And now for the post with lots of juicy details and tender moments: FOOD IN LONDON!
Looking back at the rather curtailed collection of pictures I’ve taken thus far (mostly in an effort to make the shiniest moments stand out and leave the rest to memory or the pen,) a striking amount are of food. But are you surprised, really? Look who’s writing this blog, here. That’s right.
So how should I start my food adventures? How about with some quaint tea sandwiches and desserts?
This is a snapshot from the tea I experienced on the boat cruise on the Thames. Nothing to faint over, but lovely nonetheless: a welcoming cup of Earl Grey paired with a healthy assortment of sandwiches, ranging from salmon and cream cheese to egg salad with ginger. The desserts were little brownie bites with dollops of dense clotted cream or pieces of banana bread. On top of the tower were awkward-to-eat numbers with butter and jam in the middle. Delightful.
I made efficient use of my first weekend here with a trip to the legendary Brick Lane market, known for its troves of vintage clothes as well as the usual craft and food stands. Before I left, my flatmates Joe and Katie advised me to try Beigal Bake’s hot salt beef bagel. When I found the place, the line was out the door, so I knew it was worth it. Before even tasting a bagel, I ordered a half-dozen in addition to my commanded lunch. Let me tell you, that hot salt beef bagel was
The blessed culination (yes, getting poetic here) was delivered in a paper bag but anything else would’ve tried to unwisely take away any admiration from the culination in hand. An incredibly doughy bagel encased a handful of hot salt beef (much like corned beef in the US) and an overzealous coat of mustard completed the masterpiece.
A note about the mustard, if you ever find yourself in that Shoreditch sanctuary: Unless you ask for mild, the condiment you will receive will not only clear your nose, send tears down your face in multiples, but it will also demand acknowledgment from your stomach (make it hurt a little, at least for me.)
Beauty Foodie is pain. But it’s worth it, for the devoted.
This is the time when I’ll let Yelp do its thing. Enough said.
I’ll also put this here. Seen on Brick Lane. Have a laugh.
I also passed the notorious and new cereal cafe. Read about it here if you wish. I didn’t go in (long line), but looking inside was enough for me. I’d rather sacrifice an overpriced bowl of cereal for a visit to the CAT CAFE any day.
While at the Sunday UpMarket, I bought some cool earrings and enjoyed a walk through the sensory shower of ethnic food stands peddling all types of world cuisine. I snapped a few pictures of the especially interesting Singaporean and Ethiopian stands before I was caught in the ever-flowing stream of shoppers moving the opposite way. Death, taxes, and assertive market-goers, man.
Grocery note: I’ve taken to British yogurt and English cucumbers (which are the norm, here, obvs.) The great part about them is that they’re about twice the size of boring US cukes so that means DOUBLE THE CUKINESS! I love cucumbers.
If you’re as wacky as me, you’ll find this webpage on cucumber information an interesting read. Or just proof that I’m bonkers (sort of true.)
Another great part about Queen Mary is that walking down the main road gives you a great view of the building known as the GHERKIN! HOW PERFECT IS THAT? My respect for pickles is climbing every day, I think.
I’m also overcome with gladness (and happiness, when I bite into them) when I see persimmons at the supermarket. I also bought and ate three “fresh” figs today at Sainsbury’s just because I’ve never eaten a non-dried fig before (I don’t think.) When it comes to ripening, I’ll let M&S share my tale:
❤ 4evr&alw8z, persimmons ❤
Ok, let’s wrap this puppy up. But before that, here’s a picture of me in front of the cafe next to Sherlock’s and Watson’s residence in the tv show “Sherlock”:
As we serendipitously stumbled upon that on our way to a pub, later that hour I tried steak and kidney pie. My friends keep remarking on my “adventurous eating” (brought up after my British-food-acquainted friend and the cashier both expressed their dissent for the dish before I proceeded to order it.) I see meals as great opportunities to take safe risks and reap possibly high rewards. Why eat the same thing every day when there’s an endless list of tastes you can encounter!?
In the end, I was pleased with my choice to sample a nationally celebrated food. I cannot say so much for the kidney pieces themselves. But that’s alright- more opportunities to sample other dishes!
And now a little palate cleanser to send you off and remind us that indeed, food does come from somewhere magical: