Wednesday, March 14, 2012

London #1

If you're hungry --- and we were --- I can't think of a better place to find yourself than the Borough Market on a Saturday. On our way to find another market (recommended by someone we'd met in Paris) we exited the Underground and found ourselves in a wave of people heading across the street --- to the Borough Market. There we feasted on the first item we found --- a succulent pulled pork sandwich with a warm apple sauce and herb stuffing --- before we saw other items we could have chosen: Sausages (of all kinds), cheeses, breads, sweets, candy, curries....and much much more. Our advice to travelers: Plan travel so you arrive in time for weekend markets --- they're amazing places to get a glimpse of how others live (and eat).

Sausages (and sandwiches) we missed

Mother's Day --- Mothering Day --- is Sunday, March 18 in England. The best window sign we found (other than this one) was: "We love you Mum....even though we frequently argue." Honesty...honesty.

Nuts, dried, fruit, and coated everything....

Baking --- and bread in particular --- is well-represented at Borough Market. We especially liked the look of Hoxton Rye, a dark sourdough rye made with 90% rye. We'd like to try it this season at the market.

Lots of colorful clothing...interesting, happy people, and great food --- much of it shared in the sunny courtyard of Southwark Cathedral very close to the "London Bridge." The beverage in the pitcher is Sangria, made to order and enjoyed on the lawn. This is the way to spend a sunny afternoon!!!

And we found some things that likely should have been covered with a bit more.... the caption on the seat said "Glorious Food"... go figure.

Three years ago (on a book review recommendation) we bought a cookbook written by Yotam Ottolenghi. Sunday we were lucky enough to visit one of his four places --- part take-out, part restaurant. This one in Notting Hill is immaculately cared for and obviously loved by the neighborhood. The windows feature plate upon plate of delicious food throughout the day. In the morning (when we visited) there were dozens of breakfast items. Later, salads, prepared meats, sandwiches and veggie offerings are brought out. It's a wonderful place. Ottolenghi has since written a second book ("Plenty", available at Costco, by the way) and it's full of flavorful, sensible vegetarian foods, it is a "must have".

If your mouth is watering as much as ours did...then the pictures have done justice to the Ottolenghi vision.

Colorful fronts along the way in Notting Hill.

And there's lots and lots of brickwork all over town.

Three women posed on Oxford Street for pictures. It was not clear if they were, indeed, members of a wedding party or dressed up for a Sunday afternoon, but they sure were having fun.

Bright colors in a men's clothing store...and fancy umbrellas. These folks know how to dress up!