Ok now, let’s get right down into it and lick our fingers clean. I am talking about food here; the food that I enjoyed greatly while on my UK Adventure of 2009.
I did not gain any weight and I did try many new tasty treats and combinations. I would have starved to death if I had not eaten potatoes as my doctor ordered, but I did partake in moderation. We did a great deal of walking by choice to counterbalance the long bus rides.
The title of this piece is not only how my stomach sounds on most occasions after eating but is the Scottish name of a side dish of boiled potatoes and boiled turnip, AKA Bubble and Squeak. I had this dish in Edinburgh along with a steak at a meal that began with Creamed Clap Shot Soup. The end course was a Whiskey Snap filled with Perthshire berry mousse served with raspberry and mint syrup – very yummy fare at the dinner theater presentation at Prestonfield Mansion Stables.
HAGGIS, neeps, and tatties came after a recitation of Robert Burn’s celebration of Haggis and I need to say – I grew up on Haggis, it is very good, my vegetarian promised her Gram she would try it and she did. It was lovely and tasted like a US hamburger patty with all the grease and fillers and I just don’t know why folks make such a face – yummy high fat food.
This was nearly our last meal in Scotland but I certainly did some more eating along the way.
In St. Ives I had my first Cornish Pasties and that was pure heaven on a heavy rainy day! Chicken and asparagus filling for me and spicy vegetables and cup of tea for my daughter; good eating out of the pouring rain and out of range for the aggressive sea gulls.
In St. Andrew’s I had the best burger I have ever eaten and it was just a short walk from the famous 18th hole of the golf course. The 2 inch thick piece of ground meat had no fillers or fat or additives and was made fresh at my request. It was served on a BAP which is a dinner roll with lettuce and tomato slices. No interference with sugar, corn syrup, nor was it dripping with fat and half raw. I added a wee bit of English mustard toned down with a dab of mayonnaise. The chef and I had quite a conversation for my appreciation as he was apprehensive of making a hamburger for an American.
Most mornings we started the day with a full English or Scottish Breakfast. Sometimes we had a variation and were served a Continental Breakfast when the tour bus with the French speakers was arriving at the same location. No Porridge was served.
English Breakfast: eggs, sunny side up, poached, and scrambled, sausage, ham, fruit, cooked tomato half, potatoes, plain yoghurt, corn flakes, cream, toast, butter, pastries, tea, coffee, juice, water, cream and more cream. (I could have ordered Kippers for extra, but that also was served at my home and I did not want to pay for it.)
Scottish Breakfast: add black pudding, and wild mushrooms to each meal.
Continental: Croissant, cheese, cold meats, sliced melon and butter and cream with your beverage.
The ISIS breakfast in London was not worth bringing up, unless you only eat chocolate rice krispies or frosted flakes. I am trying not to think about the huge bowl of canned grapefruit; not an appetizing morsel in sight.
Many suppers we ate in our room and had McVitties Digestive Biscuits, Nutella, apples/bananas, and bottled water. If the tour was providing supper we had a buffet of chicken, salmon or pasta (vegetarian), vegetables and fruit and rolls and butter. Most meals began with a vegetable soup of different colors: yellow, orange, green, or dark green – very good and hearty.
On the Isle of Skye we had a bowl of Tomato Soup that was elegant and the buns were warm and tasty. We topped it off with an ice cream bar that puts US ice cream to shame. Even the fancy brands are never this rich and fragrant and creamy to the tongue. The UK knows cream.
Clotted Cream, scones, and strawberry jam with tea was our feast at Strafford-on-Avon. They melted in your mouth delicious but we had to share our table with about 50 yellow jackets that did not stay put in their sugar water bowl by the lamp post – we did eat and run down to the river to see the sights and Shakespeare’s home. I think we took no food picture in our haste.
Our 2 extra days in London turned into 5 extra days in London with the cancelling of our original Scotland Walking Tour. That made for 7 days in London for me and I walked and walked and explored so many sites. The Tower of London offered up a French Pastry Shop while I waited for my tour and I did indulge in a wonder fruity delight and hot chocolate, but the owner said no to a picture. He did wrap up a lovely egg sandwich, apple, wee cake and fresh lemonade for me as I left the Tower to return to my hotel in Earl’s Court and that was a real treat – being remembered in those throngs and throngs of tourists.
We had a very hard time trying to find licorice in London. We succeeded when we left the big city and it was fresh and good and we added raw Israel almonds to our menu.
We walked to Harrod’s (and found Allsorts!)
We took the train to Coventry Gardens and we had tea and hot chocolate in elegance in the early morning and I purchased my daughter a designer hair cut to remember her birthday celebration. We walked on to Piccadilly Circus and then back to our birthday lunch at Carluccio’s – the meal here was elegant and I just had to enjoy each bite and savor it in my mouth. More fresh lemonade with no corn syrup and we shared a bowl of gelatto. The restaurant filled with ladies for lunch, working folks and mother and daughter special events. I know we felt like elegant ladies of leisure with no worries or troubles to capture our moment.
Tesco was a grocery store which gave us another round of Digestive Biscuits and nut butter, bottle water, and a great lady bird shopping bag to take home!
We walked all the way back to Earl’s court and the IBIS; truly a day to remember.
At the Embankment Subway Station just about Charring Cross we found another Italian Bistro and I knew I could get a great salad before we left London. It was not only a great salad it was fabulous and a work of art – just look at the lovely artichoke floweret in the center of my plate.
We did have fish and chips in a pub; my daughter ate this fare at a pub in Edinburgh too. I did not know it would have bones and skin inside and I could just taste the chips, as potatoes were not on my approved list. I was consumed for the experience.
Aviemore is a lovely place that we took several day trips. I asked my new friend Robert from Australia where I should have my Scotch Tasting and he said the bar at Aviemore. So we took our repast “neat” in the bar after dinner. I bought myself a glass of 18 year old Scotch that was so smooth and pleasant; I would surely have had another. My daughter had a glass of 10 year aged Scotch and Robert shared with us a taste of 12 year old aged Scotch. All of these we can purchase in San Francisco and not need to carry them home. It was grand indeed and cozy all the way down. We talked about the Homecoming and our Highland Roots.
I did purchase a bottle of Scotch Liqueur which is only available in Scotland and I did carry that home in my suitcase.
I do hope you are not one of those folks who gain weight reading about food or cookbooks, and I will end here the tour of tastes of my adventure. Memories are made of tastes and tidbits around a good table and in the company of friends.
What is your favorite traveling food? Best taste you have ever enjoyed? Do you carry biscuits, fruit, and nut butter to make it through the journey? What is your food story?