Food Glorious Food, Peak District

The next morning, we went for a drive in the Peak District… and were very pleasantly surprised, the area is beautiful! And more specifically, with its big lakes, rivers and pine trees, we didn’t feel like we were in the UK but like we were somewhere else, like Pacific Northwest of North America! It didn’t hurt that they were fishing trout in the lake below…

After a while, we pulled over to the side for a quick pit stop… and found the premier biker hangout! Because there are many windy roads and beautiful scenery, the Peak District has tons of motorcycle riders coming through.. and they all stopped at the same rest stop as us! Andre got a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, and I got a cappuccino… I tasted his sandwich… while the cheddar cheese hadn’t melted completely (and really, that’s the best part of the sandwich!), it was otherwise pretty good!

Meet Froggie, by the way, our 2000 Lotus! He looks a bit like a little… well, frog!

The Water’s Edge Bar & Kitchen, Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire

Saturday, we headed up to Nottinghamshire to buy an old car that Andre had bought – the weather was nice enough that we decided to stick around for a night and check out the Peak District the next day. But first, famished after our long trek up there, we headed to lunch with our new car… to Newark on Trent.

For you non-Americans, Newark, New Jersey is a large, industrial town and not very picturesque – people usually picture it with a layer of smog above. So we were a tiny bit sceptical when the guy we got the car from encouraged us to check out Newark… but we were pleasantly surprised! The town was quite charming, with a waterfront area that we soon found a restaurant on…

With a typical pub-food menu, we went for pretty different things… Andre went for the bacon cheeseburger and fries, while I went for the jerk chicken (apparently marinated for 24 hours) served with sweet potato fries and coconut rice.

Mine was really good, it came with two chicken legs, so I shared with Andre… but the marinade was really flavourful and the chicken itself was really tender… so I was happy! The sweet potato fries were fine too, but the coconut rice… was basically cooked rice, with some coconut milk sitting on the sides (not even mixed in). It was pretty uninspiring.

Andre’s burger was fine, but nothing special. He spent more time picking all the vegetables out of the Greek salad that I had ordered 🙂

The waterfront… as it was a nice day, everyone was out and about, either sitting at the pub or strolling down the banks of the Trent River.

Then off we went towards our B&B in Chesterfield, of course with the roof down…

Chesterfield is best known for its market days and for the crooked spire on Queen Mary’s Church… check it out, it dates from 1362!

Le Bilbouquet, New York

In New York very quickly for a few meetings, the weather was lovely, so it was a pleasure to walk around. Rockefeller Center has continued its tradition of exhibiting art in the summers, and has a ballerina by Jeff Koons.

I met my friend Craig for lunch at Le Bilbouquet, as I had never been, and we sat there watching people stroll by…

I went with his suggestion of the Cajun chicken and loved it! It came as two pretty robust chicken breasts (for once, properly, not over, cooked) in a dry-rub Cajun sauce. The accompanying fries and salad were perfect, and I even had a few spears of grilled asparagus… but the chicken was the definite winner of the lunch! I’ll definitely be back here for another serving soon.

The Onslow Arms, West Clandon, Surrey

A beautiful Saturday, so we decide to head to the countryside and do a loop in Surrey. The road along the way is tiny, at times a small winding village road, and we pass many different pubs with people sitting outside, enjoying their Sunday roasts in the sun. And finally, we pick one to sick down at as well…

And what a good choice it was! We shared the goat cheese and red onion tarte tatin to start… and it was delicious, if a bit small for two… but gave us each a taste to start with some greens!

And then the Sunday roasts, Andre went for the lamb shank, which was apparently very well cooked, not overcooked… And I got the chicken. Half a chicken, to be precise. And it was also perfectly cooked, succulent. It was served with a chicken stuffing sausage (see the square sausage bit at the upper right of the plate)… I tried one piece of this and went back to the chicken itself, which tasted a lot more natural… but there was still enough that Andre had to help me finish!

And on the side, a plate of veggies… some of Britain’s finest. All steamed, they were perfect with a bit of salt and pepper, and made the whole meal feel a bit healthier!

After a coffee, we were back on the scooter to head down to Box Hill and continue our ride!

The Detox Kitchen, Soho

After a yoga class in Kingly Court, I headed downstairs to the Detox Kitchen to pick something up for lunch. The Detox Kitchen always has a long queue at lunchtime, so I had never had the courage to wait for my lunch there, but today, the line was a bit shorter, so I decided to go for it. And boy, was I in for a treat!

You can have a variety of lunch boxes, but the most common are either a protein and two salads or a protein and three salads. I went for the protein plus two, getting the veggie burger (a chickpea and corn burger that tasted like a big fritter, delicious, with some coriander sauce drizzled on top and a pea and mint puree on the side).

The choice of salads was also good, I went for the slaw (nice and simple, with edamame added) and the roast sweet potatoes, roast in a curry spice blend and topped with a little coconut butter. Yum.

I’ll be back soon to try their other salads and mains for sure!

Ole and Steen, St James

London seems to be opening a number of different office/restaurant/shop spaces, such as NOVA space in Victoria and St James’ Market just south of Piccadilly.

Ole and Steen opened in St James’ Market probably nine months ago, and claims to be the best Scandinavian bakery in London. It has tons of breads, pastries, and light meals… including opened face sandwiches, salads, and amazing-looking focaccia breads that look like pizzas!

I went for two open-faced sandwiches (though probably only really needed one, as they were quite filling!) The first was the hot smoked salmon and egg salad sandwich, topped with pickled red onion. The salmon was fine, but the eggs were delicious… they probably had some mayonnaise in them, but what it really tasted like is that they had been slowly stirred to cook them, making them super creamy. Yum.

The other sandwich was the roast beef sandwich, with a remoulade sauce, a mix of ribboned cucumbers and pickles, and nice slices of roast beef ,topped iwth some pumpkin seeds and dill.

I mean, look at that roast beef! Have you ever seen better in a sandwich? Delicious.

They typically have three choices of the sandwiches, plus other sandwiches and salads… so I will be back soon to try the other options!