Spent Saturday afternoon doing some errands, dropping off an umbrella for repair, very easy to find the place and quick to deal with paperwork. After salivating at the vast range of umbrellas and sticks, we walked towards Seven Dials and I did the requisite Tabio and Filofax stops. TH's nose took her to Neal's Yard Dairy and she purchased many cheeses. I love that place, even if its soo crowded that you have to leave while others try cheeses. We managed to get a goodly supply and packaged for travel, which was nice. Picked up some apples as well. After that, we sat and had a cup of coffee at Suburb (hip and trendy new coffee place that I swear used to be stationary shop). We thumbed through this week's Time Out to find that the Lord Mayor's Show Fireworks display happening on the Thames between Southwark and Waterloo bridges. We quickly finished our errands of book shopping and Muji scrumming (what is with that place?) and went back to hotel to freshen up and get back to Waterloo in time for fireworks.
TH loves fireworks very much. We decided that going to St. John right after that was in order so we dressed for it, thinking it might be smart casual. Using short cuts, we made it to Bond Street and down to Waterloo in record time and ended up walking up by the Hayward to see the fireworks. They were damn good and different from the ones we see in the US or in Canada. After that, we dragged ourselves to EAT for a coffee and yoghurt (didn't eat lunch) and then browsed at the Foyles at South Bank for a while. We then walked up to Embankment to catch the Circle Line to Farringdon. I love the Circle line if I'm in no rush, which I wasn't, I was just tired.
We were early for our dinner reservation, but they seated us anyways, which was nice. The restaurant is quite spare, white walls, white paper cloths, no art on the walls and white painted floors, the tables are quite small, but they seated us at a four top. The smoking and non smoking sections are interspersed. The menu changes daily and I was amazed at their range. TH started with smoked sprats and horseradish cream and I had a nettle soup. They were both lovely. I had smoked haddock with potatoes and mustard sauce as my main and TH had tripe and chips. The food was very good, though it reminded me a bit of school dinners, but at an elevated level.
We shared a green salad that was tasty and enormous. The kitchen is small, well run and interesting as you can see everything including the notes written on the kitchen tiles with the number of portions of specials and notes for the kitchen and waitstaff. The wine list was very nice but we weren't quite sure what wine went with tripe, so I had one glass on muscadet sur lie which was good.
Their puddings rock. I had a fresh goat cheese curd infused with marc and TH had a pear trifle and we ordered a half portion of madeleines of which we had one each with coffee. The fresh goat cheese was light and the marc was nice touch that I will try myself at home.
The restaurant filled up by the time we left (ca. 1 hour 50 minutes after seating). It is our opinion that they only do one seating a night, which is great. There were lots of big parties and two suckling pigs ready for consumption that night.
The service was attentive without being pushy or intrusive, the prices are not cheap, but the cooking is excellent. One option would be to sit in the bar area (where the wine sales and bakery is located) if you can't get a reservation for dinner. They serve a limited menu in the bar, but it looked good.
The marrow bone with parsely salad looked really good and reminded me of how much I loved marrow as a child (ab-gusht), but I'm not sure I'm ready for British marrow. I noticed not one chicken on the menu - partridge yes, chicken no. :)
The dress code is quite casual, we saw some nicely dressed people along with trainers and down jackets, so it felt comfortable. It did get loud as we getting ready to leave, so I think early is okay. We have a lunch reservation here in December, so I am hoping to try some new things.
We managed to trundle back to the hotel and to the club for a tea nightcap before collapsing.
Next, Kew, shopping and what I love about the bus.