The Texas Embassy in London

27 December 2008

Literally, “bravissimo!” means “splendid!” or “very well done!”  It is “bravo” on steroids!  But, today, it was a destination. 

In an effort to humour me a bit, I think, my dear husband decided this morning that today we would search out one of the three Bravissimo stores here in London.  I have longed for the pretty things in their catalogue for years, but without trying things on, ordering clothes from the UK is just a little too . . . uncertain.  Recently, another dear friend has discovered these folks and has already taken the plunge, and I have been a bit envious.  So, at some point on this trip, I really wanted to visit one of these stores!

Bravissimo is a company specializing in lingerie and other clothing, for what they call “D-K cup” women!  And the super cool thing is that they make these cup sizes in normal torso/back sizes like 32 and 34 and 36!  Okay, so I don’t really want The Daily KRuMB to be all about my bra-shopping experience, but it was a focal point of my day and it was pretty darned fabulous!

In the process of plotting our course for our travels, today,  Kyle and I also discussed the fact that it would be wonderful to find a “market” or “street fair” to walk around and shop.  After all, we’re here on a Saturday, and well, thanks to our childhood memories of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, we both wanted the experience.

We didn’t find Portobello Road, but we did discover that the famous Covent Garden is just such a market area, and that’s exactly where my Bravissimo store was!   And not only that, but it’s all just another easy walk from the Picadilly Square area.  I think we’re both just realising that these wonderful little pockets of this city we’re growing to love, are really so close together and intertwined. 

So, we had a wonderful time shopping around Covent Garden.  We bought Kyle and lovely hat and scarf—it’s a sexy scarf! 😉  And we found a pub where we just had to stop in and enjoy a pint—for Laura!  The Maple Leaf was charmingly decorated rather lodge-style, with Toronto Blue Jays jerseys on the wall,  Canadian newspapers on the tables, and hockey on the telly! 

And that wasn’t the only non-London-like experience we had today.  While Kyle was killing the hour I was being “fitted,” he picked up a local advertising publication—a little  magazine-type thing listing sights, and shows, and restaurants . . . and one caught my eye as I flipped the pages (while we warmed up at yet another pub) . . . The Texas Embassy.  Upon closer investigation, I realized it was a TexMex restaurant and I was immediately ravenous for enchiladas and nothing but a margarita would quench my thirst!  We knew it was risky—after all, we’re in London!—but we decided it was worth the gamble. 

It sure was!  We had an absolutely fabulous experience at this great little pocket of Texas in downtown London.  The building is old and convincing on the outside, complete with the Texas flag flying proudly.   But, it’s inside that’s really impressive.  We walked in and almost immediately looked at each other with the same thought:  “it smells like home!”  Then, we focused on the sights.  Faux finished walls, painted with “cocina” and various other Mexican words, just like you would see on dozens of TexMex restaurants stateside.  A bar, well-stocked with tequilas, and Lone Star, Corona, Bud,  Dos Equis, and a smattering of other appropriate beers.  American college football on the television.  Bumper stickers saying “Don’t mess with Texas” and  “Kinky Friedman for Governor,” and a TABC alchohol regulation sign on the wall.  And even, a burnt orange, Texas Longhorn sticker on the bar.  Terrill, we immediately thought of you! You and Mike Klobe and Mary Dane and anyone else we know who travels to London, and might get a little homesick for the Lone Star State. You’ve gotta experience this little slice of home the next time you’re in London!

The margaritas were okay—especially the free one! (I struck up a connection with the bartender when I told him the margarita he was pouring wouldn’t last me five minutes! He made me a larger one for the same price and I thanked him with a modest tip. He later delivered a second one to the table at no charge!) And the food was actually delicious!  I was prepared to be less than impressed, and exactly the opposite is what we got!  It was a perfect TexMex experience.

We left the “embassy” and walked around Trafalgar Square again, taking even more photos than we did the night before.  We were tired, though, and decided to head back toward the Tube and ultimately the hotel.  I’m finishing this post, now, while Kyle gets a head start on some sleep, since he’s the one who has to drive us north tomorrow.  I’m just the navigator.

I can hardly wait to get to Edinburgh, but I actually find myself not really wanting to leave London!