Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hilary, Hilary, where have you been? I’ve been to London to look at ... so many theengs! Part 1/2


Recently twenty-one years of life for two remarkable young ladies has passed by ... my god-daughters ... one now studying Psychology at Birmingham, while the other doing medicine in London.

 
Prunier champagne with a
spoon of caviar
For their 21sts – what to do ... something different was required ... I’d been down at the Natural History Museum in Kensington and for some reason (now I know why!) the tube was closed ...


... ok jump on a bus and trundle along to the British Museum, my next ‘station stop’ ... all British readers will understand the ‘station stop’ connotation – always said approaching a tube stop, and also on the trains ... often enough to be very irritating!

 
Caviar House, Piccadilly

But as the bus made its way along Piccadilly ... we passed the Caviar House – the light bulb moment happened – do they do gift vouchers? ... on my way back to Victoria (main line) station to get out of London ... I called in and asked said question.


Birmingham god-daughter had been anxious we should get together, but poor girl has had glandular fever, and then tonsillitis ... so was run down, behind on her studies, etc ...

 
Click and collect ... more likely check in
and order a light repast ... from the wide selection
of caviar on offer ...
... the best decision was to get some rest, enjoy Christmas and the New Year, catch up somewhat with the studies ... and then early in 2014 get together and use some of the vouchers ...


... last weekend was set – and off to London we went ... I’d booked a hotel ... so I didn’t need to leave early to get back to the south coast ... and of course we could make a real weekend of it ...


Medicalgirl and Psychogirl decided the date ... and after much texting, chatting too no doubt ... planned that a look at and stay over at the Medicalgirl’s house would be a good thing ...


themselves!
... then I had a spare hotel room and wondered if Psychogirl’s mother was feeling up to coming down – she also hadn’t been too well last year ... anyway things were perking up and mother came too – which was nice for me ... otherwise I might have been a gooseberry!!



Plans were made ... or left open – but were well met ... meet at the British Library after lunch ... two choices a free show, called Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics and an exhibition I wanted to see on The Georgians ...

 
Cafe set at the back of The King's Library:
George III's library - originally housed
at the British Museum, until the British
Library was completed to house it
... medicalgirl was running late so we paid and went round The Georgians – fascinating period of history (mind you aren’t they all) – then we met (and now we are four) ... in need of a cup of tea and a good gossip!


Visited the illustrated children’s books of the 20th century – I should definitely have spent longer there – Medicalgirl knew the bus to take ... as it was bucketing with rain ... and off to the hotel for a brief collapse and another tea - we are British ... !!


Put on our glad rags and hit the streets of London once again walking down to the Caviar House for our evening out – it’s rather nice being paid for with your own gift vouchers!
 
Tsarina
The background ... before I left for South Africa I decided to take my family – at that stage my mother, two brothers and one wife! out for a farewell supper ...


Having been wined and dined at the Caviar Bar ... this seemed a very good treat to take the family to ... for the fond adieu to their daughter or sister ... this was some decades ago - and that Bar is no longer ...


... rinse and repeat the process for these young ladies ... I typed up a colourful letter reminding them of some childhood ‘antics’ ... and saying that to complete the circle of the family dinner all those years I’d do the same for them in this their 21st year ...

 
Pata Negra
... the family remind me of the farewell dinner on occasions – as it was definitely something we would not normally do ... but it turned out to be a memorable evening.


So to conclude part one ... we had a fun Saturday night dinner a la Caviar House ... it is a seafood bar – and my god-daughter is not too good with fish – and I hadn’t realised the menu in that respect is a little limited ... but for fish lovers definitely isn’t!


There was a ‘Pata Negra’ – traditional Spanish ham served with toasted bread and a mixed leaf salad – which thankfully satisfied Psychogirl ... and she tried a Caviar Spoon (well some of it!) ... and a small piece of my oyster ... I only had one!

 
Mine!
I had the Seafood Platter, MedicalGirl had the Tsarina (lightly toasted blini topped with crème fraiche, served with Balik smoked salmon and some selected caviar), mother had Shrimp Cocktail – consisting of Mediterranean shrimps, with succulent cold water Atlantic Prawns and freshly peeled King Prawns ... while Psychogirl had her Pata Negra ...


We had salads, side dishes, plenty of bread ... we each had a Caviar Spoon ... and were constantly asking for ‘more butter’ please ... as L said – it was delicious butter ....


Shrimp Cocktail
We had the house Prunier Champagne Brut – and got rather hooked on that ... I have to say it was delicious champagne ...


Well I’m recovering still ... we had a full Sunday and Monday, as L and I had a lovely evening together reminiscing and catching up – as we hadn’t seen as much of each other these last few years due to circumstances beyond our control ...


Petit Fours with our cappuccinos
... so the weekend came together ... part 2 to follow – and the girls are meeting up next weekend in Birmingham ... as Medicalgirl has a Psychiatry Conference and will stay with Psychogirl!!!


God-daughter’s mother, L, and I have plans to meet in March, but may well do before that as ideas were broached, which could turn out to be fun and collaborative ...


I don’t have many pictures ... but hope others will be sent down – for now ... I do have some!


It’s nearly evening here ... and now I’m feeling hungry ... sorry to leave you!


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


57 comments:

L.G. Smith said...

You time in London sounds wonderful. And I've seen lots of positive tweets concerning the Georgians exhibition at the British Library. Wish I could have seen it. :))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

After reading this, now I'm hungry as well! Glad the girls were able to decide a date and both found something good to eat there.

Patsy said...

What a lovely trip!

I'm hungry too now. The various fishy things don't appeal so much, but I could easily eat a plate of petiti fours.

Suzanne Furness said...

Oh wow looks and sounds wonderful. Makes the slice of pizza I've just eaten seem a little bland! Glad you all had fun.

quietspirit said...

Hilary, it sounds as if you and your
dear friends had a wonderful time on your short holiday. I'm glad for you.

Julia Hones said...

I've never heard of the Pata Negra before. I should have heard of it with a grandmother from Spain...
I think you had a lovely time with Medicalgirl and Psychogirl. What an interesting team!
The food looks delicious.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It sounds like a lovely time! The food looks amazing and the girls look like very good company. But where's your picture, Hilary?

Karen Walker said...

Those food pictures make my mouth water, Hilary. Sounds like you and your goddaughters had a wonderful time. Can't wait for part 2

Janie Junebug said...

What beautiful girls. You are a kind godmother, visiting them and caring about them.

I think the lines from A.A. Milne are
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
She said my hands are perfectly clean.

But perfectly is misspelled in a way I can't remember, to signify the child's pronunciation. I think her name is Emily. Emily went tripping between the two tall trees at the end of the green . . .

Love,
Janie

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Those are some good looking plates of food! Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.

D.G. Hudson said...

So that's where Hilary has been. Nice touch. Loved seeing the photos and your god-daughters!

loverofwords said...

Your God-daughters are lovely and one with ginger hair as well! The food is wonderful, especially since we can see the photos. I make blini myself and serve it with salmon and sour cream.

Chatty Crone said...

You are sure having a wonderful feast there with some great and beautiful company. You are a lucky ducky. sandie

Juliet Batten said...

How very special Hilary, a weekend to remember and clever you for making it all happen. It's always a challenge to organise the young! What beautiful young women they are, and how lucky to have you as their godmother, watching over them and preserving the memories.

Empty Nest Insider said...

You must have enjoyed every minute with your beautiful and intelligent god-daughters! The dishes look absolutely scrumptious! They're very fortunate to have you for a god-mother, and it sounds like you went out of your way for everyone to have a good time. Looking forward to Part II.

Julie

Donna Hole said...

What an adventure. Wish my birthdays were this exciting.

Yep, you made me hungry too :)

.....dhole

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ LG - the Georgian exhibition was extremely interesting .. more time was needed, but I have the book ...

@ Alex - food was good and we were well met - setting dates can be a challenge, but early in the year was a good time ..

@ Patsy - we had a lovely time .. the petit fours were also very good .. coffee too!

@ Suzanne - wonderful and good! Slice of pizza wouldn't stack up - yo're right there .. but I bet you enjoyed yours ...

@ Cecilia .. we had a lovely weekend - lots going on.

@ Julia - nor had I .. but Pata Negra must be a speciality Iberian ham - see Wikipedia .. about how the black Iberian pigs are raised and are allowed to roam free.

I hope the names pass muster with the girls! But seemed a fun addition to the story line ...

@ Karen - we had such fun .. my pics are in other cameras or phones more likely!

@ Karen - when I read this post .. I shall be thinking I'd like to visit again - a treat adventure that's for sure!

@ Janie - it's great watching them grow together .. and lovely they're meeting up next weekend.

I expect there are many variations to the rhyme .. this one reminded me of the very early version "Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, ... " - the earliest version of which was in 1805 ... Nursery rhymes occurred and are recorded from the 16th century onwards ... I wrote a post just before Prince George was born giving some background to folk songs (July 2013) ...

I like your remembrance of clean hands (purrfectly) and tripping between the two tall trees at the end of the green ...

@ Dianne - the food was very good, especially for fish lovers! Good memories too

@ DG - yes I went to London to see the youngsters! Thankfully I did actually take some photos! More were taken by the girls and L, Psychogirl's mother ..

@ Tasha - thanks the girls are great fun .. the red hair might have a wee touching in it! But it looks good ..

I'd love to have some of your blinis with salmon and sour cream .. it's a really good combination

@ Sandie .. we had a lovely time - it's been a real treat ..

@ Juliet - I hope I'm a better god-mother this time around! This meeting was a good idea .. cheap London hotels in January! .. and they both had some time to join up ...

Thankfully once you're in central London there is lots to do ... with mixing and matching as to needs ...

@ Julie - everything was flexible, so that was 'easy' ... and we had lots of fun - and being near Covent Garden gave us other options too ...

@ Donna - yes it was a good belated birthday .. and I thoroughly enjoyed the three days ... and that food was delicious!

Cheers everyone .. must get some more photos sent across .. we had FUN!

Jo said...

Don't remember any caviar bar or restaurant when I worked in Jermyn Street. A very long time ago though. I would love to go there. Food looks wonderful.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the idea of re-creating your farewell dinner, how perfect. And I'm glad you had such a fun and memorable weekend with your goddaughters. Cute picture of them!

Val Poore said...

Lovely that you have such a good relationship with your god-daughters! And a lovely idea to re-create your farewell dinner. It looks as if you had a wonderful meal and a lovely time.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Sara said...

What a grand time had by all!!

However, it's not fair to show all these pictures of food and talk about the wonderful meal you had when it's dinner time for me.

Of course, you couldn't have known that, but like you..."now I'm feeling hungry...sorry to leave you":~)

Slamdunk said...

You find the neatest things to do Hilary. Glad you have such an enjoyable time with your god-daughters.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

After a thorough read of your comprehensive posting, not only do I have the urge to finally get back to London, I have the urge to actually eat something.

Gary

Leandra Wallace said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip! I would so love to visit London one day- I grew up reading Regency Romances set there, and would love to visit that foggy city. Though I don't know- is London still have a lot of fog, or has that changed since, you know, the last hundred years or so? Lol!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo - it's relatively recent - probably 20 years or so .. but the food here was good ...

@ Julie - it was a different present that was for sure ... then we enjoyed ourselves enormously!

@ Val - yes both girls (young ladies) are great .. and it was a fun get together ..

@ Andrew - thanks for coming by it's good to see you ..

@ Sara - absolutely .. sorreee about showing all the wonderful food when it's your dinner time! Doesn't match up does it - food here is pretty 'dull' too!!

@ Slamdunk - I do enjoy doing different and we had such a fun time ...

@ Gary - gosh .. two successes - thinking about visiting London and eating something .. life is picking up for you!! Delighted to see you here ..

@ Leandra - I sure hope you get here .. London is a very vibrant city with lots of ancients around! So much to see and do ...

... re the fog - the Clean Air Act in the 50s made a lot of difference .. the "pea-soupers" as they were known were foul! We still get fog at times though .. but it's clean(er).

Thanks everyone .. it's still raining! cheers for now - Hilary

Lynn said...

That sounds like a really lovely time! And the food looks delicious - plus wonderful company.

I am having tea as we speak - maybe it's my Scottish heritage. :)

Silvia Villalobos said...

Glad you went to London, so I could go too -- via your blog. Oh, and I am famished now! Everything here looks delicious.

Lady Lilith said...

Looks like you had a great time in London. Thanks for sharing the images as well.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a marvelous trip and the food looks so yummy. Looking forward to the next part of the adventure.

MorningAJ said...

I'm not a caviar lover and you can keep the oyster, but smoked salmon is a different question, as are prawns and shrimps. Sounds like a good place for us to check out next time we're in the 'Smoke'.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - the whole weekend was great fun - lots of 'doing' and lots of fun too and as you say wonderful company. A good cup of tea at tea-time with the trimmings - perhaps a shortbread, or a Scottish crumpet - we used to have these and they were delicious - especially on a cold freezing afternoon!

@ Siliva - so glad you enjoy your vicarious visits to London via my blog ...

I was in London yesterday and could easily have gone back for another meal! It was goooodly food!

@ Lady Lilith - thanks for the visit .. glad you enjoyed the photos ...

@ Mason - we did quite a lot .. the next post might well be a rattle and roll one! Lovely to see you here ...

@ Anne - it is a different place to eat .. the house champagne was very delicious! I hope you can give it a go ... it'll be interesting to hear about your foray to the Caviar House ...

Cheers to you all - good to see you and thanks for commenting .. Hilary

Inger said...

Oh, to be in London! Thanks for this lovely account and all that TEA!

Rosalind Adam said...

What a bustling day in London. It all sounds lovely except I don't eat oysters so it wouldn't be the place for me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger - well we have rain, which I know your canyon could do with .. but the tea - English to the core!

@ Ros - it was fun .. the Caviar House is more caviar oriented .. but oysters can be had .. and I enjoyed mine!

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger - well we have rain, which I know your canyon could do with .. but the tea - English to the core!

@ Ros - it was fun .. the Caviar House is more caviar oriented .. but oysters can be had .. and I enjoyed mine!

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

The Georgian exhibition sounds fantastic. I sounds like a fabulous weekend. I haven't been to London for so long - we keep thinking about taking the kids, but plans never stay fixed for long enough. Not sure I'd be too keen on that restaurant - I'd need a bit more meat on the menu!

I have to ask: how does Psychogirl like her nickname?? :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The food looks exquisite! That is wonderful you got to spend the day celebrating with your god-daughters.

Karen Lange said...

I'm feeling hungry too now for some reason...:)

The girls are beautiful, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time! You are one special god mother, that's for sure.

Happy weekend,
Karen

cleemckenzie said...

Lovely girls with some very interesting college majors. That food looked so good I had to run to the kitchen for a snack and your trip details made me yearn for a London visit!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa - the whole weekend was a delight ... London's not far now-a-days .. but yet, I quite understand, it's far enough.

It was a fish bar with a difference ... but as delicious ... Psychogirl's brother is quite keen on fish .. and she may invite him down for a meal!!

I haven't asked Psychogirl about her name .. I will, but now isn't quite the right time ...

@ Diane - it tasted exquisite! We had a fun weekend .. just lovely to be together and relaxed ...

@ Karen - I know reading blogs with food in .. is always a dangerous occupation .. I could do with some lunch - but two hours to go ...

It's great the two are such good friends .. and that I see a fair amount of L and her daughter, Psychogirl - my god-daughter!

@ Lee - they've done so well getting into Uni and studying the subjects they're keen on .. and which they're thoroughly enjoying ..

ah! London .. the place where it all happens amongst architecture stretching over 2,000 years ... with an incredible mix of cultures from around the world ..

Cheers to you all .. Hilary

Milo James Fowler said...

It's been 9 years since I visited London -- I really need to go back.

Jannie Funster said...

Ooooo, I like the idea of that champagne brut, goes with everything.

Those young ladies are so lucky to have you in their life!! What a wonderful time you all had, and such a great last-evening dinner.

Wonderful travels. Wonderful Hilary!

xoxoxoox

deborahjbarker said...

Hi, Hilary, I have just returned from a traditional Sunday lunch with my daughter and her family (a thank you for all I have done for them this past couple of weeks, she said.) We say so many things with food. Your weekend sounds wonderful and I am liking that shrimp cocktail! My lunch was shared with two small boys, the youngest of whom still prefers fingers to spoons.Not quite as classy as yours I daresay but we enjoyed it. :-)

Sherry Ellis said...

The shrimp cocktail and petit fours look delicious. You're making me hungry!

Suze said...

Hilary, what a lovely, bright post of your gadding about! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Milo - London is always ready for a visit! Hope you can make it across soon ..

@ Jannie - that champagne was delicious and we did enjoy sipping a reasonable amount of it!

The god-children are great to have around it's been fun watching them grow up ...

Must get back to do Part 2 post today too .. London is a fun place to be in!

@ Debbie - traditional Sunday lunches are so good with that long walk afterwards ... I think you deserved one after all the grandchildren looking after you've been doing.

Food - is a great communicator isn't it .. and the thought of a youngie eating with his fingers sounds just lovely .. good yummies! Not as classy, but as much fun I think - great you can share the grandchildren and see lots of them ...

@ Sherry - sorry about the hunger pains! .. the shrimp cocktail seems to be a winner ...

@ Suze - the bright cheerfulness of us 'girls' at least made the grey of the days much sunnier!

Thanks to you all - cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Yum, those petit fours look good!
Would you believe I still haven't visited the British Museum?!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. the petit four, or Grand Gourmet Coffees were very delicious!

I think you might have meant the British Library .. also well worth visiting next time you're in London town!

Cheers Hilary

mail4rosey said...

Looking at all of that food, I can't imagine why you'd be hungry (telling the grumbling in my own tummy to settle down). :)

I'm glad you had a fab. trip w/your goddaughters, and that the mum got to come along as well.

Gattina said...

your London time sounds great and the plates look delicious. Both girls are very pretty !

Romance Reader said...

Oh, my! I want a visit to London! Seems like you had a wonderful time.

Nas

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosie - I think it was the lack of substance .. but I was very happy! We all had a lovely 'well met' time ..

@ Gattina - London was fun and the girls are just great ..

@ Nas - it's well worth a visit! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves ..

Cheers to all - Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a delightful adventure! Good company, good food, and good sights to see. It doesn't get much better than that.

That seafood sounds and looks fabulous. Not too sure about the caviar, though. I never developed a taste for that. But the petit fours? Oh, yeah!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. it was a lovely lovely weekend ... and we did all so enjoy ourselves. The food was just brilliant, but I love caviar .. don't get it too often! This was a treat ... you may have my petit fours, if I can have your caviar?!

Cheers Hilary

Tina said...

Oh I'm so glad the occasion turned out so well. When I come visit you ;-) I will take you there to eat! The food looks simply amazing and I'm a seafood and caviar lover (not to mention champagne...) so I'd fit right in. So happy to see the plates of food. Excellent presentation. I think I must have the shrimp cocktail AND something else. Three kinds of shrimp on one plate. Giant YUMMY!
Glad you also got some time with L. Love your nicknames...

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - good to see you as you're so busy and not so well .. take care.

It was a lovely weekend - just right for us ... and we can definitely go there to eat and have a glass of champers ... sounds good to me!

The food was very good indeed, let alone us enjoying ourselves .. yes the nick-names I still have to check those out with said recipients!

Spending time with L was just lovely we really haven't seen much of each other in recent years due to me being down here with my Ma - still I'm free to travel now.

Thanks so much for taking the time out to visit .. cheers Hilary