27 Sep 2010
Leicester Square, London, England
We are ending our trip as we started – in London playing poker. I had hoped to be 5 days defending last year’s championship, but unfortunately busted out on day 2.
London is so cosmopolitan they even have street signs telling us non-sophisticates which way to look for traffic. What a great idea.
This year we decided to stay right at Leicester Square because it is near the casino, in the middle of London’s famed and fun West End.
We are at Radisson’s Hampshire Hotel. It certainly is not swanky, but it is very nice. We have a big room on the top, which feels like living in somebody’s attic. We look right over Leicester Square.
There is no need to leave this part of town for food or entertainment. While I was in the tournament, Allyn went to "Love Never Dies" the sequel to The Phantom. She loved it.
Our first night in town, we rushed over to J. Sheekey for dinner. It is one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in town. Be sure to reserve well in advance. It is a fixture on the West End. My buddy, John Andrews, the Maître D’, makes the visit even more worthwhile.
I generally do not care for coffee in Europe. Even Starbucks doesn’t taste the same. But, Café Vergnano is sensational. It has been here since 1882. Even the same family owns and operates it. Who knew they even had coffee shops back then?
Tonight’s dinner was at Hakkasan, an upscale Cantonese restaurant which has been given a Michelin star (amongst other awards). It was very good.
On the way back we walked through London’s China Town. It is gigantic. Interestingly, both of us kinda had a hankering for good old China Town food instead of the fancy stuff.
Yet another great meal was our Thai dinner at Busaba Eathai. Besides being tasty, it is quite “with it.” I couldn’t keep my eyes off the 6-foot gorgeous waitress. I’m quite sure she used to be a man, or something along those lines. Allyn wouldn’t let me ask directly. I led with a couple compliments but couldn’t really get a straight (or gay) answer. I can’t really figure why I am so obsessed with her, but I am.
So with all this excitement in London what does a guy do who busts out of a major tournament? In between eating, he plays online poker.