A four day weekend is always welcome, and it was good fun following the celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee both on telly and out on the street.
In Britain we have a nice long weekend ahead, to celebrate the Queen reigning for 60 years; a diamond jubilee. There are lots of things happening in London to celebrate this; a flotilla on the Thames, street party on Piccadilly and a festival in Battersea Park among other things.
Food wise British classics will be in focus and I am quite excited about finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, jugs of Pimm’s and a nice gin & tonic.
The most funny food thing happening around the Jubilee must be the special edition of Marmite, called Ma’amite. Click on the picture for the link to an article.
Last weekend when Maria and Daniel were visiting we decided to escape rainy London for a day and got on the train to Canterbury in Kent. Kent always remind me of home because of all the rapeseed fields – love it.
When I lived in England the first time around (ten years ago now) I lived in Kent, not too far away from Canterbury so I have been there quite a lot, but not for a few years. Apart from the fact that it was nice and sunny and it felt like we were abroad, it is a very cute town with old gates around the town centre, a famous cathedral and university.
It was his mother, Elieen’s birthday on Saturday so we went to Clivenden Manor during the day to have a look around, then stopped at a pub for a drink on the way home, and in the evening we cooked a nice meal for her. We used recipes I have written about before, but it was sooo good this time, I have to post it again with the new and improved instructions.
York is a small town and that means a smaller selection of restaurants than larger towns, naturally, but because we are used to all the restaurants London has to offer, we decided to cook ourselves for most day. One evening however we visited the Blue Bicycle which was mentioned on Via Michelin’s website.
There was no ordinary bread basket instead we got a little clay pot each with a bread baked in it. A nice touch. And so wash the baked garlic to have on it. The bread was nice and crusty on the top, but a bit too doughy in the bottom.
Christopher chose French onion soup for his starter, which was nice but not fantastic. The bread on the side was really nice though and would have been better than the bread in clay pots to start the meal.
I chose a crayfish, spring onion and gruyére bonbon, which turned out to be a large croquette with these three ingredients. It was crispy on the outside and had lovely melted cheese on the inside. Unfortunately the rest was mainly mashed potatoes and it only contained one crayfish. A great idea that lacked in execution.
Chritopher chose the steak for his maincourse which looked lovely. It came with new potatoes, fried cauliflower and a mustard hollandaise. Till varmrätt beställde Christopher biff med nypotatis, friterad blomkål och senapshollandaise. Biffen var lite för välstekt för att vara blue-rare men var ändå god.
I chose seabass and got two large fillets on my plate together with a giant fondant potato that was very nice. The sauce was roasted garlic and quite nice and the fried ball was some kind of olive mash that to be honest was a bit weird in taste. I would have prefered some fresh vegetables instead.
We were way too full to have dessert (I had to leave quite a lot of my maincourse) so we decided on a walk to digest the food.
I don’t think the restaurant was all bad, even though I am quite critical in my review. This seem to be one of the better restaurants in York and it was very popular. Around 15 people was turned away while we were there and we got the only walk-in table for the evening. I do think the restaurant has potential. It was nice inside and they certainly can cook, it is more when it comes to creating daring dishes were it doesn’t really work. I think a more traditional approach with English and French well-cooked food would work better.The Blue Bicycle Restaurant 34 Fossgate York, YO1 9TA Tel: 01904 673990
One of the days we stayed in York, we rented a car for the day and drove out to the countryside. The first stop was Fountain’s Abbey, a well preserved old abbey cared for by the National Trust.
Our initial plan was to stop at a few different places along the road and maybe go for a walk, but it was raining heavily most of the time, so we had to eat our picnic inside the car and rush out to take pictures and then straight back inside.
York is a small, but very cosy town, with lots of old buildings and narrow cobbled streets. We had a look around the city and went for a walk on the old city walls, made a visit to the museum where we learned more about the history of York and the amazing Minster. We also wanted to visit the Treasurer’s house, but we had completely missed the fact that they were closed on Fridays, the day when we intended to go. Oh well…
We rented a flat instead of staying in a hotel or B&B, because we wanted to be able to stay in if we wanted to. He priority with this trip was to rest, sleep, unwind and recover from a busy summer, so sightseeing was secondary.
The flat we rented was really nice and close to the train station which meant that we could walk everywhere. It also had a TV (which we actually don’t have) and it was actually really nice to watch crappy day-time television. The flat also came with a DVD-player and a selection of good DVDs, so we stayed in most nights.
The picture is borrowed from http://www.designmeawebsite.net/web-design-york/
We’re off from work this week and are staying in York until Friday. I am very much looking forward to it. To go for walks in the countryside and on the moor in wellies and a quilted Barbour, breath fresh air and look around the town.
It is only a month ago since we got back from a week in Sweden, and although that was wonderful as always, it is not relaxing in the same way a ‘real’ holiday is. So that is why this week will mean a lot to us. We want to have lie-ins every morning, decided on the day what we want to do, stroll around the streets and go to the pub and relax with good food.
So it was great to prepare for our holiday with a mini break in Bucks with Chris’s mother. We got there by train on Friday, quite late, and only had a glass of wine and a chat before bed. The next day we had a nice lie-in and decide to venture out despite of the terrential rain. We went to Waddesdon Manor, the home of Ferdinand Rothschild. There were plenty to see inside so we could escape from the wetness outside.
The manor certainly had grand interiors with marble, gold inlay on the walls, several drawing rooms and magnificent chandeliers. I enjoyed the layed tables and the china nad silver services the most. We also had a look in the wine cellar, where they keep some of the family wines.
As a starter we had a lovely salad with peaches, mozzarella, parma ham, crema di balsamico, honey, chives and chopped almonds. After that we tucked in on steak, chicken kebab, tuna, burgers and sausages with plenty of salads and garlic bread.
We ate and ate because we decided to skip dessert, but of course it came out anyway. It was summer pudding, which I’ve never had before, so I had to try it. I think it is safe to say I have not felt fuller in my life!
Yesterday we spent the day watching golf (Christopher) and looking through recipes (me) and just chilled out as you do on Sundays. Eileen had made a proper Sunday lunch with toad in the hole, roast potatoes, gravy and lots of different vegetables finished off with an apple crumble. Lovely!
Last year we had a picnic with friends there, but in the afternoon so many people arrived that we no longer could see the river although we were meters from it.
To avoid such nuisance we bought tickets to the Regatta enclosure, and this is (at least for us) the way forward. When we ventured out of the enclosure to look at the shops etc., it was too many prople everywhere.
Malin and Martin, Jess and Chris and us, started the dat with a brunch at our flat. We had champagne, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, croissants, mini quiches, blueberry muffins, bread, ham and cheese and things. It was a lovely start to the day and we all enjoyed it. But then again, who does not enjoy champagne?!
To brighten up the train journey out of London we had some more bubbly, then we switched to Pimm’s at the regatta. I love events like these, when you sit by the river, watching fit men row, looking around at all the pretty (and some horrible ones) dresses, Panamas and stripy blazers.
We enjoyed the early evening best though. When the serious people started to leave and the party crowd had not yet arrived. It was quiter and we could sit front row watching the rowing.
When the enclosure closed, we walked over the bridge into the village and had a nice meal. We must have been very lucky, walking in the six of us and managed to get a table!
Back at the train station, it was mayhem. There had been an accident on the tracks and several hundred people were fighting over the few taxis. Jess managed to find us one, and waiting for it we escaped the chaos and had a drink in a pub.
It was a perfect day with nice, but not too warm, weather and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks guys!
Perfectly creamy scrambled eggs, serves six on a buffet
100 ml single cream
knob of butter
salt and pepper after taste
Heat up a teflon frying pan or sauté pan on medium heat. Add the butter. Beat the eggs with cream and season. Pour into the pan and lower the temperature. Stir the whole time with a wooden fork or a spatula, and watch the eggs slowly thicken. Remove from heat when a bit undercooked and keep stirring. Adjust the seasoning and serve.
Mini-quiches with Saint Agure and leek, 12 stycken
80 g softened butter
200 ml plain flour
1/3 beaten egg
100 g Saint Agure in cubes
10 cm leek, sliced
2 + 2/3 eggs (left over form the dough making)
300 ml cream
100 ml grated cheese
Mix butter, eggs and flour to a dough. Line 12 aluminium cases with it. Place blue cheese and leeks in the pastry cases. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Mix eggs and cream, season with salt and pepper and divide between the cases. Bake in 200C for 20 minutes. Serve cold, luke warm och warm.
Blueberry muffins with almonds and lemon, makes 12
Oroginal Swedish recipe here. I made mine into larger muffins than the recipe suggests.
200 ml blueberries
125 g melted butter
150 g ground almonds
1 tbsp lemon zest
400 ml icing sugar
80 ml plain flour
5 eggwhites (about 160-170 ml)
Mix almonds, zest, icing sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the egg whites and mix. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Place a few berries in each cake case, divide the mixture between the cake cases (fill them to 2/3). Bake in 200 C for about 15-20 minutes.