London Eating--great seafood? St. John?

Old May 29th, 2009, 03:12 AM
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Zeppole: Do you have the same e-mail as you did last fall? He loved your comments and would like your e-mail.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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We stopped for lunch one day while walking around London- two weeks ago and ate at J Sheekey and loved it! Everything is fresh and classy and fairly expensive, but we had just returned from Italy and were ready for some really good seafood- wonderful. My husband had the halibut and I had the prawns with fresh green beans- heavenly! Be prepared though- even at lunch everyone was dressed up (except us). A friend had lived in London and recommended it to us. Lunch was probably a better deal (price wise) than dinner would have been and it was the best meal ever!! We also had good food at some of the pubs (Cheshire Cheese- on Fleet street after we visited St. PAUL'S)- it's fun exploring and trying new places. We loved London and hope to go back and see more of the villages outside of the city- but there is so much to see inside this beautiful city. Keep looking up at the architecture- unbelievable!! Our son and his wife live in London so we visited them and then took a trip to Italy. Fun, but we actually loved London the best. Have fun!!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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J Sheekeys at lunchtime = business peeps on expenses. Hence the whistles.

It's a lot less formal in the evening (but stilol not shorts and sandals suitable)
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Old May 29th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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"Waitrose--Is there a better supermarket anywhere in the world?"

I'd be really intrigued to hear what you think Waitrose offers that's not done every bit as well in just about any French hypermarket (except of course for wine. But then French grocers have never understood how to sell wine).

On butchery, game, fish, cheese and charcuterie Waitrose (even the flagship in John Lewis Oxford St) still lags practically every single Carrefour. True, WAitrose have more imaginative chilled, pre-packaged, ready to eat meals and pies. But on the other key product - fruit & veg - Waitrose is still on a totally different, and sadly inferior, planet than the whole French industry
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Old May 29th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Flanner I have only been in a couple of Carrefours, so cannot comment. Those that I visited were truly impressive as well.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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...I should add that most of the Carrefours I have visited have been outside Europe. These, and the few in France i've been to, were most impressive.

I suppose, in my post-trip enthusiasm, I was comparing Waitrose to the poor excuses for supermarkets we have here in the US. The dairy products, the shelves of eggs, the fruits and veg, the jams and preserves, the teas--all far superior to even our Whole Foods. (I did not visit the London Whole Foods but heard that that is superb, too.)
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:09 PM
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I did not get to a Waitrose, but as a segue, may I wax poetic about Walkers crisps? The particular flavor I purchased of these potato chips was caramelized onion with balsamic vinaigrette. It tasted just as advertised. I wish I had brought home an entire suitcase.

eks....where ya going next?
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Old May 30th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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Do you know I have a can of White's lemonade (empty) sitting here in case anyone asked me about new foods I discovered!? I did not have those crisps, but I did have ones with vinegar and salt (already in the chips) but I do not have the empty pack and cannot remember.

One of the most amazing things at Waitrose were the blueberries. I have not seen such berries--large and plump and not one the slightest bit wrinkled--since I was a kid. And the eggs! A whole shelf of eggs (not refrigerated); I wanted to try these so much (a friend visited recently and gushed about the English eggs!) that I cooked up a box and took them home with me since I had no time to eat them in London! Sadly, my mustard and jam were confiscated at the airport, however. Some people will never stoop trying to bring verboten things through security!

To Ischia in September..I have to get my plane tickets soon.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 03:08 AM
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Oh goodness, how could I forget the most fantabulous soda of all time: Barr's Ginger Beer.


http://www.agbarr.co.uk/agbarr/newsi...r!opendocument

I am sure that our UK readers will be laughing at me for extolling the virtues of what must be considered rather mundane items...
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Old May 30th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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I'll look for that ginger beer when I go back. lol at your mustard and jam being confiscated at security. I had some jam as well that almost got taken but they were small enough that they let them through.

On my recent flight, this poor older woman had her chilies that she had proudly stopped at Albertson's to buy because they were on sale for $3 each confiscated. I looked at them and they were large bottles but suspended in brine. I told her she could just open the bottles, pour out the brine, and still take the chilies on but it was of no use.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 03:07 AM
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eks, which town / hotel did you decide on for Ischia ?
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 03:18 AM
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Caroline: Going against much advice, I think we are going to stay at the Villa Melodie in Forio.
I had some e-mails back and forth and the owner seems delightful and fun. The draw for me is the large swimming pool which looks good for lap swimming. We are thinking of renting a Smart car for a few days, if it has an automatic shift. And then we will go to Capri for two nights and then back to Naples airport.

NCounty: Yes! Look for the ginger beer and their other flavors. My friend also likes the lemonade flavor which was excellent, too. I should know better about the mustard and jams, but I just had to try. I had purchased them to use in the flat but never opened them.

This was the first time I ever took only carryons for an international trip.
I was tempted to go back and check my bag so I could bring the jam/mustard, but my partner began to give me incredulous looks, so I caved in and left them there! (Imagine his laughter when I cooked up the eggs that I bought so I could take them home as hard-boiled! They are all used to my quirks by now!)
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 04:20 AM
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Hi. The Villa Melodie looks very nice, although for me it would be too far out of town. When is it you are going ? Will the concerts at La Mortella still be on ?

We are off to Venice, just for a week for the Biennale, on Friday week - can't wait !
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:26 AM
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clever, eks....hard boiled eggs! I think I've done that too.

those tsa agents must have the best back room grazing for their breaks.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 10:07 AM
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That's why their all fat!

CW - no sylph.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Caroline: I hope it is not too far out of town to walk to restaurants! But maybe we will rent a car for a few days..

Lucky you--able to dash off to Venice! Enjoy, enjoy!!! And don't try to sneak home any jams!

I have a book for you, a novel, set mostly in Venice at the time of the Biennale; I am reading it now..

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/d...307377371.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/bo...ew/Iyer-t.html


I just stopped into a local supermarket and saw a shelf of Tiptree preserves. They were all inthe $7-$10US range, except for one kind of "Little Scarlet" strawberry preserve that was $16.99. Have you UK gourmads tried these? (Come on, Cholley--fess up!)
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 11:31 AM
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What's a gourmad? Is it like a gonad?

I don't do sweet things on bread or toast - with the exception of marmalade. Marmalade is lush.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 05:01 AM
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Hi eks. Not sure about the 'dashing off' - I booked the room last July This will be our third Biennale and we are really looking forward to it.

Thanks very much for the book suggestion - I'll make a note to look out for it when it comes out in paperback here. It doesn't sound like the character's experience of Venice is much like ours, though

I have bought Tiptree jams in the past but a long time ago. It's the type of brand which is available nationally in the posher supermarket, and places like Selfridges and Jenners. Recently I've been buying jam from the farmers' market here; however we've just acquired 6 jars of 'Operatic Preserves' made from fruit gathered in Bayreuth by singers in the chorus (at the same charity auction where we acquired our tickets for Bayreuth ). We've just started on the goldengage which I hadn't heard of before and it's very nice - it reminds me more of apricot than anything.

Anyway, you never said if you thought the eggs tasted different from those you get at home ?!

I think you need to come to Edinburgh next - the farmers' market is ace (especially at this time of year), and incredibly we now have 3 x Michelin starred restaurants (1 star) within a 5 minute walk ! And went on Saturday to the new 21212 restaurant, which I think may be the new best restaurant in town : here's a review of almost exactly the meal we ate about 6 years ago at the chef's previous restaurant - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rink.shopping1
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 09:48 AM
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No, a gourmad is a rather daft person who likes to eat. Not far from a gourmand, except without spelling skills.

CE: Honestly, the eggs tasted pretty much the same as they do at home. I got on this egg quest because when my "gourmad" friends returned about a month ago, the first thing they told me when I asked about their trip was how great the eggs were! How the yolks were so golden and how they were not refrigerated, etc etc. So I bought some and intended to make them for breakfast but we never had time to try everything (had to try the whole grain bread, the quark, the preserves, the butter, etc etc).

I love the idea of the "operatic preserves!!" Goldengage sounds dreamy!

Yes, I need to come to Scotland! I was in the Highlands once but never to your home city.

Where are you traveling this summer?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 09:51 AM
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I forgot: Zeppole: See May 29 query, please.
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