January 2014, on my first day in London, on Kingsway in Holborn, I was walking, amazed that I was in London, enthralled with the sights, and then splat. I fell face down on the concrete sidewalk. In the seconds it took to realize I’d fallen, two angels, clothed as men, each took an arm and pulled me back to standing. Still trying to process what happened, one of my rescuers said I was bleeding and gave me a napkin. Coming to my senses, I thought about my pocketbook with my passport and money. Pocketbook on my arm, check, and nothing spilled on the street. Am I okay, did I break my nose? I used my tongue to feel my teeth, how can I find a dentist in London? Please let me feel them all, check. The angelmen were still talking, asking, who they should call. I told them I was at the hotel within two blocks. I thanked them and with my head still spinning I made my way back to the hotel. My daughter was still in the room and her reaction when she saw me made me feel worse that I’d upset her. I told her I needed water. For the rest of my life I will remember the sound of her feet running through the hallway. I opened the never used pain pills that had lived in my toiletry kit for years and I slept. I threw out my ripped pants. I did not want to see them. My face and my bruises recovered. However, this is the reason I do not have pictures of my first trip to London. No need to go into the truckload of ways my fall could have been more adverse. Without a doubt I know God was with me. The trauma to my face and mouth hampered my dining choices on this trip. It was good that my daughter spent a year and a half studying in the UK so there were more trips and I kept my wits about me. Though one day I will have to write about what happened in Paris. As I did for my Paris dining post, I do not share every meal only my favorites:
The Ting at the Shard, I love tea and I drink it nearly everyday. When I knew I was headed to London, teatime fantasies became my preoccupation. Of all the places I enjoyed tea, Ting remains at the top of my list. Ting makes teatime an event. The combination of the Shard building, the stunning views, the atmosphere, and the service left me giddy and light-headed. The sublime reality of the Shard’s 35th floor, I was tempted to yell, “People can you believe we are over 400 feet in the sky drinking tea and nibbling on scones, curd and jam?”
I have yet to visit Mr. Chow’s in NY. I have been to Mr. Chow’s in London and I recommend it. It is a tiny jewel box of a restaurant. My daughter and I dined on the second floor, this means ascending an open tiny circular staircase. The food and service was great. The best part was the noodle making demonstration and the amusement (see me laughing) when the slap of the dough startled diners.
The Chiltern Firehouse is a London favorite, for good reason, people watching, great service and delicious food. Reservations recommended because it remains a hotspot.
The Delaunay is another terrific spot. It is in the theater district and it will not disappoint. The menu includes America and English choices so everyone can find something to enjoy. The owners of the Delaunay have another restaurant the Wolseley in Mayfair. Both are highly rated by professional travelers.
The Gran Caffe, unfortunately closed last summer. I liked it because it was a beautiful place, in a great location, across the street from Harrods. The wraparound windows made it ideal for people watching both inside and out. It was a good breakfast spot. The bread was served with butter and petite jars of jam. I liked the jam so much I ordered sets to give as gifts. It was a great place to sit by the window, linger and take in the surroundings. My hope is that it will reopen.
and finally, Harrods, which could be a separate post. Harrods department store has twenty restaurants, including the new Fendi Caffe that opened last month. I have enjoyed a couple of meals at different restaurants in Harrods but what stands out for me is the amazing food hall. Harrod’s Food Hall is the precursor of modern food halls and it is spectacular. If I lived nearby I would likely be there everyday trying new delicacies and replenishing favorites, particularly the kouign-amann. Believe me for a spot of tea and a kouign-amann, it is worth the trip.
In my next time I go file:
Harvey Nichol’s Rooftop Food Hall the Saint Aymes, Peggy Porschen & Rosie is a blogger with gorgeous pics & tips for travel & dining in London, the UK and more. Let me know if you are planning to cross the pond, I’m ready to go!