19th March 2017

I don’t actually go to many concerts. Like anyone I love music but I’m not too fussed about seeing many people live (though y’know, Ed Sheeran if you fancy throwing some tickets my way…). What I do try to do is see my favourite comedians when they go on tour. I bloody love spending a couple of hours in a room full of laughing people, you know that proper deep belly laughs where you even cry a little. Yeah. That. So back in 2015 when Matt and I discovered one of our favourite comedians Russell Howard was going on tour in 2017 (yep, you have to book that far in advance!), we knew we had to book tickets. March 2017 was our date and the Royal Albert Hall was our venue of choice.
Flash forward two years and as a Christmas present, Matt’s parents kindly supplied us with a hotel stay for the night of the show so we could make a weekend of our trip to London. I love London but rarely get to enjoy it for longer than a day so for the last few weeks I’d plotted where I wanted to go and what I wanted to buy. To conclude this rather large introduction, this week’s post is a photo diary all about our weekend in London!

After a bit of shopping, we checked into our hotel in Hyde Park, The Blakemore. They really kindly upgraded us to a junior suite where we had comfy bed, his and hers ensuite with an amazing rain shower as well as a separate seating area. I’ll be honest though, we barely spent any time at the hotel before it was time for us to head to Kensington before Russell Howard!

We’d booked a table at The Ivy Brasserie, the chain of which we had eaten in once before for Matt’s Birthday. It was actually my first ever blog post too if you fancy going back that far! While we’d previously been at the Chelsea one and sat in the beautiful garden, that day we were inside where everything was as beautiful as expected. The design and decor of The Ivy is so incredibly well thought out and makes such a difference to making your meal feel that bit more special. Admittedly, it does feel terribly upmarket and some of the characters that frequent there make you feel as if you are in an episode of Made in Chelsea but the staff are excellent and the price of the food is surprisingly really reasonable.

I skipped the starter and had my usual choice of a thinly beaten steak which was accompanied by chips and eggs while Matt had a wonderfully tender roast rack of lamb. For dessert, I opted for the incredible Chocolate Bombe which when hot salted caramel sauce is poured over, melts to reveal a honeycomb centre with creamy vanilla ice cream, all surrounded by a delicious milk foam. There’s no doubt it’s pricey at £ 8.50 but it’s such an indulgent treat.

Upon realising we were slightly late, we made a mad dash to the spectacular Royal Albert Hall where Russell Howard was performing. You just can’t help staring all around you, it’s so very vast. You aren’t allowed to take any photos at the RAH and it was actually quite a close hall when they clocked my Olympus but I assured them it wouldn’t be used. Instead, I’m afraid you’ll have to deal with my rubbish iPhone photo although I’m not sure how much justice any photo could do to be perfectly. I don’t really know how you can describe a stand-up act but this is the third time I’ve seen Russell Howard and he just keeps getting better and better. He brought in a few political points as well as his usual everyday humour but it was done in a really thought-provoking way without you even realising. If you are able to get tickets, I cannot recommend seeing him more. He’s on a worldwide tour so hopefully he’ll be near you at some point!

After a great night sleep and a delicious continental breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and caught the tube to Marble Arch. What we hadn’t realised however, was that shops in London don’t actually open until 12 on Sundays! We ambled around for a little while before thankfully finding a Starbucks we could hide away in. We then headed to Carnaby as for Christmas, Matt’s brother brought us afternoon tea for two at Ma’Plucker – but this was afternoon tea with a difference! There was no dainty cups of tea but instead Southern Comfort shrubs. Ma’Plucker specialises in chicken so our afternoon tea consisted of buttermilk-dipped chicken in a brioche bun, pulled chicken in bbq sauce on a waffle and the most amazing crispy coated halloumi served with fries. It wasn’t greasy at all, just great quality, tasty chicken. The afternoon tea finished with mini doughnuts with salted caramel sauce and a mini ice cream popcorn sundae. Amazing.

It was so lovely spending the weekend in London together. We may not have done a huge amount of shopping but just being able to take everything in, eat amazing food and spend some quality time together made it perfect. Let me in the comment what your favourite thing to do in London is and where you like to go!