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Monday, July 30, 2012

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 2, Part 4 - Lunch

Europe CNY 2012
Day 2 - 20th January - Lunch
(Part 4)

One of the nice things about this London leg of my journey was that because I had already done all the must-do things in London, I could take my time profiting from the other sights that London had to offer. Of course this begs the question of why I didn't go somewhere else, but there were scheduling issues due to Chinese New Year; my original plan had been Croatia, but the exigencies of personal circumstances had militated against it and going to a different city every day (or every 2 days at most) - I might not be able to keep up.


I then went to a lunch place recommended by Jiekai.

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Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Big Ben

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Artistic photograph of an ad

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"Choosing a new home is tough. Choosing the agent isn't. Hunters"
She looks awful. Maybe she changes her home a lot.

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"Hole in the wall" ATM

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Asian Tourists (Koreans)

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Westminster Abbey

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I like this description I read online: "Unknown pillar in front of Unknown Building next to Westminster Abbey"

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Side of Westminster Abbey. It was cleaner than I remembered, but no I wouldn't pay £16 to go in again - not when alone, anyway.

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"Please deposit your chewing gum here"

I decided I couldn't squeeze in the Jewel Tower, so I just headed for lunch.

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Palace of Westminster

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Anti-war demonstration

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Big Ben

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EIIR

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I thought she was rich enough

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"Give them an inch and they'll take all they can
Keep your valuables out of reach of pickpockets"
Disgusting victim blaming. The Number One way to stop pickpocketing is to tell people not to pickpocket.

Also the British Transport Police claim to "find the real issues behind the crime problem". What, single parenthood and benefits?

I walked into a Paul to compare prices with Singapore. A Chausson Pomme was £1.75 (vs S$3.50), a croissant £1.35 and a macaron £2.95 (vs S$6). In other words the cost was about the same as in Singapore.

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Nicotine patches: "Requires willpower"

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The joys of Health & Safety regulations: "Application for Tables and Chairs License... Proposal: Placing of 1 table and 2 chairs outside the site between the hours of 12:00 and 23:00 on Mondays to Sundays"

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"2 courses £10
3 courses £15"
This is damn cheap

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"Chelsea Conservative Club"
Surprisingly run down.

I then arrived at my lunch destination: the Medlar resaurant. I'd skipped the hostel breakfast because it'd been blah - not worth wasting stomach space on.

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Menu

This was to be my fine dining meal of the trip, since I wasn't able to book a Gordon Ramsay lunch. Perhaps next time.

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Very unassuming exterior. Note translucent curtain and the veneer of privacy.

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Male and Female toilet doors

I asked for tap water, and they gave me ice separately and lemon slices automatically. Hah.

At 12:50pm, there were only 3 tables occupied, and at another it was also a lone diner. Lack of company, good or otherwise, is not a barrier to enjoying good food!

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Home-made bread. It wasn't warm but was still crusty. The focaccia was a bit plasticky-feeling inside but tasted great, and the sourdough was good.

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Crab Raviolo with samphire, brown shrimp, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce
The pink-orange colour is most accurate. The sauce was bursting with prawn flavour without being overwheling. It was smooth and went down well.
The crab inside was slippery and treated somehow.
The tomatoes offset the bisque well. And the shrimp at the top didn't seem to be rehydrated - where did they get fresh tiny shrimp?! Okay I guess you can get these things in Europe.

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Guinea fowl with potato gnocchi, Jerusalem artichoke, spring onion and reblochon
I note that everywhere I have had Guinea fowl, it's been excellent. Probably because only atas places serve it. It has a more complex taste than chicken. And rolling it up like a Swiss Roll is a great way to do it.
What I thought were potatoes since they were shaped like tiny potatoes (but were actually Jerusalem artichokes - the waiter said they tasted the same: maybe he was trying to give me face; they were supposed to be slightly crunchy) were excellent, and amazingly tender. Somehow they had been infused with flavour.
The Spring Onion... still tasted like Spring Onion.

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"One day, we hope all bottled water companies will be different.
They will only source and sell water within the same country.
Their bottles will be made using recycled glass or plastic.
They will be 100% caron neutral.
All profits will go to water projects in the world's poorest communities.
Eventually, we really hope that all bottled water will be produced this way. But at the moment there is only one. Belu.
Made with mineral water and ethics"

To be ethical, don't drink bottled water!

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Atas tea selection I didn't avail myself of.

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Vanilla cheesecake with poached rhubarb and hazelnut crumble
The biscruit crust was crispy, not your usual cheesecake crumb. It must've been very fresh.
Inside there was jam to offset the vanilla. AND THE RHUBARB WAS NOT SOUR! Amazing.

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I picked the Maury D. de la Coume du Roy "Tradition" from Languedoc, France
My reservation price was £10, and I decided to try something other than Moscato.
It was a red, albeit a sweet one (not as sweet as Moscato). I think I dislike reds not just because of less sugar but also more tannins.

I was so happy with lunch, I left change for a £40 (not that much, but still). The only bad thing about lunch was it took a while.

Amusingly, after a while what was probably the head waiter tended to me. At the end he asked if I was in the restaurant industry, and if I was visiting other restaurants. I told him I was just someone who enjoyed my food.

I'd walked to the restaurant, as it was supposed to be 10-15 mins from the nearest Tube station, but I took like 25 in the end (and had to rest my feet). So I took a bus (which I had almost never done).

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"Spotting a ticket inspector is easy. They look just like you"
Criminals aren't the only ones in disguise

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I don't know why I took this

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Chinese herbs for hay fever, back pain, weight loss and infertility

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Fountain in Sloane Square

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"Discover Wroclaw. European Capital of Culture 2016. Fall in love with a city you never heard of before"
Why is this decided 4 years in advance? It seems wrong.

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National Education posters urging people to find out about their democracy. Hurr hurr.

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Boudica: "Behold this hideous wheel"

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Houses of Parliament again

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"Off with his head!"
The Oliver Cromwell status is probably here to remind the Monarch who's boss.

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George V

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Richard the Lionheart

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Door

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Door detail

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Above the door

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Lion with pennant at side of door

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Buxton Memorial Fountain in Victoria Tower Gardens
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