Friday, November 30, 2018

Cavalock and The Afternoon Tea Delight

You can't just go to London and not spend an afternoon or two having tea. And for tea that afternoon, I finally had my long overdue Victoria Sponge Cake. Nice spread of jam and cream although I wish there was a little more cream. I'm trying to remember if the first time I had it was at the old family home or not. I know Black Forest Cake was a pretty regular treat when I was growing up there, vaguely remember the Victoria Sponge Cake.

Like most tourists, we spent half a day shopping at Fortnum & Mason and of cos, had tea there too. We wanted to try their tea sample tasting thingy on the upper floor but you need to make reservations for that. So off we went to that other tea room they had on the second floor that's kinda weirdly resembles a 1950s Americana diner. Scones, the Baker-at-Home had to have her scones while I was happy with my apple crumble pie.

We bought numerous metal tubes and tins of biscuits and cookies but the star buy has got to be me bottle of Spiced Rum Butter! The joy of waking up in the morning to me toast spread with a boozy layer of spiced rum butter is almost up there with the joy of waking up to a morning ass-rim by a Japanese bidet. Well, if you don't know what I'm talking about then maybe check back again when you older.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cavalock and The Covent Garden Italian Surprise

Best meal we had in London was totally unplanned for as the Baker-at-Home developed a sudden craving for pasta or Italian food kinda halfway during our vacation. We did an online search and found a pretty highly-rated one at Covent Garden, near our place. Checked out San Carlo Cicchetti Covent Garden. Liked the menu and off we went for lunch.

So we arrived right when they opened their doors for lunch. Great attentive service by an all Italian staff line-up. Ordered off the a la carte menu instead of the set lunch, and loved every bite outta it. The Baker-at-Home's favourite was the very hearty Caciucco below (Tuscan fish stew with a bread top baked in the oven), a house specialty.

My Truffle and Pecorino Ravioli was delicious and so was the Grilled Aubergine and Asparagus. All accompanied by a nice bottle of Italian wine, I forgot which one. Hah! This is what happens when you write bout something a month after you had it.

And we loved our desserts too! Cannoli for her and affogato for me. Not a cheap lunch but definitely worth every pound. I suppose there are of cos better Italian joints around London, maybe next time we'll plan ahead. A little off-topic but we did wanna have a Sunday Roast meal too but the places that we had our sights on, had full reservations before we even left Singapore.

Here's another weird pix I took in the U.K., not in London but in Nottingham while on me way to Warhammer World. Doesn't say what the trial is for, kinda creepy if you ask me and I reckon this is how they get volunteers for the zombie apocalypse.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Cavalock and The Anti-Brexit Tag-a-long

Yay! We finally did something in London that one is not supposed to do in Singapore. No, not that! Or that!!! We were (almost) part of a protest or demonstration! The Saturday we were there, there was an anti-Brexit protest, as in these folks want the U.K. to remain in the EU, going on in Trafalgar Square or more like all over and around Trafalgar Square. And it's huge. More than half a million people took part in it. I wonder if they counted us in with the Brits?

Funny thing was earlier that morning when we stepped out, I saw a group of about 7 or 8 protesters with banners and all walking past us. I thought looks like there's gonna be a small protest later today. Went out, did our stuff and came back to this massive crowd marching all over Trafalgar Square. Incredible sight. I'm so pumped. I'm thinking today anti-Brexit protest, tomorrow Hong Lim Park here I come.

Time now for one of my favourite London photos. Geddit? <^;^> Saves them a lot on travelling time I guess.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cavalock and The Flashback Tradition

Visiting London last month sure brought back a ton of childhood memories, not that I was born or raised in the U.K. but little things I saw during this trip reminded me of my early childhood growing up in the old family home here in Singapore.

Me late Aunt would prepare me morning hard-boiled egg in an egg cup just like this back in the old family home. I think I was like four or five years old and I would gingerly tap the top of the egg to crack the shell with me little spoon. Having it again for breakfast in London after all these years certainly brought a smile to my face. Next, I found BEEF Bovril at Tesco supermarket! Let me repeat, BEEF Bovril, not the other vegetarian crap (it's bloody celery extract!!! WTF?!?) you find in NTUC Fairprice or Cold Storage. Why can't we have the beef extract back again? Yes, I know bout the mad cow excuse but that's like decades ago.

Man, I used to put together more than a couple of Airfix WWII model fighter planes together back when I was living in the old family home. The Spitfire was one of my favourites too, along with the Corsair. Gluing them together was such a chore for a Primary School kid but when you are done with it, you really feel like you achieved something, know what I mean? Guess what, now it's all just snap together. No glue required! Kids today are getting too pampered!

I got to watch a live telecast of the latest Doctor Who episode on Sunday evening! I grew up devouring Doctor Who novels as much as Hardy Boys ones, and only got to watch the TV series much later in life. Really luv the current female Doctor, really hate the 'politally correct' storylines. Please don't shove 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness' down my throat every week.

Talking about traditions, this kinda looks like a new one for me. The pix below was taken when I was in New York having breakfast at Pret a Manger after attending the boardgame convention Gen Con back in 2016. The one below was taken couple days in London after I was at Warhammer World, chilling with a Pret a Manger breakfast, looking out at the morning crowd hassling to work in a busy foreign city. A breakfast at Pret a Manger after a major geek event is my new thing now. I could get used to this.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Cavalock Visits Warhammer World

When you mention 'Nottingham', the average person would most likely associate it with Robin Hood, his Merry Men, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the rest of the cast. Well, for miniature wargaming geeks like me, it's also the headquarters for Games Workshop and Warhammer World. The one place to get exclusive Warhammer miniatures, products, view miniature exhibitions and engage in all kinds of geek wargaming activities.

For any Warhammer fans reading this and wondering how to get to Nottingham from London, it's rather simple. Just book an online ticket from St. Pancras International train station in London to Nottingham Station. Preferably do that before you leave for the U.K.. So that's about a two hour ride through the British countryside which I quite enjoyed. You get off at Nottingham Station and just outside the station, you can either take a taxi ride or a tram ride to Warhammer World. We took the tram but apparently all taxi drivers know exactly where Warhammer World is.

So I had to do a little homework bout where to eat around Nottingham Station before we set off for Warhammer World. Came up with a Fish and Chips shop, Carringtons Fish & Chips that has garnered more than a few positive reviews online. That's the above pix and it's pretty good, nice big slab of fish (think it was cod, can't remember). Prefer mine with lots of vinegar. Far as I can tell, there aren't really lots of choices round the station, I could be wrong but I think that's the best deal nearest the Station. Once we had our fill, we hopped on the tram and it's off to Warhammer World.

If you are taking the tram, you'll see Warhammer World building on your way there. Can't miss it. And once you are at the main gates, well, I don't think I need to tell any Warhammer fan what to expect. Depending on what you like, if it's the gothic sci-fi universe of Warhammer 40K, then you would enjoy checking out the Horus Heresy showcase. I got the exclusive Errant Questor for the fantasy Age of Sigmar miniature game plus a couple pins and badges. Wanted to get some t-shirts but the ones I like were outta my size.

Biggest disappointment was them not selling anymore of the special Warhammer faction dice. According to some online pages, they were but when I got there, they said they stopped selling the dice sometime back. Anyway if you are a Warhammer fan in the U.K., definitely take a short day trip to Nottingham and Warhammer World.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Cavalock and The Borough Market Reunion Part Deux

Like I said, that last post was bout stuffing our luggage with fresh food and ingredients from Borough Market, this here post is all bout us stuffing our bellies with the food there. So much good food to choose from. For that day's lunch at Borough Market, we just went with what looked good and without a long queue coming out of the stall. But them long queues do move pretty fast.

We had mussels, oysters, uni but for me, the highlight was the mushroom risotto. Everything's cooked right in front of you in two huge pans. One for the mushrooms, the other for the risotto rice. The whole thing is sooooo fragrant. One of the very few times I had risotto in my life and this was amazing. Really gorgeous creamy consistency, and we could have ordered a second serving if not for the fact that we had to save space for the other stuff we haven't tried.

One thing I miss about London are all the big and small book shops around the city. I was fortunate to spend an entire morning at Piccadilly's Waterstones bookstore. That's six floors of books (I think it's six floors with the sixth being a cafe) and I just browsed from shelf to shelf, taking it all in. And one does not simply walked into an incredible bookstore like Waterstones without making a purchase.

So I bought a little book called 'Eggs: A Global History'. This is a non-fiction book that pretty much tells you everything you wanna know about eggs. The different kinds of eggs we been eating since the beginning of Man, how's it prepared throughout history, modern anecdotes and of cos recipes from different cultures and history. Still reading it and enjoying every page so far.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Cavalock and The Borough Market Reunion

Just like how I must pay my pilgrimage to Warhammer World (more on that in an upcoming post) now that we are in the U.K., visiting London's famous Borough Market is a definite must for the Baker-at-Home and, well, me too actually. Wasn't our first time there but I think we can safely discount that initial visit eight years ago cos we were a little too, inexperienced to fully appreciate the culinary showcase of fresh and natural ingredients before us.

This latest Saturday morning visit we just went crazy and bought enough food like comte cheese, spices, cured meat, truffles etc. to fill a suitcase. No matter how crowded the Market was, the Baker-at-Home would often spend 15 to 20 minutes chatting with the shopkeepers bout the best way to use the ingredients or whatever she's buying. Sometimes such interaction would result in freebies like when the butcher gave us a packet of iberico fat. She even started telling us how best to prepare fries with it when the Baker-at-Home said she didn't know how to use it.

And all that was just Day One at Borough Market. Yah, we had our hands and shopping bags full by noon on the first day. Next post is gonna be how we kept our bellies full on Day Two. <^;^>