10 February 2013

Save It for a Rainy Day

The weather in London has been miserable this weekend, although relative to the Nemo-induced chaos in the US northeast, I probably shouldn't complain too much. The rain certainly didn't stop play here, and I've been pretty busy. On Friday night, I went to a ceilidh at Cecil Sharp House for a friend's birthday, which was good fun, although took me back to my Nowheresville days with the high ratio of nerds to civilians.

Lomo-ed shot of St Paul's on Saturday morning

Yesterday, my parents came into town, which meant I had to get up to go running relatively early. It was grey, cold and rainy, but I had a good run, motivated by the knowledge that I would be stopping by St John's outpost on Druid Street on my way home for a custard doughnut and some sourdough bread for lunch. I spent the afternoon shopping with my parents in Covent Garden and Soho. I hadn't been into the West End for several weeks and was surprised how busy it was for a rainy, cold February. The parents were staying at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall, so while they went to get changed for dinner, I sat and read the papers in one of the lounges, surrounded by the usual smartness and decorum.

Did someone say "doughnuts"?

I took my parents back to Mele e Pere in Brewer Street for dinner, as a thank you for helping me move into my (now not so) new flat. We had hoped to have a pre-dinner cocktail at Hawksmoor on Air Street, but their bar was full of people waiting to dine, so we had our aperitif at Mele e Pere instead. I didn't get the chance to check out their list of wittily named cocktails last time, and although I was tempted by the Don't Be So Cocchi and the Down the Apples, in the end I orded an Autentico Sour, with Galliano, gin, sours and ginger. It was really good. Papa was very impressed by the home-made vermouth, with Mele e Pere's special blend of botanicals.

Assorted treats at Mele e Pere

Once we got to our table, the food was great too. We shared a selection of small plates to start—the arancini and the San Daniele ham being the standouts for me—and then I had the roast baby chicken with roast peppers and a side of fries. With hindsight, I should have ordered a salad instead of the chips, as with the starters and bread, I had had plenty of carbs. The chicken was delicious, though: juicy, tender and very more-ish. Papa's lamb and Maman's pollock were equally successful. I was too full for a pudding, really, but Papa and I managed to share a chocolate fondente, topped with vanilla ice cream and a dusting of pretty, pink praline crunch. Yum!

Yes, they do have cars at the Royal Automobile Club. Well, a car.

This morning, it was time to work off last night's excesses and I joined my parents at the Royal Automobile Club for a morning workout, pounding the treadmill and then sweating it out in the Turkish baths. I haven't been to the gym at the RAC for a while and compared to the Peckham Pulse, whose facilities I have been using recently, the contrast is even more striking. Somewhat counter-productively, we then had a big breakfast in the club: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and pastries. Unsurprisingly, I was full again soon.

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