which meant getting 50% off - three courses each, a half bottle of wine and two coffees for £48, including service - not to be sneezed at in a canalside pub, let alone in Soho. The portions were not too big, and my goulash (well, what else could have on my first visit) was very good too.
After a wonderful evening I got the train back to Newhaven to spend the night on Sebastian's sofa. No. 2 son proved a great host, and I had a pleasant morning chatting to family and neighbours before it was time to set out again on the long (but cheap! And comfortable) London Midland journey back home to the boats.
I wish that I knew then what I know now.
5 hours ago