Glamorous MonacoThe castle where Monaco startedThe casino is reflected in the mirrored globeThe casino interior (or at least what you can see if you don't pay to gamble) Everyone knows Monaco, famous for glamorous casinos and the rich and famous, but few people have heard of Menton, its French neighbor. And yet Menton is the … Continue reading How Lemons (and Menton) Made Monaco Famous
Conventional wisdom says that Queen Victoria (or more accurately, Prince Albert) invented our modern Christmas traditions – the Christmas tree, carol singing and more. But that’s misleading since many of our holiday customs (and even foods) date back into the Middle Ages (or even earlier). It turns out that a Tudor Christmas was remarkably like … Continue reading Want Some Brawn at Your Christmas Dinner?
Some random thoughts on food and groceries in Britain, compared to San Francisco. I'll add more as I come across them. One of the things that has shocked me most about buying groceries in England is the realization of how many preservatives must be in American food. At home, I can buy a loaf of white … Continue reading Musings on British Food
“It all started with Stilton cheese…” Thus did Stephen Hallam of Dickinson & Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe begin the tale of how the famous Melton Mowbray pork pie came to be. According to tradition, in 1730 a local farm woman was making a savoury blue cheese that came to the attention of the … Continue reading Mmmm, pie…..
Here is my updated list of why England is still a civilized country: Common courtesy is still, well, common. On the tube or a bus, more often than not I'm offered a seat if I'm standing. I've seen both tube and bus drivers hold up their departure until someone coming down the stairs or along … Continue reading Why England is still a civilized country
Don't go to Pétrus in London because it's a Gordon Ramsay restaurant... go despite the fact that it's a Gordon Ramsay restaurant! You'll be rewarded by a memorable meal, worthy of its Michelin star. (And I don't often say that...) My meal yesterday (7 'official' courses, plus an amuse bouche and a post-dessert treat) was one … Continue reading Ramsay’s Restaurant Deserves the ‘F’ word — Fabulous!
My grandmother was from Cornwall, so her cooking, for good or ill, was based on the traditions she learned in England as a young woman. And my mother learned from her, so many of those traditions were passed down, including the Sunday roast (which was always roast beef in our house). When I started traveling … Continue reading An Easter miracle – a great Sunday roast!
Except for my jet lag, I would have sworn I was at a food festival in San Francisco: • Food carts selling burgers, fried chicken and Mexican food – check • Chefs with cheeky t-shirts and tattoos – check • Street busker (badly) crooning Frank Sinatra songs – wha...??? This last is explained by the fact … Continue reading Eat & Drink Festival, London, April 2017
Look right!! Traffic is coming from the other direction, dummy! This one seems to have become automatic for me by now, at least as far as cars. Unfortunately, bicycles are another story, as they can come from either direction and seem to come far faster than bicyclists in the US -- even SF's crazy cyclists! … Continue reading Things to remember on landing in England
I've arrived in London for the first part of a year-long adventure wherein I'm homeless by choice. (I've rented out my place in San Francisco for at least a year to both abide by the condo rules and to fund my adventure.) My current plan is to spend 6 months in England, then a month … Continue reading When in England…