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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eating England

Cambridge.

Tea at Harrod's. Be still my fat heart.
A few short (and frantically busy) weeks ago, the boyfriend and I packed our bags and headed to Manchester, England, to attend the wedding of a girlfriend of mine.

The new passports are much fancier than my old one.
Miriam and I met in France in 2005, when we both lived in a small French town where there wasn't much to do other than eat, cook, and grocery shop. I was a complete food novice, but thankfully Miriam knew what she was doing. She taught me how to make prawn and pea risotto, and upwards of three times a week we would spend the evening in her flat, eating fresh fish, sauteed zucchini, fresh slices of baguette with French butter, and, more frequently than not, we would nip down to the bakery and pick up a little cake.

As I always say, she taught me everything I know. It was only fitting that on our first night in England, as her then fiancee (now husband) whipped up a chicken curry, Miriam took the boyfriend and me to her neighborhood naan bakery.
This is my kind of travel. I go to experience how people live in other places and I am tickled that Miriam and Luke drive a few blocks, spend a few pounds, and have fresh, garlic naan whenever they want. (I buy naan at the grocery store. It's awful.)

After the curry, we sunk our teeth into one of the most heavenly desserts I've ever had. Sticky toffee pudding is quintessentially British, and the closest comparison I can draw is that it is similar to gingerbread, but topped with a sticky caramel sauce that you will want to pour into a tub and bathe in.
Sticky toffee pudding with creme fraiche.
I could rhapsodize about our week spent in England, but here are some highlights:
Cadbury, one of my favorite things in England.

Afternoon snack- mine is a flat white and half the granola bar.

Flat white in Sheffield.
 The rehearsal dinner was at The York in Sheffield, where the bride and groom went to university.
I started with ox fritters.

And then I ate a whole roasted mackerel.

He had fish n chips with mushy peas.

The morning of the wedding, we had our first full English.

Yes, that's a fascinator on my head. Yes, that's the most gorgeous bride since Kate Middleton.

Handmade French raspberry jam as wedding favors.

Cock-a-leekie tart for our starter.

Roasted lamb. I'd expect nothing less at the wedding reception of my favorite gourmands.

In between the band's sets, we had coffee and truffles.
 The day after the wedding we traveled to Cambridge to see another great friend, who is an American naval officer. We ate our weight in tapas.
Affogato.
 On Monday we jumped on a train and went to London for a whirlwind day. I walked into Harrod's and was in heaven.
 We had afternoon tea at the Georgian Tea Room, which I had heavily researched and which was my favorite money spent in all of England. I had Earl Grey, he had green tea.
The scones.

Those scones are slathered in clotted cream and jam.

Save your money. Get on an airplane.

There is also a Laduree in Harrod's.
I have more to tell you about England, things about two of the best dinners I've had this year. One of them was at a restaurant that I will tell you the name of so you can visit too. The other one was at my newlywed friend's house, so you can't go there. I have to keep her to myself.

3 comments:

Boyfriend, The said...

To yourself?! Can I have some?

BF Mom said...

What's cock-a-leekie tart? Sounds . . . interesting.

Miriam said...

You can BOTH come for dinner anytime.

Cock-a-leekie terrine is made with chicken and leeks - it's based on cock-a-leekie soup which is a traditional scottish soup. I'm suggest Gabe finds a good recipe so you can sample it.