Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Northern Exposure: Fifteen

I just got back from fifteen, I have the menu for Wednesday Evening here so I can type what I had:
  • Spiadini of smoked buffalo mozzarella and rosemary pancetta with sweet onion toasts
  • Grilled rib eye of McDuff beef (hung for 30 days) with potato mascarpone and horseradish pie, braised leeks and a little jus
  • Creme Brulee
We started at Smiths of Smithfield, a cool bar. Their absinthe cocktail had quite the kick in the tail. After a bit we went on to fifteen, we were very lucky (or rather jammy) to get reservations there, they have a three month waiting list.

The place was very cool indeed, a nice bar upstairs and a good sized dining area. The service was fun, especially as we were all being rather cheeky, and the food was fantastic. Everyone had lovely dishes, and my beef was really REALLY good - Alberta standard, we're talking!

My only minor niggle, and I think it's a niggle for niggles sake, is that the creme brulee wasn't warm and the burnt sugar was a bit sticky rather than melt-in-the-mouth - should have gone for the fantastic lemon torte, but it was still nice.

On Thursday morning I'm driving back over to see Sophia's parents. I'll be staying with them overnight, and if any of you are in the area and would like to pop over to their house, they've said they'd love to see you. This way those of you that know them know where to find them, there's parking, and plenty of cups of tea! Much easier to do this than try to meet up in various parts of Kingston. Give us a call if you can't find the place!

Friday I'll pop over to my old work place in Hemel and see everyone for lunch - I will be in the Crabtree from 12 onwards, so please tell everyone who might be interested!

Later that day I'll return to Harlow and go out for a curry with some friends, got to have that authentic English curry. Hang on, that sounds a bit odd. You know what I mean.

Saturday my family is having a get together at my parents house - again, if you're in the area and you'd like to pop in, do please feel free - anytime after lunchtime.

Sunday I'll try to meet up with a few more people from Harlow, and perhaps go shopping for those essential things I really miss (ginger nuts and worcestershire sauce crisps).

Monday I fly back to Edmonton - and it had better have warmed up!

I do hope to see as many of you as I can - drop me and email, give one of the sets of parents a call, it would be great to see you!

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Northern Exposure: Home Again!

I arrived! Yay!

I'm at my parents house on a Saturday morning, it's so lovely here. When I left Edmonton, it was snowing and the temperature was just below freezing. Sophia told me it was acutally -11C on Friday morning, too.

When I arrived in England I was stunned at the warm sunny weather, the light breeze, and how everything was growing and basically not covered in snow. Fantastic.

I took a coach from Heathrow to Harlow. It was really nice because it took me through areas I used to drive through, good to see how some things had changed and some had stayed the same. Harlow hadn't changed that much, it seems - or I've been away so long I couldn't tell.

I tried to surprise my mum in Sainsbury's, but she's left her shift early. Instead, I got a taxi home and just walked up the back path. My mum said to my dad, "That looks like Dean!". Hehehehe!

The dog, Star, went crazy for about a minute then was all "Oh look, a bone". It's like I never left for her, the silly thing.

I had some dinner and relaxed with the family, heading for bed fairly soon. I am probably going to see the family this weekend, but I hope to see as many people as possible!

My parents-in-law in Surbiton still don't know I'm here, so shh, I'm going to tell them I have a friend who might be able to pop over to have a look at their PC if they're in on a certain day, then turn up myself! :D

Can't wait to see you all soon!