If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R Tolkien

25 August 2010

Where did the summer go?

My last post was about spring and now it's the end of August already, with some clear signs of the inevitable autumn. So where have I been all summer? Mostly working, and with the HOT HOT summer here in Helsinki I have been mostly eating salads and sandwiches, not really very interesting to blog about.

We did manage to have a week off, spending it in England, eating for the best part of the time. It was partly inspirational, partly nostalgic, mostly unhealthy, but definately cheaper than in Finland! What follows in this post is a photographic diary of what we ate... well, not nearly ALL that we sampled, but consider it as The Best Of.

Highlight of our culinary adventures was our lunch at Arbutus in Soho, London, where we had four courses with wine and also got the cookbook. Everything was delicious or at least interesting, and service was truly attentive and friendly. Up there in our top 5 dining experiences, for sure.

Arbutus from the outside

My starter of Squid and mackerel burger with razor clam. Went down beautifully with a caraf of Chablis!

Andy's starter of Braised pig's head with potato puree and ravioli of caramelised onions. He enjoyed it! Our waiter suggested a full bodied red from Douro, the port wine region in Portugal, which was full of fruit and tasty indeed.

Andy's main was offalish too; Pied et paquets - Lambs' tripe parcels and trotters, served by three waiters, it was quite spectacular and interesting.

My main course of Line caught Plaice, wild mushrooms and Swiss chard. Full of flavour!

On the left Livarot, on the right Sainte-Maure, with a glass of 1991 vintage Port and a sweet red from Barbera, Italy

Have to have chocolate! This was a Cold chocolate fondant, chocolate wafer and salted caramel ice cream... Heavenly!

Suberb smoothies from Joe & The Juice near Oxford Circus. Just what you need on a break from some serious shopping!

Lunch at a Thai restaurant in Beverley. This is squid in a garlicy sauce, which was nice but not perfect... Squid is tricky!

Just had to add this picture of a comedy carrot from my friend's garden! The rabbit got to eat it though, not me.

Bramble picking. YUM!

Steak and Ale Pie at Green Dragon pub in Beverley. So very British.

Prawn cocktail - a classic! At Green Dragon, Beverley