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Dr John Hawkins

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Christmas Day in London

Posted on 2009/12/27 22:38:20 (December 2009).

[Friday 25th December]
As we'd be flying to Japan on Boxing Day, we'd ended up deciding the only real practical thing to do was to spend Christmas Day itself by ourselves in London - given that there's no public transport available today (and barely anything tomorrow).

So we awoke this morning, and opened our presents over a late breakfast. Even though it was just the two of us, we still seemed to manage to fill the floor with wrapping paper (and the accompanying sense of guilt at how un-environmentally friendly that all is).

In the afternoon we decided it would be nice to go for a stroll around the centre of London, especially as we weren't planning to have our Christmas dinner until the evening. Perhaps unsurprisingly the streets weren't particularly deserted as I'd hoped they might be - lots of foreign tourists were milling about, although everyone seemed a bit unsure what to do with themselves as pretty much everything was shut. Particularly the pubs! I'd rather liked the idea of following in the footsteps of the male tradition on Christmas day of retreating to the pub whilst dinner is being cooked. Of course, being the enlightened modern man that I am I took my wife with me to the pub, and I did all of the cooking anyway.

Still, we had a hard time finding a pub that was open, until eventually we came across the rather lovely Coach and Horses on Greek Street in Soho, which according to the landlady was open every Christmas day, 12-3pm. It was very nice indeed in there, it had a quite but nonetheless festive atmosphere, and rather nice interior too - a sort of 1960s (?) brewery pub decor.

We headed home after that to make a start on cooking, and also tidy the flat up a bit. Chie had invited a colleague of hers and his wife over to join in with our Christmas dinner - being Japanese they didn't really know what to do with themselves on Christmas day, and so seemed quite grateful for the invitation.

I made a relatively traditional Christmas dinner, albeit with fake turkey and fake little sausage things, but otherwise pretty standard fare - roast potatoes (two types no less!), brussel sprouts, carrots, roast parsnips. Oh and also a couple of not-so-traditional extras - roast beetroot and Yorkshire puddings. Yes I know they're only supposed to go with beef!

It seemed to all go rather well, suprisingly our Japanese guests actually rather liked the fake meat, and it was all polished off. For dessert I served a "St. James's" christmas pudding, from Fortnum and Mason, and made a token effort to set the thing on fire with some warmed whisky.

I think our guests enjoyed it all. I did start to think towards the end of the evening that we probably ought have spent some of the time getting ready for our flight the next day somehow, but sod it, it's Christmas.

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