I’m sure this is abundantly clear, but food is important to me. Eating is frickin’ awesome. So much so that it warrants its own post in my series of posts on my recent travels. Saving the best for last.
I would like to partake of the local cuisine wherever I go, but my pesky food allergies throw a wrench into those plans. While I would have loved to try whale and puffin in Iceland, I really didn't want to experience the local hospital system (as good as it likely is). I probably would have been ok (I always carry an Epi-Pen), but I figured it wouldn't have been worth the risk. So we had Icelandic fish and chips (the fish in Iceland is fantastic) and the famous Icelandic hot dogs (which were excellent).
I love traditional British food (when it's done properly), but London is a cosmopolitan city so you can have any kind of food you want anyway. On our first night in London, our friend took us to his local pub (The Windsor Castle in Marylebone) which has an almost exclusive Thai menu (the exception being fish and chips). Some of the best Thai food I've ever had, to be honest. After that, we had a lot of M&S sandwiches (cheap and easy), more Asian food (Chinese food in the West End), great old school Italian food at Ristorante Anacapri off Baker St, and the traditional pub food.
I thought I was up on my British vocabulary (pants = underwear, trousers = pants, pudding = dessert), but I had to be reminded a few things food-wise.
lemonade = Sprite/7Up/ginger ale
lemon squash = actual lemonade
pickle = Branston pickle
- gherkin = actual cucumber pickle
I was disappointed to get Sprite when I expected real lemonade, or Branston pickle when I expected real pickles. At least I know now.
Will loved being able to pop in and out of pubs to have a good pint. (Since I don't drink, I always had sparkling water.)
The Dove out in Hammersmith has excellent food and a lovely patio on the Thames. It's also the pub where Will's sister met her husband nine years ago, when they were both working at the bar.
I didn't expect it, but I had quite the selection of famous French macarons in London. But damnit I wish I'd discovered Pierre Hermé sooner (available at Selfridge's Food Hall) because I think I'm spoiled for all macarons now. Ladurée just doesn’t measure up!
Another highlight for me was Borough Market. Amazing food to be had there.
Meringues || giant chocolate chip cookies || Greedy Goat Ice Cream || raspberry chili goat’s milk ice cream || paella || salt beef sandwich (with real pickle!) || charcuterie || one cracked giant chocolate chip cookie for me || more charcuterie
The main highlight and our food splurge was St. John, Fergus Henderson's restaurant. I wish I had taken more pics (like of the famous roast bone marrow and parsley salad, seen here on Anthony Bourdain's Instagram), but I only caught dessert.
Which was delicious. The Brits really know what they're doing with the jellies and cream. I definitely recommend the whole experience, and it wasn’t ridiculously expensive for a restaurant with one Michelin star.
Copenhagen is a cosmopolitan city too, so our eating was varied. We ended up eating Thai and some fantastic pizza at Mother restaurant in the meat-packing district. But we also had traditional Danish smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches on dark rye bread.
We also had to have traditional Danishes from Lagkagehuset, kanelsnegl (cinnamon snails) and direktørsnegl (director snails, which are cinnamon snails with chocolate frosting).
It is not a cheap city to eat out in though, as with most of Europe.
I didn't expect to end up eating all our meals outside, in a Northern European country at the end of September, but we did. Restaurants have heat lamps on their patios and they also provide blankets on the back of all the patio chairs, so you can wrap yourself up and enjoy a meal outside in the cooler fall weather.