In early November, Robert came for a quick but epic visit. We started with lunch at le Relais de Venise, a French steak and frites restaurant just off Marylebone High Street that Andrew and I had had our eyes on for quite a while. Robert was a perfect excuse to try it out. I worked that morning, then met the boys at the restaurant for lunch and we had the best steak, fries, fancy mystery green sauce, red wine, and profiteroles in a dining room lined with antique mirrors and huge vases of white lilies. Very classy. We showed Robert around our neighborhood (we were in Enfield the first time he visited) and met up with the Kiwis at a shop around the corner for a whiskey tasting in the early evening. This shop specializes in fine whiskeys, and we tried five different versions from different parts of Scotland. It was a lot of fun, even for us girls, who thought we didn’t like Scotch but learned otherwise. After our warming whiskey, we all went to Canteen for more warmth, more drinks, and general frivolity. Robert and the Kiwis got on like a house on fire, as the Brits would say. I think that must have been one of our best nights in London.
On Saturday we took Robert out to Oxford for the day for a brief tour of the town and a bang-up lunch at The Fishes. That evening, a light summer and board games were in order, along with good conversation long into the night.
On Sunday morning we were off to the farmer’s market as usual, but when we got back we found we had left our keys behind and had to wait almost an hour for a locksmith to come. We had the privilege of paying some obscene amount for about 2 minutes of work on his part, which was more than a little upsetting, but at least we got back inside. We had to rush to get ready for our lunch reservations at Corrigan’s Mayfair, but we made it on time and Robert, being the amazing friend he is, even took us out to lunch. We all had Sunday roasts of various types, venison and pork and chicken, with the tastiest roast potatoes and steamed carrots and cabbage and Yorkshire puddings I have ever encountered. I had some sort of delicious dried fruit and custard pudding with a glass of Armagnac and began to feel much, much better, sitting at a big round table in the middle of that beautiful room. Later we had more board games and drinks and conversation, and we had to bid Robert adieu the next morning, but it was so comforting and stimulating to have him around even for just a weekend.