Happy Thanksgiving! Here in Amsterdam the holiday is a bit of a non-event, especially since Sinterklaas already came to town, and it’s full swing Christmas. We’re having a small get together tomorrow night, but without an oven it’s a bit hard to all the traditional favorites. Mashed potatoes it is!
So instead of eating my fill this Thanksgiving, I’ll tell you about what we ate in London. Close enough, right? I’ve said it before, but the best part about traveling is the food. Everything else is just filling in the spaces between meals. Here are some of my favorites from London.
We stumbled upon Borough Market the first day, and spent a long time gazing in wonder at all the delicious booths. It’s a farmer’s market tucked under a street, and of course it’s been there for forever. Just like everything in London. It was a beautiful place, full of steaming carts with sausages, fresh baked bread, cheese, curries, falafels, and more. One cart even had a three foot wide pan with paella simmering inside. We got a choice cut of Gloucester cheese from a farm 2 hours outside of the city, a sandwich, and far too much Turkish Delight.
We also had a great search for good coffee. Of course Britain is a bit more renowned for tea than coffee, but did you know that in the 17th century London jumped on Europe’s new bandwagon, coffeehouses, and had 3,000 of them open by the 1700s? So it’s nothing new.
The Nordic Bakery had delicious coffee and an amazing cardamom cinnamon roll. And popular Monmouth Coffee had quite the line, limited seating, and perfectly filtered coffee. Also a giant bowl of sugar.
I know I shouldn’t lump all these together, but we also went to a Thai restuarant, a noodle bar, and an Indian restaurant, because while London has great fish’n’chips, you really can’t miss the other cultures it offers. Our favorite was Wagamama Noodle Bar, which has locations everywhere. I’m a fan of miso soup, and this one comes in a bowl bigger than my head with a paddle for a spoon!
And, last, we did justice to the British Pub. Not only for many pints of frothy brews, but also for the shepherd’s pie, Sunday roast, fish’n’chips, and plenty of brown sauce. The beer was nice, too, though. In the Netherlands I’ve become used to a lot of Belgian styles, so it was nice to have some good ol’ lagers and stouts on the menu. I love the names of the pubs, and the long history so many of them have. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was a regular haunt of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the English dictionary, as well as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Did they each grab a table on a cold dark night and toast their friends with the same beer as they discussed the intricacies of the English language? I like to think that they did.
Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving!