Trip Start Jun 29, 2006
Trip End Jul 30, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Sunday, July 30, 2006

What was expected to be a sedate and peaceful evening turned out to be just the opposite. We had decided to meet up with Claire - a beautiful young woman we had met at where else but 'The End'. Even though the rendezvous time was pushed by an hour to 2 pm little did we realize that the coup de grace was going to be a wonderful afternoon followed by an 8 hour drinking binge. We walked from the Covent Garden tube station through the market and finally settled down at a cafe in the heart of the market, a flight of stairs down. During the lunch, we sipped on wine and were serenaded first by a lady with a beautiful soprano voice and then by a string quartet accompanied by a flautist. The gallery above where we were sitting quickly filled up and both performances were received by rapturous applause. On Claire's recommendation, we then headed to to a bar across the street - Roadhouse. Arriving shortly before happy hour and before the UK flair championships. We started out with cocktails eagerly awaiting the spectacle that lay ahead of us. Slowly but surely, we went through the entire menu of cocktails while close to 20 of UK's finest bartenders (or barwizards as the MC aptly put it) put up a display of juggling bottles, cocktail shakers, ice cubes and more. With alcohol flying all around, we did our best to keep up by downing one intriguing cocktail after another. Elaine, a good friend of Claire's joined us later, and we did our best to catch her up on the action. Many scores of cocktails later (my personal favorite being the Lemon Tree) and after the excitment of the flair's first heat and the grand finale, we finally left the place around half past 11. Bidding both beautiful and charming women farewell (Elaine, a couple of times too many!) I could only hope that we'd keep in touch and our paths would cross again. Claire, you rock - stay the way you are and God willing, I'll be drinking at your bar someday soon! And boy! are you photogenic. Aditya and I sauntered back home, sozzled from the heady mix of alcohol and the company. Having long missed the planned tube ride to Hathrow, I took a cab with the cab driver, Nadeem reminding me to keep in touch with my parents during my long sojourn. I wonder if I can ever thank Aditya enough for the graciousness and love with which he let me shack up at his place and showed me London. Thanks friend.
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