Sunday, May 11, 2008

London - Day One

It's actually the beginning of Day Two, Sunday. However, seeing as we flew in yesterday at around 2:45, spent an inordinate amount of time (at least an hour and some change!) in the customs queue at Heathrow, drove into city center and got settled into our hotel, finally taking off on foot for dinner at about 6:30, I was just too damn tired to post last night after inhaling my meal.

However, I will always endure the rigors of a 10 hour flight to this destination as it 'tis one of my favorite cities on the planet! As long as I can stay awake upon arrival until a ripe-for-bedtime hour, I can enjoy London's pleasures relatively jet-lag free the rest of the week. I know, I have to actually go into work Monday through Thursday, but that will not stop me from enjoying myself!

Speaking of enjoying myself, I didn't do much of that last week. Hence, no posts. I was busy readying myself for two weeks worth of travel, tying up loose ends at the office, oh, and crocheting six enormous items for Crochet Today magazine! Literally, no free time. I plan to make up for last week's misery, by painting the town RED this week. Yes, indeedy.

Now, back last night. My two work colleagues and I were, needless to say, famished upon our arrival at the hotel. So, immediately following brief dates with our respective showers, we three met in the lobby and proceeded to a lovely restaurant around the corner from our home away from home, Al Duca, on recommendation from the hotel's concierge.

Nothing like kicking off two weeks of travel with a fine meal. Al Duca's delights were just the sort that the god Hermes would have partaken in upon exiting his chariot after a long journey!
We began with glasses of chianti and an amuse bouche consisting of a dollop of gorgonzola cream atop a roasted walnut with a sprig of dill. Lovely.

Our second foodie delight was Melanzane grigliate con burrata e olive nere (Char-grilled auberine with creamy mozzarella and black olives). This dish consisted of a generous slice of warm grilled eggplant topped with a healthy portion of THE most creamy burrata I've had the pleasure of tasting. Drizzled with olive oil tinged by its grassy origins, freshly ground black pepper and dotted about with olives nicoise, it was heavenly.

I had the Saltinbocca di branzino con patate n ovelle e scalogno marinato (Sea bass fillet wrapped with Parma ham, sage, sauteed new potatoes and pickled shallots) as my main course. Just remember, everything is better wrapped in bacon! Sea bass is hardly an exception. Cooked and seasoned flawlessly, I inhaled my perfectly portioned fillets. The skin of the fish was as crisp as the ham it was wrapped in, while the meat was tender and sweet. Underneath the fillets were lovely golden shallots and tender browned new potatoes. Mouthwatering.

I ended my meal with two small crepes, one filled with my daughter's fave toast topper, Nutella. The other infused with a lemony sweet ricotta. Yum!

This little bistro is definitely worth a try should you find yourself near Picadilly Circus AND you'd like to avoid some of the more tourist infested locales.

Okay folks, got to jet. Day Two awaits!


Anonymous said...

Sounds heavenly! It reminds me of the trip my family took to London a few years ago - the 10 hour flight, the jet lag, the food, the wonderful city of London! Enjoy!

Crafty Andy said...

Happy Mother's Day and enjoy London, don't forget to go to Carnaby street!!!!

Batty said...

Crepes with Nutella are the best. Yum.

Monique Marie Sauniere said...

Yum!! I think I gained 2 pounds just reading that.

Caroline B said...

What, no fish & chips? If you search around, there are some lovely eateries in London. You've got a fab week for your trip too, sunshine - that makes a change! Have a look round Covent Garden, Portabello Road, there's a fantastic little exhibition on at Buckingham Palace....oh why don't I just nip up on the train & give you a tour! Have a great week.

Gina said...


Natalie said...

Can you bring home a doggy bag?!

Anonymous said...

Man, it's a good thing I was already eating my lunch, homemade red beans and rice with ham bone and smoked sausage, or I'd have had to gnaw my own arm off.

Rachel said...

have fun! I am so jealous :)