karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
[personal profile] karohemd
After a rather long train/tube journey (KingsX line was screwed so had to use the Liverpool St. line), I (on [livejournal.com profile] ditzy_pole's recommendation) first had lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant which was rather fine. I hadn't treated myself in quite a while so I had four courses from the lunch menu with the flight of wines:

Cauliflower velouté, smoked haddock, potato salad - light, with delicate flavours
Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto - my favourite dish, despite it being veal, this had the meatiest flavour, very rich
Lamb rump, fennel, samphire, lemon thyme jus - the accompaniments really made this, complimenting each other wonderfully
Guanabana parfait, mango sorbet, mint jelly, lime sherbert - this was great, too, really fruity and fresh

I can't remember the wines (I really need to write these down). The first was a young and fresh Sauvignon/Chardonnay, then a light but fruity Italian red (grape I wasn't familiar with) and with dessert a sparkly Muscadet (perfect with the rather sweet parfait)
Service was excellent, too, friendly, unobtrusive and eager to explain everything.
I also watched the sommelier deal with what must have been a rather special (and probably old) bottle of wine. He opened it very carefully, poured out a bit into a glass, looked at it, sniffed it (probably to check if it had corked). Then he poured a bit into a carafe and basically rinsed out the carafe with the wine before decanting the bottle.

Then off to Islington to meet my friend Maria for tea and cakes. Ottolenghi was bursting at the seams with queue outside the door so we went somewhere else which was OK. It was good to catch up and chat with someone I don't see as often anymore.

After that my main reason to go to London that day: Cirque du Soleil's Totem at the Royal Albert Hall. Randomly, [livejournal.com profile] ditzy_pole and [livejournal.com profile] asthier had also booked tickets for that performance and even more randomly, sat about 5 seats away from me so we had a little chat during the interval.
The show was less artsy-fartsy than some I've seen but had a similar format, all the acts flowing into each other with live music accompaniment. It was a fantastic mix of various acrobatics and jonglage. My favourite acts were the "Perches" because there were not only wonderful acrobatics but also feats of strength and physics involved and "Manipulation" because I hadn't see that kind of clever jonglage before. My least favourite bits were the clowns, especially that obnoxious Italian and the bit with the waterski. That was just a waste of time (and didn't get that much applause, either). As always, stage and costume design were marvellous, too.

Sadly, I couldn't stay and chat as I had to head off quickly so I could catch my train home in time. Due to a door fault, we were stuck on a rather hot Victoria line train for at least five minutes before it set off again. I just made it to Tottenham Hale and the train to Cambridge in time.

Date: 13/2/11 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-cat.livejournal.com
If I like a wine I often take a Mobile phone photo of the label to remember it, quicker than trying to type the info out.

Date: 13/2/11 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com
This came in the glass so no label to photograph. I would have to record the sommelier's description.

Date: 13/2/11 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-cat.livejournal.com
hmmm, I have photo'd the menu before, or even once asked the sommelier to write down the info which he did :) Depends where you are of course and it isn't always possible.

Date: 13/2/11 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com
I'm quite sure they'd given me the written info if I asked, I just didn't think of it.

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