June 3rd: Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Not that an excuse was really called for, but a few pints of locally-brewed beer at the Boxing Cat Brewery seemed a fitting way to celebrate our six-year wedding anniversary today.  In addition, Tuesday marks our two month anniversary of living in Shanghai so we felt it appropriate to have an additional pint  to celebrate.

The Constellation Bar

Absinthe and Gin based cocktails for those wedding anniversary moments

This all following last night’s extravagant impromptu cocktail session at the Constellation Bar: never before has walking past a bar, stopping and going “That looks worth a try- should we pop in for a look?” proved so expensive.  A few hours, several cocktails (tequila based, absinthe based, other-miscellaneous-based) and much lighter in pocket later, we decided not to bother heading towards our original destination.   Classy Brits as we are, our evening meal consisted of nuts from the Constellation Bar and a few chips (the British, not American version) from an Italian Restaurant that made the mistake of still being open for serving gone 11pm.

Earlier in the day we’d joined Rachel in a bottle of Prosecco at her nearby apartment to accompany an excellent home-cooked meal (prepared by Rachel’s ayi).  It hasn’t just been a weekend of drinking though – my quick estimate looks like almost 10 miles’ worth of walking around (the Fitbit reckons 14 miles, but it’s a bit like estimates from fishermen – take a third off and you’re closer to the truth).

Bron and Rachel in Xujiahui ParkOver the weekend we walked to two parks on opposite ends of the Former French Concession, with Fuxing Park today giving us the unexpected aural battle between a bench-based lady opera singer and a full-on band playing a couple of metres from each other.  We have no idea who arrived and set-up shop first, but with the whole park at their disposal, you’d have thought the cacophony of discord would result in one of them admitting defeat.  It didn’t seem to, and nor did it seem to dispel the curious crowd.

The Prosecco was purchased at our nearby Marks and Spencer, selling British food at very reasonable prices.  By reasonable, I mean if you’d popped into Harrods with fifty quid and bought Prosecco, crisps, fish fingers, biscuits and little else you’d probably not complain.   M&S out here is our little Harrods.  That little slice of luxury (fish fingers) is sometimes essential.

And speaking of essential, yesterday’s Prosecco and cocktail session meant today’s reversion to beer was purely medicinal.

So Happy Anniversary Mrs Sims – let’s hope next year we’ll be celebrating in a house with furniture to sit-on!Xujiahui Park

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