My boys’ idea of an adventure revolves around the rail road. Mine involves a plane, rich history and good food. So, when the opportunity to visit a friend in London came, I jumped at it. My 20s were spent traveling, usually involving budget airlines, hostels and even, at times, traveling alone. Now that I have children, my sense of adventure hasn’t diminished, but it’s certainly has become skewed. The risks I once took, now seem like foreign concepts. By leaving for London, I stepped outside of one life and re-entered another. Travel, which I love so much, has became a bit uncomfortable. Have I have lost my mojo?
Once in London, each step reminds of what I am capable of without the two appendages forever strapped to my legs. I meet my friend Laura, who I met on my honeymoon in Jamaica, and the two of us set out to discover London. She is as interested in food as I am, and our first meal is at Borough Market. Operating under a viaduct, the market is a mix of food vendors, fruit and vegetable stalls, cheese merchants, candy sellers and everything in between. We walk through and are enticed by each new smell. We marvel at the old facades mixed in with the new before we choose veggie burgers from Veggie Table and sit to watch the action of the day.
My first morning, we brunch at Daylesford, a hip, farm-to-table establishment around the block from my friend Kate’s apartment in Notting Hill. Rested after a 36-hour stretch of being awake the previous day, I am famished and welcome the bright and sunny atmosphere. A recent obsession with smoked salmon gives me no pause in my ordering: a smoked salmon sandwich on pumpernickel bread, complete with an egg, red onions and capers. A deconstructed piece of artwork is placed before me. Whoever took the time to slice these eggs and onions into miniscule pieces is truly a master at what they do, though it doesn’t quite meet thequantity expectation for my rumbling, ever-hungry traveling stomach. Nevertheless, it is delicious, though I do order more pumpernickel bread.
Later, we walk through Hyde Park and enjoy macarons from Laduree at Harrods. Most memorable of the day? A magical tea at the Wolesley complete with clotted cream and strawberry jam served with three of the most delicious scones we could ask for. We dine on Sunday roast at the Hawksmoor on the traditional dish of roast rump of Longhorn beef and all the trimmings. I make it through half before I calling it quits.
Drawn back to the atmosphere and excitement of Borough Market, I choose a meat piefrom Pieminister as my last meal in London. Traditional and simple, oozing with blue cheese and British beef steak, it is the perfect way to culminate my eating adventure; I sit, alone for the moment. This trip reminds me of my independence and individuality, but leaves me longing for the little ones I left on Long Island. I return happy and fulfilled in my own adventure quote — at least for a little while.