Monday, November 4, 2013

On the road again: London, day 2

I started late today after breakfast, some work, and a nap.  The first order of business was wandering about to see a bit of London by foot.

Christmas is already starting here.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

Normally, I am militantly against Christmas decorations appearing until the day after Thanksgiving--not that anyone listens to my protestations, of course--but for no particular reason all the Christmas trimmings I saw today made me rather happy.  The hall above was festive and fun, and I admired the simplicity of the decorations on this rather huge tree.

Clearly, others did as well.

I'd love to see this street at night.

Though I did not go inside, I very much wanted to enter this frozen yogurt place, Snog.

The name alone would have done it, but the slowly changing LED lights made it very hard for me to walk by.  

After much wandering about, I found Forbidden Planet, where I was soon to sign stock.  I had time for a quick lunch, so I ducked into a cute place across the way, The Diner.  I feared it would prove to be a tourist shop for Americans, but to my relief all the other folks inside were hipster Londoners eating happily and enjoying the quite good rock-and-roll playing over the PA system.  Put me in a diner with a rock-and-roll soundtrack, and I am always likely to be happy.  The food was reasonable and tasty, and enough off from its American counterparts to be interesting, so I have no complaints.

Jon Harrison and the other folks at Forbidden Planet were very nice to me as I signed a trolley of books and then wandered the store for quite some time.  If you're into any of the same geek interests as I am, odds are high that you would find a great deal to like in this store.  I certainly did.

Wandering back to the hotel to work for a few hours, I came across this lovely piece standing in front of St. Martin in the Fields.

For no reason I can explain, it quite spoke to me.

Across the way, Trafalgar Square, which I shot here from the rear, was lovely in the oncoming evening.

A bit of getting lost led to the opportunity to see the London Eye through these trees.

It gleamed magically in the damp air.

Hitting number seven on the top 50 restaurants list in 2013 was Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, tonight's dinner destination.  Though Blumenthal is justifiably famous for his nose-to-tail cooking at his flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck, where I have not yet had the privilege of dining, Dinner is a different beast entirely.  Dedicated to recreating and reinterpreting recipes from Britain's past, Dinner's fare is comparatively simpler than a lot of what I've read about The Fat Duck, but from what I tasted tonight, I have trouble believing it is any less delicious.

The highlight of my meal was a Black Foot pork chop with Robert Sauce and a side of spelt, ham hock, and turnip, a dish based on an 1820 recipe from Careme's time in London. 

This lovely piece of meat was quite possibly the best pork chop I've ever tasted, succulent and rich and perfect. 

Dinner eschews the tasting menus of so many top restaurants in favor of a simple, three-course, a la carte menu, but everything I tasted was lovely.  I definitely recommend it.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely trip this has become. Thank you for sharing.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words. I feel very fortunate to get to do this.


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