Sunday, 25 August 2013

Half a bank holiday

Friday night turned in to a local smile fest and continued on Saturday in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

Friday evening, London, the man and I got a bus to West Hampstead.   We were on a number 13 (there is a point to this stay with me) rather than wait for the 328 as its just a short walk down from Finchley Road.   Being the bank holiday, London was lovely and deserted so the bus was hurtling along Finchley Road with no one getting off the bus and no one flagging it down to get on.

Our stop for West End Lane was approaching so we rang the bell.  The "stopping" light lit up but.... The driver went past the stop.  However he was stopped a few feet further along by the traffic lights, about the same time he heard me saying "excuse me" in my best polite British manner.

The driver couldn't have been nicer or more apologetic, he let us off with a smile, a honk on the horn and a wave agreeing he was having too much fun on the lovely empty roads. So number 13 driver on the Finchley Road/West End Lane junction Friday night at about 8:00pm, may we give you a thumbs up.thumbs up

A walk down the hill then towards The Black Lion pub.  Coming down the hill you get a great view of the fire station and we could see the fire engines out and the blue lights flashing but no sirens.  Peculiar? Not when we realised it was for the benefit of a three and five year old who were being allowed to sit in the cabin and have their pictures taken. (hope this doesn't get anyone in trouble) but a thumbs up to the firemen at West Hamsptead station thumbs up

Arrived at the Black Lion where we greeted by both Gloria and James.   More of James later in future posts about the Black Lion and the Read for RNIB Day Campaign but for now Gloria.

I first met Gloria last year when taking part in World Book Night.  I was giving away copies of Pride & Prejudice and her smile then just wowed me - here's the evidence - and you can still enjoy that smile when she's at work in the pub so Gloria, you get a thumbs up as well.thumbs up

The man felt like pizza and although we seriously like La Brocca being a very warm nice summer's night I didn't fancy a basement so we plumped for Pizza Express.  It was the right decision.

The staff were collectively and individually having their own smile fest and it was lovely to eat in the middle of that.

Reginaldo, our waiter (on the right) was sweet and we had a nice joke about my ignorance that Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape   Then the manager, Ago, (in the middle), was very helpful over my runny egg on my pizza, while also being very funny (ha, ha) about his name being like Argos.

Meanwhile, the chef, Frederico, "the ugly", was grinning like he was on a red carpet with the flashbulbs going while he tossed the pizza dough, delighting the watching children when he pretended to make a mistake.

There were many other smiling chefs and staff there that night, including Serena on the left in the picture above. So not only a thumbs up each to Reginaldo,thumbs up Agothumbs up and Fredericothumbs upbut. Thumbs up to Pizza Express West Hampstead staffthumbs up

With all those smiles our Friday night was a delightful thumbs up night.

No photos to accompany the smiles and service on Saturday evening but some folk that deserve a few thumbs up; first of all Mark on the bar in The Olive Bush, ( ) in Flecknoe village (Warwickshire) for some true old fashioned pubican hospitality,thumbs upand to Jane and her staff for serving some homemade pub "fayre" all with fun and smilesthumbs up and then on to Braunston in Northamptonshire where a local, Pete, was running a pop-up pub in his home, (which was the site of a pub many years ago, the Dog & Gun), for charity.  The music, drink and atmostphere were aces, so thank you Pete and a thumbs up to youthumbs up

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