Monday, 25 April 2011

Day #32: The one with the fashion police

Friday was officially the first of many bank holidays over the next few years and we were thrilled. Since we decided to stay in town for this long weekend, we committed to really 'doing London right' and took advantage of some touristy things. On the agenda today - Gordon's wine bar and the National Gallery (Shayne couldn't wait to take Jake back!).

Gordon's is a local favorite here in London and we were dying to see what all of the fuss was about. We got off the tube and climbed down into what looked like a 19th century wine cellar. Dark archways, tiny halls, and low ceilings were the foundation of this historic London landmark. We looked around and headed for the patio as it was another beautiful blue-sky day. We quickly found a table and Jake went down to the bar. He arrived back with our drinks, but insisted that Shayne go down to order the cheese. As soon as she got to the bottom of the staircase, it was clear why. This was her cheese equivalent of the royal wedding: over the top, grandiose, selection galore (and by selection we mean there were a lot of ladies-in-waiting for Will to choose from!). This was Shayne's version of infinite bliss - all smelly, all room temp., all begging her to chose them! We ended up with a massive plate of oozing Camenbert, Gouda, pickles, fruit compote, baguette, mayo, and something that tasted a lot like pick-a-peppa sauce (that's for you OKC family!).

As we ate, the convo turned to fashion. Not that we would consider ourselves experts by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, we still owe over 95% of our current wardrobes to our mothers. However, keeping up with the fashion trends here has become a bit of a game for us. Jake has never checked out men before, and Shayne looks at the women from head to toe and back again. We are avid people-watchers, but this is on a whole new level. When Jake started work, he would come home everyday and fill Shayne in on the fashion in's and out's of the male british business culture (french cuffs - check, cufflinks - check, flatfront pants - check, cuffed pant bottoms - no check, pockets on your shirt - no check, salmon pants - double check). The fashion topic at Gordon's was belted dresses. When is a belt appropriate? When does a belt help a dress? When does a belt detract? When should a belt be a necessity? Unbeknownst to the women at Gordon's, they were being watched. It was a bloody Project Runway critique on the cobblestone. In the end, the votes were in. Belted dresses are more than acceptable, and even more than fashionable, when applied in the proper context.

A bottle of Prosecco and a cheese coma later, we headed for the ever exciting National Gallery. In summary - 25 rooms of cherub angels, ornate frames, and fish and cabbage still-life paintings and 4 rooms of the most wonderful Impressionist collection there is. Let's just say that, on the way out, our typical magnet purchase was tripled. When you see your favorite Van Gogh and Monet paintings in one collection, which do you eliminate? In our case, none. We now have the sunflowers, house of parliament, and water lily bridge adorning our freezer door. Do you think that Monet would have ever guessed his dedicated life's work would hold the honorable place of the Singleton family fridge? Oh yeah - and the british National Gallery too!

Lesson's Learned: 1) Gordon's Wine Bar has one hell of a cheese selection, 2) Henry the bar mouse should move to Gordon's, 3) If you are in need of belted dress advice, give us a call, 4) Seeing great Impressionist art never gets old.


  1. You're getting way too cultured for me to understand all the fancy cheese; but throw in a spicy sauce and I'm with ya!

    Sirloin Tri Tips (~ 1 lb)
    Pickapeppa Sauce (don't cheat yourself)(
    Salted Butter (at least a 1/4 stick sliced)
    Worchestershire Sauce (no dash, sprinke freely)
    2-4 cloves of garlic (more = less vampires)
    Salt to your delight (a variety is good)
    White pepper

    Can you tell I don't really worry about exact measurements with this recipe?

    Simply cube the meat and add the other ingredients into a thick metal pan (like a really nice pie pan). Marinate the cubed tri-tips for 30 to 90 minutes before cooking. Place the pan of meat on the grill and cook to the desired temperature (remember it will not take quite as long since the meat is cubed).

    IMPORTANT: Save the juice for dipping the meat and a fresh baguette. The juice and bread may be the best treat!

    Couldn't resist sharing the simple, yet yummy dinner when you mentioned THE sauce.

    Enjoy the bank holiday!

  2. Love it! Thanks for the recipe Lance. As soon as our pots, pans, and silverware arrive we will definitely give it a shot. I don't think Sirloin Tri-Tips would be very successful with plastic knives.