It's been a weekend of absolute doom (w.r.t. life) and gloom (w.r.t. weather). Nothing went to plan, I upset a good friend and I got absolutely soaked in London (though this was the good part). Seeing as I actually LOVE gloomy, grey, overcast weather, I’m going to stick with the gloom today and save the doomy story for tomorrow (I imagine you’re super excited for tomorrow’s post now aren’t you?) just to save confusion/contradiction. Cool?
With a half a Sunday ahead of me, and nobody who wanted my company (*wails*), I found myself alone, in London, on a very rainy day. Gloomy? Yes. Still my favourite type of day? Yes. As much as I like a sunny day, it always feels like the city's behaving out of character if the sun's shining. Almost like a naughty kid on his best behaviour, beaming up at you with all pearly whites. That's London on a sunny day, wooing you, conning you. Rainy London is the real London. The London that tourists are prepared for (visitlondon.com says "…weather is very fickle, plan a picnic in the park on a bright, sunny morning and it could be raining by noon. So always be prepared, you never know what may happen." Say no more.) So around Leicester Square I traipsed along with the tourists, damp seeping through my clothes, lashings of rain matting my hair (yes, the tourists were better prepared than I was. Your point is…?), through the wonderfully aromatic Chinatown and onto Oxford Street. I haven't been to Chinatown for a long time - and I'd almost forgotten how good it smells (and looks - check out the cakes with the pandas on them!). The highlight - I doubled back on myself (I was too full of street-side pizza and Haagen-Daaz the first time), for some steaming hot coconut pearl bubble tea. Confused? Let me tell you. Just when I thought I'd entertained every possible combination/option/variation/experimentation of tea (hot/cold/spiced/iced/fruit/herb/you get the point), I stumbled upon Bubbleology in Soho. If you like your tea in a cup and saucer, stop reading now. Mesmerised by bubbling, neon beakers, I stood, mouth and eyes wide open in fascination, before being drawn inside. As I didn’t know really know what exactly I was here for, (and I was a bit too shy to ask seeing as EVERYONE was Chinese and seemed to know what it was), I chose the third drink on the menu (lucky number three) and fled for the awning of a neighbouring store to shelter from the rain. And there I stood, slurping something purporting to be tea through a straw (a straw!) that was fat as my forefinger. This was bubble tea, a long way from Earl Grey, a bizarre blend of a milkshake and a Lipton's: very sugary, and – here's the rub – filled with soft little tapioca pellets. (Or bubbles. Hence the name. And the fat straw.) Downing the glass was a surreal experience, not least because half of it wasn't liquid. There were so many bits of tapioca, it felt like I was having lunch (again). Of course when I got home I had to google the phenomenon and I was actually pretty disappointed to find that I’m rather late catching onto this one. Apparently it’s pretty big in New York. Anyone tried it?
Visit Bubbleology at 49 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 7PF