Not long ago I friend of mine revealed that she’d never been to London. Obviously something had to be done about that. So last week we packed our bags and trotted off to the capital, leaving our studies and troubles behind in the far North.
On the first night we went to 101 Thai Kitchen, a West London hidden gem. Small and cosy, with portraits of the Thai king and queen hanging either side of a flatscreen TV showing a Thai soap, it had a very authentic feel. But the real star of the show was the food: My ‘make-your-own’ lettuce wraps with grilled sea-bass, fresh coriander, Thai basil and a chili-peanut sauce is easily the best Thai food I’ve ever had. The fresh ingredients, the combination of flavours, the simplicity of it… absolutely beautiful.
The next day we were in a cultural mood and went to Tate Modern, the must-see art museum which also happens to be free – well worth going, in my humble opinion. We took lunch in the bustling museum café which is big on high-quality seasonal fare. I had a light and crunchy salad with broad beans, peas, radishes, asparagus, lamb’s lettuce and pecorino cheese, all elegantly combined by a wild garlic pesto. Boom – all the season’s delights on one plate. I’ll definitely try this out at home.
On our third and last day we had a look around Islington, one of my favourite parts of London. Browsing the antiques stalls, vintage shops and boulangeries that make up this charming neighbourhood we suddenly found ourselves at the home of one of Britian’s foremost chocolatiers, Paul A Young. Something of a chocolate wizard, he is renowned for his daring and imaginative flavour combinations – marmite truffles and goat’s cheese pralines are just some of his trademark creations. I can’t wait to dig in to my very own selection of crazy truffles.
Before the 4½ hour train ride back North we settled down at a café and had a last bite of London. My nutella-filled Danish pastry was outragous but good – a case of instant sugar rush but well worth it. And so, our three delightful days in London came to an end and it was back to terrential rain in Edinburgh. Oh well. Feels like home.