Tag: london

snow chaos in London

Good morning.

It is a little early, e.g. just after 7 am on a Monday. Meetings scheduled from 8 am this morning and I am stuck at home.

Not too bad you might think. It is warm, espresso machine working, breakfast, cats keeping me company, but I cannot get the work done that is needed.

Why? Because the public transport system in London/England broke down due to snow. Is that normal?

For over a week they keep telling us that the Russian Arctic sends us cold chills and snow to Kent. For over a week they speak about SEVERE and EXTREME weather warnings. And, for over a week, they could have prepared for it.

Why am I surprised? Because, born in Germany married to a Scottish lassie, we don’t understand that a few inches of snow bring the whole London transport system to a halt. All tube lines that have overground tracks are partly suspended and my trains from Kent are not running at all. Websites are not available, and phone numbers experience high amount of calls.

I believe for me, the worst thing is that there is nothing you can do but wait. Being a bit impatient by nature, maybe a good way to learn patience. However, the meeting at 8 will most probably be canceled. Who knows where everyone else is anyway.

Besides, whilst having a rant, SouthEastern which is my rail service provider, is having a monopoly in the South East. What I mean by that is that there are no alternatives. No buses that are running and no other train services. So no choice, really?!

I keep you posted, watch my twitter update.

7 am weather with path digged for the kittens to go to the loo!
7 am weather with path digged for the kittens to go to the loo!

Indian Tapas – Spanish Tapas

Just to add to my restaurant review.

I went back to this Indian Tapas bar in Soho, Imli, again.
Needless to say that it was good, again, and that I recommend it. However, things I did notice:

– the chicken meat seems to be from the bone rather than fillet chicken
– water glasses from Ikea 🙂
– wine glasses weren’t really wine glasses, more of a water glass, e.g. does not help the aroma at all

Your chance to try some Indian food with little effort, e.g. just order it like tapas, share it with some friends and see how it goes. You like it, order more, you don’t like it, don’t order it again. Tapas principle, isn’t it?

Btw, if you are in Soho, London, there is allegedly the best Spanish Tapas Bar outside Spain there too: Cafe Espana. I did not feel well after eating there although the food was good.

Nepalese cuisine

I went with a friend of mine to a Nepalese restaurant in London, close to Euston Station.

Great Nepalese

Nepal is not the biggest country, however seems to be really nice. My friend visited it and people seem to be really nice. Definitely a country that is on my list, as it is so close to Tibet, maybe I can combine the two?

Anyhow, I have to say that the starter, Momo, a dumpling filled with minced meat, reminded me of a Chinese starter. The main course, garlic chili chicken with naan bread, reminded me more of the Indian/Bangladeshi kitchen.

It tasted fabulous and the wine on offer was better than at my local Indian. Definitely a plus. Also, it might be to note that the food seems lighter, e.g. not as heavy as a classic Indian dish.

Very friendly service and definitely recommended.

London – I love you!

I don’t wanna sound pathetic, but there is something or most things that I love about London.

As I mentioned in previous entries, St. Paul’s is my favourite, and Tower Bridge is a classic too.

So here are two pictures. The Tower Bridge on a lovely sunny day. Also, St. Pauls.

If anyone knows anyone who could or has painted St. Pauls in a view like on that photo, please let me know. I would love to have it in my living room.

London Night – London Day

It is almost 1 am on a Sunday morning and I got some time to check my emails, visitors to my blog and the usual crack on facebook etc.

I probably should be in bed, but then again, sometimes it is nice to sit up at night and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Today, rather early this morning, family came over from Germany to visit us. Their plane was over 4 hours delayed. We still managed a fabulous day in London. We did our “usual” tour, e.g. we walked from Waterloo passing the London Eye to Westminster, Downing Street, Horse Guards, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Soho, Trafalgar Square. Wow, 13 km, over 15,000 steps. So good exercise as well.

I have not done this for about a year, so me showing people London is quite satisfying. I love London and it is great to show people around and point out all those little things and great things about the city you live in.

It is late now. I had a few whiskys, so overall, I better go to bed. However, you cannot and will not beat a night and a day out in London Town.

Good Night,

Volker

Restaurant Review – Mello

I wanted to add some more restaurant reviews.

This one is for Mello, a restaurant in Beckenham.

We went there last night, four of us, and I have to say, this award winning place is amazing. The interior is not as posh as you would expect it to be. Too much pink for my liking with some nice warm coloured pictures/decoration to brighten it up. The setting is great with crystal glasses.

The service is friendly and attentive as well as knowledgeable about the wine. Since the four of us could not decide which wine to choose, we just got 2 bottles, 2 for 2.

The Chianti Classico was medium dry (as suggested) and less typical of a Chianti Classico. The Echeverria Merlot was just perfect for a Chilean Merlot; I am quite curious to try the Echeverria Cabernet Sauvignon which I bought in Harrods yesterday. Harrods has a fabulous wine selection, however, for my liking, too much on the Bordeaux/French side of things.

So much about the wine. The pre-starter was a mushroom soup, homemade of course, and absolutely delicious, very creamy.

As chosen starters we had:

  • Poached pear & blue cheese salad with rocket leaves & walnut dressing
  • Pressed chicken & foie gras terrine with crushed apple & toasted brioche
  • Shiitake mushroom & broad beans salad with pan fried quail egg & mushroom dressing
  • Tian of  Cornish crab, Morecambe bay shrimp with sweet pepper puree, crushed avocado & toasted rye bread

Main courses consisted of:

  • Assiette of pork with creamed cabbage, apple puree, prune & Calvados jus
  • Pan roast fillet of English beef with creamed spinach, potato rosti & oxtail croquettes
  • Pan roast rump of lamb with braised Puy lentils, caramelized onion wild mushroom, aubergine caviar & red wine jus

Absolutely great. The oxtail croquettes were special, something I have never tried before. Then, the lamb was a little bit stringy, so not as tender as suggested. However, the beef and pork were amazing. Nothing to compare it to and nothing else to say but absolutely stunning!

So, overall, an amazing place to take people, to go yourself and treat yourself.

Mello also offers gourmet nights, something surely worthwhile doing.

Average price I would suggest around £50 per person including wine.

Enjoy and let me know if you liked it.

London Borough Market / London recommendations

Hello,

I need to update you on the latest developments.

Friday night we had a great Thai Style BBQ with good friends. Carrying on until late at night we had lovely Chicken Satay and Fish (Sea Bass and Trout) nicely flavoured with Thai spices. Afterwards we enjoyed some nice Highland Single Malts.

Our whole weekend was under the theme – and still is – of “living with nice food” so we took off to London Borough Market. They have their own website too. My brother used to live in London and pointed me to the market for the white aspargus. One of the few places in London/Britain you can buy white asparagus. Quite dear but worthwhile. It happens quite a lot that you actually sit in the tube and someone comes up to you, seeing the white asparagus through the clear poly bag, and says “Hallo, na, auch wegen dem weissen Spargel auf dem London Borough Market gewesen.” – Yes, typically German (translates into “you have been to London Borough Market for the white asparagus too”). There is where you meet Germans!

Yesterday we went to LBM and got some olives, nice focaccia bread, some spread for it, nice cheese, some prawns and sat down last night to eat that with a nice bottle of Kendall Jackson VINTNERS RESERVE Zinfandel. An evening could not be much better, finishing it off with some Balblair Highland Single Malt we got at the Whisky Exchange at the London Borough Market. It is one of the few if not the only shop where people sell a lot of whiskies and have the knowledge to advise you. And, it is much easier adding to your collection than flying up North. The last few times we were up in Scotland the distillieries we wanted to visit were shut.

To finalise my weekend and my London recommendation. We went for lunch to a restaurant we have not been for a while. I thought it was Maroccan but actually it is a Turkish restaurant. Again, more of a tourist trap but close to the South Bank it is a nice place to have some meze and nice oriental food. Walking down the River and then across to Westminster is a treat. Still, as mentioned before, it makes me love London so much! I by now can imagine living in our wee house for a good whiley and enjoying and discovering London more and more.

Oups, my wife just made me breakfast. nice Orkney cheese, so I better go. I added a map so you can see how we walked….a worthwhile walk in London. Unfortunately it is not as accurate as I was hoping. But maybe it gives you an idea.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Volker

Greener London

Hello,

Today on my way to Waitrose I smelled some “pee” – hmm, I thought that is not really right. Sure, you are in the middle of London on your lunch break to get a nice salad and sit in the sun (I wish) and then you smell this odour…

So, a la Sherlock Holmes (other side of London) I investigated and notices something that looks like pigs or goats. Did not get a proper shot of them so decided to google it (no, it is not optimised for “pigs London WC1” but the park around the corner is online: Coram’s Field.

The website does not only explain the smell but also what good London does for its citizens. All I can say to is: Back Boris – and become his fan on Facebook !

Have a good day.

Sushi in London

I keep saying that for months….I wanted to write something about my most favourite places in London.

First of all, I have been living in London for almost 4 years, a little bit outside, about 20 minutes to Victoria on the train. After the first few months London got to me and I thought of leaving this city. I mentioned before that this feeling went and then I started loving London. With my most favourite place being around 6 pm (depending on the season), just when the sun disappears (can you tell it was autumn), I like to sit in the little hexagonal shaped pub diagonal across from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. A good pint with a good friend and I forget all my sorrows.

Anyhow, today I want to speak about Sushi in London. There are many places, like the chains of Wasabi, Itsu, Yo Sushi – but there is one little place in Soho N. introduced me to a few years back:

Hi Sushi.

The best bit is downstairs where you sit on the floor with your legs going “into the floor”. Imagine a low table, about 3-5 inches off the ground and you sit on the floor/cushion and put your legs in a hole underneath the table. Their “all you can eat” plate with 8 different choices of Asian food (chicken, prawns, spring rolls, mushrooms) and their huge plate with sushi that you can re-order until you cannot eat no more. It is just fabulous! Not too expensive, depending on how much wine you drink. Normally for 2 people you get enough food not having to re-order.

My other favourite Sushi place in London is “Moshi Moshi Sushi” – the restaurant I have been was in Liverpool Street. Again N. showed me around and we watched the trains going past below us. That is a nice little place with amazing food. The wine selection is better too. You can choose to sit on the conveyor belt or on a table, might even be considered romantic corners. Definitely a must go for any sushi lover in London. Even found some pictures on Flickr of it.

That is all about Sushi now in London. Any comments or any places I might have missed?

Highway Romance….

…or romantic highway.

What used to be the wild west and the carriage is now the car and the motor way. Or not quite?

I am just on my way back from York, about 2 hours on the train from London. No nice car, no carriage (luckily) but a great view from a comfy seat. Shouting children, young ladies and sleeping adults. Might take a nap myself in a while.

What has changed since the good old days of carriages, horses and the wild west?

For me: WIFI. I can sit in a train, watch the country side passing by, having WIFI access in the train (and that for free) and write on my blog about having a romantic feeling looking over the country side. How great?

England is actually quite pretty. Up here in West Yorkshire. Down in Kent. Just London seems to be different. Neither does it feel particularly English with many foreigners and accents (including myself of course) but also it is a different feel – it is a city. A big city. A city that has a lot of green, which can be romantic too but, compared to the green countryside, it will stay a “town”.

Not sure what I actually would like to say here but that England has a nice countryside. No doubt.

Best Wishes to London, be home soon.

Volker