We hopped- as a side note, this is not a common phrase in England for getting on/in a vehicle, I said this to a staff member at the Paddington Station who stare at me in confusion and then made fun of me for it, consider yourself warned.
We hopped on the tour bus (perk of the hop-on-hop-off ticket) and rode over to the Piccadilly Circus area, where Her Majesty’s Theater so we’d have plenty of time to eat dinner before we went to see the Phantom of the Opera.
We passed what appeared to be a little bistro place called the Mint Leaf Café which had decent prices, but it was too early to eat so we kept walking to Trafalgar’s Square (the one with tons of people climbing on the lion statues).
I didn’t wear my lion climbing clothes that day
After some picture time and perusing a guidebook, we discovered that the café we passed was actually an Indian restaurant and decided to eat there. So imagine our surprise when we walked through the doors to find a sign saying customers should use the elevator, which we took down to a modern and dimly lit lobby and the hostess asked us if we had reservations or wanted to have cocktails before dinner.
The rest of the restaurant was sleekly decorated in dark wood with occasional touches of stainless steel backlit by purple lights. Colton got a Coke that they brought out in a glass bottle along with the accompanying drinking glass with ice (and a lemon slice, which he wasn’t happy about). I went with Vietnamese lemonade that had a nice tang so I could only take small sips of it.
Our dinner was by far the best Indian food I’d ever had (and it had better been, given the price). Colton ordered Tandoori Chicken and I got Mathi Mess (lamb in this yogurt sauce), along with Tandoori broccoli, basmati rice, and garlic naan. The served it family style, which I makes the meals so much better because you can share.
And if I haven’t given a portrayal of the type of restaurant this was, it’s the kind where waiters all stand by in the dark hallway watching everyone eat to make sure you’re never waiting for assistance. Nice yet creepy.
After dinner they brought us hot moist towels to wipe our hands with before bringing out dessert, which fortunately Colton enjoyed but I thought was comparable to a thick chocolate-chip pancake. Someone needs to take them to Chili’s and show them what a lava cake is really like.
We left feeling stuffed with delicious food and headed across the street to the theater to grab our seats. A warning to any would-be Phantom watchers, Her Majesty’s Theater (the only London theater to change its name, depending on the gender of the ruling monarch) is small; we sat on the second level, maybe four rows from the front and spent quite a bit of time leaning forward, so I wouldn’t sit higher than that.
Took this picture before everyone started taking pics and the staff told them not to
Now moving on from logistics, the show was fantastic! I will always enjoy hearing Gerard Butler sing “The Music of the Night” but there was nothing missing in the performance of the actors (although sometimes the dancing was a bit dodgy) and the effects were amazing. Even the slowly rising chandelier made the audience get swept up in the show (seriously, we were applauding while they changed sets, I kid you not).
And all of this coming from a girl who’s slightly nearsighted and forgot her glasses.