Archive for the ‘Food And Drink’ Category

Just a Perfect Day

PJ and I had a nice lunch in Trafalgar Square…Falafel from Just Falafel. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the quality has gone down a bit, which is a real shame. I liked the food and I like the folks that work there, but I have to be honest.

Eating Falafel

OR, what might have put me off the food was staring at the bloke with no pants on. (more…)

How to Kill a London Cold

Ok, so there’s no cure for the London cold. I’ve been disillusioned by cold suppressants for some time now, so I decided to try an old folk remedy — homemade chicken noodle soup. I know, I know, how could something as simple as soup help relieve devastating symptoms of London cold viruses. After all, there probably exists one variant of the London cold virus for every person living in London. A depressing thought I know, but there’s light at the end of the soup bowl, really. While chicken soup doesn’t have any anti-viral properties that I’m aware of, it does assist in relieving symptoms until the cold has been vanquished by your immune system. It accomplishes what most of those cold suppressants you see advertised on the Tube can’t do. Modify this recipe as you see fit, but I must insist on the chicken stock (and the garlic!), it’s not so hard to make really, you just boil chicken. For vegetarians or vegans, go with a vegetable stock by adding more veggies of your choice. Give it a go. I used mostly organic vegetables for this one, primarily for flavour and nutrition content. Even the worst of cooks can make a decent soup with a little practice. Enjoy it!

West India Quay and All That

London is developing so fast that even I can’t keep up with it. Last weekend I went to the Museum of the Docklands to check out an exhibition about slavery in London. This museum must be one of London’s biggest bargains. A £5 ticket allows you unlimited entrance for a year! It’s a fascinating place chocked full of interesting artefacts that relate the story of the history of the docklands/ The Sailortown gallery is the Museum’s second full size reconstruction. Stepping through the doors the visitor is transported back 150 years to the dark, winding streets of Wapping in the 1840s and 1850s. Apparently the museum has been open for 4 years but I guess, like me, noone knows about it. The place was virtually empty when I went which was a real shame.

The Museum is part of the new West India Quay, another Docklands development that seems to have sprung up from nowhere. It’s quite a trendy area with lots of restaurants overlooking the Thames and I had a fairly decent tapas at the restaurant two doors down from the Museum. I’m sure it’s busy with City workers during the week but I went on a Sunday and the whole place was very quiet.

End of an Era

I’ve been away so long Tony Blair was still PM. I’m sorry. There has been a lot going on in my life and its all taken priority over pretty much anything else.

You see in less than maybe as little as a fortnight I’ll be a Dad. I know! Me too.

On that passing of one age to another today was the last chance you’d be able top eat Gammon, Egg and Chips along with Apple Pie with Custard for as little as maybe £6. Yes, the New Piccadilly Café & Restaurant closed its doors as developers finally killed off originality on Denman Street. The café has been there since my own parents were barely kids and now its gone. With original fixtures & fittings as well cups and glasses it forever seemed to be holding back the passage of time.

Alas, today Lorenzo called it a day and quiet possibly had the busiest day in years. I went there maybe five times in total and of course wish I’d known about it earlier, but that’s life. I’ll miss it, as will all those others who made a pilgrimage through its doors today one last time. Ciao.

Now, to fatherhood….

Al Fresco in Covent Garden

I can be super grumpy when the market is filled with you lot. It’s difficult enough to move my lazy butt to Tescos from my flat side of the Piazza without having to say “pardon me” a million times to the likes of slow-moving Midwestern women in shorts. But, this next bit is good for you ’cause the food will be awesome, and good for me ’cause, well, I have bad feelings about Tescos in Central London (see previous rants) and will do anything to avoid it.

It’s the Night Market, and it is truly awesome. Live performances, alcohol and 35 different food stalls ranging from Ginger Pig (well, I never…) to The Sporeboys famous mushroom sarneys.

Hope to see you there. I’ll be the one stuffing my face with chutney.

August 16th, 23rd and 30th from 17:00 to 22:00 in the Covent Garden Piazza
Official Site Here

Meat & Some Veg

London has gone organic food mad. I spent yesterday at the Marylebone Fair – a yearly event featuring a fantastic selection of stalls selling specialist cheeses, bread, fruit & veg plus lots of exquisite jewellery and clothing. Since I was last on Marylebone High Street a few months ago, the place seems to have been transformed. Now it’s impossible to walk more than a few feet without seeing a new organic food grocery or pricey bakery. I’m still on the fence whether I’m prepared to pay £21/k for a sirloin steak or £2.50 for a loaf of bread especially since I’ve been going to the best butcher in London called Bifulcos for almost a decade. It’s rare these days to find a butcher that not only knows their customers all by name but, in my case, even tries to set them up on dates. A few years ago I had to dissuade them from introducing me to a ‘very nice man’ when they heard I was single. Bifulcos in Cricklewood sells fantastic Scottish beef, Osso Bucco, salt beef and their own fantastic sausages. Sure, it’s a little more expensive than the supermarkets but doesn’t seem half as expensive as the organic shops I’ve been to lately.

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A Homage to Custard Creams

Lately the supermarket seems to have been over run with groovy biscuits but in my office we have a soft spot for the custard cream. Actually, it’s more than a soft spot. We get through a pack of custard creams a day. OK, I admit it. We’re addicted to custard creams. For those unfamiliar with the custard cream, it is basically a sweet, milky tasting cookie with a wedge of custard flavoured cream on the inside. Think the English equivalent of an Oreo, only vanilla flavoured. It’s truly yummy. We’ve tried other biscuits – shortbreads, bourbons, even those flavourless tea biscuits but we always come back to Custard Creams.


State of the Union

I’m already unimpressed as PJ has told me Hamburger Union is “just OK.” Why I agree to go, I cannot say, but go I do.

Pasties in the Market

OK, I have been struggling with this one all weekend. I want to keep it for myself. But then I think: no one really takes our advice anyway, so what does it matter?

You may have seen the West Cornwall Pasty Co. around your posh neighborhoods and in stations. We’ve got one in the Piazza, and I often grab a pasty for lunch and then go to St. Paul’s chruchyard to chow down. They are only three quid, and they will keep you filled for the day.

Tea Time for Ulcers

Having a home office can sometimes be a drag. Been working from home all day. I haven’t actually left the house. I’m not sure if that’s only a tad bit insane. In any case, what can I write about if I haven’t left the house?

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