23 October 2007

The Irish Breakfast.

Part of our car and stay deal in Ireland involved us staying in bed and breakfasts that all served full Irish breakfasts (if you wished, it wasn't forced upon you or anything, but pork in the morning was the course in Ireland). But our first Irish breakfast was purchased, after a quick flight from London to Kerry, and a harrowing drive on the wrong-right side of the road, at a lovely pub in Tralee.

This one had potato, tomato, bacon, sausage, blood sausage, white sausage, mushrooms and one little egg. De-lovely. We got a whack of toast and a huge pot of tea and it sort of calmed my nerves.

The first night, we stayed at a beautiful castle and had a lovely breakfast of porridge and boiled eggs with little soldiers.

Again, lovely. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the porridge was my first taste of porridge (very allergic to oatmeal as a child and haven't really ventured far into it since). Actually, this whole breakfast was G's. I think I had an egg something or other, but who can say. When there's no documentary evidence, and it was three weeks ago, and it was one of many breakfasts...give a girl a break!

One B&B we stayed in (in the town of Doolin, I believe) was quite near the ocean, and offered spectacular views and comforting quiet. The breakfast was the best of the lot, not too greasy, full but not crazy,

The next photo worthy breakfast took place towards the end of the week, when we stayed at St. Jude's B&B in Galway. It's really quite lovely, and we had a lovely room in the back so it was really quiet. Good walking distance to the town, and we had a lovely time all around in Galway.

No Irish breakfast, just lovely poached eggs on toast. Sigh. Hold the pork.

This last breakfast is not an Irish breakfast at all. It was at a most lovely B&B in Cardiff, Wales, where they served a 'traditional' English breakfast, but you could pick all the lovely things that you wanted... And boy did I!.

Alrighty... that's some bacon, some scrambled eggs, some delightful bubble and squeak, some mushrooms and a whack of baked beans. Honestly, it was absolute heaven. I loved every mouthful.

We did eat things that weren't breakfast in nature, and those posts are to follow, but the breakfasts were the one constant (well, other than expensive mediocre pub food). Every b&b was a little different, but they were all really amazing in the sense that they went out of the way to make it nice for us. I would highly recommend it as a nice way to travel. The place near the ocean was honestly like staying at a family members house, as the kids got up to go to school in the morning, the dog Murphy came by to say hello, and the dad worked on the farm during the day. It was really a great way to spend a vacation!

22 October 2007

A Sunday Roast Lunch.

Day two was late starting, and we made the decision to take our friends out for a lovely lunch, at the place of their choosing. They picked the Chepstow near the Portobello Market, and in a neighborhood near where Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow live. Good stuff. I had my first proper Sunday roast. I have a picture of the Chepstow. But it's on its side. Sorry about that...

But they were waiting for us, with this deluxely cute 'table reserved' sign. We decided to just go nuts and have a good lunch (as it was also breakfast, and likely a large chunk of dinner).

I started with this really amazing broccoli and stilton soup. If you know me, you know that broccoli and I aren't the greatest of friends... but this soup was just amazing.
The butter was out of this world. Butter in Europe is really something different than anything I have ever had in North America. It's rich and has an amazing flavour that really compliments whatever it's served with. The Europeans know how to rock the dairy. That's right. They rock it.

J and G shared an antipasto platter:

(That I can't make go straight. Sorry.) And C had a goat cheese salad...

From there, we went to the roast beef dinner with roast veg and yorkshire pudding. It was proper lunch, and really incredibly nice.

While there was a desire for dessert, we felt it was time to take a trip and suss out the Market.

By the time we reached the market, there was room for dessert. And dessert took the form of CUPCAKES! Who doesn't love cupcakes?! G and I split a strawberry cupcake and a red velvet muffin. Woo hoo!

Looks good!

We rushed home (or back to our friends house) and headed out to Heathrow, then off on the Stanstead Express to Stanstead airport in order to stay at the Stanstead Hilton. We had an early morning flight to Ireland, and decided to try to squeeze in sleep.

We got there, it was late, we were hungry, so off we went to the downstairs bar for a very confusing half an hour trying to figure out where we could sit and what we could or couldn't eat at that late hour. And they had these incredibly cute little pots of condiments. I mean, honestly, how can you not love little bottles of mayo, ketchup and mustard? It makes you not even want to use them, but you just must use them if you are going to get through the weird sandwich I ordered.

Yes, once again, I ordered something that turned out to be totally bizarre. It sounded good. It was a club, with chicken, bacon, tomato, sounds good so far.. but then... just then... they hit you with a dose of hard boiled egg. Slices of hard boiled egg on the top of this weird sandwich. With, and you did guess it you wise readers... CHIPS!

Look for yourself, but be careful, because it's not gonna make you want one, but it's going to make you wonder why there's crazy egg on it.

But the toasty bread was nice, and the chips were good. And the condiments, well, I already wrote how nice they were... but little did I know that this was going to be one of the absolute best meals for awhile, due to the odd food we ate in Ireland.

And for that, I am going to have to figure out how to move forward on those posts.

And not only did we eat, but we also saw stuff too!!! Cows and sheep and donkeys. And every morning we saw a relatively large breakfast.

But it's all good.

Back and a look at day one.

We've made it back from our trip, and gotten through a week of getting back into the swing of things. Vacation was excellent. I have struggled a bit since I returned with trying to decide how to organize the photos for the blog, and have finally come up with the decision to just start at the beginning and move my way through. It's just easier.

Our trip started with a relatively unpleasant flight to London Heathrow. From there, we jumped on the tube and headed to West Ealing station, where we hired a cab and went to our friends house to unload. It was relatively smooth, and I have to say once again that I love the London Underground system. It's clean, it makes sense, it works most of the time. And the seats are positioned in such a way that you can watch people all the time.

We landed at Heathrow at noon, and were at our friends house (who weren't there) by 2pm. We decided not to waste the day and just headed into London. We had to make a pit stop for grub, and decided a local kebab house was the way to go. I can't even begin to remember the name of what I had, but it was meat in a tortilla (tortilla, eh?) and G had an excellent lamb in sauce with salad. And with this meal began the onslaught of chips.

The chips were delish. The kebab roll was strange, but fine.

And here's G's assortment. There were tortillas and chips, and saucey lamb, and that bowl of salady stuff. It was really lovely and saucey. It was definitely the better choice, and that almost never happens (that G makes the better choice). But I am hit and miss with lamb lately, but a plate of chips not only clog the arteries, they also warm the heart. *sigh*

From there we made the pilgrimage that I entered downtown London to make. The trip to Laduree for macaroons. Oh how I love thee. The vanilla macaroons positively feel like a side trip to heaven. So good. So I plumped down my 14pounds and purchased a few.

The store at Harrods is so light and cheerful. Isn't that nice? There's a lovely little cafe that serves tea. But my beautiful macaroons were all this little girl needed.

Wow. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Oh my word but they are the best little macaroons. So as you can see, since I paid for them, I went the limit and ordered mostly vanilla. Bu I am not without a heart. G ordered pistachio, and a red christmasy tasting something or other, and an orange blossom. Oh how lovely.

But a woman can not live on macaroons alone. Tea was in order. Little did we know that our favorite tea shop at Liberty was no longer the magnificent thing it once was. But we still went to the downstairs tea shop and had some lovely tea and scones.

Aren't the cups great? Can you even see them through the glare off the cup?! And the scones were lovely, served with rose jelly, which I adore.

We were too full to even contemplate a further meal. Yet, we did lots of shopping, I purchased a great bag and a fancy new belt from Next, and the good times just kept on coming. I think that we headed home and absolutely collapsed from exhaustion.

It was a very good day. And our hosts were good friends who are crazily nice to us, and who we love to be around. They really go out of their way to make it nice for us, it's really fantastic. More coming!

01 October 2007


Hey all,

We're in Ireland and since I had an extra 50cents on my internet time, I thought I would write and say howdy.

First Irish breakfast this morning. Whoa. Yesterday was my first proper English roast. It was so lovely. Pictures are coming later, I forgot my camera cable.

Good night!


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