Wednesday, 25 June 2014

In the Know: Our London Trip

 While visiting Paris we decided to take the Eurostar train to London. The trip is a quick 2 hours and 15 minutes flat and the ride is comfortable and affordable. We couldn't resist the opportunity since my midwest girl Kelly and her lovely husband and daughter live there. It was a fabulous reunion and a great preview of some of the cool things London has to offer. Our first stop was Borough Market in Soutwark, Central London. This is one of the oldest and largest food markets selling wholesale and retail food. Kelly struck gold taking me there since this is one of my favorite outings in any city I visit. After browsing the market we each chose what food would satisfy our cravings and found a spot to sit at the church courtyard across the street.

Nathan and Kelly shop the market

The cheese were a plenty at this market. While taking pictures and parusing the wide selection we were offered a sample of Belper Knolle. This cheese is much like a parmesan with a crust of spices on the outside, such as garlic and black pepper. The flavor was incredible! I am now on a quest to find it in the  United States. 

We had lunch at the market and I chose this delicious curry. The pots these were served in were absolutely massive and the aroma was irresistible! Plus you get a taste before committing. I chose the Vietnamese Curry with Sweet Potato. It had the perfect amount of spice with just enough sweetness from the sweet potato.

Oh the Meringue!

The Ekardt's have a lovely backyard which is quite rare for flat in London. We took advantage of the beautiful weather by having brunch in the backyard on the deck. Jules, Kelly's husband made a delicious baked dish full of chickpeas, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices topped with eggs. It was beautiful and delicious, plus the company was irreplaceable. 

Edith the little artist

Brunch I ended up wearing on my blouse! Messy me!
After a long night out dancing, and after being up for 24 hours straight we needed that delicious brunch Jules made for us. Of course then we needed coffee and snacks that afternoon. The lovely neighborhood of Crouch Hill has the perfect places for this. We stopped in at Gail's Bakery for delicious savory treats and superb coffee. I ordered a Flat White, which to Americans is basically an Americano with a little steamed milk in the top. Perfection! 

My husband Nathan really wanted to see what London had to offer in the way of Vinyl so we did some serious record shopping on our visit as well. We met the owner of Haggle Vinyl, which is a staple of London's record store scene. He was a colorful and passionate fellow with many opinions on the state of the world. It was fascinating talking with him. I always learn something new when I open myself up to other people's points of view. Nathan stuck to record shopping while we were there and found some real gems in his collection.

The owner of Haggle Vinyl also had a chair for significant others (women) to sit and wait for their significant other while they shopped for records. He named it the Moan'n chair. While this might offend some, Kelly and I thought this was hysterical! It was nice to have somewhere to sit down too.  

All that record shopping meant we needed some serious food! Kelly took us out to lunch at The Breakfast Club. Nathan and I both ordered Pot Pies. Mine was filled with spinach, cheese, and sweet potato. The mashed potatoes underneath and the gravy poured over the top left me feeling stuffed and very satisfied. The English really know how to do Pot Pie!

Other sights along the way...

Girl making sea turtles in the sand

Amber and Nathan at the Tate Modern Art Museum

It was so much fun spending time with the Ekardts, especially adorable little Edith who is now 2 years old. I just had to capture this shot of Kelly and Edith. Plus Edith is wearing her very own Midwest is Best T-shirt! 

London was amazing and thanks to the Ekardts we got the insider perspective of the city. Three days was way to short and we must go back to visit soon! It was great spending time with my Midwest girl Kelly. I loved every minute of it and London was such a vibrant city I can't wait to explore more! 

From London,

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