Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"I was so excited...I had to walk away"

I got to meet a friend for lunch last week in Kensington at the cute lunch spot "Bumpkin".  I had a beautiful quiche with roasted tomatoes.  The restaurant was so adorable and I always love a kitchen that is visible to guests so you can see your food being prepared.  The green tiles were a great color along with the wide array of mirrors that were scattered throughout the restaurant.  Completely random,  but I also LOVED the wallpaper in the bathroom!  It is what I imagine it would look like if diamonds and snowflakes had babies.   There was a little hiccup with the service as our waiter waited on my friend to finish her soup before bringing out my food as she ordered salad also.   We ended up waiting 45 minutes for lunch as we didn't realize that was the hold up.  Oh well,  the food was well worth the wait and was as I like it...fresh and delicious!

After lunch,  we went to an art show and got our culture on...a great afternoon.

I also met my 1st London friend..Alyssa for coffee last week and she demanded I make my way to the flagship "Paperchase" store.   She was confident I would like it and thank god I took her direction!  This store changed my life...when I walked to the 2nd floor and saw the Christmas decor,  I was so excited...I had to walk away.  I felt my heart rate rising!!!  Hot Pink Christmas Trees!?!!?  Glitter Jesus in multiple colors!??!!?!  I couldn't contain myself!!!  It was as if a disco ball had exploded all over December up in there!  I LOVED IT!!!!  I also had an amazing experience in the gift card section where I found a) "Mrs. and Mrs" and "Mr and Mr" cards for gay couples (Love my gays and LOVE when they are recognized and allowed to share in the joy of greeting card receiving for their commitment ceremonies) and b) I found SHIRA and HEMAN cards!!!!!!  Any store that recognizes the single most important cartoon of the 80's is in my top 10 FOREVER!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Spice of Life!

I have a new addiction and I feel like the first step to curing to talk about it...admit you have a problem.  What am I hooked on?  Heroin?  Acid? Crack?

I am addicted to the Indian food at "Spice of Life" in my neighborhood.

For 10 pounds (around $15.00),  you can get a starter, main dish, side and rice or Bread.  This is a lot of food and the cook staff at Spice of Life know how to make a mean curry dish.  They pride themselves on their always changing menu and fresh ingredients.

It has gotten to where the dining staff know my boyfriend and I when we walk in and they know to get my Gaymers Cider ready.  Our meal always starts with poppadoms (a light crispy dry bread) with a beautiful dish of sauces for dipping.  My favorite is a chili lime sauce with actual lime sounds strange but it is AMAZING.

When I started eating meat again a few months back,  my first lamb dish came from Spice of Life and now I always order the lamb dish while there.  Tonight I had a minced lamb served with peas in a red sauce.  It was medium hot and amazing.

We ordered Peshwari Naan tonight..  Naan is an oven baked flat bread that comes in many variations.  You can get it w/minced lamb inside (my favorite) or with garlic for example.  Peshwari Naan is a sweeter version with nuts and sultana grapes dried inside.  I wasn't a fan of the sweet flavors with my firey curry so would go back to a more savory flavor on my next visit.

As far as Indian food goes,  this is the best I have ever had.  It was an amazing evening,  amazing food with my amazing guy.  What a great way to start the week.

Spice of Life is located at 260 Lee High Road in Lewisham.
If you are ever in the area,  stop in for a meal that will not break your wallet and that you will not soon forget!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

United States Customer Service - 1 Blackheath - 0

I realize it has been a few minutes since I posted and I apologize.  The adjustment to London life has gotten the better of me over the last few weeks and I haven't been in the mood to do much of anything.  I am having a hard time with a few things here and the main being the interaction between strangers in everyday life.   

I was at the grocery store on Sunday looking at deli meat for some sandwiches to be served to guests we were having over that afternoon.  All of the sudden I felt an elbow to my rib...a man in his late 50's/early 60's was nudging me out of the way so he could reach some ham.  I was so shocked and the NY in me won vs. my zen side.

(laughing) "Ummmmm...I must be in your way.  Let me let you get in here."

No apology, No "excuse me", No "Screw you...I hate women" (I would have even been okay w/that to be honest).....he just carried on reaching for the deli meat.   To be fair........maybe he was deaf.

Fast forward 10 minutes...I'm walking down the sweets isle in search of something Halloween themed for our guests when all of the sudden,  I feel a pinch at my ankle.  I quickly turn around and a woman (late 50s/early 60s again) has clipped me with her shopping cart.  

NY'er attitude came back.

(Laughing harder this time) "Seriously?  Do you need to get by?"

This time I was mad.  Again, no response.  To be fair,  maybe she had never stepped foot out in public until this day and didn't know how to interact with society.

Now some would say,  that I need to lighten up and learn not to automatically attack back.  I thought about it later that maybe it is a good point in some ways...but,  maybe people also need to learn basic respect for strangers.  If you bump someone and come into their space,  say "Excuse me...sorry about that".  If you run over a foot w/your cart,  say "Oh no, I'm sorry!"  ANYTHING!  It is unacceptable to me that people disrespect each other like that.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves and something that I get REALLY challenged by over here.

:::::::Breathe in......Breathe Out::::::.....Now....something I LOVE HERE!!!!   

THE FOOD!  ....That is what this blog is primarily about so let's move on!

I walked to Blackheath today,  a dream neighborhood about a twenty minute walk from where I live.  I wandered through all of the cute gardening, kitchen and boutique(y) shops.   I knew I hadn't reviewed anything in awhile (and I was thirsty) so I wandered into "Boulangerie Jade",  a cute french bakery in the heart of the Blackheath neighborhood.  

They closed at 6:00

I walked in and noticed a girl was folding all of the chairs up inside and outside.  The woman behind the counter says to me "You can only order to takeaway".  (Eileen inner monologue "Hello,  How are you today?  No?  Okay......".) 

I was a little taken back as, like I mentioned,  they closed at was 5:35.   Now, I drink a lot of coffee and I know that it doesn't take me more than 30 minutes to drink it but I guess they were nervous I would set up shop and not leave.  Slightly annoyed but sill wanting something,  I ordered an Americano (Espresso and Water) and a Biscotti.

The coffee was coffee....good 

The Biscotti was quite amazing I have to say.   It consisted of Almond, pistachio, polenta, rum, lemon, flour, eggs, butter and sugar according to the cafe's website.  The interesting ingredient that stuck out and I noticed right away was the lemon.   It was not too strong but also cut the sweetness and added a citrus element.  I loved it and had never experienced that in a biscotti...and I have had quite a few of these.  I'm a dunker and these are the best for that!

Despite being challenged by the rude customer service,  I would go back to experience more of the Boulangerie Jade beautiful pastries and savouries....but I would try to get there at least an hour before they you aren't welcome after that...

To see more about Boulangerie Jade,  read here: