Went to the Opera!
Charlie had requested a trip to the opera for his birthday present, and I was happy to oblige! We decided to make a weekend of it, so we stayed at the RAF Club, which was really snazzy. I was particularly enamoured of the towels - the Officer in Charge of Embroidery is extremely keen on his job.
We picked up some chocolates at Fortnum & Mason:
And then tootled off to our pre-theatre supper at Hawksmoor. SO delicious.
I managed to resist the Champagne Charlie (we had wine instead).
We split potted mackerel to start, then both had steak (with garlic butter), chips, and wine. The garlic butter was epic. (Apologies to the people seated within 10 rows of us at the theatre...)
We split (well, I had a bite) a sticky toffee pudding, and then waddled over to ENO to see Madam Butterfly!
The building is absolutely gorgeous - really ornate. The acoustics were pretty good - the orchestra drowned out the soloists in a few spots.
The opera itself was really good - the story is heartbreaking and the music is just gorgeous. Anthony Minghella's staging was really effective and visually stunning.
Seriously. Stained glass in the roof.
In the spirit of making a proper vacation out of 24 hours in London, we went to Yotam Ottolenghi's restaurant Nopi for brunch. It was excellent. I had shakshuka, and Charlie had french toast.
A little window shopping on Regent Street rounded off the morning, and then we headed down to Paxman to pick up my horn (which I dropped off nearly a year ago (!)). It's all shiny and wonderful again and I am very pleased to have it back.