Monday, October 10, 2005

London Dining

So much has happened in the two months since I've written. I've been focusing on other writing projects and therefore have neglected to post to the blog.

Lou and I traveled to London and Ireland in August. It was just the two of us for a week in London and we had a blast touring the city's museums, palaces, and parks, and a few farmers markets and cheese shops. To our surprise, Lou and I ate quite well in both London and Ireland, for a price. In London, we visited The Ivy on a whim and they graciously seated us in the bar even though we were dressed in jeans and T-shirts. A non-celeb normally needs a few months notice to eat here. Not completely sure why because my fish was very mediocre, although the updated Shepherd's Pie that Lou ordered was fabulous. For dessert we had a creme brulee topped with berries that did not complement the flavor of the creme, but instead completely dominated it. The lack of consistency in the food was probably offset by a very good PR rep. A lone "regular" dining a few tables away who had sparked up a conversation with us asked if we had noticed the "nicely dressed" lady who came in trying to get a table for tomorrow's lunch and was turned down. I guess the maitre d' must have sensed my inner celebrity. The "regular" lived in Boston, but traveled to London often and recommended we also go to The Wolseley. Owned by the original owners of The Ivy, The Wolseley is another much written about hot spot. Now with a personal recommendation to boot, we of course decided to check it out.

Since a portion of the tables are left for walk-ins, we were seated after having ample time to drink one drink and order a second in the Wolseley's small and very expensive bar. Precious real estate was saved for tables here in this see-and-be-seen theatre of dining. Housed in what was once an automobile showroom, it is not a small space nor a small bill for them or I. Their reportedly 50,000 pound per month rent trickled down to me in the form of one 10 pound martini, and a dinner bill of about 90 pounds for two of us-no dessert and only glasses of wine. The food was good, but nothing of the calibur that I would expect from a place so well produced. PR at work again I suppose, or perhaps we in San Francisco are spoiled by so much good food in one little city.

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