Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jolly ole England

I had a wonderful opportunity to get away for a few days to London. I missed one class but will make it up in a week or so. London has made significant leaps in the culinary world since my first trip to the UK about ten years ago. I’ll never forget that trip, most everything I ate was horrid! I thought it was just bad luck but it was just the way things were…thankfully most of that has changed.

With three full days in London we were ready to explore and dine. We had a fantastic dinner at
Bistrotheque in East London the restaurant lives in a former clothing warehouse. A very eclectic crowd buzzed about and the food is a blend of French bistro and British classics. I started with mussels in a velvety white wine cream sauce and had a delicious steak with chips and béarnaise sauce.

After a day of shopping, theater and endless trotting about we worked up a good hunger and had some respectful pub food (Sheppard’s Pie and Steak & Guinness Pie) washed down with some tasty ale. For dinner we headed to the meat-packing district and dined at
Smithfield Bar & Grill. I couldn’t help my carnivorous-self, I had a yummy grilled rib eye steak with an ice-cold French Martini.

On Sunday, the London Marathon was racing through the city. We headed to the Tate Modern, one of my most favorite museums. Over the Millennium Bridge we arrived at the Tate and leisurely browsed the galleries. To escape the throngs of people we descended into the Underground and rode the Tube to Green Park. A misty rain was falling and we walked along Piccadilly past the Ritz Hotel and stumbled upon The
Wolseley. My absolute favorite dining spot was our lunch here – a former car showroom turned bank now restaurant. We shared a leek parmesan tart and soupe au pistou to start. We sat in the bar and enjoyed great people-watching – the service was top-notch and graciously old-style. Joe had the Roast Landaise Chicken with Lyonnaise Potatoes and I had a luscious and classic British Sunday supper of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding.

The next morning, I awoke at 5:oo am to get to Heathrow for my morning flight. Joe went on to
St. Pancras Station to board the Eurostar to Paris for business. I arrived at home in New York, unpacked, showered and went to my evening class at the French Culinary Institute. Severly jet-lagged I mustered enough strength to stay alert as we started our first class in pastry.

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