Thursday, 17 September 2009

Friendship and Food

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a few friends that, no matter how long it's been, when I do eventually see them again we click; Sue is one of those friends. We met years ago through work; and though our lives have taken us to different companies, countries and directions, when we get together we have such a great connection. We laugh, commiserate, share tales and generally have a whale of a time.

On this occasion Sue was in London for only 24 hours... so after meeting her at the airport we shared news of the last 7 or 8 years over a bottle of wine into the wee small hours - she also met BoyWonder for the first time! The following day was planned for glamorous swanning around...

We started the day trying on jewellery, discovering some lovely handmade pieces by designer Andrew Geoghegan and then headed over to the 5th Floor Bar at Harvey Nic's for Champagne, then downstairs for make-overs. After a spot of shopping for Sue's girls (OK, I bought some "snow" for Christmas too), we headed to lunch.

Le Café Anglais is an elegant restaurant, with magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows and tables that are a discreet distance apart - I'll be sending my boss here in the future - and good for our catch-up without annoying nearby diners. I'd missed our long weekend lunches in Sydney where a few of the girls would get together for discussions and debates over the broadest range of topics - there were some pretty eye-opening exchanges!

One thing I learnt from this lunch is not to expect to do all this catching-up and actually remember to take pictures of the dishes or even what they were called... I do however remember the hors d'oeuvre that was recommended to me by Essex Eating, the Parmesan custard with anchovy toast was out of this world! I must mention that our waitress was lovely and knowledgeable about the menu - we wanted a Pinot Noir, and rather than pointing us to the "safe" and higher priced Bourgogne she recommended the lovely Nittnaus from Austria, not something I would have felt confident choosing.

Thankfully I did take a photo of the weekday lunch menu so I was able to check back on most of the other dishes we had. Our starters of the creamiest & buttery Burrata was a great combination with the smoky aubergine. Both my plaice with brown butter and Sue's choice of lamb were lovely, though I'd be interested in sampling the more adventurous a'la carte menu, which is where we headed for dessert.

This proved to be an exceedingly tough choice. I pondered having the chocolate soufflé, but wanted something a little more refreshing. I can't remember what it was called (nor for the life of me what Sue had!) but I went for this spectacular concoction of vanilla mousse encased in raspberry sponge roulade. We each enjoyed dessert with a glass of Monbazillac.

A mad dash through the rain ended our day of glamour somewhat unceremoniously, as did the epic traffic to Heathrow. And while in the future I may forget exactly what we'd eaten, it's the experience with my friend that I'll remember.

Cheers, KangaRue

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