Sunday, June 24, 2007

Far out

Saturday began with a breakfast of Chinese doughnuts, deep fried sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste, orange juice and instant black coffee at the Far East Bakery, watching the Chinatown shops and restaurants receive their deliveries. Boxes of bean sprouts, lychees, dragon fruit, shrimps, long beans and dried egg noodles all passed by our window as we ate. We watched the cheery girls serving a steady stream of local shop and restaurant workers and Chinese tourists a variety of Chinese baked goodies. And we planned out our day.

Our day was to consist primarily of shopping. We wandered around Selfridges, Browns and Martin Margiela, and M managed to find two pairs of Dries Van Noten trousers, one black and one brown, a dark brown Prada tie, and an amazing light coloured Martin Margiela suit that looks so sexy on him I couldn't stop taking photos. I didn't find much for myself but I was okay with this as I'd found more than enough at DKNY in Manhattan last month. I was happy trailing along because M has signed up to an unlimited internet plan on his cellphone and I could now surf the net to my heart's content while waiting for him to try everything on. I did manage, however, to pick up a luscious Frederic Fekkai glossing shampoo with olive oil from Space.NK. in Soho.

Then we hopped onto a heaving, rubbish-strewn Jubilee Line train to North Greenwich and a private opening of The O2 entertainment venue. We didn't wait for the show as I'm not bothered about Basement Jaxx, the Kaiser Chiefs or Tom Jones, but we enjoyed wandering around the complex. The O2 features a multi-screen Vue cinema, a 20,000 seater music arena, a smaller music hall and a long circular avenue featuring numerous bar and restaurant chains. The venue felt like a mix between Arsenal's The Emirates stadium and a large shopping mall in the middle of nowhere - only the football pitch and clothes shops were missing. Soon there'll also be a theatre, an ice rink and more outdoor space. It's a very good concept and we'll be back for a Youssou N'Dour show in July and a Prince show in August. And if there's a good movie on and some outdoor space to chill out in then who knows, perhaps we'll make a day of it, as the venue owners hope.

We ended Saturday with some lovely home-cooked tomato sauce with spaghetti and some griddled courgettes with balsamic and basil, washed down with some very good wine. M has been bringing back some delicious wines from France. I always used to drink Latin American or Spanish wines only but through M I've rediscovered the richness, complexity and maturity of good French wines again - particularly Cahors and Margaux.

And now it's Sunday, which can only mean drinking gallons of freshly brewed coffee, eating huge bacon sandwiches with lashings of ketchup for brunch, salivating over this month's The Observer Food Monthly, shopping locally for groceries for next week's meals, watching DVDs, reading books by Bengali writers living in the West, doing a bit of laundry, blogging, roasting a large chicken for dinner, doing a few beauty treatments on my hair and face, and generally just chilling all snug and warm inside while it pours with rain outside. Who could guess we're coming into July already!

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