After visiting the British Museum, adventuring and beer tasting in Greenwich, and a marathon choir rehearsal, we decided to go out. For the average person, going out after 9 p.m. is not a big deal, at least for the average Angeleno. For me, the quintessential morning person, this requires strength, determination, and the promise of some great reward. In this case it meant the opportunity to go pubbing with friends and my first fish and chips in London, I thought.
We spent quite awhile debating the merits of each pub. It finally came down to two: the one with good beer or the one with good fish and chips…..Since a majority of us hadn’t eaten dinner, including a teenager, fish and chips won out.
We plotted a course to the Tottenham. Smuggling the teenager through the pub on the upper level, we filed down the stairs into the restaurant. We were halted midway down by a stern sentry – the kitchen was closed. We reversed course and mustered in the back of the pub while a scout scanned the street for options. The mission focus narrowed: Find Food.
An intelligence officer remembered that Noodle Oodle, the restaurant our travel agent recommended, was nearby. An advance guard took off down the street to reserve us a table while others stayed behind to update the rear guard on our new location. Just as we arrived at Location Bravo, they turned the sign to ‘closed’ and secured the location.
Our options were becoming limited as the minutes ticked by so it was time to narrow our focus: find someplace open that was still serving food. We back tracked to the only place we recognized as a food establishment: the Cornish Bakehouse. We squeezed into the tiny take away shop next to a local who viewed our presence as an invasion which required him to defend his position by gathering all the chairs at his table close so as not to lose them to the opposition.
I requisitioned a Lamb and Mint pasty and took up a strategic position in the opposite corner while the troops filed in for chow. The meal was typical enlisted sustenance: warm and filling. Long after curfew, we wended our way through the ever-present maze of London pedestrians back to our barracks: mission accomplished.