When we were looking at ideas on where to go on holidays before the end of the year, a few places came up but we could not make up our mind on just one.
So, we decided to split our time between two instead: starting with a weekend in London to catch up with friends we had not seen in a while and finishing with a visit to another European destination with a Christmas theme in mind (if you follow me on Instagram at @cremedecitron , you probably already know which city we picked).
For now, let’s talk about this lovely weekend in London filled with good times with friends and wonderful food.
However, we did visit Japan House which is a cultural centre located on Kensington High Street. I had recently heard about this space and suggested it as a little thing to do after lunch on the Saturday. The exhibition when we were there was SUBTLE Takeo Paper Show (it runs until 24th December of this year). What we got to see were many intricate and delicate paper designs by Japanese creators.
Afterwards we walked around the retail area of Japan House where many amazing Japanese things are available to purchase. It definitely had a lot of very interesting items and I would have happily bought a few things for our home if we had not been traveling with just hand luggage. Before leaving, E. and I ordered matcha tea from the stand in the entrance. It was made the traditional way and served in a very small paper cup. It really reminded us of the matcha tea we were served in Kyoto four years ago. To complete the experience, I also got individual mochis to share with our friends.
We noticed that you can attend some very interesting workshops at Japan House. All you need to do is book to make sure you have a space. If I lived in London, a lot of these would definitely be on my to do list.
We ordered a bottle of Beaujolais nouveau since it had just been released and made up our minds on what we were going to eat (everything was so tempting!). We settled mostly on things to share between us: a charcuterie platter (Italian salame, duck rillettes, pork and pistachio terrine with a few cornichons on the side), a cheese platter (Bonde des Gatines, Comté Cyclamen 24 months, Langres and a very delicious Blu di Bufala), mozzarella (with peperonata and pine nuts), raw veal (with bonito, pickled samphire and cauliflower), delica pumpkin (with cavolo nero and savoury granola), radicchio (with pinenut puree, molasse, mushrooms and goat’s curd) and pork jowl (with broccoli, quince and verjus).
It was all quite delicious with flavours nicely balanced in each of the small dishes. The pork and pistachio terrine, blu di bufala and small dish of delica pumpkin were definitely my favourites
We kept the éclairs to have after dinner that day. Our selection was: two Paris-Brest, one coffee and one flavoured with tahitian vanilla and pecan nuts. I had a Paris-Brest éclair and it was even nicer than I thought it would be. The choux pastry was perfect, the éclair itself not too big, the praline pastry cream inside was delicate with hints of caramel, and everything was topped with a thin layer of light and crunchy hazelnut praline. The chouquettes (choux pastry buns topped with pearl sugar) were also delicious and a nice little thing to have while waiting at the Tube station on our way to our friends’ apartment for dinner (and to watch the Ireland vs New Zealand rugby game taking place that evening).
Sundays being about resting, taking it easy and delicious roasts, The Prince Albert was the ideal place for it as their Sunday menu is adapted for the occasion. I ordered a chicken, ham and leek pie. It was a wonderful dish with lovely flavours. The pie itself had the most delicious pastry crust all lovingly shaped and served on top of a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. After ordering desserts (gluten free chocolate brownies, sticky toffee puddings with caramelised banana), coffees and fresh mint teas, we continued chatting until the sun was already setting and it was time to free up our table.
Listened to: Autumn Hygge on Spotify
Book read: ‘The Glass Castle’ by Jeannette Walls
Is London on your travel wish list?
If you have ever been there, feel free to share with the other readers your favourite things to do, see and eat while there in the comments below.