London Adventure - Part Six

January 25, 2008 (Fri)

We set out a bit late this day. I had meant to visit the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral, but either one would cost over ₤10. Well it isn’t that they’re not worth it, given the Tower’s UNESCO heritage status, but in our rather tight schedule, it’s not economical to spend a whole lot of money and stay there for just, say, an hour.

Just as we were about to go over the Millennium Bridge, I glimpsed the sign “Café Rouge” at the street corner! That’s the French restaurant C had a delicious orange wine duck dish. Of course we grasped the great discovery and went for lunch. We couldn’t find the duck dish on the menu, so I asked the waiter if they serve such a dish for lunch. He pointed it out – Confit de Canard. We ordered that along with a fillet on top of RATATOUILLE (oh come on, you get what I mean here) and some clams/mussels (I can’t distinguish between them) for entrée.

The mussel further raised our expectation – it was better than average. The duck leg was absolutely delicious! You can easily split the meat with your spoon. It’s not in the least overcooked. Dip it in the orange wine sauce. Heavenly. The potato that came along also matched well with the sauce. The fillet and ratatouille can’t compare with the duck. Not because they turned cold when I started eating them, but I thought Remy the rat would’ve cooked the ratatouille better. It’s unfair, I know. By the way, Café Rouge has branches all over the UK.

The Borough Market was a bit smaller than I expected. I was charged with the mission to buy farm honey back home. We went past a stall that sold burger (presumably a famous one), the “fish market” which sold fish & chips (not bad, we tried the fish finger). I couldn’t resist the temptation of some freshly made yogurt with fruit, despite the fact I had yogurt almost everyday. The little plump glass bottles were just too cute, and you could see the fruit in the bottom. I bought four bottles for ₤3.5, including my favorite blueberry flavor, strawberry, orange/tangerine/mandarin and a remaining flavor which I can’t recall. (Memory, you see, is unreliable.)

We had a roasted cheese sandwich along the way. That was not what we intended to have. A stall was selling a whole plate of burned cheese. They basically burned or heat up the intersection of a half piece of cheese and mix it with other veggies. The roasted cheese sandwich was a little bit overdone.

Ah ha, there it was, the honey. I asked the gentleman where the honey came from and he said it was from Somerset. From the Sedgemoor Farm. He went on to tell me if I continued west from Somerset, I’d arrive at Devon and further west, at Cornwall. It was a nice country in the west. He was a nice gentleman! I smiled and told him I’d like very much to visit that part of England some day. Oh yes he advised me to try putting in honey in porridge. That’s why when I saw a stall selling organic porridge with prunes, I bought it almost instantly, despite a price tag of ₤4.5.

Some people asked visitors to try out olives. I wish I had tried. The snack called “Turkish delight” was no delight at all. It was just some over sweetened marshmarrow-like candy. When I passed by the yogurt stall again, a lady with a sandwich in hand went over to the yogurt seller and said something like, “Have a bite and tell me what you think.” The guy ate it and thought for a moment. I guessed the lady had a new delicacy coming out and she’d want to have her friends try out first. It’s a tiny episode, but you get the feeling that people in this market are all very friendly.

At South bank the wind was strong. We looked for the bus stop of RV1 that would take us to the Royal Festival Hall. We asked a gentleman at another bus stop for direction, and he kindly offered us. He said, actually if you walk along the river, you’d be there in just 15 minutes. We said, but it’s too cold to walk there. And then he made a gesture and joked like “No way!”. But it was really freezing.

The name “Royal Festival Hall” deceived me. The place looked just like Shatin Town Hall to me. Over 80% of the visitors and audience there were again, old people. It was like a cultural center for the aged. The London Philharmonic Orchestra concert began at 7:30 and I had my yogurt as dinner. I hate that you have to pay ₤3 for the program note for whatever show. I was clueless about the first song. It turned out to be Beethoven’s overture, but it sounded very modern. The Bartok violin concerto was a real trial. My eyelids were drooping. Old people fell asleep and so did N.

Dvozak’s Symphony No. 9 was what I went there for. I’d say the rendering this time was a bit faster and more passionate than the previous recordings I had listened to. It was 9:30 when the concert finished. We took the Bakerloo line at the Waterloo station to King’s Cross. The rest was like the previous night.

1 則留言:

  1. you would soon venture London again! looking to visit you there!