A Quickie Escape

feast-worthy, May never return

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I was a tour guide in my past life (still considering for future occupation). I also have no sense of direction, so merci Google Maps. I love crafting itineraries and leading the exploration. So far, I think I can be hired. And here’s to a quick London getaway for Memorial Day Weekend with my grandparents.

I always had a fear of bone marrow. Still do. But I gave it a tiny try at St. John Bread & Wine on night one. A place known for its “nose to tail eating,” where all species are welcome. (Think rabbit pie, venison, spot cheek, game terrine…) Excavating into bones and digging out animal’s insides is not my forte, but it’s off the bucket list I guess. Glad the buttery grilled bread was able to do some disguising.

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These beetroots and butter beans with yogurt were epic, unjustified by this mediocre photo. Perfectly warm with a great contrast of sweet and salty. All the dishes are meant to be shared. We also got a globe artichoke (massive), a shaved kohlrabi salad with baby minuscule brown shrimp, a salted cod salad and a mini dessert feast.

Adventurous eaters should pay a visit (I played it safe and still enjoyed). Well, moderately safe considering my archeological dig into marrow.

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The chocolate pudding was unreal.

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Day #2 started with the never-ending National Gallery. Probably too much art from a million centuries ago, but a London classic. Also right on Trafalgar Square.

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Where you see creatures like this…

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And this beauty with a flying gold man that I’m still confused by.

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Let’s talk lunch, obv. Yotam Ottolenghi is a British-based, Jerusalem born chef who has a few outposts in London, plus some cookbooks and a recipe column in the Guardian. His Nopi restaurant was highly recommended and such a delicious treat.

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Just below that beautiful bouquet of flowers is that golden tray of eggplant with almond yogurt and pickled chili–a must. I really just wanted to hoard this table with a fork but that’s not a thing here. With the queen and all.

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There are two large communal tables downstairs where the kitchen magic goes into play (and those without a reservation can enjoy). AKA us. It was great, I happen to love communal tables since…I also love talking to the walls, and anything that moves.

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Lord. Front and center is that eggplant, which was unreal. Just behind is a really tasty hunk of burrata with peach, plum wine, and coriander seeds (which I had to buy at the market, they’re awesome). Also in the shadows is a chickpea, butternut squash, balsamic and feta situation which I inhaled.

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This baked valdeon cheesecake situation with pickled beetroot, almonds, and thyme honey was some kind of creative genius execution. Valdeon is a Spanish kind of blue cheese, and the rest is history. What’s summer bikini season anyways…HELP.

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We walked off a small portion of this feast along Carnaby Street, which is a great place to stroll. Oh…and than Liberty.

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This department story is dangerous. Lots of floors and variety ranging from all things of their signature floral print, to Diptyque candles, bohemian home decor, and Isabel Marant. A serious mix…worth a window shopping kind of visit.

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When else do you see Nike kicks being used as a vase?

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Beautiful flower selection at one of the entrances. I’m officially flower-ed out after today, I think…(more on that later). Then some Italian comfort for dinner.

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First bite at Il Baretto was this tuna tartar, which was really refreshing. Fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, some homemade garlic foccacia blah blah. And than my favorite is when I can order a salad, someone else gets the hardcore pasta, and…I get the best of both worlds. In which case, pomegranate and baby corn quinoa salad for moi, and truffle overdose pasta for the gramps. Five bites did just the trick.

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Really good. I never know when to use flash, when to not… I know it’s always obnoxious, something I can’t help, but I didn’t think this needed extra action. It was pretty much anything you can ask for in a creamy truffle macaroni dish. Great dinner spot, good vibes, make a reservation.

I think that’s enough information for days one and two… The rest shall be shared soon enough 🙂

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