Happy Saturday

First on the ice at Somerset House (skating like a drunken newborn foal.)

Pretty-pretty Tiffany Christmas tree and matching cupcake:

And champagne tea at No 1 Aldwych, with free refills on sandwiches (chicken & mustard mayo, egg mayo & cucumber, smoked salmon & cream cheese, plus mini Welsh rarebit.) 

There’s nothing I like more in life than free sandwich refills.

Except perhaps warm scones with clotted cream and berry jam, served with a perfect mini apple and almond trifle on the side, like a custard-y chaser.

Or even a trio of cakes:

A trio of cakes: the only thing better than a trio of cakes would be a trio of Trios.  I miss Trios.

And the icing on the cake/s?  All of the above was hosted by a man of such charm and good humour that he was willing to balance Battenburg cake in his ears, like a demented Princess Leia, just to make me and my friend laugh.

Bread – or why the Dukan and I shall ne’er be friends

I love bread so much I rarely have it at home.   I simply can’t delay my own gratification – I go full on Homer and eat entire loaves without pausing for breath.

Recently a friend brought me round a still-warm loaf of home-made caraway rye.  Feeling the heat through the wrapping induced a wave of happiness I hadn’t experienced since I found out that I was right about whodunit in The Killing.   And I’d been right since the first episode!  (The fact that I’d changed my mind in every subsequent episode is entirely beside the point.)

But just because I rarely have bread at home doesn’t mean I don’t eat it pretty much every day.  I recently went to a food event – the highlight of which was these bad boys:

Jazzy bread hands, with a wild garlic butter, made by artist Sharon Baker, who casts other body parts in bread too – like these scary hands and feet which, come to think of it, might work well dipped into jam or honey.  The last time I dipped my toes in some honey, my breakfast companion said it wasn’t the done thing at The Wolseley.  What is it with young men nowadays?  They embarrass so easily.

Anyway, these particular mitts were pretty tasty – the fingers were a little firm, but the palms were beautiful: soft, white cloud innards with a delicious chewy crust.  Almost as good as this bread:

Boiled eggs and soldiers at The St John Hotel

– which I like for two reasons.   Firstly, I love the size of this bread.  If I were a Guardian arts journalist, I’d mention how the juxtaposition of form, the elongation of what is essentially the humblest and most democratising of foods, is playfully extended, in the best tradition of post-modernism, to act as metaphor for consumer society – the Hummer of toasts, etc.  However I’m not a pseud, so I shall merely say I LOVE BIG LONG WHITE BREAD THAT MAKES LOTS & LOTS OF SOLDIERS.

The second reason I love this bread is that it is smothered in the saltiest paste imaginable – made of anchovies, shallots, vinegar and capers.  My whole life seems to be one long Arthurian quest to seek out as much tasty salt and fat as I can find, and ingest it promptly thereafter, and this breakfast meets my needs admirably.