To celebrate the fact that we probably both deserve a medal for putting up with each other, we decided to do so in style.
Very fitting to the day we had an early start to pick up our brand new car. Our battered old jalopy is starting to see the light, but before her wheels stop turning, we had to find a suitable replacement. Unbeknownst to the sales team that it is our first wedding anniversary they gave us a remarkable congratulatory applause as we stepped into the showroom, complete with decorated cake and all.
Later that afternoon we took upon the ever-so-exciting journey into London. Aimlessly at first, we realised we were going to be five hours early for our dinner reservation. But, as you know, if you can’t find anything fun in London to do on a whim, then you don’t know London well enough. We decided to ride the tube all the way to Southwark Underground station. Having been to this station only twice before, we thought it would be a good idea to get some exercise and explore this part of the city en route towards #Borough Market. We never got there. Instead, we stumbled upon a #Paul bakery as we realised that through all the excitement of getting a new car and it being our first anniversary we haven’t had a crumb to eat or a drop to drink thus far. Like a true gentleman, my hubby ushered me into the bakery. As I marvelled over the different crusty pains and shiny macarons and perfectly pink fraisier slices my stomach nudges my eyes in the direction of the Croque Florentine: a deliciously cheesy sandwich with punchy spinach and smooth goat’s cheese. A taste explosion that even Popeye cannot resist.
I always thought I was a bit weird. I like weird things. Food in particular. A toasted banana mayo with a hint of garlic is one of my favourite sandwiches, but the #Tate Modern takes the cake. There is weird, then there is Tate. I love art. I can’t draw for love nor money, but evidently neither can some others out there. Some say I don’t understand this contemporary art; but I cannot warrant a space that is bigger than our entire flat to someone that took a selfie every hour for an entire year… Mind-boggeling. After an hour or so we decided that we’ve had enough culture for at least a year and headed towards the 10th floor of the Blavatnik Building to soak up the London skyline. This is where true art comes alive. Old and new, side by side, as if they were old friends. Glass, wood, brick and steel in perfect harmony as the Thames snakes its way from bridge to bridge. The sky started its woeful song as it gathered the clouds above the city’s skyscrapers. Wringing the clouds like freshly laundered clothes, water gushed down over this historic, but modernly timeless city; cleaning off Summer’s dust, readying itself for the coming frosty Wintery days.
We headed over to the Oxo Tower Restaurant. Since we were ten minutes early we were seated in the bar area. The cocktail menu is chockfull of unusual mixes and we both went for something a bit different. As the hubby’s Due South and my I’m a Forager cocktails arrive, we were shown to our seats. Minutes after our seating my first surprise of the night arrived; a glass of Prosecco, though suspiciously more decadently bubbly than your average supermarket sparkler. Our celebratory Night of Feasts has begun.
The hubby’s elegantly presented starter of goat’s cheese and butternut squash cannelloni looked a pretty picture. The figs and walnuts perfectly complemented the bright orange of the butternut. My Jerusalem artichoke soup was a treat for the soul; the sweet smokiness of the wood pigeon cigar perfectly balanced the truffled soft cheese and the crunchy parsnip chips as the soup envelopes the entire dish into a masterpiece.
My hubby’s eyes lit up at the sight of the sea bass dish’s description on the menu. At home we are very careful when cooking or having fish due to my severe allergies for fish, shellfish and seaweed, but when we’re out he does like to make up for the lack of his weekly fish quota. Excitedly he dug in to his squid ink linguine topped with wild sea bass, a razor clam, it all delicately drenched in a frothy champagne emulsion. It looked so good – I really wish I could’ve had a tiny little bite…
But then I saw my lamb. Wow! After each hearty mouthful I fall more and more in love with this dish. Meaty, cumin-perfumed quinoa, chestnut-infused gnocchi and creamy goat curds pirouette in on my tongue. The lamb leads this beautiful ballet to a coda as my knife glides through the soft medium pink flesh and the fork en avant it towards my tastebuds. I’m saddened as I swallow the last bite and the waiter do a curtain call on my now empty plate.
The hubby had another surprise up his sleeve: a beautifully decorated chocolate mousse cake is presented to us for our first anniversary. Delighted as I was, I really wanted to have some pudding. So the Matre’D very kindly offered to box up the cake and gracefully took our dessert orders.
Decadence flowed with this one: chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate… Do I need to say more?
A perfect night ended with a swift walk towards the station as the rain sifted gently towards us. Here’s to another year of happiness! Cheers!