Tuesday, January 19, 2010

European Vacation: London

It's been a few weeks now since our plane touched back down in San Francisco, and the experience of our amazing four week trip to Europe has begun to fade into memory as we adjust back to normal life.  It's hard to adequately express just how incredible this trip was, and what it meant to be able to share it with my wife.  To be sure, it is great to be home, back to familiar people and things, but it was tough to leave.

We experienced so many things, from the history of London, to the Christmas markets of medieval Bruges, the beauty of Paris, and finally the family Christmas in Padova.  While not everything we did was motivated by food, it was never very far from our minds.  There was simply so much to eat and drink along the way that it would be tough to put it all here, so I'll leave you with the highlights.

Borough Market in London, a massive permanent market for all things food.  Fresh fish and game, pies, sausages, and everything in between fill the green iron and glass halls of Borough.

One of the many offerings at Borough is locally made artisan cheese.

Barrels of beautiful, colorful olives.

Hand made chutneys and marmalades
Nuts, candies, chocolates... tables and tables of delicacies.
Here's something you won't ever see much of at home:  Food with its fur and feathers still on.  Ducks, pheasants, rabbits, and even a deer hang ready to become dinner.  I realize that some might be a bit squemish about seeing their food outside of hermetically sealed plastic, but this is what dinner looks like before it becomes dinner.  

Tasty, happy pig.

London is such an amazing city, and I can't wait for another opportunity to head back across the pond.  Don't believe the rumors, London is a great food city.  Although we were traveling on a budget, we made sure to have one big expensive dinner while we were in town, and we picked a charming Spanish tapas restaurant called Cambio de Tercio.  We felt a little funny bringing a camera in, but my friend Kang over at London Eater has a brilliant review and snappy pictures of some of the highlights from the menu.  It was his review, in fact, that sealed our decision that this was the spot to try.  Cambio de Tercio was a highlight of our time in London, and it will certainly be on our list of places to visit when we come back.

Alas, our time in London was far too short, but we had many adventures to come.  Next up, the Christmas markets of Bruges.