Tag Archives: Birthdays

Eating our way through London for 192 hours!

By Lakshmi:

Can I make a confession? I’m a baby about my birthdays!  For many years now, I’ve made a resolution to not work on my birthday and fill the day surrounded by the people,  activities and food I love.  And every year I look forward to the 24 hours dedicated to me.  But this time around, I decided to extend the celebration to 192 hours. That’s right, eight days of eating my way through London with my teenaged daughter and her dear friend for company.

Now, this was going to be no random Eatathon.  I had a wish list of five places I definitely wanted to hit up on my trip.  Places where tables tend to get booked up months ahead of time. And here I was with my air tickets to London purchased barely two weeks away from D-day! OpenTable and the phone became my best friends as I wrangled my way to reservations at all five.  With those anchors set, I scoured my way through bookmarked clippings from food and travel magazines, Time Out London, and other sources to create a list of restaurants by neighborhood that served amazing meals at not too exorbitant prices.  This list was vetted by my travel companions, and the end product was a list accented with highlights and bold colors.  We were ready to forage our way through London!

The first stop on this journey was a dream come true.  NOPI, a restaurant by one of my favorite chefs, Yottam Ottolenghi.  He is the MAN who does vegetables like no other.  The flavors, the seasoning, the fresh taste, the creativity…I could just go on and on.

My excitement entering in was like a kid who had been promised a trip to a candy store for a long time and now had permission to pick out anything she wanted.  Let me walk you through a visual journey of what we ate!  If I had to pick one word to describe the meal? Divine.  Add another word? Magic!  Tell you how I felt? Like Royalty. How was the taste? It was a like a perfectly orchestrated taste festival on my tongue.  And my admiration for the creator of this culinary nirvana? Undying!

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The menu – presenting us with the agonizing tradeoffs we would be subject to!!
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Bread with the richest olive oil you could dream of
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AAhhhhh! Nothing like marinated olives with a glass of wine
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Jicama, smokey jalapeno and tomato salsa – I’m crying with happiness
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Mixed seed lavash with burnt spring onion dip – too bad we were in a place where it would be inappropriate to lick our bowl clean
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Roasted butternet squash, red onion, tahini, zatar – nowhere have I tasted squash this good
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Spiced potato cakes with a topping of parsnip chips
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Peanut and caramel icecream with chocolate sauce and peanut brittle – should I eat them separately or mix them?
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Baked chocolate ganache, plum soil, creme fraiche, the perfect backdrop for a candle

Stay tuned for our next post on this 192 hour food fueled journey through London!

Five Ways In Which A Visit To Tate Modern Makes For A Memorable Birthday

By Lakshmi:

I made a birthday resolution several years ago…to always take the day off from work and fill “my” 24 hours  with the things that give me tremendous joy!  So, given our proximity to London this year, I decided that I wanted to make a pilgrimage to Tate Modern.  On a beautiful, crisp summer day, we disembarked off the tube at St. Paul’s to make our way across the Millenium Bridge to our destination.

It was simply an idyllic way to spend the morning and here are five reasons why the visit to Tate Modern will always hold a special place in my heart.

1. The bright blue color painted on the tree trunks en route from St. Paul’s to the Millenieum Bridge.

Ok, I did not expect artistic creations to greet me on my walk.  We had just visited St. Paul’s two months ago and did not notice the bright, playful blue of the tree trunks along the way.  That playful, fun, unexpected visual just put me in a happier mood.  I later realized that the blue trunks are the work of Konstantin Dimopoulos, an Australian artist who is using this medium to highlight deforestation in the World.

Blue tree trunks

The bright blue tree trunks
The bright blue tree trunks

2.  The beautiful views of St. Paul’s that you turn back to upon your walk across the Millenium Bridge.  St. Paul’s is beautiful and this walk provided an additional vantage point.

St. Paul's as seen from the Millenium Bridge
St. Paul’s as seen from the Millenium Bridge

3. The beautiful views of London that greet you on either side of the bridge.  The views are pretty spectacular and spread out into the distance.

A view from the Millenium  Bridge
A view from the Millenium Bridge

4. The spectacular building that houses Tate Modern and its amazing art collection.  You could get lost here for days and in a span of several hours we were exposed to a variety of art forms, some famous and some completely anew.

Views from the Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art
Views from the Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African Art
Yet another piece from the same collection
Yet another piece from the same collection
More from Meschac Gaba
More from Meschac Gaba
An interesting composition from recycled materials
An interesting composition from recycled materials

5. The views from Tate Modern across the Thames.  If you ever end up at Tate, do make it to the gallery to get some of the most spectacular views that London has to offer.

The view from the balcony at Tate Modern
The view from the balcony at Tate Modern