weekend, we

chiswick mall dove pub @ chiswick mallchiswick mall fuller's brewery fuller's brewery chiswick mall somerset house somerset house somerset house - the courtauld gallery somerset house somerset house royal albert hall feist @ royal albert hall

Hi, how was your weekend? Did the sun shine for you like it did here in London? I couldn't believe that I got to walk around in a t-shirt the entire time! I could end this post having just said that - it was that great.

You know me though, I can't just leave it at that!  Especially when we had one heck of a weekend hopping around town for different excursions. Now that the weather is pleasant we definitely want to get back to going out as much as we can. There's still a ton that we haven't seen or done but we got a good start with a Fuller's brewery tour, Somerset House visit, and concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The brewery tour was awesome. Fuller's is London's oldest traditional family brewer and though they maintain a small microbrew feel, they produce enough booze each day to fill Wembley Stadium three times over (that's 270,000 individual pints!). The tour was quick but our guide Allison was extremely animated, passionate, and informative. She even joined us in the tasting session where I learned that the Discovery and HSB brands are my favorite. Have any of you tried Fuller's, have a fave? Even if you're not a beer drinker, a visit to Chiswick Mall near the brewery is an experience in itself: riverside parks, private estate gardens, pubs scattered along the strand, and rowers training on the Thames. It was heaven on the first t-shirt friendly day of the year.

On Saturday we spent the early afternoon in Brixton with lunch at our favorite Colombian restaurant, Santafereño, and some shopping at the Crafty Fox Market. Joe picked up a really fun pair of custom-made map cufflinks from Avarae 17, one with Maida Vail (our London hood) and the other with Los Angeles. The market was really well curated but since it was small, we went through it pretty quickly. The weather was still gorgeous so we decided to hop back onto the tube and head to Somerset House - finally. I don't know why it took us so long to visit Somerset but the timing turned out to be just right. They currently have a beautiful flower field installation in the courtyard and an incredibly inspiring Mondrian and Nicholson exhibit at The Courtauld Gallery. Mondrian is one of may favorite painters of all time so it was a real treat! Afterwards we joined the locals and tourists alike in sitting around the courtyard for snacks, drinks, and late afternoon sun worshipping. I love the Euro way of enjoying a sunny day. In LA you'd never sit on the floor of a public space simply to enjoy the sun and relax. They know how to do it here.

Sunday day was all work (might be able to share some photos once the gig is done!) but come evening, it was all rock n' roll with Feist at the Royal Albert Hall. We've seen Feist a few times before but this is the first that we've ever seen her rock so hard! She definitely went back to her punk roots by re-imagining some of her old hits to create new up-beat, punky, can't-help-but-dance, renditions. Despite a slow start with audience participation (London crowds can be very well-mannered) she had the entire place eating out of the palm of her hand by the end of the night. She even got people to join her on stage for a slow dance...security loved that one. I always thought of her as one of the most talented musicians and singers today but this show proved that she's a bona fide rock-star. Alright, time to get serious about my guitar lessons...