Tag Archives: London

Mind of a Chef

Thank you, Chef Bourdain, for bringing this to us on Netflix. The series? I am eating it up with all the great chefs and learning cuisines from the Southern US, London, Vietnam, Thailand, everywhere around the world. And I love April Bloomfield.

Tony Bourdain, you’re now building up, not tearing down. That’s a good thing and may have something to do with having a family. That said, one tearing down piece you wrote nearly made me fall off my chair laughing, the ‘Bo Room back in the day.

I just looked up Rock Center. Forty restaurants? It’s a food court with a few good restaurants and chefs. I read your first book and sent it to my brother who started as a busboy a week before Christmas at a private club in LA in the 80’s and Richard Nixon gave him a $200 tip. ┬áHe would have stories, too, but is involved in the arts and other adventures.

Thank you for the Mind of a Chef adventure. Cheers! Dee

 

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Attention: Shoppers

Do not read this. I committed a grievous crime, more than one, actually, against the people of England and Scotland. Thank goodness my time there never induced me to commit similar infractions in Wales or Ireland (north or south).

OK, read it, it’ll up my numbers. But don’t send me hate mail!

My husband was sent overseas for six weeks, which means double that time as we’d been through this before, so I came along. The bulk of our time was spent in Scotland. I had a friend there and we traveled twice a week and visited many castles, museums and churches.

Time was getting short and we were in London for a week. I was tasked by a dear friend to get the smallest Harrods signature bag, it must be blue and have the logo. It was to be her Yorkshire Terrier’s “luggage” for clothing, hats, treats, clean-up bags et al. Don’t even talk to me about that dear dog’s wardrobe, Suffice it to say that she had more handmade couture than I ever did.

I wanted a large Harrods bag, and another friend was perfect for the medium sized bag as a gift. I didn’t want to make a day of Harrods so decided to visit Kensington Palace (an expensive mistake as it was run down and dingy) then got caught in a downpour without an umbrella but did have a lovely lunch on the grounds of the Palace.

Harrods did not beckon me that day. I went right by it en route back to our flat, got on my then-new laptop and ordered the three bags and had them sent separately to me and the other lucky recipients. A portion of the time I could have spent at Harrods was more wisely spent at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace where I finally got to see Artemesia Gentilleschi’s self-portrait, a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance art.

As to the Scots, the Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood in Edinborough was expensive and a lost day, but I was on a monthly state-issued museum pass so OK. My friend and I did visit a distillery in the area long-frequented by Robert Roy MacGregor and his clan. We tasted a ten-year and twenty-year old scotch whisky that was aged in Spanish sherry casks.

A gentleman from work was taking care of my husband’s team and projects during his absence and I wanted to reward him with a bottle of Glengoyne.

We flew for 12 weeks to Glasgow and London with two suitcases, two laptops and my purse and were determined to come back with nothing more except a few gifts for friends, colleagues and family. I emailed my local specialty wine and spirits store while overseas and, lo and behold, they held a bottle of Glengoyne whisky for me. I picked it up upon return, boxed it and my husband brought it to work. No duty, no Customs hassle.

It probably makes sense that my husband uses Amazon for practically everything, including toilet paper and paper towels. Why spend time in the car and in stores when that time could be better spent?

If I had slim, dainty feet I might shop all the time and have a closet full of Jimmy Choo’s, Unfortunately my mother was correct, if cruel, when she said that instead of buying my sister and I each a pair of shoes for the school year, she should get two pair for my little sister and let me wear the boxes. I still think that genetics have more to do with the shape of my feet than running around outside in the country barefoot for four months of each year.

Ah, shopping. I do love a good grocery store, butcher or fishmonger. Girlfriends know not to call me for fashion or shoes. Enjoy the day. Dee

ps How did I get to this? I found my Harrods bag up in the front closet and took it to get my husband lunch. When we first moved in my husband thought it was full of trash (it was not) and threw it in the dumpster. Yes, my dearest love went dumpster-diving to save my Harrods bag. I washed it and it was fine. D

Harrods

We worked overseas for a few months for a US company and got to London twice, once for three days and then I secured us a flat for our final week.

I had plans, grand plans, to see everything I could starting with Borough Market in Southwark right down the street. My husband was at work so I was on my own. My goal was Not To Shop. I really hate shopping! I’d rather order a needed good on Amazon than go to an actual store, except the grocery.

A few months back, before we left I promised a dear friend to get her a small Harrods tote bag, the essential plastic tote that shows everyone in the world you’ve been to London and, specifically Harrods. I went to Kensington Palace that day, a supreme waste of time and money except I did have a nice lunch on the grounds afterwards. I could have changed my Tube route “home” and stopped at Harrods but chose not to.

I got online (my husband outfitted me with a MacBook and Skype and headset so I could be in touch with family and friends and pay the bills back home) and ordered a small tote for friend J and a large one for me.

Rarely used, my tote was in a box I said was trash. Four homes later, my husband tossed that trash. I asked about the Harrods bag. He said yes, it’s in the trash.

He took himself to the basement and dumpster-dove until he found my Harrods bag whereupon I washed it and placed it in the closet.

So, I’ve been to London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, seen Artemesia Gentileschi’s incredible self-portrait at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, Winston Churchill’s War Rooms and walked the parks but have never been to Harrods.

When we arrived home, everyone asked how Harrods was. As I handed the bag over (I had it sent to our US home address) I said “I wouldn’t know. I never went.” And that was that. Have a great day! Dee