So, it’s April 17th. How that happened I don’t know. I feel like I went to sleep sometime around the beginning of March and woke up 6 weeks later. Some type of time warp sucked up the in-between. A lot has happened in the past 6 weeks, and I feel like I need to catch up. First and foremost, I have to tell you guys about our foodie experience last month!
The hubs and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary with a trip to England – sans kids. We love those little minions, but sometimes it’s important to remember that we were an “us” first before they all came along. It wasn’t the first trip to London for either of us, but it was our first time being able to enjoy it as tourists. We had an amazing experience, saw so many sites, and most importantly, we ate amazing food! One of my favorite things about traveling is getting a chance to check out the food. There’s a lot more to England than fish n’ chips, that’s for sure.
See that French Toast? Forget the French – the British knocked this thing out of the park! This was hands down the best French Toast I’ve ever had. We had breakfast at a super sleek, modern bakery near our hotel in Westminster. The food and experience was amazing.
We had dinner at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants in London, Jamie’s Italian. Ok, so this isn’t English (not at all, seeing as it’s Italian ?), but I couldn’t not write about this meal. I don’t know what that man does to chickpeas, but this Super Green Veggie Burger was a religious experience. I plan on buying lots of chickpeas and figuring out what exactly he did to create this masterpiece.
When I was a kid in Germany, there was this tiny cafe in a neighboring town that had a small street window out of which they sold crepes. And duh – of course I always got mine with Nutella (is there another way?). The first time I brought the hubs to Germany with me to see my family, I tried and tried to find the place, but I couldn’t! I don’t think they closed, I just think my memory failed me 30 years after the fact. Ha. Well, the beautiful town of Windsor doesn’t just have the Queen – it also has a super fun cafe that makes crepes like I remember.
The place was the cutest, and I know my girls would’ve loved it. And, guess where the chick who made the crepes was from? Germany.? Of course she was. We had a nice little chat in German.
I have to talk about their coffee and toast. The Europeans just do coffee better than we do. This isn’t news to me. My folks bring their own coffee when they come to visit us – like, pounds of the stuff. They buy it in Luxembourg, and it’s just better than anything we can get here. And cheaper. So go figure. Anyway, the Brits know their coffee as well as the Luxembourgers, Germans, and other mainland Europeans. I had (unsweetened) cappuccinos all over London and the Cotswolds, and every single one was awesome. None needed sweetener of any sort, which is way more than I can say about any espresso drink here. Bitter, anyone?
Toast. Take bread, slice it, put it in a toaster. Right? Nothing to it. Well, the British must do something to it, because it’s just better. No, I don’t know how or why. It’s just better. They know their toast.
Ah, the Full English. The hubs has ranted and raved about the Full English Breakfast since his first business trip to London. Personally I had never heard of it before he went, which is unsurprising since I’m not a meat eater. But no blog post about the British food experience would be complete without an honorary mention of this staple. It’s basically meat, meat, and some meat, next to eggs, deep fried hashbrowns, and beans. Oh, and they throw in a tomato (for balance?). The beans are in some type of tomato sauce. And of course you need some HP Sauce – the English condiment you’ve never heard of – to complete the whole thing. The hubs brings 3 bottles of the sauce and 3 cans of the beans every time he has business in London. Then he and the minions fight over it. I stay well out of it, which is when I think they appreciate my preference for vegetables the most. (Note my breakfast of porridge, scrambled eggs, and perfect English toast in the background.)
I think I took something like 300 pictures in our 6 days in England, and probably a solid 10% were of food. (Personally I think that’s a weak showing on my part, but I digress…) I could write another (few) blog posts on the landscape (beautiful, and the countryside reminded me a lot of Germany), the people (so nice, welcoming, and helpful!), and the history (Europe just has so much richness of tradition and history), but I reigned myself in to stick to the subject at hand: food. I don’t think I tried anything I didn’t love, and so much reminded me of the farm-fresh food of my German childhood.
I highly recommend a trip to England. We booked early, went during an off-peak month, and paid less for round-trip tickets to London on Virgin Atlantic than we would’ve paid to get to L.A.. I wish we’d had more time to experience more of this beautiful place. We obviously did a lot more than eat, and we did get several solid workouts in while there – plus we walked miles and miles and miles every day! We’ll definitely be back, for the food and the people! Next time we’ll bring the minions.
I usually make it back to Europe once every 18-24 months (it’s hard with 3 kids and a husband with a super busy job). This was my second trip in less than 6 months (I went back to Germany in November for my Oma’s 90th birthday), and I’m so glad we chose this over a Caribbean beach vacay. Don’t get me wrong, those are amazing, and they recharge the soul, but this was culture and food and history, and I loved it.
We try to take the minions every 2 years to see their Germany family, and the timing just happened to work out so that we’ll be heading back to Europe (Denmark and Germany this time) at the end of May once school gets out. That’ll be 3 trips in 7 months for me, which is crazy. I can’t wait to blow up your Instagram feed with Danish ice cream and German pastries! ?