June 5, 2012 - London Calling
I am in London, England right now and things couldn't be more fantastic (well, except maybe the weather). I've been here for a few days visiting my cousin and her boyfriend. Today was the last day of the Diamond Jubilee, a four day national celebration of the Queen Elizabeth's 60 years as monarch. On Sunday we headed down to the River Thames and found a spot across from the Eye of London for the boat parade where I got to see not only the queen but the entire royal family. This is such a beautiful and vibrant city. The quality of the Cadbury chocolate here is so much more impressive than back home. I have been to a few fantastic pubs as well. I have had such a great visit. I have a whole week left before I have to fly back home to Canada.
Yesterday was my cousin's birthday. Among an entire day of fun plans we had dinner at a great Persian restaurant in her neighbourhood in Little Venice called Kateh (pronounced "Kah-tuh"). We ate grilled lamb, charred tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and beet root salad, sesame seed lavash with a variety of creamy and herbaceous spreads, fragrant rice, lamb stew, chicken kebabs, followed by dessert wine, banoffee pie, sticky caramel profiteroles, warm cinnamon biscuits and ice cream. What a feast! Most of the savoury dishes were garnished with pomegranate arils, edible flowers, herbs, and crushed walnuts. I'd say it was the best meal I've had since I made it here.
After dinner the birthday celebrations continued on back at my cousin's flat and we stayed up late and had more than just a few drinks. As a result we were all rather useless today and the rainy weather didn't help. We ate butter croissants and eggy bread for breakfast and later snacked on potato chips (or 'crisps' as they're referred to here) while we watched zombie movies. For dinner we did manage to put together some peppery salmon fillets, a fresh salad, and some roasted vegetables with a cheesy white sauce drizzled over top. The sauce began as a simple roux (flour and butter) with milk, mature cheddar, salt, pepper, and a dash of ground cumin. A healthy meal was definitely in order after a night of drinking and a lazy day of snacking on carbs essentially.
Ladies and gents, this concludes my first blog entry in London. It's late and tomorrow we have lots planned. This Saturday we're heading to Borough Market (I cannot wait). It's one of the most renowned food markets in all of Europe. There will be heaps to report from that venture!
Take good care of yourselves. Eat well,
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