My husband (X) and I have been together since dinosaurs roamed the earth. A few years ago we had a period where it was tough to come up with new date ideas in the suburbs that were interesting and wouldn’t break the bank. But with the past six months living in London, we’re almost never for wanting when it comes to exciting things to do together. The only thing suffering is our bank accounts.
So when Travelex mentioned teaming up to have a day and night out on the town on their dime (ten pence coin?), I was all in. How far could we really splurge with $150 USD in a crazy city like London?
Savoring the morning
As we chose a Friday to have our hot date, one of us (husband) had to schlep into the office. That left me to do a bit of work as well, so I headed to my favorite coffee shop in Clapham, south London. Fingers curled around a perfectly poured flat white, Brickwood is an oasis along the streets of the common that can offer a perfect start to the day.
An Asian fusion lunch
Wagamama has been in London for ages. But for this expat, it’s a whole new glorious concept. I love the large portions, fresh ingredients and large selection of choices at this Japanese-inspired chain. A couple hearty udon noodle plates got us geared up to get ready for a big night.
Later on, I wandered over the South Bank, only a 20-25 minute bus ride from Clapham. X met me down there later on for a quick walk along the Thames. I popped into the Tate Modern, because I just love how museums are often totally open and totally free of charge. The Tate also has a small balcony off the second floor through one of the gift shops with great views of the river. We went back home to relax for a bit before the next meal up in the theater district.
Brazilian flair and fun
There’s some fantastic deals online for dinner and a show I’ve been wanting to try out. I thought the culinary choices would be slim picking, but I was delightfully surprised with a fun option a little off the main drag of restaurants. In an unassuming apartment complex lies Cabana Brasil, full of color and lights with Brazilian music wafting through the air. With the LOVETheatre deal, we had some tasty starters then grilled chicken smothered in guava BBQ sauce. We ate all the things. Washed down with a couple of authentic caipirinha cocktails, the meal was perfection. We even topped it off with a couple sundaes, as part of the froyo proceeds go towards the ABC trust benefiting young people in Brazil.
It was time for the grand finale. I am a psycho for musicals, plays and anything live on stage. Being only a quick ride away from some of the best theaters on the planet has been wonderful – I’ve been lucky enough to see Miss Siagon, Book of Mormon and Memphis so far. Now X is often a good sport, but I know musicals make him want to crawl out of his skin, so I often go with girlfriends to those.
When trying to find something we’d both enjoy for the night, I happened on “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime”. It’s a play adapted form a book about a teenage boy with autism. But his intelligence and extraordinary way of perceiving the world has led him to some interesting scenarios. The incredibly clever set design was mind-blowing, as was the acting of the boy Christopher and the people who interacted with him in his daily life. X was moved by the play and said it was one of the best he’d ever seen. Win-win!
A nightcap drink, stroll around Leicester Square, and a bus home later we were back in Clapham after a wonderful day out. I look forward to warmer weather where we can brave the outdoors even longer, but this was the idea wintertime date in London for two expats.
A $150 date breakdown in London:
Preparation flat white at Brickwood: £3
The Tate Modern Museum: FREE
Lunch at Wagamama: £20
Dinner for two at Casa Brasilia: FREE with theater tickets (£16 extra for drinks)
Tickets for two to The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime: £90
Total: £113 GBP = $160 USD
Thanks so much for Travelex for hosting us on this great date! All adventures, plans and opinions are my own.