Oxford Street Shopping & Spicy Szechuan

Very tired this morning – I didn’t wake up until 9:30 a.m. and didn’t get up until almost 10:00. The Euro stops serving breakfast at 9:00 a.m. on weekdays, so I missed out. That’s OK, as I wasn’t feeling that hungry this morning so I decided to grab something later while on the go.

Good weather today; mostly sunshine.

I showered, dressed and set out on foot at about 11:00 a.m., bound for Oxford Street where I planned to spend the day shopping and looking around. En route, I headed down Gower Street to see what The Jesmond Hotel and the Ridgemount Hotel looked like:

The Gower Street hotel strip
Ridgemount Hotel on Gower Street
The Jesmond Hotel on Gower Street
Gower Street

I dropped in to Waterstone’s on Gower Street and bought some Agatha Christie books that I couldn’t find at home (i.e. Crooked House).

Going down Tottenham Court Road on my way to Oxford Street, I saw a giant Freddie outside the Dominion Theatre where We Will Rock You was running:

Long Live Freddie!

I hit Oxford Street and had a Subway lunch at about 3:00. I cashed £100.00 worth of traveller’s cheques at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) on Tottenham Court Road… I walked forever to find this place!! Obviously, there’s not that many RBS’s in London (I was told that RBS banks are the only ones who will still cash a traveller’s cheque in this day and age, hence a search for this specific bank).

I spent all afternoon cruising Oxford Street shops, going in and out of so many stores:

I bought toffee, candies and chocolate for Carol at John Lewis. I bought a few hard-to-find CDs at the big HMV. I didn’t buy too much else; everything was either too tacky or expensive. It felt like I’d looked in almost every store on Oxford Street this afternoon!

In London this time of year, night falls very early. At about 4:30 p.m. the Christmas lights along Oxford Street started to switch on:

I walked until my feet were ready to drop off (about 6:30 p.m.), then caught the Underground at the Marble Arch station back to Russell Square, returning to the Euro to rest.

After a couple of hours, I went out to a Szechuan restaurant called Chilli Cool on Leigh Street and ordered a VERY hot chicken dish. I closed the place down at about 10:30 p.m., then returned to the Euro to cool the fire from that spicy meal.

Off to bed just after midnight, exhausted but happy and well fed!

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