Trip report - London and Bruges
Just returned from a lovely 10 days in London and Bruge. Eating highlights were:
Started with cream tea at Harrod's. Lovely scones, but the Georgian Room has seen better days. Rather wish we had noshed instead at the coffee room affiliated with the Laudree macaroon outlet downstairs. Got a dozen macaroons to go, instead, and melted in an orgasmic puddle of delight with each bite, parituclarly the caramel.
Supper next night at Dune, a Mediterannean fusion place in the West End. The room has a bit of an old church feel, and the location was tres convenient for a pre-theatre repast. Chow was well prepared and somewhat imaginative, but didn't seem all that different from dishes we'd find at dozens of places near our San Francisco home. Highlights were a goat cheese with smoked duck breat started and my wife's chicken with Moroccan spices and lime confit.
Much more impressed next night with the Pig's Ear, one of the city's best gastropubs. Located in a swank spot of Chelsea, it's no smoking upstairs and quite convivial. Thick, properly pink lamb chops were among the best wife has ever had; my roast poussin and accompanying juice-soaked spinach were tremendously staisfying; and the chips/fries/frites were stupendous.
Next day I was solo for a late lunch/early supper at the Borough Market near London Bridge. Didn't write down names, but look for the venison vendor--terrific sausages and smoked veninson sandwiches. And if one of the bakery tables near the Southwark Cathedral entrance still has pecan-caramel tarts, buy some.
A short VLM (motto: It's a real airline-honest!) flight to Antwerp and a train rider later, we were in Bruge and turning up our collective noses at Neuhaus chocolates. Our best takeaway were from Juliette's Cookies and the Choclate Line--go for the caneel (cinammon) marzipan and raspberry cream.
Dinner first night was at Cafedral, an old house turned into a charming, but busy, restaurant. Size appears to be one of their hallmarks. Many tables were groaning under bathtub-sized vats of bouilbasse and huge towers of plateau du frutes de mer. I started with a crock of magnificently rich, meaty duck liver mousse that would have provided a week's worth of pre-dinner nibbles at home. Also enjoyed my trio of small sole fillets and a taste of madame's beef fillet.
Next night was Maximillian something, a modest cafe near the Minnwater with a fine carbonade. Next night we went big time at Den Dyver, an ambitous [place that specialize in cooking and paring dishes with local beers. My wifes trio of gazpachos (especially the melon, mint and ham) was outstanding, as was my duck breast and chips. A sweet/fruity/minty strwaberry soup was a perfect ending note.