Am I really living in Europe? Is this a dream? I have to ask myself these questions. October was the month for Paris. November was for London, England. The feeling of gratitude for these experiences is quite overwhelming.
Christmas markets are huge in Europe. These markets are typically filled with local crafts & food booths, rides and lively people who have been enjoying warm spiced wine (Gluhwein) or the many beer gardens sprinkled about the venue. The Winter Wonderland Christmas Market is one of the biggest Christmas markets we have been to and was located in the prestigious Hyde Park area in London. This is a very cultural event in Europe, which I hope will take off in the United States someday.
Enter Winter Wonderland…
Even though we were away from home we still wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. Bar Boulud offered a three course, Prix Fixe holiday menu. Service and food was pristine as expected. It is totally what you would expect from a Micheline starred chef. There were four different people waiting on our table and we didn’t have to ask for anything. Every person at the table basically had their own server. All of our needs were assumed. We started with oysters from France, which had a light brined flavor served with a classic mignonette and lemon enrobed in cheesecloth. Our first course was Pumpkin spiced soup with creme fraiche and candied nuts. The second course was a roulade of white and dark turkey, pureed squash, and crispy, circular bread pudding. For dessert, we had an personal size pecan pie fit for a southerner such as my husband. My youngest Ben, was so tired from all the excitement from the Christmas market that he fell asleep at the table, he eventually woke up by the second course.
Well, just when I though Bar Boulud was the highlight of our culinary adventures, The Savoy Hotel proved to be the winner above all the places we ate in London. This legendary 125 year old hotel has a special space for afternoon tea in the Thames Tea Room. There are two menu options for tea time. Here’s a link to their menu if you ever have the chance to visit.
To begin tea time, we started with an unlimited supply of these finger sandwiches.
Wilshire Bone Ham with Whole Grain Mustard Cream Cheese
Coronation Chicken on Olive Bread
Scottish smoked and poached Salmon with Dill Mustard
Egg Salad and Watercress
Cucumber Fleur de Marquis and Dried Tomato
The Savoy had the best scones I have ever tasted in my entire life. They were moist and they just melted in my mouth with the perfect amount of sweetness. I suspect loads of heavy cream have something to do with it. Here they are.
London is a city full of beauty, busy tourists, and the home of the most epic luxury department store ever. Harrod’s is not your typical department store though. There is a floor completely dedicated to food and beverage. It’s completely over the top and promises to offer the best of its brand name food products. I bought several tins of Sea Salt Caramel Biscuits meaning to send them as holiday gifts, but sad to say they were so tasty, all I have left to mail are the empty tins.
London definitely gave Paris a run for the money. Perhaps I should visit France again to do more “research”. Cheers, London.