LondonTown and time for some dining if not wining with old friends.

There’s a lot of London visiting going on in my life at the moment. Today there’s a trip to spend some time with the young Picasso and then a date with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in its centenary year – yes, I know that’s later than my prescribed musical year of 1878 but this is a short holiday in 1913. It’s an easy journey from Lewes to London so I just take my Kindle and my doodling book and the hour disappears in no time.

More on Picasso and Stravinsky later but yesterday was less music and art and more pubs, restaurants and friends. The pub in question was The Lansdowne in Primrose Hill

It’s not what you think though because, I’m not saying it’s anything to do with Lent, but on Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, I decided to skip that glass of wine with dinner and I’ve been off the booze ever since.  At the pub I actually enjoyed that glass of iced tea, honestly. This is no signing of the pledge – far from it – but a short corrective which hasn’t felt like a sacrifice at all. It was tempting last night over dinner but it helped that I was not the only one who was alcohol-free round that table of friends gathered from all across the UK for an annual get-together of a secret society. Bridge, Bren, Nadeem and Colin – it was great seeing you all again. It also  went to show that it is possible to have fun with friends at a micro-biotic, gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian restaurant with a glass of water and a large cup of espresso. That restaurant, uncompromising but excellent, was Manna of Primrose Hill with its friendly, informal staff and scarily Hitchcockian wallpaper.

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