Last Thursday, my adventures in London continued with an eventful girls night out.
After dinner at cozy Italian eatery Caffe Concerto, Rachel and I walked over to Dion’s, a bar tucked away behind St. Paul’s Cathedral. I had very fond memories of live music and a very favorable guy-girl ratio at Dion’s during my last visit. So I was a little disappointed when we walked in to find the bar mostly empty, especially since I’d been talking it up to my single London friends as a great spot for mingling.
We were only a few sips into our cocktails when a cute local bloke named Joe, 35, suddenly appeared.
“My friends are boring, can I join your conversation?”
A direct, wry and ever so British approach. Needless to say, Rach and I happily said yes. We were soon joined by a few of Joe’s colleagues as well.
As Rachel hit it off with one of them, I learned that Joe has a passion for motorcycles and DIY projects – and possesses the charm and candor that has made me very susceptible to British bachelors. When I commended Joe for taking the initative in a friendly way to say hello, he responded—
“We’re all lonely at the end of the day, so why not?”
Sigh. If only New York men could take a page out of this no nonsense playbook!
Eventually, the verbal flirting between Joe and me found him pulling me into a quick hug. I could happily have extended it, but Rachel reminded me the tube was about to shut down for the night. Before I raced to catch it, Joe leaned down for a kiss. Apart from him referring to himself as my “toy boy,” a perfect night.
Speaking of perfection, that’s also how I would describe my final day in London.
The weather was glorious – so glorious that I took a picture in Trafalgar Square with sunglasses on for the first time in 22 years of coming to London. After drinking in the view of the square and Big Ben beyond it, I made my way over to iconic tea house Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, where I enjoyed my final round of afternoon tea and scones with clotted cream.
Then, it was off to Sloane Square for drinks with fellow writer and Ireland-born Conor, whom I had the pleasure of meeting during my European Dating Blitz. This visit to London was a wonderful mix of new and old friends, a week-long reminder of why I love England’s capital so much.
What better way to end my trip than with my dear friend of 19 years, Steve?
Over a delicious meal at upscale Indian restaurant Zaika on Kensington High Street, Steve and I fell into easy conversation like we always do. Three hours later, we’d covered a lot of ground on the topics of life, love, family and the battle to fight wrinkles.
As we said goodbye, I felt a surge of melancholy about leaving London. And then I smiled because I know it will always be a part of my life. Until next time, fair city.