Tales From A Groundling
Hello everyone! This was a rather eventful week for me, so I will do my best to sort everything out in a logical fashion.
This week marked the start of classes at the British American Academy of Drama, better known as BADA. No, I still don’t have a picture of the school yet, hopefully one of these days I’ll remember to get a picture when I’m not too busy trying to remember the door code a half mile down the block. The school is located just on the outskirts on Regent’s Park and is just a short walk from Camden Town. (More about those places later!) In case anyone was curious, I am taking the following courses:
- Dramatic Criticism
- Shakespeare’s Tragedies
- Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories
Curiously, most of the classrooms at BADA do not have desks or any chairs with a desk. In most of my classes we sit in a circle formation. What I’ve gathered from this different sort of classroom experience is that there is more of an emphasis on conversation and less on note taking. That certainly made school supply shopping a whole lot easier!
On Tuesday evening BADA students were able to attend a performance of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Having only Buster Keaton as an example of slapstick comedy, I wasn’t entirely jumping for joy at the idea of seeing a show with that kind of humor and having to stand throughout the whole thing. I’m more amused by the the type of comedy that might pop up in a Judd Apatow movie. But, the show ended up blowing away my expectations and even got a few giggles out of me. Whenever I see Shakespeare performed I am always left in awe by the actors’ ability to memorize so much dialogue. Both their memorization skills and foolery were superb!
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Because I can’t save it for last….here’s the food section. Despite that one night when I had to eat a Tesco rotisserie chicken drumstick out of a plastic bag, I had a pretty amazing dining and cooking experience this week. I’ll break down the best of the best for you:
- Yumchaa in Camden Town: this place has one of the most impressive selection of teas I’ve ever seen. I ordered a vanilla and raspberry flavor rooibos tea and paired it with one of the most delicious pieces of chocolate cake I ever had. They have such an impressive selection of scones and are conveniently located right near BADA! Yay!
- The Lyric in Piccadilly Circus/Soho: they have the best Sticky Toffee Pudding on the whole planet. I don’t even care that I’ve only had STP at one other place, I’m convinced that Lyric does it best. I recommend pairing it with vanilla ice cream!
- La Tua Pasta in Borough Market: of course I had to go back to my favorite place in all of London. I went around breakfast time and was captivated by the amazing smell coming out of this place, so gave into my craving and had the most amazing pumpkin tortellini….for breakfast.
- Dumplings’ Legend in Chinatown: with a name like that there was no way I wasn’t going inside. I can’t even remember all the things I ate because by the end of it all my dishes were completely wiped clean of food. But yes, I did have dumplings, and yes, they were a wonderful pocket of joy in my mouth.
- Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly Circus: F&M is what I affectionally call “baby Harrods.” They have about 4 floors filled with all sort of beautiful things. But if you’re just looking for a fancy brunch and some nice pot of English tea, then this is the right place. My friend Liv had a steak tartar while I had this amazing toast with goat cheese and beats with a side of the most beautiful looking chips (English french fries) that I’ve ever seen. No, I don’t have a picture because I ate them too quickly.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Over the course of this week I pretty much feel as if I’ve covered half of London, which could possibly be true. Once again, here are some locations worth mentioning:
- Oxford Street: during my first time in London I didn’t really spend all that much time here, but this year I found myself going through it 3 times in a week! Oxford Street isn’t the most aesthetically pretty places in all of London, but it does have a wonderful selection of shops like Selfridges, Marks & Spencers, and Zara. Oh, and did I mention Ben’s Cookies? Besides wanting to see me, Liv flew all the way from Rome just so she could have one
- Spitalfields Market: I spent a good deal of my time here on my first London trip since I lived so close by and going back to it now I realize how sad I am that I’m not closer to it! This place is like Etsy but in real life. There are so many talented artists there selling their work. If you love handmade or vintage things, this is the place for you!
- Camden Lock Market: food and tchatchke galore.
- Knightsbridge: home of Harrods and Harvey Nichols! If you love fashion and makeup and all that is beautiful, go there.
- Regent’s Park (Queen Mary’s Garden): come smell the roses! No really, you can take a stroll though the garden and smell different patches of flowers, each with unique names like “Nostalgia” and “Ice Cream.” Fun!
- Ladurée: alright, so I’m cheating here a bit with this one, but I think it deserves to go here because it’s heaven in a shop. This is your one and only stop for delicious French macaroons. Now before you go all “EW why would I want macaroons in LONDON when I can just go to PARIS”….. calm yourself. Because Ladurée is a French company. So yes, you’re getting the best of the best. So why not Treat. Yo. Self.
That concludes my super eventful week! What’s ahead for the next one…..
- tea with creatures that purr and have whiskers
- plays, plays, and more plays
- a play that is going to leave me a hot sobbing mess
- some home cooked meals (hopefully)