The Oxford Street shops beckon us
early this morning for a bit of shopping and sightseeing. We jump on our bus to Marble Arch, then walk back to Oxford Circus and down Regent Street. We stop at Liberty, the famous old department store, which we have heard has been “reinvigorated” since our last visit to London 4 years ago. It has – but we certainly can’t afford to buy blue jeans here, at their marked-down price of £395, let alone at their original price of over £1,000. But somebody must be shopping here. From Liberty, we head into Carnaby Street, for the nostalgia value – to find that it is now mainly shoe stores – all selling Puma and Adidas, which have the European leisure shoe market totally locked up right now.
We are meeting my Aunt Edith and Uncle Ron for lunch, and we head to their home, which is in a mews house just behind the Embassies on Portland Place, before continuing on to lunch. Greg has not met Ron and Edith before, but they welcome him warmly and within a few minutes we are chatting like old friends. Ron and Edith love to travel, and we spend a lot of our time comparing notes on places we have all been – which in fact is most of the places we have been to on our trip. The meal, in a cute restaurant just behind Marylebone High Street and just off of Oxford Street, is disappointing – and Ron tells the manager as much – so Ron’s lunch is comped. Despite the food, we are all enjoying ourselves, laughing and enjoying more travel stories and catching up and it is after 4 by the time everyone is ready to move on and say goodbye.
After naps back at Neil’s place, the 3 of us head down to Soho to meet up with friends of Neil’s for dinner. They have been to a film, and so we meet about 9:30, have a beer and then head to a Mediterranean restaurant, where we have a very nice dinner and have good conversation. Nacho is Spanish and is full of ideas about where to head when we get to Spain. Alan is heading shortly to India, and so, in turn, is full of questions about our experiences there.
We head back to the bus, hoping that one of the pubs may still be open, but alas, it is after 11 and they are all dark and deserted.
And so, off to home.