December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Jack Daniels Christmas Tree in Covenant Garden, London

This is our first Christmas away from our families, but we are making the best of it.  We plan on watching movies, reading, and having Christmas dinner at a pub close to our hotel.  I am so glad to be spending my day with my new husband and my little sister.  Where ever you are, I hope that you find yourself surrounded by people you love this Christmas.
Best Always,

December 20, 2012

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is part traditional Christmas market, part food/drink festival, part state fair. If you know anything about middle America, you know we love our state fairs!  I've been to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland twice this year and am totally impressed by this event.  The massive crowds of people, the rides, the rubber tiled ground (so your toes do not get muddy, so typically polite) and yummy food makes this event a can't miss.  Our first night, we b-lined to the first (of many) mulled wine stands.  I was SMITTEN!  Mulled wine is like a mixture of warm apple cider with the heaviness of an actual red wine.  You can smell the cinnamon and other spices permeate off of your warm cup of delicious drink.  I think I had at least two!

Next was the food.  Would you be shocked to know that we started with a cheese plate with ham?  Followed by a sausage, then a bacon and cheese covered pretzel?....Well, you shouldn't be....because we did!

Aside from the cute German market style wooden stands that sell everything from fur hats to wooden ornaments, there is the live music.  Inside the large Bavarian tent, there are live DJ's and bands for those who dare to dance and not care.  It's a blast.  Aside from the live music, there are tons of rides.  I will definitely come back next year.  Winter Wonderland is so much fun!

Festive Entrance!  All admission is free.  Just pay for food, drink and rides.
Pretty massive crowd, but in true Brit fashion, everyone was courteous and you feel really safe.

Some yummy cheese and meat plate for walking around and looking at all of the cute booths.

Mmmmmm.....Mulled wine!

Me & Hubs, cheesing it up. xo
First live music section.  So many happy people!

Bavarian tent.  Live DJ.  Lots of dancing and so much fun!

I'm thinking that this might be the reason for so much dancing??...... or maybe the bottles of Veuve in the fridge for sale?

Me and the Hubs cheesing it up with some liters of beer....hey, we're in the Bavarian tent after all!

I'm sorry, but I have a thing about taking pictures of people taking pictures with their iPads.

Fun wooden gifts
Marzipan treats

"Rodeo Reindeer" - I had the biggest laugh at this!  The bar around the corner from our old apartment in Dallas had a mechanical bull on the front deck... I have never heard of anything like a mechanical reindeer!


My little sister from college is visiting us for Christmas break.  Making an appearance on the blog.  Hollar!

So many rides!

Mmmm.... More mulled wine!!

December 18, 2012

Bumpkin South Kensington

Considering I'm from middle America (Texas by way of Oklahoma), one might assume that this post title is in reference to myself.... But, it's not!  Right on Old Brompton road and near our vacation rental, Bumpkin is a self proclaimed "seasonal British food".  Great Britain takes great pride in their fresh, organic foods.  Bumpkin takes a fresh market approach to cooking, if it's in season, they are cooking it.  We hopped in last Friday for lunch, and the food was amazing.  Considering that Bumpkin is closer to our vacation rental than the nearest pub, we think we might try to make it back by before we move into our permanent digs.

Image via

Cow Pie - Again, with the country jokes.... But, they meant beef pie (vs. chicken pie or veg pie). I just can't get enough of these things. This one in particular, had a flakey crust and moist chunks of meat and a smooth gravy inside.

Lamb Shoulder - Cooked really great and the onion was a superb compliment

Grilled Salmon - Who doesn't like a super fresh and perfectly grilled salmon for lunch?

Sides of Mash - Some cuisines have their holy trinity, in GB, I think meat and mash are the dynamic duo.
Word to the wise, one order of mash was enough for all three of us.

December 13, 2012

Duck Soup Soho

Our first noteworthy outing in London was to the ├╝ber chic soho restaurant, Duck Soup.  This establishment is one of those "in the know" kind of places.  While sitting outside in the freezing cold waiting on our table to be ready.... because the 5 of us waiting on a table crowded all of the waiting room..... people kept walking by questioning what place this was. "what is duck soup?" "look how packed it is, let's go somewhere else" All I can say is that I feel bad for those people because they totally missed out.  If you like a good mystery cocktail and classic rock tunes played on vinyl, this is the kind of place for you.

Outside Duck Soup
Specials board in the front window

Our nice little table

The hubbub of Friday night.... this was taken about the same time "Sweet Home Alabama" came on the turntable

Samples of the daily handwritten menus.  Their daily menus are posted on their tumblr.

Salame Toscano

Scallops, Hazelnuts, & Lardo -- I'm a fool for lardo, but this takes my obsession to another level.

Mozzarella Cavolo Nero - these bitter leaves were amazing

Lardo Crescentine - this was lardo over a dense, fried bread, great combo

Lamb with Pomegranate and Feta

Vacherin, Pink Fir Potatoes, Cornichons - This fondue type dish was mind blowing. I've never had such pillowy soft, fresh cheese like this.  You could eat the cheese off a spoon or dip the potatoes.  Fantastic!

"In Duck We Trust" the Duck Soup signature cocktail. It was a great last drink. It tasted like a late harvest wine blended with a brandy type liquor.  You can see their wine list on the Duck Soup wine tumbler.
Duck Soup is definitely going to be a place I bring foodie houseguest who come to London for a visit.

December 10, 2012

We Moved Across the Pond!

I'm excited to say that my husband and I moved to London!!  I know that it's been a while since I've posted last.  Also, I realize that my last posts were actually on our August 2011 trip to the UK.  Looking back, the last year was full of major life events intermingled with travel and making plans for our future.  New job, Vail ski trip, new apartment, Prague/Vienna trip, Engagement (eek!), Marriage (double eek!), husband's job transfer to London.  You and I have a bunch to catch up on!