You know what it’s like trying to arrange a group day out, it’s painful and involves spreadsheets and weeks and weeks of notice. So, it was such a joy to have an impromptu day out recently with two of my dearest pals.
“Do you fancy a day out on Friday? Great, meet you at Liverpool Street Station!”
The sun was blazing, it wasn’t hot but the sky was as bright as a new idea. We hadn’t seen each other for a while so the first stop was coffee, and as luck would have it Eataly is right on the doorstep of Liverpool Street station and has the most incredible cakes and bites of deliciousness. We managed to restrain ourselves as our ultimate destination was Borough Market.
Our chatter flowed and giggles were had, the kind of comfy day you have with people that have known you for years and years, that you can just slip back in with and carry on like you were laughing together yesterday.
A leisurely stroll towards Borough Market over London Bridge. I haven’t been to London since pre-Covid and its amazing how quickly you forget how fantastic it is. As we walked, we reminisced about the years we had worked in London, when we knew the back streets, the pubs, clubs and where to grab a cheap sarnie (no such thing these days, remember Benjy’s anyone?). It had changed plenty, but the main routes remained the same. I always find London inspiring and energising (I guess not going on a daily commute helps with that!).
I love food. I love food programmes. I love finding tasty morsels and Borough Market is a haven for all things delicious.
Living in the countryside, I had been feeling like I was missing out on a food revolution that I didn’t know about. I didn’t know if there was a food revolution, because I didn’t know what I was missing – does that make sense?!
So, long story short, I ate loads of stuff and bought lots of bites of yum home for the troops indoors. The chicken kebabs (cooked at home) were scored 10/10 by my kids and came from chickens that have summer holidays and pedicures – they are so well cared for. That’s the kind of meat I aspire to eat. Less often and higher quality. Each of the venders I spoke with had such a passion for their wares, we forget these things when we just quickly ‘pop to the supermarket.’
We had a table booked at Fish! – which didn’t disappoint. I asked the waiter which sauce I should have on my grilled sea bream and he suggested salsa verde and not the garlic butter I was edging towards. He then said I should have Kalettes with it. Kalettes? Correct Kalettes… this was why I knew I needed to visit the big smoke, I hadn’t a clue what a Kalette was (FYI its a hybrid of a brussel sprout and kale and in the hands of a clever chef and a large knob of salty butter it is delicious). He then suggested that I paired it with a glass of Malbec, well thought I, it’d be rude not to!
I was thinking that lunch would be really expensive, but I guess since Covid and the restaurants having so many obstacles to overcome, there’s many fixed price lunch menu deals to be had.
Not only did I feel replenished by my food, my new Scrabble word of Kalettes (if I played Scrabble – but you know what I mean) and feeling safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t missing a food revolution so great that I’d be an old-lady-bland-cook before the year is out, but I also felt so refreshed and recharged by seeing my friends in a chatty, laugh a lot, relaxed day that I knew I’d be smiling for days after. My heart was fuller than my tummy and that guy hasn’t been trim since the early noughties.
So the moral of this tale is, get a day booked in with your pals and take some time to reconnect with everything that you enjoy. Next for me? I’m off to the theatre to see comedienne Lou Saunders… I’ll be back with my findings next month.