travelogues for... London


In London #3… More Borough Market

Among the things we bought at Borough Market…

It was too cold for oysters…

But we picked up a pie from this Gentleman. Mr. Porky, it was called.

He said I was the first person to ask before snapping a picture. There were a LOT of tourists (and cameras) there.

How could we not pick up a block of this delicious, 14-year aged comté, after tasting the incredible samples?

Along with a loaf of rosemary and sea salt focaccia, from The Flour Station. And one scone.

The line for a plate of hot, melted Raclette, over boiled potatoes with crisp cornichons on the side, was just too long.

We didn’t stop at one cheese, and purchased a triangle of this one–from Wales and quite unusual.

And last but not least, three of us had a spicy grilled chorizo rolls to tide us over until dinner, from outside the Spanish foods store. It was the one of the coldest places we stood that day, with the wind whipping through the corridor and hitting us straight on.

But it was well worth the cold, cold wait.

In London #2… Borough Market

As it was for all things in London last weekend…

It was incredibly cold at the Borough Market.

You can see it in the way all the vendors bundled up.

But that didn’t stop the masses from wandering down to see the bounty of wonderful foods on offer.

It was truly a delight to see…

And makes most other farmer’s markets look puny, by comparison.

I regret that I did not get back down to the section for meat and furry game, I’d passed earlier, camera at the ready. What with a coffee in hand, I was an arm too short.

Though any vegetarians viewing now will be pleased to hear that.

+ more Borough photos coming shortly!

In London #1… Monmouth Coffee

Sorry, Portland.

Sincere apologies, San Francisco.

But I think I’ve just had the best cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted.

And it was in London.

When I visited, it was so cold outside and so crowded inside, that I only got a precious few photos at Monmouth Coffee Company.

I’d been told by Suzi, who used to live there, that London was becoming quite the coffee city, despite the country’s predilection for tea.  And Monmouth, with it’s 20 minute line out the door (in freezing temperatures, no less), is certainly a testament to this change in taste.

Each cup of single filter coffee is brewed individually–starting with the beans, freshly ground for every cup. The result was fantastic–a nuanced, balanced cup of coffee with a bouquet of nutty, earthy smells and flavors that unfolded slowly, as I inhaled its aroma and took my first sip.

Not unlike a fine wine.

You may think I sound a little overzealous.  But if you are someone like me, who loves coffee–and I mean COFFEE-coffee, not some water-flooded shot of espresso known as an Americano–and you’re someone who drinks it black, cherishing all of its pure, unadulterated flavors, then you know that there are few things more satisfying than a truly great cup of joe.

London Town

We spent a chilly Thanksgiving weekend in London…having some pints, tasting around Borough Market, picking up the Evening Standard, enjoying the company of great friends, sipping some amazing coffee at Monmouth, finishing four bottles and a cheese plate at Gordon’s Wine Bar, walking along the chilly Thames, enjoying a Hookah, visiting the Tate Modern, taking an ill-fated black cab, ordering fancy cocktails at the fancy Oxo tower, and having a proper English breakfast.

Here are just a few pics of the trip.