This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. It’s funny, I always feel that as the weekend is only two days long, and the week is a massive five days, that I need to make those two little weekend days count. Most of the time, it is spent doing the boring stuff like chores, cooking meals and cleaning up afterwards. This weekend however, I decided to drag my husband (the Mister) out of the comfort of the armchair and venture into the city.
First stop was The Shard, at London Bridge – the tallest building in the EU. We chose the wrong day to go – it was very cloudy and visibility was quite poor. Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable experience! We were led up to the 69th floor, where there was a viewing platform, looking over the whole city. London looks spectacular from above in any light, and the views were really worth the £25 ticket price. Next we went up to the 72nd floor, which is open to the elements.
I loved watching the trains coming in and out of London Bridge station, chugging over Borough Market.
I have a thing for angles and industrial buildings…this is the view if you look straight up whilst inside the Shard.
Love-birds over London…
There was a short discussion between the Mister and I, as to which experience was better – the Shard or the Eiffel tower – we decided that we had enjoyed the Eiffel tower more, but only because visibility was excellent, and we went at dusk, as the sun was sitting low in the sky. I think if we were to go up the Shard a second time, we would choose to visit in the evening to see the sun setting over the horizon and London lit up in glory.
We followed our vertiginous ascent, with a short trip to Borough Market, who are currently celebrating their 1000 year birthday! We timed this quite badly too, as it was lunchtime, and the place was rammed to the rafters with hungry punters. I had wanted to grab a quick bite from Horn Ok Please, who are masters of Indian street food, but we couldn’t even get near their stall. They do a mean dosa and an even meaner pani puri and so the Mister promised to take me to their Brick Lane stall where I could indulge in as much chai and golgappas as I wish.
And so, we bid farewell to a buzzing Borough, and made our way to our next, brand-new venue in Seven Dials, Covent Garden.
Marcus Wareing’s new Restaurant – Tredwell’s.
Marcus Wareing already has two (most excellent) fine-dining restaurants in London – the Gilbert Scott at the Renaissance Hotel and Marcus at The Berkeley, and when I was invited for a ‘soft-opening’ for Tredwell’s, I had to jump around a little bit and get far too overexcited. Tredwell’s is marketed as an informal dining experience, with an emphasis on ‘sharing’. You can order small and large bowls of food, to share with your table and we were not shy, treating ourselves to eight bowls of culinary delights.
The salty, smoked pork cheeks arrived with a sweet cauliflower purée and slices of pickled cauliflower, adding a sour kick. Next came the delicious, pillow-soft, curried lamb sweetbreads, which were delivered with carrot purée and lentils. Third on the list was the spinach and wheatgrass soup, with chunks of artichoke – this was full of flavour and felt quite healthy!
The harissa-glazed aubergine was a delight, accompanied by crunchy peanuts and slices of chilli which warmed our cockles. For our mains, or large bowls, we chose the sticky smoked chicken thighs and the lamb chops, both of which were tender and impeccably cooked. Finally, we chose to close our meal with a ‘Virtuous chocolate brownie’, and a fruit and nut chocolate parfait. The brownie was decadent and rich, but still felt light and not at all heavy. The silky-smooth parfait with fruit and nut chunks stole the show, and the Mister declared it was the best thing he had tasted all year (not including my cooking, of course).
The cocktails were also really rather good with their vodka, avocado, cucumber and lime concoction, leaving an impression on the two of us. Immediately we came home and made ourselves an ad hoc, avocado based cocktail, filling us with health and vitality (and Vodka).