|The bonnie lass and her American Hubby, Joe.|
The Hortons were traveling with two of their dear Pullman,Washington friends Roger and LeiAnn so a bit of sightseeing across the Island was also in the cards. Given all of this Les and I did not think it would be possible to spend time with Sally and Joe this trip but bless them--they found us At Kensal Green when they were in London and invited us to meet them at Covent Garden for dinner one evening.
Les and I got all dressed up--aftershave,dress slacks, and shined shoes for Les; perfume and jewelry for me! We weren't planning to eat out any place posh--it's just that ANY dinner off the boat is an occasion to dress nice for those of us who live aboard all the time! We really don't have any other excuses for dressing up, so...off we went.
A short walk up the canal towpath, a zigzag across Sainsbury's parking lot and we were out on the street at the Ladbroke Grove bus stop. The number 23 picked us up and about forty five minutes later it deposited us at Aldwych street in the theatre district adjacent to Covent Garden.
A short walk through the grounds of St. James chapel (the Actors' church) and there we were, just as Sally and Joe came sauntering along with LeiAnn and Roger. Les waved his arms and Sally and I made a beeline for one another. Big hugs and smiles! Introductions ensued. I had never met Roger and LeiAnn although I had eaten at their fine establishment in Pullman many times. Rico's Pub is the closest most folks in Eastern Washington State will ever come to a British pub unless they visit Europe.
|Joe, Jaq, Les, LeiAnn, and Roger|
|Rico's Public House, Pullman, Washington.|
Latin which says, "There is no beer in heaven, therefore all beer must be drunk here."
Les has fond memories of a beautiful, sunny day boating and fishing on the Snake River aboard Roger's boat, back in July 2011, but he hadn't the pleasure of meeting LeiAnn. Off we all went chattering and laughing, catching up as we walked the London Streets to Porter's--guaranteed for good British food. We waited at the bar for fifteen minutes during which time the men ordered their lagers and ales, Sally took a trip down memory lane with a Harvey Wallbanger and LeiAnn and I ordered mead. Soon we were seated at our booth and having a great time. As we six chatted I discovered that Roger and Lei Ann had lived in Alaska for some time in the 1970's during the North Slope Pipeline boom. It was great to reminisce about things Alaskan.
The menu at Porter's is extensive and it was hard to narrow down one's choice. During their travels the past few weeks through Anglia and the Cotswolds, Roger had taken a liking to a Brit dish called faggots, of which I had never heard.
|Faggots with mash, peas and gravy|
Les and Joe had the braised lamb shank pie which they both agreed was superb. I had the chicken and mushroom pie which was okay. Sally ordered Steak and Kidney pie and I cannot remember what LeiAnn decided upon--the mead quite went to my head! At the end of the evening we all stumbled out laughingly into the street in high spirits as Les gave Sally details of how to take the bus from their nearby hotel to the canal where we were moored. LeiAnn and Roger had never been aboard a narrow boat. We planned to wind the boat before they arrived, pick up our four friends and cruise through Little Venice, past the London Zoo, wind before Camden locks and end at Paddington Basin.
The next morning dawned miserable, cold, and rainy. Les walked up toward the bus stop and found the two couples on the towpath, huddled under a bridge! A quick walk back to NB Valerie and a warm up with coffee, tea and carrot cake--using Joe's incredible, best-ever recipe. With some Django Reindhardt music in the background, we set off in the rain--the men in back and Sally, LeiAnn and I inside. A pair of swans approached the boat and LeiAnn fed them from the window....all too soon our cruise was over. We cut it short due to the lousy weather and just headed into Paddington Basin where we parted from our friends. They took the underground onward in their journey and we moored up for the night.
|A full table and mile high pies at Porter's in Covent Garden, London.|