This last weekend, a whistle-stop trip to London. Anita discovered that the Kensington Miniatures fair was on and we had no guests, so off we went. Two days, filled. For Anita, the minis fair, and for me a visit to my favourite flute shop on Saturday afternoon, then together, the new Star Trek film, and a Chinese dinner in Soho's Chinatown. On the Sunday, a visit to the Harry Potter film studios and an Indian dinner at Chutney Mary's. Then home on Monday.
When we used to live in Staines we'd visit the West End from time to time, and we'd usually eat at Yung's restaurant on Wardour Street. No atmosphere but great food, always full of orientals. Occasionally we'd try somewhere else but always end up asking ourselves "why didn't we just go to Yung's?" Yung's was gone. Our disappointment was tempered by that fact that the random one we chose instead was also excellent, the fried squid in particular being the best I can remember having ever eaten. Not that my memory is on top form these days.
I have to say that I'm a fan of Harry Potter, or perhaps more accurately, I'm a fan, through her books, of J.K. Rowling. I don't begrudge her her wealth one little bit, and despite the cries from the left for "less inequality", I just have the feeling that if she was less wealthy, we'd all be a bit poorer for it. I was a bit ambivalent about visiting the exhibition, but it was superbly done, well-pitched towards children without patronising the adults. You could see the creativity, enthusiasm and energy that went into making the films, and I came away pondering the observation of Khalil Gibran, that "work is love made visible". Quite moving, in the end, to have it demonstrated.
I first came to understand how wine can complement a meal when I had lunch at the museum restaurant at the Quai d'Orsay. I don't normally drink wine at lunchtime, but had a glass of their recommended wine with a spiced chicken. It was a perfect match in a way that is hard to describe and that I didn't know could be done. I'm now always trying to achieve this sort of match for our customers, and Chutney Mary's were offering a "taster menu" with matching wines for each dish. A "must". Fabulous, even if it was using some New World wines that you can't get in France. I won't claim it as a business expense though; there is no way you could serve food like that to the average French family - far too spicy.