Coinciding with my plans to come home for an early birthday weekend (it's actually on the 22nd), I met my mum at Waterloo as our plans for the day were strictly South Bank. The promised weather was less than beautiful but nothing lunch at Brindisa (yes, again - my review here) couldn't put right. Winding our way through the heaving Borough Market, we managed to grab an instant table at the Spanish stalwart, and tucked into some new dishes: huge gordal olives with orange and oregano; traditional potato tortilla; cured iberian ham croquetas; pan fried asparagus with duck egg, serrano ham and romanesco sauce; the old favourite sea bass, and an apple and blue cheese salad. Service wasn't as brilliant this time, which was a shame, but the food was great.
After that came the main event - A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Globe. Shakespeare's Globe is a mecca to English Literature fans, and having been a big reader since before I could read, a pilgrimage there was always on the cards, but always seemed so out of reach. This year, I managed to get my act together and buy two tickets for one of Shakespeare's most loved plays (and one that I knew very little about). It was a dream come true - we had what were probably the best seats in the house (Upper Gallery, H9 & H10) and a front-on view of the stage.
The theatre (fully restored in the last couple of decades) filled up quickly and I lost myself to the poetic genius of the play. A Midsummer Night's Dream is a fantastical comedy and the company pulled it off to an incredible degree with knowing asides to the audience, appropriate amounts of slapstick and some great costumes (above are some of the fairies, Bottom as an ass and Queen Titania). Whilst standing tickets are just £5, ours were understandably a lot pricier but worth every single penny.
After both agreeing that it was the best thing we've ever seen, we wandered back along the South Bank and happened upon Ben & Jerry's Core Tour where they were giving out free tasters of ice cream. We both went for the Peanut Butter Me Up! (raspberry jam surrounded by peanut butter and vanilla ice cream, with peanut butter cup chunks) and I think it's just become my joint favourite (along with Chunky Monkey).
I've been billing this weekend just gone as my early birthday - and I don't think I could have asked for anything better. With a show at The Globe and ice cream, followed by a perfect summer meal and some incredible early presents (more on that tomorrow), I'm thinking that this getting older malarkey isn't that bad after all...