And Now For Some Food Porn From London

IMG_2121The old man lost weight while we were away – which is obviously grounds for divorce – and as far as I can see there can be no biological culprit of this inequality, other than my old friend menopause.

Because we ate mostly the same quantity of food while we were away – if you don’t count that afternoon tea I scoffed with my tiniest girlfriend who managed to put away almost three tiers of cakes as well as vats of bubbly and still looked enviably Hobbit-like the next day – BITCH!  He also drank a fuck-load of bitter and became particularly partial to the Magnums my dad had foolishly left in his freezer. He’s SO out of the will.

 

LIFE’S SO UNFAIR!

 

Since we’ve been home, the scales flinch every time I go near them, and I’ve decided that Sunday night is bad enough without that added level of pain. And if I’m honest with mysef, the extra kilos were probably worth the two weeks of gluttony enjoyed in a capital city not usually known for its gourmet food fare.

 

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Camden Market, innit?

 

So while the jet lag continues to mess with my thought processes, and in particular with an contemplation I have about writing anything meaningful, I thought I’d indulge you in some food porn from our trip, because the food was Poldark good, if you know what I’m saying…and I’m sure any Brits out there most certainly will.

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Meals that were stand out were not necessarily the most expensive – take the falafel kebab I demolished at Camden Market or the Tuna Salads from Pret A Manger that became our staple lunch in an effort to save money and calories, but it was the diversity of food we tried that made it so memorable. That’s the great thing about holidays – how all your usual disciplines float away in a sea of ‘don’t care’ petulance once you look at a menu.

IMG_2026There was the hangover food, which after classier nights was usually a croissant or two, posing in front of one of the trendy bread shop/cafes, dotted down the Kings Road.

And then there were the not so classy mornings when we had both lost the will to live and only animal fat would reach the spot, courtesy of a good old-fashioned ‘that’s what Statins are for’ English breakfast.IMG_2117

 

 

The dinner at the wedding of the year was pretty special and included this wonderful dessert which I had two of because (sadly!) my brother was so nervous about his speech, he couldn’t eat a thing. I might have also had his beef and lobster!

 

And talking of cakes, can you believe I freaking well MADE these macaroons at a cooking class with my sister? Although if you speak to her she will say that these perfectly round ones were in fact her batch because me and piping bags…well, let’s just say that we’re not the best of friends. But I won’t give too much away about that day because I have to dedicate an entire post at some point to our cooking class and how we finally managed to make our Chef smile…at us, rather than with us. IMG_2142

Seared tuna is my current foody passion and I managed to source ocean loads on this trip – this school came from a little French restaurant in Earls Court.

 

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But the repas extraordinaire has to go to the tapas we shared with my brother and his family at a little place in Chelsea called Tendido Cero. Of course I knew it would be a memorable experience as soon as I saw the art work …IMG_2180But even that much promise didn’t prepare me for the quality of the food. Even traditional favourites such as Patatas Pravas were pimped into these tempting bites of potato encrusted deliciousness with the mayo and tomato sauce inside.

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Patatas Bravas, if you please…

 

The Gambas Al Ajillo were frankly sex on a plate, as was the Tortilla Patata and I haven’t even got photos of the lamb because by that point the old man was giving me that ‘put your phone away’ look, which was the most succulent, young meat I’ve tasted since my twenties.

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Garlic Prawns!
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Tortilla Patata

 

 

European Food Porn

IMG_6877Of course, the really sexy hero of my recent trip to Europe was the food.

If you’re a pig foodie like me, you wouldn’t automatically think of the UK as a foodie haven, but France would certainly be up there, pretty close to the top of your list.

Let me tell you, though, the Brits are catching on. Gone are the days when a steak and kidney pie is considered gourmet dining; I discovered a new wealth of fresh and healthy food on offer, even though the weakness of the Australian dollar made eating out seem much more expensive than my previous trip.

But even better news, (because although j’adore French food, my middle-aged stomach has developed an annoying intolerance to rich sauces these days), French food has finally evolved. Not one creamy sauce passed my lips on a mission to further constrict my arteries. The French still love their gross food, though, although it felt almost sentimental to see snails, intestines and brains on the menu.

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Fresh, plump oysters, dripping with lemon juice.

But the most orgasmic foreplay of the trip had to be the plump, fresh oysters dripping in lemon juice that slid so easily down my throat at the Brasserie Gare Du Nord in Paris, alongside several memorable chicken liver parfaits and my all-time favourite, Foie Gras. Yes, I know Foie Gras gets a well-deserved bad press due to the way it’s produced, but it still remains a personal delicacy.

I snacked on the best pork scratchings in London and prayed that my statins would over-ride the extra cholesterol or that perhaps the wonderful selection of exotic salads I found would serve as penance. It’s not so easy to find good, creative salads in a chilly climate but the Market Superfood Salad I had during my first visit to one of Jamie Oliver‘s Italian’s, which I topped with the freshest, creamiest Buffalo mozzarella (instead of the Cottage Cheese) was healthy comfort food at its finest.

Onto mains, and although I try to steer clear of red meat these days, two lamb dishes were the equivalent of the missionary, which, although not the wildest of positions, at times can be strangely comforting – the first, a crisp, green salad with hummus and goats cheese, and the second, traditional cutlets in a rich, red wine gravy. In both plates, the meat was served perfectly rare and oozing flavour. As for fish, I experienced my first pave de saumon in Paris served on a simple bed of petits pois, several unfancy but flavoursome grilled sea bream and a hearty seared tuna.

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Perfectly rare lamb with goats cheese and hummus.

As for fromages et desserts, there were far too many to count or own up to; as my new-and-improved waistline will testify. I always pick cheese over dessert, particularly in France, where the creamy Bries, bitter goats and mature Stiltons all fight for my affection, so the only two desserts to compete seriously with them were a Café Gourmand in Paris, which was delectable in its simplicity and included a rich chocolate brownie, salted caramel ice-cream and the most heavenly tapioca-type-thing I’ve ever tasted, and a rich vanilla Panna cotta, with a gentle velvet texture that was balanced perfectly by tart red berries on the top.

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Cafe Gourmand!

And if that seriously wasn’t enough to get your juices in a twist, did I mention my beautiful sister-in-law’s Easter roast?

 

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The perfect roast!

Feeling hot and sticky yet?

Middle-Aged Sexual Food Fantasies

In the thick of a texting argument with my much-loved son this morning – he was in his Ancient History class and I was attempting to work from home – I’m not sure why, but my mind kept wandering to French toast, cream, maple syrup and raspberries.

Picture of french toast
Picture of french toast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Because sometimes I need a treat or some consolation for being this cigarette butt of a mother who gets trodden into the dirt when my boy has problems controlling his emotions.

 

When I was younger, it was much easier to let off steam or get a ‘high’ to make myself feel better. But getting kicks these days isn’t quite as straightforward.

 

In my twenties and thirties, when my morbidity wasn’t staring me quite so obviously in the face, I smoked this and that, had the desire and energy for multiple orgasms, a tolerance for more than two glasses of wine and the metabolism to eat every fucking pie on the table.

 

My fantasies these days have slowed down evolved with age and are slightly less exuberant.

 

In my twenties I still fantasised about having sex with my husband! In my thirties I fantasised about ‘ uninterrupted sleep’, and now I’m in my forties I fantasise about being alone and naked with a melting Chocolate Lava Cake.

 

English: Chris Hemsworth at 2010 Comic-Con Int...
English: Chris Hemsworth at 2010 Comic-Con International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stalking Chris Hemsworth has worked on occasion if I’m honest, as has Champagne, an erotic novel or a satiating splurge at Zara.

 

But there’s nothing quite as erogenous as FOOD and EATING to get the heart rate pulsing. It always hits the G Spot, whether it’s a bit of rough at Maccas (to quench the hangover from hell) or the finest Sushimi from my local Japanese.

 

So say, (in your truly, wildest fantasies), we were now in some middle-aged, female Utopia where you didn’t put a kilo on the minute you looked at, thought about, licked your lips in anticipation over, or (God help you), actually ATE ‘REAL’ FOOD – what would be your food fantasy?

 

Here’s a list of the sexual food fantasies that get my saliva flowing these days:

 

Smoked salmon, creamy cheese and dill

Chocolate Lava cake

Affogato with Tiramisu

Affogato from Tapped and Packed
Affogato from Tapped and Packed (Photo credit: Nick Ludlam)

Christmas pudding with brandy sauce

Vine-ripened tomatoes, basil, Boccocini and good Olive oil

Fillet steak and string fries

Mussels in a white wine and cream sauce with crusty bread

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream

Salted caramel ‘anything’

Fresh Guacomole and salty chips

 

Getting excited yet?