Last night, Tobes and I went out after work. This doesn't happen too often. We ditched our cycle commute and took the train (don't worry bicycles, this just confirms how much we loathe to take the train into work).
Stopped for a quick drink with Toby's co-workers at The City Retreat on Shoe Lane (very near Chancery Lane). I walk pass this thing a lot and it just looks like your average pub. Never felt the need to go inside. But his friends suggested it -- the pub looks awesome inside! Super high ceilings with exposed beams. Lots of enclosed booths so you can hide from the rest of the bar-goers. As one girl said, it makes you think of Harry Potter. Yep, I felt like I could have a butter beer there. It's a Sam Smith pub, so all the drinks are pretty cheap, but they aren't anything special either.
Anyway, that wasn't the highlight of the evening. The highlight was going to the bar at St. John.
Awhile back, Toby and I had our anniversary dinner in the restaurant bit. It was offal. Haha, no, it was great! There was offal (Toby had a bone marrow/parsley salad). There's a bar area too that has great food and isn't so expensive, so we thought we'd come back sometime. Friday was finally that time.
The place was pretty busy, but we spied a table for two in the back corner by the baker's oven. Toby was fast and we secured our 2 chairs and table. I wouldn't say he stole the table, but well, let's say he was more confident that that chair was ours!
I love EVERYTHING about this place. The white-washed walls and wooden tables. The suckling pig on a platter that gets carried into the main restaurant. The clientele was mixed with designer-y types, ladies with leopard-print, people with "interesting" glasses, and old men in their elbow-patched sweaters (we sat next to 2 old men that were totally awesome).
They had Greenwich Meantime beers on tap (Helle's for T and Oktoberfest for me. I can never resist an Oktoberfest style beer). Friendly bar staff too!
We ate bread & butter (because their bread is the best around!), olives (we don't even like olives, seriously, but I knew they'd be good and not marinated, so if we are ever going to develop a taste for olives, this is the place to do it), welsh rarebit (the biggest you've ever seen!) and cold lop (cold roast pork) with green beans and shallots. I was actually bouncing around a bit as we ate.
And then, because we were there so why not, we splurged and got the rum & raisin ice cream. AWE-some.
A little worried about what our night out on the town was going to cost, but at that point we were both so darn happy that we were there that it didn't matter. I went up to clear our tab and the lady said £31.40. I kid you not...all of that goodness for £31.40!!
The evening was topped off with a walk through the city, around St. Paul and over the Thames to London Bridge. Pretty, pretty and more pretty.