What an absolutely aces weekend that was.
The Gallopathon was, in the words of Miranda, ‘such fun!’ Sadly we didn’t stay until the end of the event, when the lady herself appeared, but we did gallop, and the sun shone and we pranced around, and showed off rotten and a fine time was had by all.
Before we did the gallop we headed off to the National Portrait Gallery to see Grayson’ Perry’s ‘Who Are You?’ exhibition, which I have been absolutely dying to see. It finishes on March 15th and if you can get there I recommend it highly. It is a wonderful exhibition in a fantastic space, and it’s free to get into.
We also got to see the superb new sculpture on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square: The Gift Horse by Hans Haacke. I love it. It’s eerie and strange and rather brilliant.
Everything was in our favour yesterday. The drive down was stress free, the parking was easy, the tubes ran on time. We did everything we had planned and everything slotted neatly into place.
It really helped that the weather was perfect. I don’t think it would have been half so much fun in the grey, drizzling cold. As it was, spending the afternoon pretending to be a horse at Parliament Hill Fields was exactly the sort of thing the weather was made for. We got the tube to Hampstead and sauntered down Hampstead High Street in the glorious sunshine, hooking a left down by the Royal Free Hospital, into Gospel Oak, and along to Parliament Hill Fields.
I cannot tell you how many times I have gone by Parliament Hill Fields on the C11 bus to get to work, and in all the years I lived in London I never explored the area. I was a fool to myself. Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to rectify that mistake.
As well as all us Gallopers, the park was heaving with people yesterday. It seemed like all of London was taking advantage of the sunshine. The play areas were swarming with families and children dangling from every nook and cranny of play equipment. There were dogs of every hue, so many it was like a mini version of Crufts. Then there were the joggers, the cyclists, the exercise nuts working out in the outdoor gym, and pretty much the world and his wife. It was a glorious opportunity to do some serious people watching, and we didn’t waste it.
After galloping with gusto, we decamped, past the Lido, to Pizza East in Kentish Town as recommended by Sasha over at Liberty London Girl. We asked her to choose somewhere that wouldn’t be traumatised by our large party, or lots of children, but somewhere with an emphasis on great food. She obliged with several recommendations, but Pizza East won out.
It was fabulous. I had pizza, freshly made and baked in the wood fired oven. Mine came with veal meatballs, sage and thin strips of prosciutto ham. Instead of cheese it came with cream drizzled on it. It tasted amazingly good. I followed it with panna cotta with poached rhubarb and a cracking cup of coffee.
I need to go back and taste all the other gorgeous things on the menu. I changed my mind five times before the waiter came to take our order so there’s plenty to go back for.
The journey home was not quite as smooth, due to the fact that I had to get across to Chiswick to drop the girls’ at their dad’s for the rest of the weekend, and the journey across London took as long as it took me to get from Leicester to London earlier in the day. Still I was pretty proud of myself for not flinching at the sight of the Hanger Lane gyratory, or the fact that having got that far over, it was easier for me to come home a different way and I ended up driving down the M4, the M25 and the M40 before reaching home turf.
Today was spent finishing homework, lolling around and waiting for the girls to come home so we could go out for dinner again with more friends, this time to Byron Burger.
Apart from the homework bit, and the fact that my fetlocks are a bit achey it was excellent.