Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Food, glorious food!

Dateline: June - July 2015
Place: London and beyond
Time: Throughout the day
Temperature: Variable
Song of the day and night: Food, glorious food (Oliver!)

Okay, so most probably don't take photos of their meals when abroad ... but I ate really well and think of my trip in terms of great food, theatre, music, and libraries (although not necessarily always in that order). A well-presented cup of tea or piece of Victoria sponge can make all the difference to the day!

So I was lucky enough to have a Konditor & Cook bakery just around the corner from the King's College residences ... mouth-watering chocolate croissants and lattés to start the day (although not too often, so I didn't fill my Cake Club card!). I bought copies of the fabulous bookbook for myself, my sister and a baker-extraordinaire friend and hope I can do the recipes some justice.

As we were walking towards the London Library, on a hot London afternoon, my eye was caught by the colourful display of teapots in a shop window ... of course it was the famed Fortnum and Mason "luxury department store." Prof. Welsh treated us to tea and I had my first truly awesome iced tea, made with very, very good Earl Grey loose tea leaves and my first slice of Victoria sponge cake. Perfecto and oh so British (at least for those who can afford it).

My friend Pamela, who is smart enough to spend part of each summer in London, introduced me to both lunch at Garden Museum Café, attached to Lambeth Palace, as well as champagne cocktails at the swanky St. Pancras Hotel, which exits into the international train station.

Our day out to Oxford started with a lovely snack at the Vaults and Garden Café, which is located in the old Congregation House at Oxford University. I finished with a fizzy cranberry juice at a café on the main drag opposite Balliol College on Broad Street, which went down well as I was parched!

In Edinburgh I ate well ... and particularly liked the menu at The Elephant House, conveniently located across from the National Library of Scotland and "birthplace of Harry Potter" as well as perhaps a couple of John Rebus novels by Ian Rankin? I had lunch there with classmates but also felt comfortable eating up at the front by myself--great corn chips!

I also enjoyed a wonderful dinner one night at The Reverie, a café and bar just down the street from Pollock Halls. I tried the soup of the day (creamed leek) and the Sticky Pork Salad along with the Sticky Toffee Cake for afters ... delish!

Going back to London from Edinburgh, my trip would not have been complete without a cup of Yorkshire Tea, which I also drink courtesy of Mrs. McGarrigle's ... it came complete in its own little carry bag, so that I wouldn't spill it on myself or anyone else! I got on the Virgin Trains East Coast train at the Waverley Station and arrived smartly in about four hours.

Eating in Dublin was equally fine ... and the major treat was lunch at Bewley's, which I knew of in the sense that I regularly by Bewley's Dublin Morning Tea at our beloved 
Mrs. McGarrigle's ... had to have the experience in situ so to speak, although finding a Bewley's was difficult as many seemed to be either undergoing renovations or closed. Finally, I found one in Arnott's, Dublin's "luxury department store" and was first famished and then suffonsified.

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