Posts Tagged ‘Savoy’

Things I learned at Waltham Place (Part 2)

1. The way to cut an onion without all the tears is to first half it, then peel each half, then slice it, leaving you with the two ends. The chemicals that make you cry are released when you cut the end off which has the roots so if you cut that off first, all the chemicals will be released, hence all the sobbing while chopping.

2. Sorrel is way tasty!

3. Nettle soup is surprisingly bright green.

4. Cows will let you know if they like you or not. If you put your hand out low, they will come over and smell it, rather like a dog. If they lick, then you’re in there. If they lick your face, then you’ve really pulled. If, however, they shake their horns at you, it means they definitely do not like you.

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5. Chickens have a self programmed ‘bedtime’. Without any prompting, at the bedtime, all the chickens, on cue, will run to the coop together and go inside to bed.
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6. Commercially produced bread is full of additives, one of which is put in to delay the arrival of mould when it is getting old. Yet it will start to grow mould after just a few days. Homemade bread, however, has no additives and, so far, I have had it for five days and there isn’t even a suggestion of mould.

7. Adrian, the chef at Waltham Place, spent six months working at the Savoy. There were 65 chefs working in the kitchen there and all the cooking terms were in French. You either picked up French very quickly or you got bollocked for doing everything wrong!

P.S. Part 1 can be found here.

The end of the birthday fun

Saturday saw the last in a line of birthday celebrations which have been very fancy indeed. And this was no less fancy.

We went to the Savoy for fancy lunch and to maintain the illusion that we are type of people who lunch in luxury.

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I had the set lunch menu, which I started with a pheasant and beetroot salad…

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It was small, but anything bigger would have taken up the space I was preserving for dessert.

Next I had a Jerusalem artichoke risotto (a big step for me as I never eat things with stupid names, eg, celeriac, artichoke, etc). It had trompette mushrooms, which threw me. What is a ‘trompette’ mushroom? Trumpet mushroom? Well, anyway, they looked like shitake mushrooms to me and were tasty.

As soon as the plate was set down, I caught a whiff of something? Truffle?! I hadn’t remembered seeing truffle on the menu though. I lifted the plate inelegantly to my nose. There was definitely truffle in my risotto! And it looked like there were some shavings of black truffle in it too. It was delicious.

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The dessert choices were pretty good, with a banana and blackberry Eton mess or a lemon cheesecake with ginger ice cream vying for my attention. Eventually though, sticking to the Italian theme which has dictated my food choices since my return from Rome, I went for a rosemary panna cotta with caramelised plums. (Is panna cotta Italian? It sounds a bit Italian.)

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After finishing dinner and congratulating ourselves that none of the children in our party had spilled/smashed/thrown/broken anything, we went for a wander. We found an amazing little chocolate shop, where a huge vat of melted chocolate was being stirred and delicate individual chocolates were being prepared.

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You can buy slabs of pure chocolate there too, should you wish….

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Or you could wander to one of the designer jewellery shops and purchase a little necklace, if the fancy takes you…

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You could just see it and impulse buy it, you know. Sometimes you just HAVE to get something because it’s pretty. You could probably get it with whatever change you have lying about in your pocket.

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Yes, you read that right. The necklace. The necklace in the previous picture. Is £42,000! Forty two. Thousand. THOUSAND. Pounds.

I did think about whether to get it but then I remembered my food processor broke the other day so I’m saving up for a new one of those.

And now, after days of piggybacking onto birthday celebrations which aren’t even mine, it’s back to reality. I have work in a few hours. I do not have a Michelin star chef making a mid-morning snack for me. Nor will anyone open a napkin and lay it in my lap when I sit down. I guess I’ll make a cup of tea and read a cookbook or something…..